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Ports Final Call, Writing Unix Tools, Inside Prelude, and Streaming TiVo Files

by chromatic
Linux Newsletter for 09/22/2003

Hello everyone (and Happy Birthday, Nick). It's time for the Linux newsletter, a weekly summary of the issues and ideas raised on Let's hop to the world of open source development and administration.

The Unix philosophy is well-defined: small, good tools that fit together easily and interchangeably to form powerful commands. If you're doing practical work on a Unix or a Unix-alike, you probably have (or need) a good toolbox. Jacek Artymiak's Building Unix Tools with Ruby explores this philosophy, building a small, command-line tool with the up-and-coming Ruby programming language.

Effective security is often a circus of compromise: if it weren't for users, you could have a much more secure system. Instead of giving up in futility, though, increase your vigilance. A good intrusion detection system can monitor your systems and applications for undesired behavior and perhaps for early signs of a security breach. Howard Wen explores Prelude, a hybrid IDS in Inside Prelude, an Open Source IDS.

Dru Lavigne's put the finishing touches on her paean to the FreeBSD ports utilities. Cleaning and Customizing Your Ports explains the tools available that will let you know exactly what's on your system. It won't answer the why, but you can reclaim quite a bit of disk space. Also, learn how to customize your ports by editing one single file. Very handy.

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This week's book excerpt again comes from TiVo Hacks. In Hacking TiVo, Part 2, learn how to schedule recordings even when you're not in the house (no, not scheduling TiVo to record when you're not home, but setting a schedule when you're not home) and how to stream videos from your TiVo.

This week's weblogs feature Chris DiBona's first technical question (Cascading Python Module Reloads), Jonathan Gennick reporting on Software Development Best Practices at SD East, Chris Adamson Using Unix to fix Mac OS X, and Steve Mallett wondering, Is Adrian Lamo, the Homeless Hacker, a media whore?.

That's all for this week. We have several great articles in the queue, including a three-part series on building an advanced mail server with secure IMAP, secure POP3, and virus and spam filtering. Don't miss out.

Until then,

Technical Editor
O'Reilly Network and Linux Devcenter Top Five Articles Last Week

  1. Cleaning and Customizing Your Ports
    One of FreeBSD's biggest benefits is its ports collection. It seems like magic, but a little maintenance can make it work even better for your system. Dru Lavigne explains how to keep your ports collection clean and how to customize individual ports.

  2. Exploring the /proc/net/ Directory
    Terry Dawson explains the /proc/net directory and shows us the wealth of kernel information that is exposed there.

  3. Building Unix Tools with Ruby
    Unix command line tools should follow a few simple rules. They must do one thing well. They should conform to standard option conventions. They must be able to be part of a pipeline. Jacek Artymiak demonstrates a simple Unix CSV-parsing utility built in the Ruby programming language.

  4. Is Linux Annoying?
    Let's face it, Linux isn't perfect. While people are working night and day to improve things, you have frustrations and, hopefully, workarounds in the meantime. Paul Weinstein gives an example of RPM hell and potential solutions and calls for your Linux Annoyances!

  5. Installing Oracle 9iR2 on Red Hat 9
    While Oracle's understandably proud of their Linux support, Oracle 9i is unsupported on the latest and greatest Red Hat. That doesn't mean it doesn't work, just that you'll have to do a little tinkering. Roko Roic demonstrates how to install Oracle 91R2 on Red Hat 9.

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