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Mozilla Patches 8 Security Flaws

Mozilla has released software updates to fix at least 8 security vulnerabilities (3 critical bugs) in its Firefox software for the Windows, Linux, Mac and other platforms. You can now download Firefox version 3.0.5. This update has been rated as having important security impact.
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Project Spacewalk: Red Hat Open Sourced RHN Software

Today, at the Red Hat Summit in Boston, Mass., Red Hat introduced Project Spacewalk. RHN has provided patches and software for Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system. Spacewalk is an open source (GPLv2) Linux systems management solution. It is the upstream community project from which the Red Hat Network Satellite product is derived. From the press release:

Spacewalk is the upstream project upon which RHN Satellite will now be based. Spacewalk will work with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora and other Red Hat Enterprise Linux derivative distributions like CentOS and Scientific Linux. Spacewalk will bring together a growing community of new users along with seasoned systems management veterans. In this way, the Satellite product can grow (as Linux itself does) with the combined efforts of the open source leader, Red Hat, and an invigorated community. Both will work together to expand the capabilities and stature of the upstream project. This will translate into faster adoption of new, innovative ideas and technologies into the downstream Satellite product.

(Fig.01: Spacewalk in action)

=> You can download spacewalk software here.

Ubuntu Software Update How To

One of our regular reader asks:

How do I update and patch system under Ubuntu Linux? How do I update desktop and server edition software?

Updating software under Ubuntu Linux is pretty easy. There are two ways to update software as follows:

Method # 1: Ubuntu Linux Software update using command line tools

apt-get is the command-line tool for handling packages, updating package and installing patches under Ubuntu Linux. All you have to do is type the following two command to update all installed software to latest version.

Open terminal and type the following two commands:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

Sample output:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following packages have been kept back:
  linux-headers-generic linux-image-generic openssh-client openssh-server ssl-cert
The following packages will be upgraded:
  ca-certificates cupsys cupsys-bsd cupsys-client cupsys-common evolution evolution-common evolution-plugins gstreamer0.10-esd gstreamer0.10-plugins-good
  kdelibs-data kdelibs4c2a libcupsimage2 libcupsys2 libgnutls13 libhsqldb-java libpq5 libsmbclient libsmbclient-dev libspeex-dev libspeex1 libssl0.9.8
  linux-image linux-libc-dev linux-restricted-modules-common linux-source-2.6.22 linux-ubuntu-modules-2.6.22-14-generic openoffice.org openoffice.org-base
  openoffice.org-calc openoffice.org-common openoffice.org-core openoffice.org-draw openoffice.org-evolution openoffice.org-filter-mobiledev
  openoffice.org-gnome openoffice.org-gtk openoffice.org-impress openoffice.org-java-common openoffice.org-math openoffice.org-style-human
  openoffice.org-writer openssl python-uno samba-common smbclient ssh ssh-askpass-gnome ttf-opensymbol tzdata update-manager update-manager-core
  vorbis-tools xserver-xephyr xserver-xorg-core xserver-xorg-dev
56 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 5 not upgraded.
Need to get 183MB of archives.
After unpacking 119kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y 

Method # 2: GUI tool - Ubuntu Update Manager

This is a GUI tool. It works like Microsoft / Red Hat / Fedora update manager i.e. you will see a little icon in the kicker bar/taskbar when there are updates available. It will only appear when new upgrades are available. All you have to do is click on it and follow the online instructions.

You can also star GUI tool by Clicking System > Administration > Update Manager > Select Install update
Ubuntu Linux Software Update manager
(Fig.01: Ubuntu Linux Software Update Manager in Action)

Google Removed An Open Source Project After DMCA Complaint

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law. Google has removed an open-source project that enables the proprietary CoreAVC high-definition video decoder to run under Linux operating system.

CoreAVC is a Windows codec for H.264 video developed by CoreCodec, which sells the codec in two versions, one priced at US$7.95 and another at $14.95. A Linux version is not available.

CoreAVC-for-Linux was an open-source project led by Google that developed patches which allow Linux applications, such as mplayer, to use the CoreAVC codec. A cached version of the project's Web page said video performance was the main motivation for creating Linux support for CoreAVC.

=> Google Takes Down Open-source Project After DMCA Complaint

Update [ 11:29 pm IST ] : A CoreCodec worker using the screen name BetaBoy told an internal forum last night that "The DMCA removal request and the project reinstatement was been sent to Google."

Download of the day: Linux Kernel 2.6.25

Linux kernel 2.6.25 has been released and available for download from the official website. After nearly three months of development and the merging of over 12,000 patches from almost 1200 developers, this kernel is now considered ready for wider use. Highlights of this release include the ath5k (Atheros wireless) driver, a bunch of realtime work including realtime group scheduling, preemptable RCU, LatencyTop support, a number of new ext4 filesystem features, support for the controller area network protocol, more network namespace work and much more. LWN has more information.

Related: How To Compile Linux kernel 2.6.xx.

Download of the day: Linux kernel 2.6.24

The Linux kernel version 2.6.24 has been released and available for download. From the announcement:

The release is out there (both git trees and as tarballs/patches), and for the next week many kernel developers will be at (or flying into/out of) LCA in Melbourne, so let's hope it's a good one. Nothing earth-shattering happened since -rc8, although the new set of ACPI blacklist entries and some network driver updates makes the diffstat show that there was more than the random sprinkling of one-liners all over the tree.

Download Linux kernel 2.6.24

=> Visit official kernel website to grab latest version. You may find our kernel compiling instructions useful.

Skype outage due to bad log-in mechanisms

On 16th August 2007, the Skype peer-to-peer network became unstable and suffered a critical disruption. According to official blog post it was windows update service:

The disruption was triggered by a massive restart of our users’ computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update.

The high number of restarts affected Skype’s network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources, prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact.

There was also news about some Russian crackers brought down the service. Skype has denied this rumor and assured that no malicious activities were attributed or users' security was in danger, at any point.

This incident clearly provides few hints:
(a) Microsoft dominates PC desktop market.
(b) Application code can bring down entire network, so always consider HA ( High-Availability networking and storage) along with app code
(c) Skype does not blame Microsoft. It was their own code