Bug in Ubuntu Breezy exposes root password

In actual there is no user account called root in Ubuntu. A normal user can become root by using the sudo command. But in Breezy, the first user’s password is can be easily found by any user reading the file /var/log/installer/cdebconf/questions.dat. This bug is present only in Breezy (5.10) and not in Dapper(6.04) the yet to be released version.
There are two packages – base-config and passwd which needs to be upgraded to prevent this problem. A standard system upgrade will fix this problem.
If you are upgrading from 5.10 to 6.04 then you need to upgrade your passwd package to the newest version.
ubuntu, breezy, dapper, root+user

Ubuntu 6.04 Alpha 4 – Dapper Flight 4 released

Ubuntu Linux 6.04 Alpha 4 has been released and it has got many improvements like

  • new graphical installer splash using gfxboot
  • a new kernel version with special builds for various types of servers
  • speed improvements all around
  • new versions of all sorts of software

Aside from GNOME 2.14 and Espresso, most of what is in Dapper now will be in the final release in April.

ubuntu, gnome, espresso, linux, kernel,gfxboot

Firefox released

Firefox was released and it offers many stability and security updates.

Here’s what’s new in Firefox

  • Improved stability.
  • Improved support for Mac OS X.
  • International Domain Name support for Iceland (.is) is now enabled.
  • Fixes for several memory leaks.
  • Several security enhancements.

Due to the automatic update feature in 1.5, I just had to use the Check for updates feature in the Help menu. Beware not all your extensions may not work in the new update.

firefox, browser, mac+os

WordPress 2.01 released

WordPress 2.0 made big waves at the blogging world, and soon everyone upgraded to the new wordpress blog engine. But, there were some bugs and sometimes I felt that the older 1.5 version was better. But, the import tool for Blogger was really nice and I love it. Exactly 1 month after version 2.0 was released, the 2.01 version has been released. The wordpress development team has squashed out 114 bugs. To summarize:

  • You can now specify an upload directory, and whether to use date-based storage or not.
  • Caching has been fixed under certain PHP enviroments.
  • Permalinks have been fixed for weird enviroments as well.
  • XML-RPC uploading works.
  • Compatibility with older versions of PHP.
  • Several WYSIWYG fixes and cleanups.
  • Imports now use much less memory.
  • Now works with MySQL 5.0 in strict mode.

Some users complain that wordpress doesn’t provide the support found in other proprietary blogging softwares(like Movabletype). In my opinion, the users in the IRC channel of wordpress(#wordpress) are very helpful and I was able to correct a small problem within minutes. What is your opinion on this and have you experienced any problem with any of the blogging softwares?

wordpress, wordpress+2,movabletype,mt, wp, blog, weblog, blog+software

Nmap 4.0 released

Nmap (“Network Mapper”) is an free open source utility for network exploration, administration, and security auditing. It uses IP packets in novel ways to determine which hosts are available online (host discovery), which TCP/UDP ports are open (port scanning), and what applications and services are listening on each port (version detection). It can also identify remote host OS and device types via TCP/IP fingerprinting. Nmap offers flexible target and port specifications, decoy/stealth scanning for firewall and IDS evasion, and highly optimized timing algorithms for fast scanning. Nmap runs on all popular operating systems, including Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Solaris, and OpenBSD. Download command-line or graphical versions of Nmap and its documentation from Insecure.Org. There are many substantial changes after the previous stable release 3.50 and it is recommended to install the new version. Are there any other tools that your would recommend for securing your system?

nmap,nmap+4.0, security, linux, unix, network

Linux Kernel 2.6.14 released

Linux kernel 2.6.14 was released after two months of development.
Here are some new features added to the new kernel.

  • HostAP – HostAP is one the most popular 802.11 device drivers for linux. It works with cards utilizing the Prism 2/2.5/3 chipset and support Host AP mode, which allows a wireless card to perform all the functions of an access point.
  • FUSE – Filesystem in USEr space provides a simple interface for userspace programs to export a virtual filesystem to the linux kernel. FUSE also aims to provide a secure method for non privileged users to create and mount their own filesystem implementations.
  • Linux port of the Plan9’s 9P protocol – 9P, or the Plan 9 Filesystem Protocol, is a network protocol developed for the Plan 9 distributed operating system as the means of connecting the components of a Plan 9 system (site).
  • Relayfs – Basically relayfs is just a bunch of per-cpu kernel buffers that can be efficiently written into from kernel code. These buffers are represented as files which can be map’ed and directly read from in user space. The purpose of this setup is to provide the simplest possible mechanism allowing potentially large amounts of data to be logged in the kernel and ‘relayed’ to user space.

There are many more added features to the new kernel.

MySQL 5 released

MySQL 5 is ready for production use. Here is the snip from MySQL web site…

“MySQL 5.0 is the most ambitious release in MySQL’s history. MySQL 5.0
delivers the enterprise features the community has been asking for,
including Stored Procedures, Triggers, Views, Information Schema, XA
Distributed Transactions, and new Storage Engines. We also added
Strict SQL Mode to eliminate some of the ‘Gotchas’. Plus, MySQL 5.0
builds on our reputation for Reliability, Performance, and Ease of

Visit http://dev.mysql.com for more info.
Here are some MySQL and Postgresql gotchas one may be interested in reading.

If you find a bug in the newly released MySQL 5.0, then can win an iPod Nano.

Easy Ubuntu 2.3

Easy Ubuntu is an easy way to make Ubuntu usable in few minutes. This is a beginner’s tool using a graphical interface.

Easy Ubuntu allows you to:

  • Add extra repositories for installing a lot of additional software.
  • Install multimedia codecs for reading all videos, musics and DVDs.
  • Activate the “audio preview” feature in Nautilus.
  • Install the most needed Firefox plugins: Flash, Java, Real, videos. Adds Microsoft fonts, GNOME’s Firefox buttons, officials Firefox icons.
  • Install archiving support for RAR and ACE.
  • Install the most used peer-to-peer softwares: aMule (a clone of eMule) and Azureus (for Bittorent).
  • Install the Skype voice-over-IP software. (Warning: at this time Skype is not packaged for Breezy so install don’t work)
  • MSN: Install AMSN cvs with webcam support.
  • Num lock: Active the num lock at system startup.
  • Replace the GNOME foot logo with Ubuntu’s logo.
  • Install the NVIDIA or ATI driver for 3D support.

I guess everyone using Ubuntu must get this and install. Really how easy life has become with free sotwares.

Tech Tags: ubuntu linux

OpenOffice.org 2.0 released

OpenOffice.orgThe much awaited OpenOffice.org 2.0 was released on 20 Oct, 2005.
OpenOffice.org natively supports the internationally standardised OpenDocument format, which several countries, as well as the U.S. state of Massachusetts, have established as the default for office documents. It is available in 36 languages (more promised) and as usual runs natively on GNU/Linux, Windows, Sun Solaris, Mac OS X and more. This new OpenDocument format prevents vendor lock-in and can be opened by any office application.
In addition to OpenDocument format, it has a new database module, improved PDF support, a superior spreadsheet module, enhanced Desktop integration and many more features.
View some of the nice screenshots here.
So, will the new OpenOffice2.0 be a serious competitor to MS Office and what will be the answer to the OpenDocument Format? We have to wait and watch.

Update: Here is the download link to the OpenOffice 2.0 version.

Update 2: Here is a comparison between OpenOffice and MS Office.

Tech Tags: openoffice OOo linux GNU/Linux