Enterprise Unix Roundup: This Is Your BrainShare on Linux Page 2

By Michael Hall (Send Email)
Posted Mar 25, 2005

Main     In Other News     Recent Updates     Tips of the Trade

Recent Updates

  • CrushFTP Server was updated to version 3.8.1, correcting issues with file compression and Web access.

  • The SurgeMail mail server was updated to version 3.0a, correcting a Web mail problem specific to the Unix variants SurgeMail runs on.

  • Telnet server VShell was updated to version 2.3.4. The update addresses several bugs related to its sftp functionality and a spelling error.

  • Apple has released Security Update 2005-003. As is typical with Apple updates, several packages have been patched. A few of the updates:

    • A denial of service vulnerability in AFP has been corrected.
    • Buffer overflows and DoS vulnerabilities in Cyrus IMAPD and SASL have been corrected.
    • Mailman has been updated to correct a directory traversal vulnerability.
    • Multiple Samba vulnerabilities have been corrected.
    • SquirrelMail has been updated to correct cross-site scripting vulnerabilities.
  • HP has patched the version of Apache shipping with HP-UX. According to the update notification, the fixes address a denial of service vulnerability and a condition wherein SSLCipherSuite could be bypassed.

Tips of the Trade

One of the great strengths of Linux is the ability to customize an installation to precisely fit your needs. You can set up a desktop, developer's workstation, server, firewall/gateway, router — just about anything — from the same general-purpose distribution disk.

Even cooler is being able to precisely customize a particular installation by including only the packages you want, then replicating it for installation on more machines. For example, you might want a customized desktop installation for office staff. Or you might be building an Apache Web server farm, deploying a number of identical Postfix-based mail servers, or rolling out a number of identical firewall/gateway/proxies. Red Hat's Kickstart lets you easily replicate and automate mass deployments of a customized installation.

Kickstart is included with Red Hat Linux, Fedora, CentOS, and the Red Hat clones. A Kickstart configuration file is automatically created with any installation (/root/anaconda-ks.cfg). If this is not sufficient to meet your needs, you may add shell commands to download additional software, and perform any final tidying-up that needs to be done. Kickstart can do the complete job. With Kickstart, you can also specify MD5sum checking, authentication types, partitioning, filesystem types, RAID and LVM, network parameters, server locations and more.

A Kickstart installation can be performed from a bootable CD or DVD or over the network. You can even perform a completely unattended mass installation over the network.

See How to Install Red Hat Linux via PXE and Kickstart to learn how to perform a mass network-based installation. The Red Hat System Administration Manual contains a complete Kickstart howto.

Carla Schroder writes the Tips of the Trade section of Enterprise Unix Roundup. She also appears on Enterprise Networking Planet and Linux Planet, covering Linux from the desktop to the server room.

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