Enterprise Unix Roundup: Jabbering Openly Page 2

By Michael Hall (Send Email)
Posted Apr 1, 2005

Main     In Other News     Recent Updates     Tips of the Trade

Recent Updates

  • Mainstay MTA sendmail was updated to version 8.13.4. The new release includes about a dozen bug fixes and minor enhancements.

  • Application server Zope was updated to version 2.7.5. It's a collection of bugfixes and updated information regarding preferred versions of Python with which to run it.

  • Mail server SurgeMail was updated to version 3.0c2. The release fixes a security issue in the webmail component and updates the webmail version.

  • MIT announced that the version of the telnet client it ships with kerberos has buffer overflows that could allow a malicious user to run arbitrary code with the privileges of the telnet client user. There are updates for Fedora Core 3, Fedora Core 2, Ubuntu, and FreeBSD. According to the MIT advisory, any telnet client derived from the BSD telnet implementation may share this vulnerability.

Tips of the Trade

Network administrators have long relied on the traceroute program (tracert on Windows) for debugging network connection problems. Typical output looks something like, this:

$ traceroute serverwatch.com
traceroute to serverwatch.com (, 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
 1  border1.secureip.net.au (  1.18 ms  0.722 ms  0.658 ms
 2 (  2.913 ms  2.207 ms  2.449 ms
 3  330.ge-5-0-0.GW5.SYD2.alter.net (  3.865 ms  3.894 ms  2.910 ms
 4  0.so-4-3-0.XR2.SYD2.Alter.Net (  4.960 ms  3.622 ms  2.270 ms
 5  so-6-0-0.TR2.SYD2.ALTER.NET (  1.947 ms  2.750 ms  3.674 ms
13  svl-core-03.inet.qwest.net (  214.925 ms  214.722 ms  216.181 ms
14  ewr-core-01.inet.qwest.net (  283.658 ms  282.766 ms  283.231 ms
15  ewr-cntr-01.inet.qwest.net (  282.792 ms  283.923 ms  283.764 ms
16  msfc-22.ewr.qwest.net (  286.986 ms  287.703 ms  426.549 ms
17  * (  286.967 ms !X *

Which is fine for seasoned network admins, but what if you need to use traceroute output to demonstrate a problem to a not-so tech-savvy boss or co-worker? Or, perhaps you, yourself, prefer a visual representation. In that case try Xtraceroute. Xtraceroute displays both a visual and text representation of the route your packets travel over the planet. The graphical image can be rotated and resized. Simply run:

$ xtraceroute [hostname]

Xtraceroute looks for LOC DNS records and then top-level domain names. You may add static mappings, using the Database menu, to /usr/share/xtraceroute/site_hosts.cache and /usr/share/xtraceroute/site_networks.cache (on Debian it's /etc/site_hosts.cache and /etc/site_networks.cache) to speed up lookups of known hosts. See man xtraceroute to learn more Xtraceroute commands.

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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