Blogrotate #15: The Weekly Roundup of News for System Administrators

Posted in: Technical Track

Good morning and welcome to a new Blogrotate. We missed last week’s edition because last week was insanely busy. We take customer service very seriously here at Pythian, so when there is a conflict between client issue and a blog, the client always wins out. ‘Nuff said.

It’s been another busy week here and shows no sign of slowing, but here’s a few of the things we found interesting this week.

Operating Systems

The H Online is reporting that Linus Torvalds named one of the 100 most influential inventors by “The Britannica Guide to the World’s Most Influential People”. More info can be found there, as well as a link to some free sample pages from the book. Of course, Bill Gates was also on the list.

Could it be that Microsoft ranks third in Linux sales? As part of their 2006 agreement with Novell, they were required to purchase $240 million worth of “subscription certificates” to sell or distribute. Microsoft says that so far 475 of the coupons have been used which is equivalent to about a half million dollars worth. See Sold out: Microsoft’s Linux business is booming at The H Online for the skinny, and Microsoft exhausts coupons for SuSE Linux at SD Times for a much more detailed analysis.

Ubuntu has released Ubuntu 8.04.4, the fourth patchset for “Hardy Heron”, which is a long term support release. See the release notes for the full list of updates. Alternately, schedule a change window and apt-get update and apt-get upgrade today!

Did anyone realize that SCO vs. Novell was still a going concern? Well, apparently it is. According to Groklaw SCO and Novell File Proposed Witness Lists. Again. If you enjoy a good licensing battle, I don’t think this qualifies, but you can decide for yourself. Why can’t they both just get along?


According to the political news site C-Span‘s page for Solving Video Problems, it will be discontinuing support for Real Networks RealVideo streaming format citing as the cause lack of interest. They do, however, still support IE6 unlike . . .

The official Google Enterprise Blog has announced that as of March 1st, site functionality may no longer support IE6. New features for Google apps will be built without support for IE6 as well. Check out the full deal, called Modern browsers for modern applications.

Apache HTTP Server 1.3.42 Released by the Apache foundation spells EOL (end of life) for the popular web server, though some security patches may still be released. I know of a lot of Oracle app servers out there running apache 1.3, so perhaps one of our crack DBAs can chime in with some details on how to handle it, what versions support 2.0, etc.

The popular Squid proxy server released a patch this week for a vulnerability to specially crafted DNS packets which can trigger a queue overflow and eventually a DOS. If you make heavy use of Squid, check out the creatively named Squid Proxy Cache Security Update Advisory SQUID-2010:1.

We have all heard by now of the Google attack from China. Now Google is seeking the help of the NSA to prevent future attacks of this sort. Ars Technica has the full scoop, see In wake of hack, Google negotiating cooperation with the NSA.


VMWare has announced security flaws in a number of its products. Patches have yet to be released, so if you run VMWare, keep your eye out for them. The full info and affected products can be found in the announcement from the VMWare Security Announce mailing list, see [Security-announce] VMSA-2010-0002 VMware vCenter update release addresses multiple security issues in Java JRE.


Are you running services in the “cloud”? If so, you’ll need to monitor them. Data Center Knowledge has a roundup of the current players in the cloud-monitoring game. Check out Cloud Monitoring Services: A Resource Guide.

That’s all the time we have for this week, folks. I know there have been other interesting things going on over the last two weeks, so please add them in the comments. Have a wonderful week!

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About the Author

Brad is just a guy, you know? I fought my way up in the world tooth-and-nail. Starting in broadcasting and music to travel to computer support to development of mid size xBase programs. Finally I settled into the wonderful world of system administration where I have honed my skills doing many diverse tasks. I started using Solaris in the mid 80's and built my first Linux system on a 386 using 30-some floppy disks and never looked back.

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