FOSDEM over; Crisis averted

I went to Brussels last weekend for FOSDEM 2008, which was held at ULB Campus Solbosh. The free event was a good way to check in with the overall Open Source community and to see all of the interesting things people outside my normal circles are working on. Friday Night Beer Event Things got off to an memorable start on Friday night. I timed my arrival so that I could attend the Friday night “Pink Elephant” beer event held at the Delirium Cafe.
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Local root exploit in Linux kernel 2.6.17 to

Pretty scary stuff, even if you trust all of your users:

victor@mercury ~ $ ./exploit
 Linux vmsplice Local Root Exploit
 By qaaz
[+] mmap: 0x100000000000 .. 0x100000001000
[+] page: 0x100000000000
[+] page: 0x100000000038
[+] mmap: 0x4000 .. 0x5000
[+] page: 0x4000
[+] page: 0x4038
[+] mmap: 0x1000 .. 0x2000
[+] page: 0x1000
[+] mmap: 0x2ac3dee3c000 .. 0x2ac3dee6e000
[+] root
mercury ~ # whoami
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Gentoo upgrade to Apache 2.2

I upgraded my server’s apache from 2.0 to 2.2 today (see Overview of new features in Apache 2.2) and it was painless except for a few minor hiccups. I like to keep my server’s packages up to date with Gentoo’s stable packages not just for new features but mainly to make package upgrades as easy as possible. I find that by staying up to date with upstream stable packages, upgrades are more incremental and rarely cause as much difficulty as having to upgrade from multiple major versions behind.
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Samsung ML-2010 printing using CUPS and Splix on Gentoo AMD64

The Samsung ML-2010 is a great bargain laserjet printer. I bought it from NewEgg last year for $49 after a $50 mail-in rebate, which I quickly recieved. While it doesn’t see too much more than 5-10 pages per week, I’ve never had to replace the toner cartridge. Using the Splix driver, it works great under Linux, specifically Gentoo AMD64 (x86_64) in my case. Here’s how you can get it to work, assuming you already have CUPS properly installed and working (most of this will apply to any distro):
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Flash 9 sound on 64-bit Gentoo Linux

I recently blew away my completely setup Gentoo desktop when I decided I needed to rebuild on a new RAID5 array. This meant that I got go through the entire Gentoo install, build, and configuration process from scratch, after not having had to do it for ages. I also took the opportunity to use LVM2 this time around, which I'll probably write about in a future post. Either the Gentoo process has gotten much easier or I've gotten much better with Gentoo.
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Cisco VPN Client and Linux kernel 2.6.15

I've always struggled with the Cisco VPN client for linux. It has seemingly never installed smoothly for me, but now I finally have figured out what's going on. Last week I built a Debian Sarge (stable) box, and installed Cisco's VPN client v4.7. I used a patched installer I had made a long time ago (and forgot why I needed to patch it), but the module compile was failing. After lots of frustration, I reversed the patch to the original sources, and then the installer compiled the kernel module without any problems.
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