Ask Shadowman


February 2004

February. What a hack. A pawn of imperial vanity, it once had another entire month jammed in it. One papal patch and February's managed to bring harmony and armistice between our calendar and the Sun. And February brings he who needs no introduction, yet insists on an increasingly tedious one each month and goes by one name like Narcissus or Ouroboros... he is the Shadowman.

Got a question that you'd like Shadowman to answer? Ask him.


Michael N, wrote on in:
Shadowman,

I just installed Fedora Core 1 on a test box, and noticed that OpenSSH 3.6.1 is included instead of 3.7.1. Since a buffer overflow problem was discovered 4 months ago with 3.6.1, I'm a little surprised that Red Hat would include a security package that has a security issue with their new OS.

This doesn't motivate me to purchase Enterprise ES!

Is it possible to run OpenSSH 3.7.1 on Enterprise ES?

Shadowman says:
Shadowman's glad you asked this one, since it troubles lots of folks.

Michael, the rest of the package version you snipped off had your answer. OpenSSH 3.6.1p2-19 is what shipped with Fedora Core v.1. Red Hat backported the fix you speak of (and likely another) from 3.7.1, and indicated that in the security release when it was first patched for RHL 8.0 (among others) about five months ago. That fix, and numbering are reflected in Fedora.

By backporting just the needed security fix, Red Hat is able to ensure that no unecessary code is introduced to the OS, less QA is needed, ensuring speedier delivery of security fixes. To your question as to whether 3.7.1 will run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES, the answer is yes, but it ships with the fix. And with the RHN subscription you get with it, you get security alerts with explanations as to how the issue is handled (ie by backporting), and the resultant errata can be managed.


Manish was about to perish and yelled:
I am a beginner in linux redhat 8.0. I am using a PIV with the Intel 845GL MBD. I am not able to install the modem and sound driver. Aztech UM9800 USB modem.

Shadowman says:
Shadowman is here to help. Shadowman is familiar with that motherboard. Shadowman is--

Sorry -- Shadowman just caught on to the last line of the introduction to this column and needs to remember to throw someone an "increasingly tedious" beating in the parking garage.

Anyway, your modem is a snap. Go here. Get the driver.
The sound card is not so much of a snap, but should work. Go here. Get the goods.


Barton M, hawed and hemmed:
Hello,

Who do I send this complaint to?

I recently purchased Redhat 9.0 and installed it on my Dell Inspiron 7500(Pentium III based) . I found it to be very, very non-functional at the most basic level and the interface to it marginally useful. I have hence returned it to the store I bought it. I had numerous problems with it recognizing almost any of my peripherals.

I have hence abandoned Redhat and Linux in general.

To be fair, SuSE Linux and Mandrake Linux were even WORSE!

Shadowman says:
Shadowman is glad to hear you like Red Hat better than SuSE or Mandrake.

Shadowman decided to help you, but you returned the CDs. Shadowman could ask you to download it, but couldn't get past how you raved about Red Hat. How others were "WORSE". Shadowman considered sending you some free gifts, the usual empty trappings of a hollow corporate icon cum avatar. But, Shadowman sensed somewhere in your words that you were not some neophyte that could be bought out with the hush money of logo emblazoned hats and brand festooned mug koozies. Shadowman convinced the powers that be that your words should fall on the ears of the throngs of potential users waiting to find Red Hat not the worst Linux experience they've ever had.

As such, the Marketing Department[tm] would like to know if the phrases "very, very...functional" and "marginally useful" from your testimonial can be used in promotional materials.


In short:

To Mantu P., who got his mp3 and wants his POP 3 Shadowman says: Evolution.

To Luther R., who knows what he did Shadowman says: a) Shadowman doesn't do Windows and b) You *know* what happened