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Random Gentoo fixes

In the past week or so, I’ve been working in parallel on two Gentoo-related project; one is that I wrote about, for which I need to bypass NATs and allow external IPv6 access while the other will probably be more known in the next few days, when I deploy in Gentoo the code I’m developing.

Both works are something I’m paying to do, even though for the former I’m paid not nearly enough I should, and interestingly, both seem to require me to make some seemingly random, but to my aim quite important changes to Gentoo. Since they are unlikely to show up on anybody’s radar as they are, but some might be of interest to other people doing similar things, I thought I could give you a couple of heads’ up on these:

  • first of all, speaking about Quagga I changed the init scripts to make use of logger if available; this should depend on the configuration files (you can decide whether to use syslog or not) but since that only works with OpenRC and I’m not sure how to test for OpenRC within an init script, I decided to simply add a use requirement on all of them; as it is, it won’t require the logger, but if it’s in the runlevel, it’ll run after it;
  • again on topic of init script, I tweaked the OpenSSH sshd init script so that it doesn’t forcefully regenerate the RSA1 host key, as that’s only used by the version 1 of the SSH protocol, which is not enabled by default; if you do enable it, then RSA1 host key is regenerated, but it’s no longer happening if you don’t request it in sshd_config; I wanted to make it possible to disable RSA/DSA keys for SSH2 but it’s unclear how that would work; this reduces the amount of time needed to start up a one-off instance of Gentoo, such as a SysRescueCD live, or EC2, and reduces the entropy consumption at boot time;
  • tying it up, I’ve tried running audio-entropyd on the two boxes I have to deploy, hoping that it would make it possible for me to replenish the entropy without having to buy two more EntropyKeys (which would erode my already narrow profit margin); unfortunately it didn’t work at all, turning up a number of I/O errors, but the good news is that the timer_entropyd software – that Pavel is proxy-maintaining through me – works pretty nicely for this usage, and I’ve now opened a stable request for it;
  • also while trying to debug audio-entropyd, I’ve noted that strace didn’t really help when calls to ioctl() are made with ALSA-related operations; the problem is that by default, the upstream package is sent down with a prebuilt list of ioctl definitions; I’ve found a way to remove this limitation, which is now in tree as 4.5.20-r1, although I did break build with Estonian language — because the upstream code is not compatible in the first place; I’ll be fixing the Estonian problem tomorrow as soon as I have time;
  • I have started looking into the pwgen init script that is used by our live CDs and by SysRescueCD; again, there are a few useful things with that approach, but I really want to look more into it because I think there is room for improvement;
  • tomorrow and in the next days, depending on how much time I’m left with, I’ll be starting to try again the PKCS#11 authentication — last time I ended up with a system that let me in as root with any password, now I think how I can solve it, but it’ll require me to rewrite pambase almost from scratch;
  • not really related to my work project but I helped a bit our Hardened team to fix a suhosin bug and sent the patch upstream; I’ll be writing in deeper details about this – again as I find time – since it actually motivates me to resume my work on Ruby-ELF to solve the problem at the root.

On a different note, I switched my router from using pdnsd to unbound; while documentation leaves a lot to be desired, unbound seems to perform much better, and also does work with both IPv4 and IPv6 socket listening, which doesn’t seem to be the case at all for pdnsd. I also taken down some notes about using the bind ddns protocol since the documentation “robbat2’: pointed me at is probably out of date now.

Comments 2
  1. Have you tried using the EGD output socket from your ekey to feed your whole network? In theory the device sticks out more than a fast enough feed for multiple machines…However, this immediately raises a gentoo bug… Current ekey ebuild doesn’t install the EGD tools… Durr (care to fix?)There is also entropy-broker, which is kind of like a secure version of edg. No ebuild but I doubt that would be much of a barrier… :-)I have audio-entropyd on a rented server and it does suck a bunch of cpu on that machine for barely enough entropy to keep a hardened pool topped up. Buying Ekeys for new machines…

  2. I’ve just opened a bug on Gentoo’s Bugzilla for the udev rules for ekeyd. It seems that a / is a valid character in the USB serial number.

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