April 15, 2004

Cliff's List Filter - April 8 - 14

Author: Ian Palmer

Continuing the latest weekly tradition of offering up the latest news, hints and tips from various open source mailing lists. Various tidbits include Linux 2.4 turning ".26", a bundle of major GNOME releases, and more tips for GNOME and Mozilla users. If you have suggestions for other Open Source circles you'd like for us to follow, feel free to drop us a line.

Linux Kernel

  • David Gibson has put together a patch for PPC processors that allows 32 bit process access memory segments below the 4G addressable limit. Previously 32 bit processes were only allowed to access memory in the 1G space between the 2-3G address range. This patch depends on a few of his previouspatches. So be sure to apply them, first.
  • If you were ever wondering why it is useful to have user-private groups, and on a use for the
    setgid-flag, you might be interested in the following explanation on setgid usage, from Albert Cahalan.
  • Kim Holviala presents a patch, that adds Targus Scroller mouse wheel support for Linux 2.6.5.
  • Megaraid users who are using version of the megaraid driver for Linux 2.4 may want to
    consider applying this patch to their driver, taking it to version 2.10.3. This new version fixes a memory leak when accessing certain /proc entries for that device.
  • BTTV users with nVidia cards, who are experiencing unexpected hangs while watching TV, may want to consider using the regular "nv" module (ie
    not nVidia's proprietary kernel driver). This may help eliminate those hangs, while watching TV and
    using another heavy application (like CD burning or web browsing) in the background. Thanks to Dub
    Spencer for the hints.
  • Daniel Ritz provided a fix for Acer Travelmate 360 interrupt handling. If you are having weird issues with this hardware, and are using Linux 2.6.5, you might be interested in checking this out and see if it helps you at all. Patches are available for both 2.6.5 and the 2.4 series kernels.
  • Dr. David Alan Gibert provided a /proc addition that tracks a processes file descriptors. Uses for this patch are left as an exercise for the reader, although Dr. Gilbert was kind enough to provide a few of his own.
  • Owners of wireless cards, based on the adm8211, rejoice! Michael Wu announces that there is now a Linux driver for you. It's not quite finished yet, but Linux 2.6.5 users should be able to take limited advantage of it.
  • Matt Mackall announces the latest release of ketchup (formerly kpatchup), his kernel patching
    utility. It has now reached version 0.5!
  • Developers looking to port their drivers from Linux 2.4 to 2.6 should consider looking at this porting portal as it looks to provide a wealth of information that should be of use. Thanks to Jan Dittmer for the pointer.
  • Linux 2.6.5 users, who have no need for swap files, should apply this fix to correct a minor error in the kernel source if they intend to compile their kernels without swap file support.
  • Linux 2.4.26 is released on April 14.
  • Calin A. Culianu mentions an article that some of you might find interesting on CPU Shielding, which is away of assigning a process and a set of interrupts to a specific CPU to improve performance.
  • Andi Kleen announces that 2.4/x86-64 will now be placed in strict maintenance mode with the release of Linux 2.4.26.


  • We missed this from last week, so it's only fair to mention it, now. Desktop users looking for a new font may want to try Stepan Roh's DejaVu font.
  • Windows not behaving properly, and forgetting their positions in Nautilus' spatial mode? Soeren Sandmann suggests turning off disable_workarounds in your metacity preferences.
  • If you prefer the keyboard for navigation, you might find this patch useful. It enables shift+backspace to switch to the parent window in Nautilus.
  • If you'd like to see the status bar in your spatial windows, then these changes will enable that behavior in Nautilus.
  • Software moles have managed to dig up these new releases:


  • This may prove to be a useful tip for web developers. If you would like to see a log of cookies and why they are rejected or accepted under Mozilla, try taking a look at this helpful guide. Thanks to Michiel van Leeuwen
    for pointing us to this tip.
  • While not necessarily specific to Mozilla, some of you may find this interesting. Arun Sharma is looking to put together a system that ranks web pages according to user votes. Extensions exist for both Mozilla (and Internet Explorer) and you can see the current results of the voting, here.
  • Last but not least...are you interested in adding encryption functions to Mozilla Thunderbird? Will Dormann suggests you try out Enigmail.
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