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Re: Ubuntu 11.10 now unsecure by default
From: Darren Martyn <d.martyn.fulldisclosure () gmail com>
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2011 14:12:38 +0000

 Valdis - I did not know the source had gotten THAT big, still, will be
interesting to explore parts of it that interest me - the TCP stack for a
start... Also, thanks for the advice on the book :)

Good point on the difficulty of mantaining my own distro - I realize I
would need a fair few people behind me to keep it up to date.

Network manager has one amusing flaw I noted on both Atheros and Broadcom
chipsets - it randomly suspends the Wireless card, requiring several
reboots to fix. I still have to figure it out, and it just annoys me in
general. Hence, making my own version of it.

Also, thanks for the advice on the mac80211, I was only familiar with
MadWiFi as my netbook for wardriving ran an older Atheros card (Acer Aspire
One from 2008). I will look into the mac80211 as soon as I can, the goal me
and my friends have is to release a "modified" Ubuntu with our own network
manager and some other Wireless auditing tools installed. Been done before
I am sure, just we want to give our own spin on it. For both learning and
for our own use.


On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 1:02 PM, <Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu> wrote:

On Mon, 21 Nov 2011 12:24:03 GMT, Darren Martyn said:

1) Read the latest kernels source over a long period of time, looking for
bugs and to get a better understanding of how it works on that level

Just keep in mind that you will never finish reading the kernel source, as
currently sitting at somewhere near 14M lines of code, and every 3 month
release window has more new lines added than any one person can review.
Most of
the patches are posted ot the linux-kernel mailing list, which as a result
weighs in at around 450-600 pieces of mail every day.  Enjoy drinking from
fire hose.

That's why the current arrangement of subsystem maintainers exists.

Doesn't mean that you can't review the important heavily used parts of the
kernel and learn something - that's probably only a quarter million lines
code, and things like the VFS code don't change as fast as the drivers and
architecture code. I would reccomend reading Linux Device Drivers, 3rd
(available online, just google for 'LDD3').  Note that the concepts still
apply, but due to the ever changing kernel API, sample code will probably
compile without some reworking.

2) Build my own distro

More of same - though Linux From Scratch will at least teach you how it
But you'll go nuts trying to keep up to date on patches for all the
components of
a system big enough to use day-to-day. (Have fun reviewing the patches and
then building OpenOffice or Firefox from source every time upstream
an update - and then there's all the code in xorg and Gnome/KDE, and....)

3) Write my own network manager based off the LORCON/MadWiFi drivers
PyLORCON bindings) for the GNOME interface to replace the not-reliable
"network manager" applet.

This one is probably the most achievable, and NetworkManager *is* a total
piece of barely-usable crud.  Do however keep in mind the following:

1) The MadWiFi drivers only work for Atheros chipsets, and a *lot* of boxes
have other wireless (lots of Intel chips out there, among other things).

2) MadWifi has been deprecated, and the wireless maintainer's advice is to
the ath5k and ath9k drivers instead. If those two drivers don't work for
Atheros, work with them to get the driver fixed - all the other Atheros
out there will thank you.

3) You *really* want your userspace to be using the mac80211 interfaces
so that they will work with non-Atheros cards as well.

Good luck...

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