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This month's answers created by:

[ Sayantini Ghosh, Amit Kumar Saha, Ben Okopnik, Dave Richardson, Faber Fedor, Kapil Hari Paranjape, Karl-Heinz Herrmann, René Pfeiffer, Neil Youngman, Paul Sephton, Rick Moen, Robos, Thomas Adam ]
...and you, our readers!

Gazette Matters

Undeliverable mail: Delivery reports about your e-mail

Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]

Tue, 30 Sep 2008 19:21:25 -0700

[[[ I've clipped out the offending message and tossed it into the /misc directory as http://linuxgazette.net/156/misc/lg/undeliverable if you actually are curious about what "these things" look like. -- Kat ]]]

Subscribers might (or might not) be curious about what I do with these things. Basically, Faber had it about right: I do indeed decide where to aim the Blacklist of Doom and fire freely.

In this case, IP address (rex2.isdn.net), running proprietary MTA Communigate Pro, confessed that it had received (forged) mail from IP address, which at the time was falsely claiming to be "lists.linuxgazette.net" and conveying mail from tag@lists.linuxgazette.net to downstream recipient chet@multipro.com.

And that incompetently run MTA, on rex2.isdn.net, believed that particular barefaced lie -- and thus decided to send "back" to the forged, falsified sender address, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net, the scintillating intelligence that the illustrious Mr. Chet is over quota and sadly cannot accept "our" mail.

This is incompetent mail administration in part because rex2.isdn.net has no excuse for believing that lie: Merely conducting the most basic of checks of our SPF record would have revealed that is not an authorised MX for lists.linuxgazette.net. Also, rex2 is ethically obliged to be particularly careful about what mail it accepts for redelivery to (e.g.) downstream hosts like multipro.com's MXes (mail exchangers), specifically because of the risk of "backscatter spam" of this sort.

In short, I've blackholed rex2.isdn.net completely on lists.linuxgazette.net (for all SMTP purposes), which is indeed hard-assed but ensures that it will not backscatter-spam us again. If there are any legitimate users on that mail host, they lose.

(As a reminder, TAG is particularly vulnerable to spam, because its posting model has to date prevented it from being set so that all mail from non-subscribed addresses is held for listadmin vetting. All other mailing lists I run duck that bullet, and are for all practical purposes spam-free.)

Still Searching

MPPP Problem

kuldeep singh [kuldeep_1985_ec at yahoo.co.in]

Sun, 5 Oct 2008 11:31:07 +0530 (IST)

[[[ I suspect this is "please do my homework", but as it wasn't responded to last month, I'm tossing it into the "Still Searching" pile. (Unsurprisingly, it was sent as html, adding to my annoyance.) -- Kat ]]]


I am a student from IIT Delhi, India. I am working on a project in which i need to establish multilink PPP connection between two embedded ARM +board. The OS is linux(Debian).

Can u please tell me how to establish this mppp connection (configuring in Linux).

Please reply soon.



IIT Delhi

iptables configuration in debian

J.Bakshi [j.bakshi at icmail.net]

Wed, 8 Oct 2008 19:18:12 +0530

Hello friends,

I have a remote suse server where I have a shell script and in that I have the configuration of iptables firewall. so, after executing the script I get my firewall ready. I could also write a deamon there which can execute the script after booting the linux.

I wounder if there is anything in debian to do that. When checking iptables I have found the following


shall I just write a deamon which will then call the configuration file ? or there is already something in debian which I have missed ? Kindly suggest. Thanks

[OT] Booting mackbooks (was Help with Linux !)

Chris Bannister [mockingbird at earthlight.co.nz]

Wed, 29 Oct 2008 00:55:13 +1300

On Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 06:38:09PM -0400, Faber J. Fedor wrote:

> On my Macbook, I boot off a CDROM by a) putting the CD into the drive,
> b) rebooting the machine, c) and hold down the 'c' key during the
> boot process.

Do they still eject the cd if you try and boot off them or just ignore it?

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god
than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other
possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
                                           -- Stephen F Roberts

Our Mailbag

deleted file recovery

J.Bakshi [j.bakshi at icmail.net]

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 20:24:54 +0530

Dear list,

I generally worked with Linux terminal. Frequently I have to do "rm" to delete files/folders which are not required any more. And this actually raised a oquestion in mind. what to do if some point of time I need a file/foldr which has been already deleted before few min. ago. I have googled a lot but have not found any open source tools which can recover the deleted ones. testdisk is there but it is totally different. there are some commercial GUI based tools available but I am looking for a CLI tool or technique which practically recover the deleted file/folder.

Hope some one can enlighten me. Thanks

[ Thread continues here (18 messages/31.21kB) ]

startx problem

J.Bakshi [j.bakshi at icmail.net]

Sun, 5 Oct 2008 22:58:03 +0530

Dear list,

I don't need kdm to run as a service because most of the time I access this linux box remotely. Only when I am at home then I need the desktop. That's why I have disabled the kdm. But after that "startx" gives an error

Module Loader present
Markers: (--) probed, (**) from config file, (==) default setting,
(++) from command line, (!!) notice, (II) informational,                                                                 
(WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
(==) Log file: "/var/log/Xorg.0.log", Time: Sun Oct  5 21:15:35 2008                                                                                                                          
(==) Using config file: "/etc/X11/xorg.conf"                                                                                                                         
(II) Module "i2c" already built-in                                                                                                                           
(II) Module "ddc" already built-in                                                                                                                         
(II) Module "ramdac" already built-in
waiting for X server to shut down FreeFontPath: 
FPE "/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc"
refcount is 2, should be 1; fixing.

Every time the same error from startx. If I start the kdm no problem at all !!

Kindly CC to me

[ Thread continues here (10 messages/19.31kB) ]

What is the policy of apt in lenny ?

J.Bakshi [j.bakshi at icmail.net]

Sun, 5 Oct 2008 22:56:49 +0530

Hello List,

I have tried to install the gdeskcal with its dependency "python python-central python-gtk2 python-numeric python-xml" in lenny and In return apt asking to install 170 packages with gnome gnome desktop and some other tools which really don't have any connection with gdeskcal !!! I did not see this in sarge. What is going on ?

I like to install gdeskcal with icewm. Why 170 pacakes ??


[ Thread continues here (17 messages/18.20kB) ]

How to get fancy terminal ?

J.Bakshi [j.bakshi at icmail.net]

Wed, 8 Oct 2008 14:26:53 +0530

Hello list,

Once I tried Mandrake linux at my friend's PC. I have never seen that type of console in any other distro ( though I worked with redhat, debian, suse and puppy). The fonts are not so big which I see in debian or RH; they are neat and clean. more over at the bottom of the console there was a logo of mandrake !! Could any one suggest or give me any clue so that I can modify my present console to that fancy one ?


[ Thread continues here (2 messages/1.13kB) ]

Help with Linux !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bill jones [userwilber2003 at yahoo.com]

Mon, 27 Oct 2008 13:16:50 -0700 (PDT)

[[[ Mr. Jones sent this in as html mail, and also without much spacing in his punctuation. For ease of the readership, I've done some minor editing on his content. -- Kat ]]]


I need some help and I'm hoping you can do it. Ok,here goes. I traded a guy at work for an Apple laptop with Linux installed. He got it from a guy who didn't have the Root password. How nice! I've tried to

+ reinstall Opensuse 10.2 to gain controll of the laptop,and it won't autorun. I made sure the discs were in ISO form. When the disc is in the cdrom

+ it shows how big the disc is but it doesn't show how much space is available. The memory shows that there's' 2.34mb avaliable. I'm very new at this

+ Linux and don't really understand it yet. So, do you think you'ins' can help me?

ON Opensuse site it said if it didn't start auto to open Bios setup and go from ther. I'm not sure how to do that ,or where to type in Bios. Any help would be greatly welcomed and appreaciated!


Bill Jones

[ Thread continues here (4 messages/5.08kB) ]

apt sources.list for multimedia

J.Bakshi [j.bakshi at icmail.net]

Mon, 6 Oct 2008 23:09:25 +0530

Dear list,

I did a net installation of lenny. I have not found xmms and I think the source is mising from the configuration. Here is my sources.list

deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian lenny main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ lenny/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ lenny/updates main contrin non-free

will it need additional source to have the multimedia ?


[ Thread continues here (10 messages/17.23kB) ]

How to modify linux console ?

J.Bakshi [j.bakshi at icmail.net]

Fri, 10 Oct 2008 22:55:42 +0530

Dear all,

I am a debian user but once I got a chance to test Mandrake Linux and there I saw first time the magic of Linux console. First of all; the Mandrake console was neat and clean with high resolution support and Colourful text. More over a transparent Logo was there at the buttom of the screen. It was really nice looking and at the same time disclousing the fact what power is inbuilt inside Linux console!!

I compiled the kernel ( in my debian box ) with Fb and vesa support. Then I add the vga=791 at the kernel configuration line at grub.cfg and now I get high resolution screen with linux logo support at booting. But There are so many things still unresolved and I'll be grateful to the list if some one atlest show me the right direction

1> How can I test what max. resolution my monitor can suport with a command ?

2> High resolution can be opted by SVGA, VGA or fbdevice. What are the difference between these and how can I know which one is best for my Display card ?

3> How to get colorful text; like the text in knoppix during booting ?

4> and finally how can I get the tranparent logo at the butom of my console ?

A no. of question :-) may be these are already there in some document in the system itself. But currently I have no clue and it would be great if Someone atleast show me the direction following which I can be able to resolved all these myself.


[ Thread continues here (9 messages/12.03kB) ]

(How do I run/install downloaded programs using linux?)

Hunt, Melissa [mhunt at Dewberry.com]

Wed, 29 Oct 2008 11:36:17 -0500

Im new to xandros linux...never used any linux operating system before...

How do I run/install downloaded programs using linux?

Wind0ws usually opts for an auto run or save. It seems linux wants to save. So once I have it saved (which I do) how do I actually run or install that downloaded program?


Melissa-Hope Hunt

Computer Aided Drafter
200 Broadacres Drive, 4th Floor
Bloomfield, NJ 07003-3154
973.338.9100 ext. 3116
973.338.5860 fax
www.dewberry.com <http://www.dewberry.com>

[ Thread continues here (7 messages/6.35kB) ]

ISP blues (was: iptables configuration in debain)

Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]

Thu, 9 Oct 2008 15:39:12 -0700

Hi, J.Bakshi. This note is to advise you that your choice of ISP is causing your mail to be interpreted upon receipt as suspect, when automatically parsed by spam-detection software. My SMTP software keeps kicking your mail addressed to this mailing list into an administrative queue, to verify that it's not spam. Even though I've whitelisted _you personally_, your ISP's IP address keeps failing several tests used within Spamassassin. Those are:

RCVD_IN_SORBS: This is fairly serious. Your ISP's SMTP server IP address ( is in the SORBS (Spam and Open-Relay Blocking System) antispam blocklist, which means it's been extensively used for spamming activity (not by you).

RCVD_IN_SORBS_WEB: This is also fairly serious. That same IP is also in a separate SORBS blocklist of sites that are known to have exploitable vulnerability (e.g., FormMail scripts) that are widely abused by spammers to send mass-mail spam.

FORGED_RCVD_HELO: This refers to the fact that your ISP sends out a mistaken/malformed greeting string during its SMTP delivery attempts. In this case, IP address (firewall.wahju.com) is sending a greeting string claiming it's "icsmail.net". Doing so violates mailing list technical standards and makes your ISP's SMTP host look like a spammer haven.

RCVD_IN_XBL: This is really serious. This means your ISP's SMTP server IP address is also in the Spamhaus XBL blocklist, described as "wholly incorporat[ing] data from two highly-trusted DNSBL sources, with tweaks by Spamhaus to maximise the data efficiency and lower False Positives. The main components are the CBL (Composite Block List) from cbl.abuseat.org, and the NJABL Open Proxy IPs list from www.njabl.org". Essentially, this means your ISP's mail server has been verified to be repeatedly used by spammers to a high degree of certainty.

I cannot really advise you, except to say that, unless/until some of the above facts about your ISP -- not your fault and not under your personal control -- change radically, you are likely to have significant problems with software classifying your mail as probable spam. Some users in similar situations have found it best to change providers.

[ Thread continues here (6 messages/9.36kB) ]

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Published in Issue 156 of Linux Gazette, November 2008