Linuxconf 1.12r5


Linuxconf 1.12 is the unified version which operates on all distributions. The previous common version was 1.10. 1.11 was developed in collaboration with RedHat. RedHat 5.1 has become the first "Linuxconf aware" distribution. 1.11 was built in such a way to support both type of distribution (aware and non-aware). Linuxconf 1.12 is the first release that has been tested on both type of distribution. Linuxconf is back with a common source tree and continue to evolve. 1.12 is really THE version that other distribution should look. It has many enhancements: It is more modular and can cope with distribution proprietary file transparently. Here is the new stuff in 1.12r5.

User interface

Treemenu

The treemenu module has been enhanced. It works both in text and GUI mode. The module also detect if the front-end has support for the treemenu concept. For example, gnome-linuxconf shipped on RedHat 5.1 does not support treemenu. Linuxconf falls back to normal menu when this front-end is active.

Another feature of the new treemenu is that it overrides the main menu. No need to do "linuxconf --modulemain treemenu" anymore. Just enable the module and the new user interface is available.

Another enhancement is that treemenu remember the state of the tree from one Linuxconf instance to the other. If Linuxconf is run setuid, this is managed independently for each administrator.

Buttons in HTML mode

The package libgd is now used to produce the GIFs of the various buttons in HTML mode. There is no need for translator to build GIF after GIF to translate the images. To compile Linuxconf, you need the libgd package (version 1.3 or higher). It is available at ftp://ftp.solucorp.qc.ca/pub/linuxconf/gd

Note that Linuxconf is linked statically with libgd since it is not generally available in linux distributions.

askrunlevel

longer boot special delay

If the boot process is taking more than 60 seconds (up to the askrunlevel menu), askrunlevel disable the normal timeout (selected in the "boot mode/default boot mode" screen) and raise it to 60 seconds. It also produces two beeps to remind the operator that the boot process (probably a fsck) finally ended. On some machine (slow ones) the normal boot process is taking more than 60 seconds. So the trigger has been set to 120 seconds.

Linuxconf modules

Builder

A new project has been started: An interactive module builder. This tool will let you prepare a new module and layout the various menus, configuration files and help screen. Not useful yet though.

The linuxconf-devel package

This new package allows one to build module easily outside the Linuxconf source tree. The package provides the various utilities and rules file to initialize, compile and package a module. A new module may even be package in RPM format auto-magically.

Install some module by default

Linuxconf is now more modular. User of version 1.10 are a bit lost in version 1.12 as some feature are missing. The new installation now probes various resources and enable the corresponding modules. For example, if there is a /etc/named.boot, the dnsconf module is enabled. This is done with the following command line

	linuxconf --setmod dnsconf
	

Note that the corresponding command line also exist:

	linuxconf --unsetmod dnsconf
	

The mailconf module

Message maximum size

The mailconf module lets you manage the maximum message size feature of sendmail. By default, it is unlimited.

Dialog presentation

The basic configuration dialog has been reworked so options are better organized together.

Cooperation with other modules

Using the messaging API, the mailconf module lets other modules participate in the generation of sendmail.cf. This will be used by the forthcoming mailsql module (inbox folder stored into an SQL server).

Editing password for virtual users

The HTML facility letting virtual email user to change their password has been fixed.

The status module

A new module has been created. It reports various information about the system. This is handy for new admin unfamiliar with shell commands and for remote administration (HTML) when there is no shell available.

This is just a start. This module is expect to grow in functionality. At some point it will support a report concept where one will be able to check various feature and produce a custom report of the system status.

RedHat 5.1

On RedHat 5.1, Linuxconf does not manage the boot process the same way as on other distribution. This is done like this mostly because RedHat 5.1 is Linuxconf aware and cooperate to achieve the activation control Linuxconf normally does (tells you what you have to start/restart to enable configuration changes).

There is a drawback to this strategy. Some services are only managed by Linuxconf (firewalling for one) and are unknown to normal System V init script. To cope with this, some Linuxconf users have added to /etc/rc.d/rc.local the following line

	linuxconf --update
	

To better handle this situation, Linuxconf now insert itself in the boot process by adding an entry to the System V init script. This entry is S99linuxconf. It is executed late at the end of the boot process. This make the "linuxconf --update" trick unneeded. Note that having the line in rc.local does not arm anything.

SuSE

There is still a problem with /sbin/init on SuSE. It is incompatible with the askrunlevel concept. I have had no time to figure out why. In the mean time, I am supplying a patch in the RPM. Mostly, instead of calling /sbin/telinit, Linuxconf is calling a fake telinit that reminds you that askrunlevel is not fully operation on SuSE. At least it boots unattended. askrunlevel is still useful to configure the workstation early at boot time and switch from one system profile to another.