Linuxconf 1.13r12


1.13r12 is a mix of enhancements and bug fixes. The 1.12 and 1.13 versions have started tighter integration with other distributions such as SuSE and Connectiva, reusing most of the work done for RedHat.

This is probably one of the last release in 1.13. 1.14 will target enhancement to the user interface as well as a push in the module technology, notably the availability of stand-alone modules.

1.14 should also withness some independant utilities using the Linuxconf UI api.

User interface

All command line options in one screen

It is now possible to see all command line options, including those of the modules by doing

	linuxconf --help
	

The module API had to be extended so each module can report its own set of command lines. See LINUXCONF_MODULE::usage().

Treemenu has now new buttons

The treemenu mode was lacking a help button. It now shows the help of the main menu. The treemenu mode is still lacking a way to access contextual help of the various sub-menu though.

Another button was added and this should please a lot of people. It is called "Act/changes". It triggers the "Activate changes" of the "control panel" menu, which is the same process you get when you quit. Using that button, it will be much nicer to do various changes and trigger the activation without leaving from Linuxconf, or without digging to locate the control panel menu.

New main menu entry: Miscellaneous services

A new entry has been added in the main menu. It does not contain any entry by default. Some module will register there when they are unrelated to networking, user account, file system and the boot mode.

More emacs key-binding in text mode

ctrl-K was added in text mode. It kills the input field from the current cursor position to the end.

Rework of some messages to help translators

Translators had a problem with some messages in Linuxconf. Messages related to the Add and Del button were puzzling because they were in fact the combination of two messages. One was fixed and the other followed the context. The end result was not easily translatable for some languages.

All construct like this one were modified so translators will be able to complete their job on this side. They will have to review a couple of message like this one:

	Select [Add] to add ...
	

Miscellaneous

bin-elf package available again

Since 1.10, I did not update the bin-elf binary package, mainly used by Slackware users. I have now the proper setup to produce on a regular basis bin-elf package again.

Swedish translation on its way

Part of it is already available. Things are rolling quickly. Linuxconf core package is getting bigger. I will probably split it in several package, one for each language.

Modules

module uucp

uucp support was part of Linuxconf core for no need reason. It was already designed ās a module, but was linked statically. It is now a module, but deliver with the main Linuxconf package.

Inserting a new menu entry in a module main menu

Until now, it was only possible to register a menu entry in some predefined menu of Linuxconf's core. It is now possible to register in module menus. The module must be compliant (two lines must be added to register the insertion point). So far only the dnsconf module has those lines.

See LINUXCONF_MODULE::setmenu() and LINUXCONF_MODULE::domenu(). There are now two versions of those functions.

Because of this change, the binary compatibility of the module API could not be preserved. This means that all modules must be recompiled. They do not have to be modified though. Install the new linuxconf-devel package before recompiling :-) If you fail to recompile the modules, Linuxconf will prompt you about the incompatibility.

mailconf: redirect email for a user from the account dialog

The mailconf module has been enhanced. Its co-manager for the user account dialog had the ability to enter email aliases for the user (address pointing to this account). A new field has been added called "Redirect messages to". This allow you to forward email for an account to another email address.

This ability makes the user account dialog more complete in this area. Co-administrator won't need to fiddle with the general email aliases facility (which requires root privileges under Linuxconf) to complete their task.

mailconf: Problem while computing the MD5 checksum of sendmail.cf

A feature change in the POPEN object done in 1.11 did cause a problem in the computation of the MD5 checksum of sendmail.cf. Linuxconf computes the checksum right after generating a sendmail.cf. Later, whenever Linuxconf probes for changes, it generates "in memory" a new sendmail.cf and computes its checksum. If the checksum does not match, it knows a new sendmail.cf has to be generated. Linuxconf also use this checksum to find out if the current /etc/sendmail.cf was generated by itself (or was not modified by the administrator). Both of these functionalities were broken by this misfeature.

The side effect of the fix is that the next time you will generate a sendmail.cf, it will complain that the current one was not generated by Linuxconf, which is probably wrong.

This bug explains why Linuxconf did not catch the various changes people were making in the /etc/mail/mailconf rules.

mailconf: sendmail.cf generation under SuSE

The mailconf module was not generating a proper sendmail.cf on SuSE. It was generating an improper path for the mqueue directory (which is located in /var/mqueue on SuSE).

dhcpd: Updating the DNS out of DHCP information

Since version 1.13r9, it is possible to update the DNS from the DHCP server by using a special command line:

	linuxconf --modulemain dhcpd --updatedns
	

To use this command line, one has to fill the "Update DNS domain" field because DHCP host entry only provide a name, not a name + domain. Once this is done, you can put in a cron job something like this:

	#!/bin/sh
	if linuxconf --modulemain dhcpd --updatedns
	then
		/usr/sbin/named.reload
	fi
	
In 1.13r12, we are going a bit further. There is now a checkbox in the dialog, right below the "Update DNS domain" field. It is called "Update DNS from cron". You select this checkbox and a special command "/usr/lib/linuxconf/lib/dhcp2dns.sh" is added to root cron. You UN-check it and it is removed. It can't be easier :-)

Distributions

Work is continuing on the SuSE module to support more feature of the /etc/rc.config file. Network devices configuration is now supported.