Linuxconf 1.9r26 (test release)

I am about to release 1.10. Ultimately, I would like to announce that 1.10 installs very well on most OS. This is done on RedHat. Debian and SuSE are following closely.

By clean install, I mean that the install probe the various configs of the distribution and inform Linuxconf about it so the install is completely automated.

1.9r26 is contains many many things since the last documented 1.9r22. Here we go

DNS management

Strategy with reverse lookup and domain

Some bugs



The /install/ script now use the Sysv init script compatibility mode for distribution which use them (Debian, RedHat, SuSE) and continue to install as before for other distribution (Slackware).

The installation offers to replace the /usr/sbin/syslogd as it is broken in all distribution. It produce an erroneous error code at startup and let believe it fails while everything is ok.

On RedHat, the installation grabs various configuration and set Linuxconf with that. So, for most installation, there is not adjustment needed after Linuxconf installation. The same kind of work is done for other distribution but not ready yet. The script doing that on RedHat is



The linear flag is managed. A check-box in the dialog lets you control it. This flag is useful for some SCSI system. If your linux workstation does not boot, try this check-box.

Kernel modules

Start of a project to manage the file /etc/conf.modules. The core of the code is there, the user interface is not. Some part of the user interface will be spread where it fits. For example, the selection of the Ethernet device and the module's options related to it will be fold in the basic host information dialog, making it a one stop dialog for the most important part of the networking setup. This is already visible in the dialog, but the fields are not processed.

New command line options

PPP dial-out

Boot time cleanup

Some file were left in /var/run after an unclean shutdown. This was confusing Linuxconf: It believed that the PPP link was already up while it was not, so 24/24 link for one were not restarted.

Now Linuxconf does some cleanup at boot time.

User interface

Various enhancements were done to the user interface

Text mode

Sometime, the screen was messed by messages printed by the various commands executed by Linuxconf. Now, the output of those commands always goes at the bottom left of the screen and scroll. The dialog pops over those and is not mess up.

This could turn into a feature later. Mostly the background will becomes a log window and you will be able to switch between this window and the current dialog. With the GUI, this log window will become an independent optional window.

Bug in HTML mode

Few problems have been solved in the HTML mode


Various enhancement (more widgets) have been done. Not ready for prime time. The first release will be delayed to let 1.10 go out as 1.8 (The last official release) is getting very old now.

Long record lists

Linuxconf is managing many list of records. These lists are often very long (user accounts, DNS domains). A new DIALOG_LISTE object ease the management of those list a bit. If there are more than 15 items in the list, it pops a small dialog. This dialog lets you enter a prefix which will be used to filter the records which will be shown. An empty prefix will show the complete list.

If the dialog has an Add button, the pop-up will too have such a button, so just to add a new record, you don't need to see the list at all.

Various Linux distribution support

Some modification were done to take advantage of the per distribution sub-directory in /usr/lib/linuxconf.

File's permissions

Some permissions has been changed to follow more closely the initial settings of the distribution. This especially apply to pseudo ttys.

Run-levels definition

The askrunlevel associates an "init run-level" with each of the operation mode it proposes. Previously, this list of run-levels was unique in Linuxconf, and was forcing the installation of a special inittab to match these settings. While the run-levels definition has been user configurable (from the boot mode menu in the "runlevels" submenu), this was making the installation somewhat troublesome.

Now there is one preset run-level definition for each distribution (RedHat, SuSE, Debian, and Slackware). This match closely the inittab supplied.


syslogd management

syslogd was not restarted if the /etc/syslog.conf was modified. It is now.

File/directory permissions setup

Now, you can change the behavior of Linuxconf interactively for file and directory permissions. A new menu was added to the "Control file and systems" menu. It is called "file permission and ownership". It lists all file and directory checked by Linuxconf and it lets you override the ownership and permissions one by one.

permissions of symlinked file

Linuxconf was not properly following symlinks.

Disk quota

Linuxconf supports a powerful strategy for disk quota management with multiple level of inherited defaults. A must!! The control is folded in the user and group account management. You enable it in the "local file systems" setup dialog, set the defaults partition per partition and there you go.

The vfat file-system was not shown in the list of available file-systems.

Translation system

The translation tools for the helps and the messages have been documented with complete quick-start document. If you are interested in doing a translation (currently, French, German and Italian are underway), or completing the help screens, check out

Quick start for messages translation

Quick start for helps translation

The source and binary release of Linuxconf now include a start for the French version.

The operation language is now switch-able from the "features" menu.

Sendmail management

The basic configuration lets you control the queue refresh time and also the deferred delivery. This is useful for people with non dedicated Internet link.

The BOGUSHELO feature is switch-able with a check-box. This feature is useful for some broken email client (ApplixWare POP client) which generate a bad HELO request for the SMTP protocol.

Mail to fax gateway

Some works have been done on this and part of the user interface is visible. It does not do anything useful yet.

Some sysv init scripts talk too late

Some scripts are somewhat broken. They go in background and then send some greeting stuff. This messes up the greeting of the next startup script. Linuxconf wait until the end of the boot sequence and then present the output of those odd scripts. So the boot-up sequence is still clean.

Virtual database project

Some work has been started on a concept of turning all configuration information handled by Linuxconf into some virtual database. Linuxconf would provide a consistent interface (a subset of SQL maybe) to query and update the database. The information would still be located in the various standard configuration files.

This strategy would allow various things to happen:

This is achieve by spreading C++ object in the design which handle the translation from the common query/update language to the specific format of the information at hand. Stay tuned!

Manage not only ethX device

Previously, there were no way to tell Linuxconf to manage anything else than Ethernet adaptor (except for IP alias and the loop-back). Now the "basic host information" dialog lets you specify for each adaptor the exact network device to use (including dummy0, token ring, arc-net and so on). A help list shows you the available network device.

Boot time command for the drop-ins

There is a new field in the drop-in dialog. This lets you specify an optional boot time only command. This command will be executed just before the askrunlevel utility brings its menu. This may be used to do some cleanup after an unclean shutdown.

NFS server secure flag

The NFS server dialog have a new check box to set the secure mode on an NFS export.

Help list for the net-mask

The net-mask for subnet is quite puzzling for many. Linuxconf offers now an extensive help list to show the common subnet net-mask. Further, the help for the "basic information dialog" now include a large table showing net-mask, network address and the available range of IP number for the various common net-mask.

Host name alias in /etc/hosts

Some software requires that the host name (without domain) be defined in /etc/hosts. Linuxconf now enforce this so when you set the fully qualified name in the "basic host information" screen, Linuxconf makes sure the host name is in the aliases list.

New IP aliases limit in linux 2.0.31

Since linux 2.0.31 (not officially out yet), you are no more limited to 256 IP aliases. By updating the file


you can increase the maximum number of IP aliases per devices. There is a catch though. You must set this limit before setting any aliases on the device. The default limit is 256 per device. Linuxconf is fully aware of this. If you increase the number of IP aliases and this exhaust the limit, Linuxconf will adjust the limit, delete the aliases and redo them so the new limit take effects. If you are running 2.0.30 or less, Linuxconf will tell you that nothing can't be done.

File /etc/yp.conf

Linuxconf now manage this file.

When quitting, activating changes

When you quit from Linuxconf, it checks is various tasks must be done to make your changes effective. If so, it prompts you with a menu allowing to preview those tasks, do it, or quit without doing it. Now there is another option allowing you to stay in Linuxconf.

Available shells

The available shells list are now ordered and the dialog lets you specify which one is the default.

Creating a user account

When you create a new user account, Linuxconf does not prompt you anymore to create the home directory. It just do it.

Checking virtual email domain installation

The script /usr/lib/linuxconf/lib/checkvdomain has been done. It does a basic check to see if the vpop3d server is properly installed for this domain.

Checking all virtual email domain

The script /usr/lib/linuxconf/lib/testalldomain has been done. It walks /etc/named.boot and for each domain, it check if it is properly installed as a virtual email domain.