The UNIX® CRONicle

March 2001

Official Publication of the STL!/unix/usr/group

UNIX® is a registered trademark of the Open Group
Linux® is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds

Online version:

Table of Contents

Headline Story:

The St. Louis Linux InstallFest is Saturday, 24 March 2001. See Article 3 below for details.

Next Meeting Details

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2001 at 6:30 PM
Sunnen Products, 7910 Manchester
See Meeting Directions

6:30 PM Tutorial File Permissions by Craig Buchek
7:00 PM Announcements (Standard Introductions & Procedure )
7:05 PM Call For Help (An opportunity for you to ask technical questions of the group)
7:15 PM Break Social, off-line conversations, & book sales
7:20 PM Admittance to building may not be possible after 7:20.
7:30 PM Presentation OpenBSD, a Nice Secure Little OS with Buck Pyland


File Permissions by Craig Buchek

This month's tutorial will cover file permissions:

  • The file protection bits.
  • Setting file protections with chmod.
  • Octal representation of protection bits.
  • SetUID, SetGID, and the sticky bit.

    Craig Buchek (AKA your friendly newsletter editor) has worked with Linux since 1994. He was introduced to UNIX in college, and has been interested in it ever since. He has been writing training materials for Linux for the past year. Recently, his efforts have been directed at writing an Open Source Linux training manual for Linuxgruven. He knows how to get a file that show up like this in ls -l:

      p--S--S--T    1 booch    booch           0 Feb 23 23:14 file

    Questions and ideas about this discussion are welcome; please send


    OpenBSD, a Nice Secure Little OS with Buck Pyland

    This presentation will be a group effort, with Buck Pyland leading the effort.

    Randy Karl will begin by presenting a brief history of BSD. The story begins at AT&T Bell Labs and UC-Berkeley, goes through some court challenges, and ends up in the present with several high-quality BSD variants.

    Buck Pyland will then explain the differences between the several varieties of BSD, Linux, and other UNIX variants. He will talk about the advantages of OpenBSD, and try to convince you why you might want to use it instead of something else. (Hint: S-E-C-U-R-I-T-Y.)

    John Brooks will describe IPFilter and IPNAT. These tools are used to build a packet-filtering firewall based on OpenBSD.

    Finally, Jason Preston will give a live demo of an OpenBSD installation via FTP.

    For more information, check out the STLBSD web site ( and the OpenBSD web site (


    Randy Karl is a Senior Staff Engineer at Systems & Electronics, Inc. in St. Louis and has been working there about 20 years. He has experience developing code for a variety embedded airborne and ground defense systems (RADARs, Laser Rangefinder Targeting Stations, ATE, ELINT, etc.). These were developed using cross-compilers on PCs, VAXen, SUNs, and other systems. He has a BS in EET (SIU-C), a BS in CS (SIU-C) and a Master's in CS (UM-Rolla/St.Louis).

    Buck Pyland is a Systems Analyst and Oracle DBA for Maverick Tube Corporation in Chesterfield, MO. He administers two HP 9000 L-class servers and two Oracle databases for the J.D. Edwards OneWorld ERP system.

    John Brooks is self-employed. He installs network and communication solutions using FreeBSD and OpenBSD.

    Jason Preston is a consultant who does a little bit of everything from system administration to sometimes even pulling a wire or 2 when it absolutely has to be done. He prefers to implement FreeBSD whenever and wherever possible, but sometime those folks with the neck ties get in his way.

    Ideas, questions and suggestions are welcome; please contact us by sending

    Next STL Linux User Group Meeting Is 15 March

    New Features of the 2.4 Kernel by Craig Buchek

    We will take a look at some of the new features of the Linux 2.4 kernel. These include:

    We will discuss how to upgrade to a 2.4 kernel and why you might want to wait.

    Craig has compiled and used the 2.4.x Linux kernel. He has been using Linux since 1994, starting with Slackware 2.2 and kernel 1.0.9. For several years he upgraded his system by building all the packages from sources. Craig currently works for Linuxgruven, writing training materials and training people on TurboLinux Cluster Server.

    Meetings of the St. Louis Linux User Group (LUG) are held from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM every THIRD THURSDAY of each month. Location: Indian Trails Branch - Saint Louis County Library. Meetings are free and open to everyone. Refer to for details and maps.

    Comments, questions and ideas for the St. Louis Linux Users Group are welcome; please contact Matthew Porter by phone at 314-353-7988 or send

    Special Promotions

    Titles of the Month

    The March special will be 25% off of all Security book titles.
    There will be a special 30% discount on all books marked with a red sticker and a 15% discount on all other books this month.

    All regularly priced titles are 10% off retail cost at the general meeting.
    (Excludes featured, or specially priced or promotional items)
    O'Reilly Logo

    The O'Reilly and Associates line of books is available at each monthly general meeting as a convenience to our members.

    Each month we feature book titles related to that month's presentation or tutorial topic. Discounts off retail prices are offered to all members and each month's featured books may be additionally discounted. Usually, all titles are discounted 10%, while special titles are discounted 25%.

    Upcoming Events

    [St. Louis UNIX User Group stuff] 
    [Don't forget about this stuff]
    Pink Pickle Day Mar 1, 2001
    Perl Mongers Mar 1, 2001 
    St. Louis Area Computer Club Mar 1, 2001
    Thornhill Branch Library
    12863 Willowyk Drive (off Fee Fee)
    Creve Coeur, MO
    Super Computer Sale Mar 2-4, 2001
    Gateway Center
    Collinsville, IL
    Southern Illinois Linux User Group Mar 5, 2001
    Carbondale, IL
    MO Open Source Linux User Group Mar 6, 2001 at 7:30 PM -- New web site
    Culpepper's Restaurant
    312 South Kirkwood Road
    Kirkwood, MO
    Linux Users of Central Illinois Mar 13, 2001 Newbie Night
    Springfield , IL
    SLUUG General Meeting Mar 14, 2001 at 6:30 PM
    Sunnen Products
    7910 Manchester (at Hanley)
    St. Louis, MO
    St. Louis Linux User Group Mar 15, 2001 at 7:00 PM
    ( TOPIC: ) Linux 2.4 Kernel - by Craig Buchek
    Indian Trails Branch Library
    8400 Delport Drive (at Midland)
    St. Louis, MO
    St. Patrick's Day Mar 17, 2001
    SLUUG Steering Committee Mar 19, 2001 at 6:00 PM (Monday)
    Daugherty Systems
    One City Place (2nd floor)
    Creve Coeur, MO
    First Day of Spring Mar 20, 2001
    Southern Illinois Linux User Group Mar 20, 2001
    Fairview Heights, IL
    Hazelwood Linux User Group Mar 22, 2001 (Extra Thursday meeting this month only)

    Prarie Commons Branch Library
    915 Utz Lane (between Howdershell and Dunn)
    Hazelwood, MO
    STL Linux InstallFest Mar 24, 2001 from 1-5PM
    Linux Users of Central Illinois Mar 27, 2001
    Springfield , IL
    Hazelwood Linux User Group Mar 27, 2001 (regular 4th Tuesday meeting)

    Prarie Commons Branch Library
    915 Utz Lane (between Howdershell and Dunn)
    Hazelwood, MO
    Daylight Saving Time Begins Apr 1, 2001
    MO Open Source Linux User Group Apr 3, 2001
    St. Louis Area Computer Club Apr 5, 2001
    SLUUG General Meeting Apr 11, 2001
    Easter Sunday Apr 15, 2001
    SLUUG Steering Committee Apr 16, 2001
    St. Louis Linux User Group Apr 19, 2001
    Hazelwood Linux User Group Apr 24, 2001

    Meeting Directions

    The STL!/unix/usr/group meets the 2nd Wednesday of every month at Sunnen Products, 7910 Manchester Blvd, just east of Hanley on Manchester.

    Directions From Downtown

    1. Take 40 West to the Hanley exit.
    2. Turn left (south) onto Hanley.
    3. Turn left (east) onto Manchester, then turn right ASAP into the Sunnen Products driveway.
    See map at

    (NOTE: A security guard from Sunnen is scheduled to be at the door from 6:20 PM to 7:20 PM to allow entry. After 7:20, the door will be unattended and attendees may not be able to enter.)

    The SLUUG Steering Committee meets the Monday following the general meeting at 6:00 PM in the 2nd floor training room of Daugherty Systems, One City Place in Creve Coeur.

    The SLUUG Linux SIG (SLUUG-LS) meets the 3rd Thursday of every month at the Indian Trails Branch Library.

    See map at


    ITEC Show in May -- Planning Continues

    by Christine Wanta

    We are moving right along!

    Don't forget it's ITEC planning and development time.

    Everyone and anyone is welcome who would like to participate to create a successful show. There is plenty to do and team leaders are needed.

    Now that our systems have a home again, look for activity on the ITEC mailing list to pick up. That will be where the latest information will be posted, ideas circulated, etc.

    An update on progress since last month:

    We should have some wonderful things to report by next month's newsletter.

    Join us in the fun!

    Contact John O'Reilly and Christine Wanta by sending email to or visit the website at and send us a comment that you are interested in helping with ITEC.

    Our web site should be up shortly with updates. See


    Elections Results

    by Gary Meyer

    SLUUG held director and officer advisory elections at our 14 February meeting.

    New Board of Director members (for three year term):
    Craig Buchek
    Ed Wehner

    There was also an advisory vote for officers. The officers are actually appointed by the board, but it is our tradition to hold this advisory election as well.

    New SLUUG officers are:
    President: Ed Wehner
    Vice Pres: Dave Mills
    Secretary: Tony Zafiropoulos
    Treasurer: Mike Kriz

    The election committee will be reviewing the election process and suggestions to improve our process. A report will be made to the Steering Committee.

    Linux Installfest

    The St. Louis Linux Users Group will be holding their second Linux InstallFest on March 24, 2001. At this event, experienced Linux users will assist those who wish to install and learn about Linux. The InstallFest will be held on Saturday March 24, from 1 PM to 5 PM at Wave Technologies, 10845 Olive Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63141. Anyone who wants to know more about Linux is welcome to attend.

    You can find directions to the Wave offices at

    The InstallFest is sponsored by Wave Technologies and Linuxgruven, two companies prominent in the St. Louis Linux community. Wave will be providing classroom space, a high-speed Internet connection, and a server with several Linux distributions, suitable for network installations. Linuxgruven will be providing pizza and refreshments. Several employees from Linuxgruven and Wave Technologies will be present to assist with installations and to give presentations on various aspects of Linux. Many others involved in the St. Louis Linux Users Group and local community will be there as well.

    In most cases, all you will need to bring is the computer itself. Wave will provide Super VGA monitors, PS/2 keyboards, and PS/2 mice. If you have older or non-standard hardware, you should bring it along. If you're not sure, bring everything to be safe. Free copies of popular Linux distributions will be provided on CD. If you have a specific distribution that you want to install, you can bring it along as well. Be sure to back up your system before you bring it in, as the installation process may overwrite existing data.

    For more information on the Linux InstallFest, please contact one of the following people:

    Current information will be posted as it develops at

    There will be a special 22 March Hazelwood LUG meeting for beginners (newbies) that will focus on planning and preparing for Linux installation. For more information, visit and get ready!

    New SLUUG BBS Home

    Due to the closing of our web hosting site, Phoenix, SLUUG was forced to relocate its BBS systems. Thanks to all the former Phoenix employees who helped us maintain our servers at their location.

    Linuxgruven was kind enough to donate the space, network connection, and physical access for us to move our servers into their offices.

    The move took place on Tuesday, February 27. It began at about 2:30 PM and was completed by 8PM. All system functions were up at that time. Unfortunately, a hardware problem developed on Dark, our file server, the next day. At the time this is being written, our system administrators are still working to resolve the problem. The web site is still functioning, but shell access to the systems is somewhat limited.


    Ximian: Dude, there is a bug in GtkHTML.
    GtkHTML: That isn't a GtkHTML bug.
    Ximian: Yeah dude, it is.
    GtkHTML: Dude, no it isn't.
    Ximian: Dude, it is.
    GtkHTNL: No, dude, it isn't.
    Ximian: Hmm. You're right, it isn't. Sorry, dude.
    -- Seen on Ximian Red Carpet beta announcement.

    Various items overheard at recent SLUUG meetings and seen on the mailing lists:

    Ding! You are now free to move about your Operating System source code.
        -- Mike808

    Or you could turn Y's into K's to solve the Y2K problem.
        -- Don Ellis, referring to a possible use of the 'tr' command

    If someone argues with me, I'll go find out *why* I'm right.
        -- Christine Wanta

    It's no fun to talk about BSD. There's nothing wrong with it.
        -- Stanford Baldwin

    Interesting Browsing







    Spotlight on Maverick Tube Corporation

    This month we would like to give a special "Thank You" to Maverick Tube Corporation. They donated two E-class HP 9000 servers to SLUUG. These servers have several gigabytes of redundant RAID storage. We are working to install these servers to function as our primary network servers and our web server, replacing our existing AIX servers.

    Maverick Tube Corporation is a top manufacturer of premium quality steel tubing products. These include API Oil Country Tubular Goods (used in completion of oil and gas wells), API Line Pipe (used in transmission of oil and gas from the well), ASTM Structural Tubing (used in construction, fabrication and OEM industries), ASTM Standard Pipe (used in plumbing, heating, sprinkler system and other applications) and ASTM Cold Drawn Mechanical Tubing (products for specialty applications). Headquartered in Chesterfield, MO, Maverick has several plants in Arkansas, Texas, Pennsylvania, Washington and Canada.

    You can find Maverick Tube Corporation on the web at

    Missouri Open Source/Linux Users' Group (MOSLUG)

    by Arlo Gittings

    There are strange things afoot at the circle MOSLUG. It appears that we have finally completed our first project. We all need to drop Jim Boedicker a line annoying/thanking/congratulating him on being the first of us to actually make genuine content for the site.

    If you have not checked the site in the last week or so I strongly suggest you do, you will most likely be pleasantly surprised.

    And one more thing. . . don't forget the meeting has been bumped up a week, we will meet the FIRST Tuesday. . . March 6. So get your logos ready, polish your fanciest boxen and consume mass quantities of your favorite stimulant in preparation for what could be one of the greatest gatherings since the first computer faire!

    MOSLUG is primarily dedicate to Open Source programming projects, but anyone interested in the Open Source/Free Software/Linux movement is welcome to attend. For more information on MOSLUG, visit the web site at

    Special Interest Groups (SIGS)

    As our membership grows, we have had some inquiries about the possibility of having Special Interest Groups in several areas. If you are interested in starting or participating in a SIG for System Administration, Networking, C, Object Oriented Programming, a specific vendor, etc., please call Dave Mills at 314-997-1104 extension 351, or contact any officer of the group.

    St. Louis Unix Users Group - Linux SIG (SLUUG-LS)

    Visit the Linux SIG home page ( for the latest meeting details.
    Indian Trails Branch Library
    8400 Delport Drive (at Midland)
    (at Midland)
    Follow 170: Exit Page east to North-South Rd., go left on North-South Rd. to Midland, go left on Midland one block to Delport, the Library is on your left (see map at ).

    For more information on SLUUG-LS refer to the WWW home page for the group at or contact Matthew Porter by

    Digital Alpha SIG

    The Digital Alpha SIG is for those interested in Digital UNIX and the DEC Alpha architecture. Visit the Digital Alpha SIG's home at for more information.

    St. Louis UNIX Users Group Steering Committee

    The SLUUG Steering Committee meets the Monday following the general 2nd Wednesday meeting at 6:00 PM in the 2nd floor training room of Daugherty Systems, One City Place in Creve Coeur. The guard can direct you to the meeting location. Anyone is welcome to attend. If you would like to become more involved in the planning of SLUUG, feel free to join us at the next Steering Committee meeting. Meetings usually last 1.5 to 2 hours.


  • Analysts International
  • Accenture
  • Bradford & Galt
  • CIBER, Inc.
  • Cybercon
  • Cypress Systems, Ltd.
  • Daugherty Systems
  • Informix Corporation
  • Maryville Data Systems, Inc.
  • Maverick Tube Corporation
  • O'Reilly & Associates
  • Phoenix Networks
  • Phoenix Networks
  • Renaissance Worldwide, Inc.
  • Sacerdoti Linux Machines {link may be down}
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Stopka & Associates
  • Sunnen Products
  • Sykes Enterprises, Inc.
  • Technisource Inc.
  • Triple-I Corporation
  • Venmar Systems, Inc.
  • The Law Offices of Rich McLennan,

    For more information about sponsoring the St. Louis UNIX Users Group, contact Ed Wehner, send

    SLUUG on the World Wide Web

    The St. Louis UNIX Users Group maintains a WWW page at Visit us to learn more about who we are and what we do, visit other UNIX user groups' WWW pages, sign up for a SIG, or just to browse.

    SLUUG Administration is volunteer based.

    SLUUG is looking for volunteers to help with presentations, web page development, managing corporate sponsorships, and many other tasks. If you would like to help out contact Gary Meyer by


    We publish other user group meeting schedules on a reciprocal basis. If you are a member of another non-profit group, please inform them of our policy and invite them to exchange meeting information by, or call any of the SLUUG officers.


    BBS Questions Gary Meyer
    Corporate Sponsors Ed Wehner
    O'Reilly Books Susan Hurst Home: (314) 822-9314
    Cell: (314) 486-3261
    Presentations John O'Reilly Send info/ideas by
    Editorial team:
    Editor Craig Buchek Home: (314) 426-5780
    Cell: (314) 374-5780
    Contributing Editor Stan Reichardt Home: (314) 298-1183
    Steering Committee
    Gary Meyer Home: (314) 781-8644
    SLUUG Secretary Tony Zafiropoulos
    SLUUG Treasurer Mike Kriz
    Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
    Linux SIG Chair Matthew Porter Home: (314) 353-7988

    Submitting Articles to the SLUUG CRONicle

    If you would like to submit an article to the CRONicle of general interest to the members of the St. Louis UNIX Users Group, send The deadline for article submissions is two weeks before the next general meeting.

    SLUUG Mailing Address

    The St. Louis UNIX Users Group has a P.O. box. All official correspondence with SLUUG should now be sent to:
        St. Louis UNIX Users Group
        P.O. Box 411302
        Creve Coeur Post Office
        St. Louis, MO  63141-9998