« Archives in August, 2008

Debian Live Lenny Beta1

Today Debian LiveCD was announced

The Debian Live team[0] is pleased to announce the first beta of Debian
Lenny’s Live images.

Although we missed releasing images for Etch along with the installer
images, we are now prepared to release live images within the regular
Lenny release process. This is the first official release of Debian Live
and the whole team has been working hard during the past 2.5 years[1] to
make Debian’s own[2] live systems become a reality.

Nevertheless, we do need your help to find more bugs and improve the
live systems, so please try them out. The images are available at:


Read the full announcement email here

Linux under attack: Compromised SSH keys lead to rootkit

The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) has issued a warning for what it calls “active attacks” against Linux-based computing infrastructures using compromised SSH keys.

The attack appears to initially use stolen SSH keys to gain access to a system, and then uses local kernel exploits to gain root access. Once root access has been obtained, a rootkit known as “phalanx2″ is installed, US-CERT said in a note on its current activity site.

Read the full article here

VLC and Bluetooth Headset

I use a bluetooth headset with VLC when I am using my laptop to listen to music or video streams etc. The headset works when I add alsadev=bluetooth in ~/.vlc/vlcrc

Under the section ‘# ALSA Device Name (string)’ change it


# ALSA Device Name (string)
# alsadev=default


# ALSA Device Name (string)
# alsadev=default

Refer to this blog post for setting up bluetooth headset here

Problems I have come across is when you change the Audio device back to ‘default’ through Settings => Preferences => Audio => Output modules => ALSA, you have to do the above method again when you like to use bluetooth headset again.

Setting up Debian APT for testing and unstable

In this quick brief how to I am going to explain how to to setup Debian for default version of ‘testing’ and being able to install package from ‘unstable’ without having to run Debian ‘unstable’ by default.

First off we are going to edit or create the /etc/apt/apt.conf file:

# nano /etc/apt/apt.conf

and we are going to append this to the file:

APT::Default-Release "testing";

Now we have to edit our /etc/apt/sources.list file and add the ‘unstable’ repository to it.

# nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Here is an example of what my /etc/apt/sources.list file looks like:

deb http://security.debian.org/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://ftp.au.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free
deb http://ftp.au.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free

Now we have to refresh / update our packages lists by:

# apt-get update

Now we can install packages from the Debian ‘unstable’ repository by doing for example:

# apt-get install -t unstable linux-image-2.6.26-1-686

Here is a brief explanation of what the ‘-t’ option does from the apt-get man page

       -t, --target-release, --default-release
           This option controls the default input to the policy engine, it creates a default pin at priority 990 using the specified release string. The preferences file may further override this
           setting. In short, this option lets you have simple control over which distribution packages will be retrieved from. Some common examples might be -t ´2.1*´ or -t unstable. Configuration Item:
           APT::Default-Release; see also the apt_preferences(5) manual page.

To learn more about apt-get

$ man apt-get

Note: to change linux-image-2.6.26-1-686 package to the package you are after out of the ‘unstable’ repository.