Article by Peter Czanik, from Fedora Community Hungary.
The beta of Fedora 18 was supposed to be released earlier… sadly it was postponed again by two weeks, but as there are some great news regarding Fedora and syslog-ng, so I did not wait for the official release. I rather downloaded a nightly build to check it out. I did not research why the release was postponed, but personally I ran only some minor cosmetic problem during installation
As I tested in a virtual machine, the regular Fedora release was not really optimal for me, as it uses Gnome3 and needs 3D acceleration. As I don’t have 3D support, don’t like Gnome3 and I’m interested in security anyway, I downloaded the so called “security spin”. This raises two questions for those not familiar with Fedora, for which I quote the security spin website:
What is a spin? “Fedora Spins are alternate version of Fedora, tailored for various types of users via hand-picked application sets and other customizations.”
What is the security spin? “The Fedora Security Lab provides a safe test environment to work on security auditing, forensics, system rescue and teaching security testing methodologies in universities and other organizations.”
Luckily for me, the security spin is equipped with LXDE, which is a light weight Desktop Environment. It does not need 3D or much system resources and it runs very fast. All of the tools are collected under the “Security Lab” menu, which is further divided based on point of interest, ranging from code analysis to wireless network security. Some of these are graphical tools, many of them console based, but even these are easily available from the menus and a console window is started for them. Most of my favorite tools are available: nmap for port scanning, nwipe for securely wiping partitions, iptraf & co for looking at network traffic and many more.
The current look and feel of the security spin is now quite boring. Just a simple blue background with some stripes on it. But it will be changed in the next few weeks, as one of the guys from the Hungarian Fedora team (which invited me to FUDcon Paris) did a very nice new artwork. It will be worth to try the security spin just for this
Now back to the reason why I originally downloaded the Fedora installer: syslog-ng. The good news is that syslog-ng 3.3.7 is now part of the release. I installed it and gave it a quick try and everything worked as expected. A big thanks goes to JPO (José Pedro Oliveira) and Mrunge (Matthias Runge), who maintain the package inside Fedora!
This story might also become part of my FOSDEM presentation next February about upstream – downstream relations: syslog-ng 3.3 used a forked version of the ivykis library instead of upstream. The syslog-ng package could not be updated to 3.3.X in Fedora until this problem was resolved and upstream ivykis worked instead of the bundled forked version. This needed a lot of work both on the syslog-ng and the ivykis side, but version 3.3.6 solved this problem and 3.3.7 entered Fedora last week.
If you want to see why to upgrade to this latest version, see the announcement blog at http://bazsi.blogs.balabit.com/2011/10/syslog-ng-3-3-1-released/
Looking forward to the next Fedora release – in my opinion will be awesome.