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Archive for October, 2010

Gentoo Patches for Kernel vulnerability CVE-2010-3904

Attention all Media, Gentoo users and my fellow Gentoo devs:

A new  kernel vulnerability has been reported and the gentoo bug has been filed. Within 4 hours of this filing, the kernel team has released the following:

The fix for CVE-2010-3904 has been back ported to all gentoo-source versions that are currently supported. (2.6.32-rX, 2.6.34-rX and 2.6.35-rX)

This fix is now released in the following genpatches:


The following newly released gentoo-sources kernels contain the patch:


The following stable request bugs have been filed for these kernels:

bug #341833 for gentoo-sources-2.6.32-r20
bug #341831 for gentoo-sources-2.6.34-r12

Please note that no stable request has been filed for 2.6.35-r11, as we wait for the prerequisite 30 days for the new baselayout to be requested to be stabled before we can do so.   If you are running a 2.6.35 gentoo-source kernel, please upgrade to the latest version. Note that as of this post, upstream has not released new vanilla kernel versions containing the fix.

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Faster kernel stabilization at Gentoo

In light of the recent kernel vulnerabilities, issues with our kernel stabilization policy have been brought to light.

The discussion and potential solution was initiated by Kerin Millar, one of our more technical users (who I would like to see become a dev).  He opened a bug and the discussion that followed can be read on bug #338739.

To sum up, we want to be able to stabilize kernels faster, especially in the case when a vulnerability is discovered.

We are looking to get agreement from the arch teams for the policy to be as follows:

For a new version release: 2.6.X, the stabilization will follow the same steps as it does today. We open a bug, and all the arches stabilize as they see fit.

Once this happens, any subsequent point release (2.6.X.y) will be automatically stabilized for any arches that had the previous version stabled.  This includes gentoo-sources, especially since sometimes security patches are not released for “older” kernels. (2.6.34, for example).

I appreciate arch team leads’ buy-in/alternative solutions/comments on the bug,  some already have.  The faster we can get a solid policy in place the faster we get security patched kernels to our users.

I appreciate everyone’s time and effort, I wanted to blog this so people don’t think the kernel team is doing nothing to address any identified shortcoming.

As always, feel free to contact me on any medium if you would like to discuss.


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Gentoo kernel versions and the latest vulerabilities

Let’s talk about kernel releases, the latest two kernel vulnerabilities, and what vanilla or gentoo-sources you should be running.

The two vulnerabilities I’m talking about are:

CVE-2010-3301 (
CVE-2010-3081 (

Kernel Versions

>=gentoo-sources-2.6.32-r18 and vanilla-sources- contain the fixes for both CVE-2010-3081 and CVE-2010-3301.
stable request:

>=gentoo-sources-2.6.34-r11 (and no vanilla 2.6.34) contain the fixes for both CVE-2010-3081 and CVE-2010-3301.
stable request:

>=gentoo-sources-2.6.35-r8 >= vanilla-sources- contain the fixes for both CVE-2010-3081 and CVE-2010-3301.
2.6.35 will only be stabilized after the new baselayout 1.2.14-r1 has been in the tree for 30 days. I described the problem in an earlier blog post so I will not rehash the whole story

If *anyone* feels a kernel version needs to be stabilized we have this cool thing called bugzilla.  Open a bug! We also have this other cool thing (I don’t think Gentoo invented it, not sure) called IRC.  I am on IRC 24/7 and will always look to see if someone highlights my name. Talk to me first. Then feel free to bash me if I don’t respond in our user’s best interest. I always try to do what’s best for the community and if I am slacking, it’s only due to life/wife/family/job.

The gentoo-sources team actively supports gentoo-source users. No matter the keyword state. We used to only support two versions (current release and 1 – current release). But now we support the latest upstream LTS as well.

We would also welcome any users or devs who are interested in maintaining the kernel at Gentoo to join the team.

Hope this helps clarify things, always feel free to reach out to me.


5 responses so far