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21 December 2010, 15:58

Openwall Linux 3.0 brings new features

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Openwall Logo Marking nearly 10 years of Openwall GNU/*/Linux, the Openwall Project developers have released version 3.0 of Openwall. Openwall GNU/*/Linux, also known as Owl for short, is a small, security-enhanced distribution of Linux aimed at servers, appliances and virtual appliances.

In an email to The H, the developers said that version 3.0 of Openwall is "the first Linux distro to have no SUIDs (Set User IDs) in the default install", noting that, "Fedora are trying to do it too (haven't done it yet), but their approach is entirely different (they're mostly just 'sweeping SUIDs under the rug' by using fscaps instead, whereas we actually dealt with the underlying issues by reworking parts of the userland)". The latest version of Openwall adds support for 64-bit systems, as well as the Ext4 file system (the installer now uses Ext4 by default; however, Ext3 and Ext2 are still available as options) and sees the move to RHEL 5.5-like Linux 2.6 kernels with modifications. Other changes include xz compression support (LZMA, LZMA2), hardware compatibility improvements and a variety of packages updates, as well as several new packages.

Additionally, a variety of security vulnerabilities in, for example, the kernel and included packages, such as Perl, have been corrected in the update – users running the previous release will have already received these when they updated their systems. The developers also note that, "with the 3.0 release, the Owl 2.0-stable branch is formally discontinued" and all users are encouraged to upgrade.

More information about the release, including a full list of changes and new packages, can be found in the official release announcement and in the change log. Openwall 3.0 is available to download as a 450 MB ISO image file for 32 and 64-bit systems from one of the project's mirrors. Upgrade instructions are provided for users currently running Owl 2.0-release, 2.0-stable, or from pre-3.0 Owl-current.


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