January 20th, 2010
So my heroic quest not to do anything useful at all continued today with the discovery of Bitlbee, thanks to several other Fedora / RH people. Bitlbee is yet another proxy, essentially; it proxies your IM traffic. Its special trick is that it not only proxies it, but converts it into IRC – it acts as an IRC server, and presents your IM messages as IRC traffic. So you can just connect your client – or your IRC proxy! – to bitlbee, and have your IM traffic show up as ‘private messages’ on a bitlbee IRC server. Which is great if you use IRC all the time and don’t really want to run a special app just for instant messaging. And of course you get all the exciting benefits of proxying. Man, I’ve gotta find something else to proxy, I’m getting perilously close to having to do some real work over here!
I also re-arranged my backup system to actually work, which is always a good thing. I realized that it was set up to do connections via ssh using keys with passphrases, which not surprisingly really doesn’t work when scripted. So I rejigged it – since my ‘backup system’ is actually my HTPC pulling dual duty, the directories in question are exported via NFS already, so I just set my servers to mount the NFS share and backup the data via ‘local’ rsync, which avoids authentication hassles.
Speaking of real work, despite my very best efforts I accidentally did a bit recently – see some of the fruits of my unwilling effort here. It’s a very basic draft of a Fedora privilege escalation policy. After the big kerfuffle about the PackageKit issue in Fedora 12, we in QA decided it’d be nice to do some kind of testing of privilege escalation stuff for releases, but that sort of requires a privilege escalation policy to exist. And since no-one else seems particularly interested in writing one, I’ve got stuck doing it (based heavily on spot’s legendary blog post). It’ll get revised within the QA group and then we’ll send it out to other groups for comments, and eventually up to FESCo. Hopefully we can do some level of testing in this area for Fedora 13.