AUUG Canberra Summer Conference 97

Manning Clarke Centre - Australian National University

9.00am, Friday 14th February, 1997

A conference on UNIX and Open Systems for the Canberra Region brought to you by the Canberra Chapter of AUUG Inc.

The Conference was held on Friday 14th February at the Australian National University, starting at 9am. Registration is in the Manning Clark Foyer (building 26a), commencing at 8.30am. Lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments are provided.

Conference Program

Pluggable Authentication Modules

Richard Sharpe, NS Computer Software and Services

The traditional UNIX approach to authorization, access control and password management revolves around the passwd file and login. If you want to use stronger security mechanisms, like Kerberos or DCE, you have to replace login and other programs that might access the passwd file (or the shadow passwd file) to check the encrypted password. This causes all sorts of problems if you have third party products that rely on the format of the passwd file. This talk introduces Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM), a proposal from Sun and others that promises to overcome these problems and provide system managers with configurable security controls on a per application basis, the ability to easily replace standard UNIX authentication with more secure authentication, and possibly implement a unified login approach across multiple environments. The talk will also look at how Samba might use PAM to allow users to change their passwords from PCs, and how PAM might be used to unify logins between a UNIX environment and a LAN Manager server like Windows NT.

DHCP and Everything

John Terpstra, AquaSoft

A summary of DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), what public domain sources are available, a summary of the pros and cons, a look at Microsoft DHCP vs public domain offerings, and some gotchas. This talk will focus on presenting alternatives to Microsoft Windows NT Server based DHCP, particularly as an adjunct to use of Samba as a file and print server for MS Windows desktops.


Andrew Tridgell, Australian National University

A report on a project at ANU which is porting Linux to an AP1000+ distributed memory multi-computer. The AP1000+ is built by Fujitsu and is in a similar class to the CM5 and T3D systems common in parallel supercomputer labs. It is based around 50MHz SuperSPARC processors, but has custom networking and disk controller systems. The project is concerned with porting Linux to the AP1000+ and adding appropriate multi-processor extensions to support parallel programs. We are basing our port on the work done on SparcLinux.


Paul Mackerras, Australian National University

Rsync is an algorithm for updating a file on one machine to be identical to a file on another machine. We assume that the two machines are connected by a low-bandwidth high-latency bi-directional communications link. The rsync algorithm identifies parts of the source file which are identical to some part of the destination file, and only sends those parts which cannot be matched in this way. The algorithm computes a set of differences without having both files on the same machine. The algorithm works best when the files are similar, but will also function correctly and reasonably efficiently when the files are quite different. We have developed a sophisticated remote-copy program, called rsync, which is based on the Rsync algorithm and adds features including the ability to copy directory trees, preserve permissions and ownership, exclude files, and compress file data. The rsync program is freely available with source from

Making LP useable

Peter Gray, University of Wollongong

The LP (UNIX System V) print system is relatively flexible in configuration and operation but is difficult to administer at a large site. This paper describes the work done at the University of Wollongong to make LP easy to configure and control. The system uses a set of files and directories which describe each printer and print server. Scripts read the configuration files both to set up the print system on each machine and also whenever a print job is processed. The files describe the operation of each printer along with additional information such as access controls. The system allows all the Universities printers to be available to the UNIX hosts and for printer configuration to be controlled from a central point in an efficient manner.

Performance Analysis of Software

John Wright, CSC

Australia In order to gain an in depth understanding of the performance of software it is sometimes necessary to conduct experiments on the software in order to gain an understanding of its behaviour. This talk outlines a series of experiments that have been conducted using a combination of purpose written software, standard UNIX tools and AIX and Solaris specific tools. The importance of the statistical analysis of the data collected will also be covered.

The Making of an Internet Access Point

Karl Auer, Australian National University

An introduction to the PCUG/AUUG joint venture to setup and run an Internet Access point. This talk will cover the basic hardware and services needed. It will look at the issues in running the service, including uptime, bandwidth, pricing, scope, scaling, security and policy. It will discuss the benefits and pitfalls in peering. It will conclude with a discussion on whether there is still a place for the small ISP.

Is ATM succeeding?

Mike Boland, Cisco

ATM has been hyped as the technology to solve all networking needs, but is it being used to address real world problems? This presentation takes a brief look at where the standards are today, describes how ATM is internetworked with other technologies, and gives case studies of a number of large networks where ATM is in production use. It will conclude by answering the question: If not ATM then what else?

Java - Myth or Magic

Jan Newmarch, University of Canberra

This talk will look at Java and its emerging reputation as a Rkiller languageS. It will contrast Java facilities with other programming languages and explore some of the issues with using Java, including limited GUI and animation features, and security.

The Internet Society of Australia

Karl Auer, Australian National University

After much discussion over the past year (carried out on the Internet, naturally!) the Internet Society of Australia (ISOC-AU) was formed as an advocate of Internet users in general. It seeks to foster better understanding of the Internet and to participate in the improvement and extension of the Internet for Australians and the world. The Society is a chapter of the global Internet Society. This talk will introduce ISOC-AU and its objectives on the Australian Internet scene.

Hosting Virtual Domains

Jerry Laidman, Canberra Institute of Technology

Whether we like it or not, the Internet is moving into a commercial phase. Businesses are keen to have a presence on the Internet to tap into the global marketplace it provides. Creating a complete Internet-presence package for businesses can be financially rewarding for a service provider. In addition, many non-profit organisations with Internet connections are being financially squeezed, and are looking for new ways of generating revenue. Virtualising Internet domains allows Internet services for different domain names to be physically located on a single computer, saving computing and communications hardware. A single computer is capable of hosting hundreds of virtual domains, a potential money-spinner for an organisation that already has the hardware in place for their own service.

PGP Key Signing Service

A PGP key signing service was available to conference attendees to 'introduce' them to other PGP users. For further information see the AUUG PGP key-signing page.

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