Capital Area Central Texas UNIX Society
CACTUS Newsletter

Volume 19, Number 1 - January 2003


January Meeting

Annual CACTUS elections will take place at our next meeting on January 16. As usual, all CACTUS offices will be filled by vote of the members present at the meeting. The offices specified in the CACTUS bylaws include President, Treasurer, Scribe, Program Director, Newsletter Editor, Public Relations Director and Membership Director. Conventionally, two Members at Large are also elected, although the status and manner of selection of these is poorly defined in our bylaws.

Our bylaws state that "Officers will be elected annually by a quorum of voting members." (Article VIII, Par. B). It's notable that we have substantially more members than those who regularly attend meetings, however Article VIII, Par. D cleverly specifies that "A quorum of voting members shall be declared present if at least 30 days advance notification has been given for the vote." Since everyone in CACTUS knows that elections are held at the January meeting each year, a quorum will certainly be present.

By custom and practice, elections are primarily volunteer-fests where those who are willing to undertake the responsibilities of CACTUS offices volunteer to do so for the forthcoming year, and are generally elected unanimously by members present. If you're interested in taking some responsibility for keeping CACTUS on the rails for the next year, please mark January 16 on your calendar and attend the CACTUS meeting and volunteer for one of our offices, and by all means encourage others to do so. While CACTUS officers must be members, if you're not a member but are interested in CACTUS you may come to the January meeting, join, pay your dues and vote, or even stand for election to office.

We would encourage you to review the CACTUS bylaws, which are online at

After our elections, Bob Izenberg will tell us something about House Resolution 2281, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, from a content provider or publisher's point of view. The DMCA was intended to provide protection for the rights of copyright applicants and holders in non-print media. It also provides some protections for the operators and owners of the media. The DMCA has become quite controversial over the last several years, largely as a result of Section 1201 containing the "anti-circumvention" provisions of the act which has been widely critisized by organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation for stifling free speech and scientific research.

December Meeting Report

Our December meeting was, as usual, a social gathering with much informal discussion among those present. The conversation turned often and repeatedly to email issues. One new member remarked to me after the meeting that he had seldom seen such a collection of expertise on Internet email gathered together in one place.

January CACTUS Membership Report

by Luis Basto

Let's welcome John Strain as our newest member to CACTUS. We would like to thank Donald Kassebaum and William Hill for renewing their membership.

State of the Membership

2002 had been good to the CACTUS member rolls. In addition to most of the current members renewing their membership, we've added a fair number of new members. Even more significant, we've added several new sponsors, from giants such as IBM to startups such as VoIPing ( and Journyx ( This bodes good for the group and I wish to maintain the momentum for 2003.

Bookpool plug

Bookpool has a sale on O'Reilly books: 43% off trade titles for a limited time.

For example,

List $34.95, 43% Off, $19.75, Learning Perl, 3rd Edition

List $69.95, 43% Off, $39.75, Unix Power Tools, 3rd Edition

These prices are as good as any when CACTUS had its last big O'Reilly book purchase a few years ago. So if you've been waiting, now is a good time to stock up.

They also have a sale on SAMS, QUE, New Riders, Macromedia Press, and Peachpit Press Trade Titles. 42% off for a limited time.


Someday we may be able to accept direct deposit or paypal but currently we only deal with checks and cash, preferably in small unmarked bills.

To renew your membership, please send check or money order payable to CACTUS ($25/yr for regular membership and $96/yr for corporate sponsorship):

You can also pay in person at the general meetings. Please direct any inquiries or address changes to membership [at] cactus <dot> org.

CACTUS System News

by Lindsay Haisley


It's been obvious since the early 90's that, sooner or later, the growth of the Internet would push the limits of the available IP address space. Developments such as the introduction of HTTP v1.1 (enabling the deployment of "virtual" web servers) and the official acceptance of RFC 1918 in 1996 setting aside private address spaces have helped aleviate the problem, and some people will argue that in the long run, the problem is managable given the existing IPv4 address space. It's my opinion, however, shared by many others, that in 2003 we've only just begun to discover the potential of the Internet as a concept in human communication, and that sooner or later, we're going to need a substantially larger pool of globally routable addresses than those currently available under IPv4.

In 1994 the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) proposed a standard for a greatly expanded address space, IPv6 (sometimes known as "Next Generation" IP, or IPng), and the resulting set of protocols was adopted as an IETF Draft Standard in 1998. While an IPv4 address is 32 bits long, an IPv6 address is 4 times this size, or 128 bits. While not all addresses within this space are globally addressable under the IETF standard, global access to even a fraction of these will expand the the available address space by several orders of magnitude! In addition to address space issues, the IPv6 specification addresses a diverse collection of networking issues such as routing, security, encryption and the transition of the current IPv4 address space into IPv6. The engineering thought behind IPv6 is impressive.

The distribution of Linux that we're running on is Debian, the foremost open source GNU/Linux distribution, and we're tracking the "testing" version of Debian which is unstable, but still reliable and reasonably bug-free, so we have available to us the result of the latest in software design within the Debian Project community, as it evolves. The Debian Project has become quite bullish on IPv6, and an ever growing number of Debian packages support IPv6. Since the latest Linux kernels (we're running Linux kernel v2.4.20) support a substantial subset of IPv6 features, setting up IPv6 support on was pretty simple.

The IPv6 specification addresses issues of tunneling IPv6 traffic through IPv4 connections. To facilitate this, a number of groups have obtained substantial blocks of routable IPv6 addresses and will route them through IPv4 tunnels to others interested in experimenting with IPv6. In particular, has developed a client/server suite and a protocol called TSP (Tunnel Server Protocol) which makes setup of an IPv6 tunnel almost trivial. Debian distributes and installs the freenet6 TSP client, tspc, with the freenet6 package and with a few simple tweaks to the provided template tspc.conf file, setting up an IPv6 tunnel to the freenet6 server is just a matter of running the "tspc" command. Dave Maynard was kind enough to tweak OutServ's router to give us access to the public Internet on port 4343 with IP protocol 41.

Freenet6 has assigned us a semi-permanent IPv6 address of 3ffe:b80:3:2617::2, a.k.a. (by reverse DNS). I added a forward DNS AAAA record for to the same IPv6 address.

The only service we're running on IPv6 at this point is ssh. If you have a CACTUS account and IPv6 access you can "ssh -6" to get to your account. When we upgrade our webserver to apache2 we should also be able to respond to IPv6 http requests. From, you can traceroute6 to other IPv6 hosts, such as in Japan, or ping6 the same hosts to check connectivity. Our mail server, qmail, has the potential to accept IPv6 traffic, although it's not currently configured to do so. The Courier mail server, covered in a recent CACTUS presentation, will handle IPv6 traffic, as will an ever increasing number of GNU/Linux applications from Debian, or available as source packages. The KAME Project is a joint effort of six companies in Japan to provide a free IPv6 and IPsec (for both IPv4 and IPv6) stack for BSD variants.

If you're interested in IPv6, you can get an IPv6 address from (assuming your upstream provider will pass the traffic). They'll also assign you a /48 address block, free of charge, which will provide you with 65535 IPv6 subnets, or an incredible 18 quintillion addresses, plus a few extra!

Welcome to the future :-)

CACTUS Officers

CACTUS Sponsors

Significant Contributing Sponsors

Applied Research Laboratories/University of Texas at Austin
(Gil Kloepfer, Computer Science Division (CSD), 835-3771, gil [at] arlut <dot> utexas <dot> edu)
Internet service provider.
IT operations and management solutions to small and midsized businesses.

CACTUS Sponsors

Provider of workforce management software and services
Auspex Systems
Fastest reliable network fileservers.
(Chip Rosenthal)
Multi Media Arts (MMA)
(Lee Williams, 451-7191)
Publisher of instructional materials for classroom and independent study.
VoIPing, LLC
A Central Texas privately owned and operated partnership specializing in IT Consulting and Services. (Email info [at] voiping <dot> com. Phone 512-698-VOIP (8647) or 512-698-8031)

Friends of CACTUS

Applied Formal Methods, Inc.
(Susan Gerhart, 794-9732, gerhart [at] cactus <dot> org)
Austin Code Works
(Scott Guthery, 258-0785, info [at] acw <dot> com)
(Steve Locke, (800) 977-3475), swl [at] cas-com <dot> net)
A top-level domain name registrar, CORE member.
(Maurine Mecer, 502-0190 [FAX 502-0287])
Professional recruiting.
EDP Contract Services
(Mark Grabenhorst, 346-1040) Professional recruiting.
Hewlett Packard
(Bill Sumrall, 338-7221)
(Marilyn Harper)
Houston's Unix Users Group.
Network Appliance Corporation
(Frank Mozina, fmozina [at] netapp <dot> com)
O'Keefe Search
Professional recuiting.
(John OKeefe, john [at] okeefesearch <dot> com, 512-658-9224 or 888-446-2137)
Sailaway System Design
(Chris J Johnson, 447-5243)
(Kathy O'Brien, obrien [at] asc <dot> slb <dot> com)
Technical services and products in over 100 countries.
Silicon Graphics
(Don Williams, 346-9342)
Solid Systems
(Pete Farrell, 442-2222)
Sterling Infomation Group
(Darrell Hanshaw, 344-1005, dhanshaw [at] sterinfo <dot> com)
Sun Microsystems
(Rick Taylor)
Supplier of Unix client-server computing solutions.
Texas Internet Consulting
(Smoot Carl-Mitchell, 451-6176, smoot [at] tic <dot> com)
TCP/IP networking, Unix, and open systems standards.
A Sun Authorized Training Center and a Hardware Reseller.
Unison Software
(Shelley St. John, 478-0611)
Supplier of networked systems management solutions.
UT Computer Science Department
(Patti Spencer)
UT Computation Center
(Mike Cerda, 471-3241, cerda [at] uts <dot> cc <dot> utexas <dot> edu)

CACTUS Meeting Location:
Applied Research Labs

CACTUS meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Applied Research Labs (ARL) in the JJ Jake Pickle Research Campus (JJ PRC). We'll meet in the main auditorium located directly behind the guard's desk and main lobby.

Please do not show up earlier than 6:20 pm on the specified day. Enter through the main entrance at 10000 Burnet Road for ARL:UT. Tell the guard that you are here for the CACTUS meeting. You will be required to sign a log book, but not required to wear a badge. The guards will direct you to the auditorium entrance. Limited parking in the front of the building is available, but more extensive parking is available in the large parking lot just north of the ARL building. After 6:30 pm, all entrances to JJ PRC, except for the Burnet Road entrance, are closed and locked. You can still enter the parking lot in front of the ARL building. No parking tags are necessary after 6:00 pm. See map for further details.

Online maps are available at:

As always, please leave the facility as you saw it when you arrived.