The Linux kernel handles the basic functions of the operating system.
This is the second regular kernel update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 3. It contains several minor security fixes, many bug fixes, device driver updates, new hardware support, and the introduction of Linux Syscall Auditing support.
There were bug fixes in many different parts of the kernel, the bulk of which addressed unusual situations such as error handling, race conditions, and resource starvation. The combined effect of the approximately 140 fixes is a strong improvement in the reliability and durability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Some of the key areas affected are disk drivers, network drivers, USB support, x86_64 and ppc64 platform support, ia64 32-bit emulation layer enablers, and the VM, NFS, IPv6, and SCSI subsystems.
A significant change in the SCSI subsystem (the disabling of the scsi-affine-queue patch) should significantly improve SCSI disk driver performance in many scenarios. There were 10 Bugzillas against SCSI performance problems addressed by this change.
The following drivers have been upgraded to new versions:
bonding ---- 2.4.1 cciss ------ 2.4.50.RH1 e1000 ------ 188.8.131.52-k1 fusion ----- 2.05.11.03 ipr -------- 1.0.3 ips -------- 6.11.07 megaraid2 -- 184.108.40.206 qla2x00 ---- 6.07.02-RH1 tg3 -------- 3.1 z90crypt --- 1.1.4
This update introduces support for the new Intel EM64T processor. A new "ia32e" architecture has been created to support booting on platforms based on either the original AMD Opteron CPU or the new Intel EM64T CPU. The existing "x86_64" architecture has remained optimized for Opteron systems. Kernels for both types of systems are built from the same x86_64-architecture sources and share a common kernel source RPM (kernel-source-2.4.21-15.EL.x86_64.rpm).
Other highlights in this update include a major upgrade to the SATA infrastructure, addition of IBM JS20 Power Blade support, and creation of an optional IBM eServer zSeries On-Demand Timer facility for reducing idle CPU overhead.
The following security issues were addressed in this update:
A minor flaw was found where /proc/tty/driver/serial reveals the exact character counts for serial links. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the name CAN-2003-0461 to this issue.
The kernel strncpy() function in Linux 2.4 and 2.5 does not pad the target buffer with null bytes on architectures other than x86, as opposed to the expected libc behavior, which could lead to information leaks. The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the name CAN-2003-0465 to this issue.
A minor data leak was found in two real time clock drivers (for /dev/rtc). The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the name CAN-2003-0984 to this issue.
A flaw in the R128 Direct Render Infrastructure (dri) driver could allow local privilege escalation. This driver is part of the kernel-unsupported package. The Common Vulnera- bilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the name CAN-2004-0003 to this issue.
A flaw in ncp_lookup() in ncpfs could allow local privilege escalation. The ncpfs module allows a system to mount volumes of NetWare servers or print to NetWare printers and is in the kernel-unsupported package. The Common Vulnera- bilities and Exposures project (cve.mitre.org) has assigned the name CAN-2004-0010 to this issue.
(Note that the kernel-unsupported package contains drivers and other modules that are unsupported and therefore might contain security problems that have not been addressed.)
All Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 users are advised to upgrade their kernels to the packages associated with their machine architectures and configurations as listed in this erratum.