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Fedora Weekly News Issue 173

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 173 for the week ending April 26th, 2009.

If you are interested in contributing to Fedora Weekly News, please see our 'join' page[1]. We welcome reader feedback:

FWN Editorial Team: Pascal Calarco, Oisin Feeley, Huzaifa Sidhpurwala

Planet Fedora

In this section, we cover the highlights of Planet Fedora - an aggregation of blogs from Fedora contributors worldwide.

Contributing Writer: Adam Batkin

The Planet Fedora beat recently took a short vacation, but is back this week fully refreshed. This issue not only contains posts from the past week, but also a few highlights from the preceding two weeks when there was no coverage.


Eric Christensen announced[1] a new policy for deleting pages on the Fedora Project Wiki.

Martin Sourada chronicled[2] a few of the many features that can be expected with the upcoming Fedora 11 (Leonidas): Intel Kernel Mode Setting, faster boot times, better USB camera support, touchpad improvements (and a new tab within the Mouse Preferences applet), PackageKit interface updates, the use of Presto to shrink updates downloads (which could use some additional testing[3], for anyone interested) and more. And with the release of the Synaptics 1.1 driver, Peter Hutterer described[4] some of its new features, including additional details about multi-touch support.

Seth Vidal analyzed[5] the Source RPMS that make up various Fedora releases since F7 to find the average number of patches per RPM. Happily, the numbers have been slowly but steadily decreasing.

Silas Sewell demonstrated[6] funcshell a new project to build a shell interface around func with all of the features expected of a shell including tab completion, persistent history and integrated help.

Josh Boyer mused[7] over "The updates conundrum" and the often larger than expected number of updates in released Fedora versions. "When I see a package update submitted that just takes a package to the latest upstream release, I always question it in my head (and sometimes in the update). I realize that upstream releases often fix bugs that effect users, however the update should say that at a minimum and it generally doesn't. Many times there is an update like this that seems to just be 'because it's the newest!'"

Luis Villa questioned[8] whether it might make sense to have a full-time QA person for Xorg with costs shared across some of the many contributor organizations.

Marc Ferguson shared[9] an Abbot and Costello "Who's on First" parody in which Abbott attempts to purchase a computer from Costello.

Venkatesh Hariharan wrote[10] an article that appeared in Network Computing's India edition, titled "Reaping the benefits of open source".

Lubomir Rintel scripted[11] a set of bash functions to automatically label terminal windows (and tabs).

Matthew Daniels summarized[12] his experiences at POSSCON2009 (Palmetto Open Source Software Conference) in which a number of interesting and prominent people spoke including Red Hat's CIO, Lee Congdon, among others.

Amit Shah re-evaluated[13] the performance of a number of Linux filesystem and option combinations.


In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.

Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero

Fedora first at LinuxFest Northwest

Fedora was on hand for the LinuxFest Northwest in Bellingham, Washington, USA, on Saturday and Sunday, and Fedora was "first" insofar as it was the first booth for folks come to when they entered the hall at Bellingham Technical College.

Saturday was a busy day for Fedora at LinuxFest Northwest. Larry Cafiero gave a presentation before the Fedora Activity Day, which drew about 30 people. The FAD at LFNW revolved around three different projects: The 4th Grade Math Project for OLPC, an F11 bug fest, and general Fedora questions-and-answers. The flexibility of the event was its strength, and its weakness was the timing, so while it was overall a success, there were still a few bugs in the FAD system.

Karsten Wade gave his "Participate or Die" talk on Saturday afternoon -- a talk that is destined for a keynote at some fortunate Linux festival (Open Source World missed out by denying it, pity). On Sunday, Jesse Keating gave two presentations today -- sneak-peeking at F11 and Modular Infrastructure Design with Messaging (the official name) -- and sandwiched between them was Clint Savage's Fedora Remix gig.

A significant amount of buttons, media and stickers were given out, as well as some T-shirts for the Fedora faithful.

Got Ambassador News?

Any Ambassador news tips from around the Fedora community can be submitted to me by e-mailing lcafiero-AT-fedoraproject-DOT-org and I'd be glad to put it in this weekly report.


This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) Project.

Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee

Fedora 11 Preview Release Notes Proof-reading

John J. McDonough announced[1] the availability of the built version of the Fedora 11 Preview Release Notes for proof-reading. These notes would be available until Fedora 11 GA.

Fedora 11 User Guide f11-tx Branch Available

The f11-tx branch of the Fedora 11 User Guide is now available at for translation submissions[1][2].

New Members in FLP

JoseRoberto (Brazilian Portuguese)[1], Pavel Lobach (Russian)[2], Sergey Danilov (Russian)[3], and Martin Zehetmayer (German)[4] joined the Fedora Localization Project this week.


In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.

Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei

Cleaning the Queue

This week some fresh blood started to help in cleaning the requests queue[1] of the Art team, with Israel Rodríguez Alonso proposing[2] a design[3] for "4foundations Flags", Daniel Martinez Sarta trying[4] a T-shirt[5] and some other newcomers still trying to get heir feet wet.

Graphic Tablets

Israel Rodríguez Alonso's efforts[1] to configure a Wacom graphic tabled, solved with Martin Sourada advice[2] of using the pre-built binaries "why do you try to install the linuxwacom software (and from prebuilt binaries instead of recompiling them first) when there is linuxwacom package available" drove Paul W. Frields to ask[3] for a recommendation "I want to buy a drawing tablet, preferably something very well supported in Fedora and using USB. I'm assuming Wacom is the way to go, but I'm not sure which model to get, and I'm open minded as long as I know it's solid and works well with Fedora" and Máirín Duffy shared[4] her experience "I've always had luck with the Wacom graphire series. They're quite affordable, [...]. For years now they just work out-of-the-box, and if you want pressure-sensitivity, it's just a little more configuration".

Fedora Weekly Webcomic

This week's installment of Nicu Buculei's comic[1]


Security Advisories

In this section, we cover Security Advisories from fedora-package-announce.

Contributing Writer: David Nalley

Fedora 10 Security Advisories

Fedora 9 Security Advisories


In this section, we cover discussion on the @et-mgmnt-tools-list, @fedora-xen-list, and @libvirt-list of Fedora virtualization technologies.

Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley

Fedora Virtualization List

This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-virt list.

New Release libguestfs 1.0.10

Richard Jones announced[1] release 1.0.10 of Package-x-generic-16.pnglibguestfs[2].

Born only a couple of weeks ago(FWN#171[3]), libguestfs has progressed very far very fast. The package is currently being reviewed[4] for inclusion the Fedora repo.

"libguestfs is a library for accessing and modifying guest disk images. Amongst the things this is good for: making batch configuration changes to guests, getting disk used/free statistics (see also: Package-x-generic-16.pngvirt-df), migrating between virtualization systems (see also: virt-p2v), performing partial backups, performing partial guest clones, cloning guests and changing registry/UUID/hostname info, and much else besides."

Features in 1.0.10 include:

  • bindings for: C, C++, Perl, Python, OCaml, Ruby, Java and shell scripting
  • KVM support
  • QEMU binary is completely configurable at compile & runtime
  • ext4 support
  • support for uploading and downloading arbitrary-sized files
  • support for uploading and downloading tar and tar.gz content
  • support for querying size of block devices, setting r/o
  • support for reading ext2/3 superblocks
  • stat, lstat, statvfs commands
  • commands to mount filesystems read-only
  • run arbitrary commands from the guest
  • file(1) command
  • readline in guestfish with history and tab completion
  • guestfish 'edit' command
  • big documentation improvements, including more on the internals
  • pkgconfig file

Richard posted some example uses[5] of the libguestfs command line tool called guestfish.

Only libvirt Bug Fixes in updates-testing

Daniel Berrange described "introducing major new features into the stable release stream" as a problem[1] and switch to "a pretty strong bugfix only policy..." Mark McLoughlin announced[2] that this has now happened:

  • Package-x-generic-16.pnglibvirt 0.6.1 has been unpushed from F9 and F10 updates-testing
  • The latest version available in F9 and F10 updates is 0.5.1
  • We do not expect to push new versions to F9 and F10, only bug fix updates for 0.5.1

The rapid speed of Fedora releases every 6 months can not keep up with the lightning fast libvirt releases happening every month[3]. To gain access to the new features and technologies offered by these new releases, Mark offers "We are still planning on setting up a 'preview' repository where the latest versions of virt packages from rawhide will be available to Fedora stable release users".

In the meantime Daniel Veillard posts[4] a src rpm with each release[5] and "I also build binaries rpms for the flavour of the day I run on my workstation which is why you will find signed binaries too for F9 x86_64".

Fedora Virtualization Status Report

Mark McLoughlin provided[1] another excellent round up of the latest bugs and developments with virtualization in Fedora.

Fedora Xen List

This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-xen list.

Dom0 Kernel Not Before 2.6.31

The upstream Xen dom0 work done by Jeremy Fitzhardinge was recently cleaned up and reorganized[1] into two branches:

Michael Young built[2] a new experimental dom0 kernel version 2.6.30- "based on the Fedora devel kernel branch and [the] xen-tip/next branch from the pvops kernel repository." An RPM of this kernel may be found in Michael's yum repo[3].

Michael also drew attention to the fact that "very few xen patches made it into 2.6.30, just bugfixes and tidy ups, so we are waiting at least until 2.6.31[4] for mainline dom0 support."

Libvirt List

This section contains the discussion happening on the libvir-list.

New Release libvirt 0.6.3

Daniel Veillard announced[1] a new Package-x-generic-16.pnglibvirt release, version 0.6.3.

"The main points are the VirtualBox driver and a number of bug fixes." Read the post for details of other changes.

New features:

  • VirtualBox driver support (Pritesh Kothari)
  • virt-xml-validate new command (Daniel Berrange)


  • add SCSI storage rescan (David Allan)
  • rootless LXC containers support improvements (Serge Hallyn)
  • getHostname support for LXC (Dan Smith)
  • cleanup and logging output of some domain functions (Guido Gunther)
  • drop pool lock when allocating volumes (Cole Robinson)
  • LXC handle kernel without CLONE_NEWUSER support (Serge Hallyn)
  • cpu pinning on defined Xen domains (Takahashi Tomohiro)
  • dynamic bridge names support (Soren Hansen)
  • LXC use of private /dev/pts when available (Daniel Berrange)
  • virNodeDeviceCreateXML and virNodeDeviceDestroy entry points (Dave Allan)

Daniel Veillard followed the announcement with a roadmap [2] suggesting "a new release around May 25, which would mean entering code feature freeze around May 18". Version 0.6.2 was released April 3rd (FWN#170[3]).

KVM Migration Support in F11

Abhishek Jha [1] "needed to know if libvirt supports migration via the QEMU/KVM driver. ( virDomainMigrate)".

Daniel Berrange answered[2] "Yes it is supported in KVM >= 79, or QEMU >= 0.10.0 and libvirt 0.6.0 IIRC." With the latest version of Package-x-generic-16.pnglibvirt available for Fedora 10 being 0.5.1, this means migration of KVM guests will not be supported in Fedora until F11 comes out next month.[3]

"ALso note that successful migration depends on the hardware config of your guest. In theory any config should work, but in practice there have been bugs in the device state save/restore process of various types of device. So test your particular VM config successfully migrates before relying on it in production."