Fedora Weekly News Issue 177
Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 177 for the week ending May 24th, 2009.
This week we offer a special collector's edition with the last ever Fedora Webcomic. PlanetFedora links Jeff Shelten's thoughts on "Why Students Should Get Involved in Open Source", Ambassadors reports on "Fedora en Mexico", Developments is getting "In a Flap Over Flags", QualityAssurance takes a look at a "Beagle/Tracker Blocker Bug Proposal", Artwork says goodbye to itself but welcomes Design. SecurityWeek examines the problems of "Cloudy Trust". Translations notes that "Sections of the Fedora User Guide Cannot be Translated". SecurityAdvisories includes an
ipsec-tools update. Virtualization shares details on the "Rawhide Virtualization Repository".
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In this section, we cover the highlights of Planet Fedora - an aggregation of blogs from Fedora contributors worldwide.
Contributing Writer: Adam Batkin
Michael DeHaan wrote an essay "Recognizing and Avoiding Common Open Source Community Pitfalls" such as that "contributors appear overnight out of the woodwork, that users grow on trees, and that it’s possible to direct community members as if they were employees."
Thorsten Leemhuis asked: "What questions would you like to ask the Fedora Board or FESCo Candidates?" for the upcoming Fedora Board and FESCo elections. "Hence we need to prepare a few good questions that we can send to the candidates once the nomination period ends. And that's where I need *your help*"
Richard W.M. Jones announced the first proper version of
virt-inspector, "a command line tool that tells you what’s in a virtual machine. You just point it at a disk image or a libvirt domain" and it can discover a number of pieces of information about the installed VM.
Thomas Canniot posted a How-To about running a successful release event. "Fedora 11 is going to be released at the end of the month and very soon, our massive army of ambassadors will want to spread how proud they are of their Fedora 11 release to the masses."
Paul W. Frields responded to the recent discussions about the new fedora-devel moderation policy. "There’s simply no place in free software, and certainly not in Fedora, for that kind of abuse. Of course harsh words aren’t the end of the world. When we let them become the noise that drowns out the signal, though, we’re putting the project at risk. If contributors feel their time in community discussions are wasted, they will either hold them elsewhere, or simply go away."
Susan Lauber wrote about "how can you - a Fedora contributor - assist in making the wiki more useful for everyone?" For anyone wondering how they can start contributing to Fedora, this is a great way to start, without any long-term commitments.
Jeff Sheltren discussed "Why Students should get Involved in Open Source". Jeff says that "from my experience, open source experience has given our student employees an enormous boost when looking for their first jobs out of college."
Adam Williamson mentioned the Common F11 bugs wiki page, and how you can help: "It’s really easy - everything you need to know to add an issue to the Common Bugs page is right there in the page source, as a comment. If you edit the page you’ll see a few chunks of comments which explain how to add an issue (including a template entry), and what else to do when adding one..." James Laska also suggested that there are still some high priority defects that could use some extra testing in preparation for the imminent Fedora 11 release.
Thorsten Leemhuis explained that "There is one small change in Fedora 11 that I guess will confuse Fedora and RPM Fusion users with x86-32 (aka i386/ix86) systems quite a lot, but afaics did not get enough attention yet: By default, the PAE kernel will be used on 32-bit hardware, where appropriate."
In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.
Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero
Fedora en Mexico
Alejandro Acosta recently presented the remixes workshop at the May session of the local Linux User Group know as Gluch in Chihuahua, Mexico. The reason is that many of the members of the Gluch could not attend the workshop at Flisol since they where helping out in other tasks.
Alejandro created a customized distro based on Fedora AKA Remix and then tested it on a LiveUSB.
In addition, Alejandro also gave a talk about Fedora to COPI (an organization of college IT professionals) at their May 2009 meeting. A report on the talk at COPI can be found here .
Tips on Fedora 11 release events
Thomas Canniot posted a very helpful guide in his blog for those who are holding events around the upcoming Fedora 11 release.
Thomas' blog can be found here .
Announce your Fedora 11 events
With the upcoming release of Fedora 11, posting your event on Fedora Weekly News can help get the word out. Contact FWN Ambassador correspondent Larry Cafiero at lcafiero-AT-fedoraproject-DOT-org with announcements of upcoming events (and don't forget to e-mail reports after the events as well).
In this section, we cover the activities of the QA team.
Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson
There was no Test Day last week, as we are deep in the Fedora 11 final release run-up.
Currently, no Test Day is scheduled for next week - it is too close to the scheduled release of Fedora 11 for any testing to produce results directly in Fedora 11 final release, but if you would like to propose a test day which could result in changes for post-release updates, or an early test day for Fedora 12, please contact the QA team via email or IRC.
The QA group weekly meeting was held on 2009-05-20. The full log is available. Adam Williamson reported that he had filed a ticket to have Bodhi use the appropriate resolution for bugs fixed with stable release updates. Luke Macken said he would take care of the ticket. Adam also reported that he had not yet remembered to ask the Bugzilla team to add a link to the Fedora bug workflow page.
James Laska reported that he had not yet sent out a Test Day feedback survey to previous participants, but had a draft ready and would continue to work on it.
John Poelstra said that he had not yet finalized a schedule for blocker bug reviews during the Fedora 12 cycle, as the overall Fedora 12 cycle was still not finalized. He will revisit the issue next week.
Will Woods reported there had been little work on the autoqa project or adding upgrade test cases to the Wiki during the week, as testing for Fedora 11 release had taken priority.
The group discussed the Fedora 11 release situation, and noted that the release had been pushed back one week. They examined the blocker bug list, and found it was generally manageable. Francois Cami noted that major fixes to X.org's core or the ATI driver were unlikely as Dave Airlie is on vacation. The group noted that most remaining X.org blockers were in the Intel driver, and assigned to
The group then discussed the Fedora 11 Common Bugs page. Adam Williamson volunteered to revise the existing page to match the format used for previous releases, initiate a few other changes based on his previous work on Mandriva Linux Errata pages, and talk to other groups about the use of the page, including the Documentation group, and the IRC, mailing list and forum support teams. Francois Cami volunteered to help ensure all appropriate X.org issues are tracked on the page.
In open discussion, Francois Cami noted that for Fedora 11, users of several generations of ATI Radeon cards would now only have the free drivers as a viable choice, whereas previously they would be able to use the ATI proprietary driver from third-party repositories. It was also noted that, at release time, the commonly-used RPMFusion repository would have no packages available for the proprietary driver even for cards for which it is still available, due to the lack of a reliable patch for kernel 2.6.29. The group discussed whether this could be explained in the release notes (with no definite resolution, but advice to check with the Documentation team), and how to note the requirements for a full and useful bug report for problems with the free driver from such users. Adam Williamson noted that the appropriate venue for such information would be the Bugs and Feature Requests Wiki page.
The Bugzappers group weekly meeting was held on 2009-05-19. The full log is available. John Poelstra reported on progress of the housekeeping changes for Fedora 11's release, and the group agreed that he was doing a fine job and should keep it up.
Adam Williamson reported on the progress of the triage metric system. Brennan Ashton has again been busy (and without access to a regular internet connection), so progress has been slow. Adam clarified that the main choke point now was the lack of a set of test data for the scripts, to ensure that they were working correctly, and explained he was doing his best to get this data made available. Once it is available, work on the system is no longer solely dependent on Brennan being available.
Adam Williamson also reported on the progress of the proposal to include setting the priority / severity fields as part of triage. He had sent out the mail asking for feedback on how to proceed, but had received none yet. The group agreed that he should send out another mail as a new thread, and set a deadline of the end of the week; if no significant feedback to the contrary was received by that point, the group agreed they should proceed using the method proposed by Matej Cepl.
The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-05-27 at 1600 UTC in #fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-05-26 at 1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.
Blocker bug review meeting
John Poelstra announced a joint QA / Release Engineering Fedora 11 blocker bug review meeting on Friday 2009-05-22. The meeting was not logged, but all outstanding release blockers were reviewed, some were closed or downgraded, and action plans were decided for several.
Adobe Flash installation instructions
Christopher Beland explained that he had updated the Wiki page on Flash with the latest instructions on installing it on x86-64 systems. Adam Williamson noted that the page should emphasize free software alternatives as well as the proprietary Adobe Flash system. Paul Frields announced that he had made such a change.
Fedora 11 Common Bugs page
Adam Williamson announced his revisions to the Fedora 11 Common Bugs page, and asked the group to contribute to expanding and maintaining the page and consistently refer to it when explaining problems. He also explained some of the planned improvements to the content of the page and its interaction with Bugzilla.
Mozilla / Beagle blocker bug proposal
Jonathan Kamens asked whether a bug preventing Beagle from searching Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird data should be a release blocker, on the basis that desktop search is a key function for some users and web browser and email data are important sets which someone may wish to search. Brian Pepple pointed out that it did not meet the official release blocker criteria, but Jonathan responded that the page admits this is a subjective judgment, and many bugs that do not strictly meet those criteria are in fact considered blockers. In the end, it was mostly agreed that, because Beagle is not installed by default and so is not considered core functionality, the issue should not be considered a blocker.
In this section the people, personalities and debates on the @fedora-devel mailing list are summarized.
Contributing Writer: Oisin Feeley
In a Flap Over Flags
This week's "frank and open exchange of views" took the (non)inclusion of country flags as its subject. A reminder was posted by Kevin Fenzi of a previous FESCo decision to split flags representing geopolitical or ethnocultural concepts into separate subpackages. Tom Callaway posted the history of how he had come to draft the proposal and noted that the inclusion of the Taiwan/Republic of China flag and possible consequences to the distributability of Fedora in the P.R.C. were the initial impetus. Upon request Josh Boyer provided the relevant IRC log of the 2009-03-27 FESCo meeting.
Lots of discussion was had in several separate threads. FESCo was criticized repeatedly for taking the decision.
When Project Leader Paul W. Frields was pressed to comment he replied that it was not his job to interfere with FESCo decisions of this sort and that he agreed with David Woodhouse's take: namely, that while disapproving of censorship, there was precedent for removing material deemed likely to offend the sensibilities of some users.
Although Bill Nottingham thought that it was absurd Toshio Kuratomi and Seth Vidal explored some ideas about how
YUM plugins and a new entry in the
Provides namespace might enable a technical solution.
[[User:|Denis Leroy]] was a persistent critic of the decision and called for most of FESCo to resign.
Christoph Wickert started a fresh instance of the thread because: "[t]he `Package Maintainers Flags policy" thread already counts more than 225 mails, but nobody bothered to answer 7 simple (?) questions I asked in my mail, although it was one of the very first three mails on the topic. So what did I do wrong? Was it that I mentioned the missing FESCo meeting minutes? If 8 out of 21 summaries are missing, IMHO this is a fact worth mentioning. I'm one of the few maintainers who directly is affected by the policy. Would somebody - preferably a FESCo member, who voted for the flags proposal - please be so kind to answer my questions. TIA!" Josh Boyer answered pretty thoroughly. He included the information that the policy would be revisited in the next meeting and an explanation that the FESCo meeting summaries were incomplete due to the failure of an attempt to rotate the onerous minute taking duties. Bill Nottingham added that the missing items should now be available.
The policy, as currently formulated is posted on the wiki.
FESCo Election Questions
John Stanley reminded everyone that nominations for five FESCo seats are open until 2009-05-29 for "[a]ny interested Fedora packager [...] the only requirement is membership in the 'packager' group in FAS."
Given the rumblings over the geopolitical flags issue (and other signs of discontent) it may be that this will be an interesting election.
The requirement to be a packager was a new one and raised questions from John Poelstra and Rahul Sundaram. Jesse Keating argued that FESCo was "[...] primarily concerned with the packages and distribution release side of the house." This was disputed by several commenters who referenced decisions made by FESCo which affected documentation, artwork and internationalization.
John Rose wanted to know why the voting-pool was not the same as the candidate-pool and Josh Boyer responded that the issue should be raised by filing a ticket with FESCo. Andreas Thiemann and John Rose agreed that there was a culture of meritocracy in the Fedora Project and John Rose observed that: "The Fedora Board and FESCo and others think of themselves as being part of a meritocracy (at least that is my perception of what they think) but at the same time are trying to encourage more widespread democratic participation which naturally runs counter to perpetuating the meritocracy."
A subsequent 2009-05-22 FESCo meeting addressed the issue of restricting its membership to packagers and ratified the current practice while leaving open the door for further discussion if need be. The meeting summary (posted by Bill Nottingham) noted that no one who lacked packager status had actually expressed interest in running.
Anaconda vs YUM Upgrades
A brief thread initiated by David Timms explored why it has been easier to upgrade a system with
anaconda rather than
YUM. David referenced a suggestion that: "anaconda is cheating (ie running --nodeps installs). This would allow it to complete an upgrade where dependencies lead to unavailable packages that are not on the dvd, but are in the complete Fedora, and or non- fedora repositories, that are not available at upgrade time."
Seth Vidal replied that as
anaconda was running outside of the system experiencing the update it was free to use "--nodeps [without] a concern for not being able to complete the transaction."
Anaconda's ability to use blacklists to exclude particular items from such transactions is now available to
preupgrade as a
Broken Dependencies in Fedora 12 Development
Too Many Conflicts
In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.
Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei
Goodbye Fedora-art, Welcome Fedora-design
Máirín Duffy announced a major rebranding: "we are going to rebrand ourselves as the Fedora Design team rather than the Fedora Art team, both in hopes of attracting more UX designers, and also since it's a more accurate representation of the team so folks needing help with UI design will know where to go." The change involves modification in the mailing list, IRC channel, the Fedora Account System and awesome new functionality, shared file storage "This means rather than painfully uploading your work file-by-file to the wiki, you can just drag and drop files in batches to the shared directory and link to the top level or individual files from the wiki [...] This way, other folks on the design team can collaborate and upload their improvements and remixes to the same place so we don't have files for the same project all over the place."
Steven Moix asked of @fedora-design about an updated statistic poster "Could someone have a look at the Statistics Poster to update it to 4F standards and update it with recent statistics?", request quickly accomplishedPaul Frields "It was very easy to do, thanks to the way it was created -- whoever you are, thank you very much!" (as discovered later, it was developed by Dimitris Glezos and Máirín Duffy)
Fedora Weekly Webcomic
Nicu's latest and last webcomic
In this section, we highlight the security stories from the week in Fedora.
Contributing Writer: JoshBressers
CIO.com has a nice article that points out some of the probably flaws in cloud computing: Cloud Security: Danger (and Opportunity) Ahead.  In theory, cloud computing is a fine idea that has the potential to lower the cost of a CPU cycle dramatically. The thing nobody is really talking about yet is keeping your data secure. Right now, it would be rather unwise to presume that anything you send to the cloud won't be compromised in some way. Securing a highly multi-user environment such as this is going to pose a huge challenge. Problems nobody has even though of are going to emerge, and will take a great deal of cooperation and understanding to solve them. This is one of the places that Open Source style collaboration will prove to be highly useful.
This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) Project.
Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee
New Translations for Fedora Websites
Translations in Korean, Traditional Chinese, French, Japanese, and Russian were added for the various Fedora-website pages for the first time in Fedora 11.
Zero-day Changes Made to the Release Notes
Earlier, DomingoBecker reported the lack of references about the '5.2.1. Fingerprint Readers' section in the Fedora 11 Release Notes. PaulFrields suggested the addition of a link to a wiki page as the reference with a mention of note for 'further information' and the note could be easily translated by reusing translations from existing sections.
system-config-kdump Not Enabled for Submission
Kris Thomsen brought forward a problem with the submission of the system-config-kdump package via translate.fedoraproject.org. It was later found that the user account 'transif' used to submit translations via translate.fedoraproject.org had not been granted submission privileges for this module. This problem is currently in process of being resolved.
Sections of the Fedora Users-Guide Cannot be Translated
Daniel Cabrera reported that some lines from the Fedora User Guide are missing from the .pot file and as a result these lines remain untranslated in the final document. This was caused while merging the many disparate files generated by publican.
SELinux User Guide Now Available for Translation
Scott Radvan, writer of the Fedora SELinux User Guide, announced the availability of the document for translation. The disparate files have been merged together into a single .pot file, which can be downloaded. The translations for this document can be submitted via translate.fedoraproject.org.
In this section, we cover Security Advisories from fedora-package-announce.
Contributing Writer: David Nalley
Fedora 10 Security Advisories
- ipsec-tools-0.7.2-1.fc10 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-May/msg00746.html
- nsd-3.2.2-2.fc10 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-May/msg00847.html
- memcached-1.2.8-1.fc10 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-May/msg00851.html
- quagga-0.99.12-1.fc10 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-May/msg01037.html
Fedora 9 Security Advisories
- ipsec-tools-0.7.2-1.fc9 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-May/msg00725.html
- giflib-4.1.3-10.fc9 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-May/msg00771.html
- nsd-3.2.2-1.fc9 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-May/msg00844.html
In this section, we cover discussion of Fedora virtualization technologies on the @et-mgmnt-tools-list, @fedora-xen-list, and @libvirt-list and lists.
Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley
Fedora Virtualization List
This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-virt list.
Rawhide Virtualization Repository
Mark McLoughlin announced the launce of the virt preview repo(FWN#171). "We've set up a repository for people running Fedora 11 who would like to test the rawhide/F12 virt packages. To use it, do e.g."
$> cat > /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-virt-preview.repo << EOF [rawvirt] name=Virtualization Rawhide for Fedora 11 baseurl=http://markmc.fedorapeople.org/virt-preview/f11/$basearch/ enabled=1 gpgcheck=0 EOF $> yum update
Adding "this is very much a work-in-progress."
- 1) Users who want things to stay stable and who aren't necessarily expecting new features until they update to F-12 - these are people with just the updates repo enabled
- 2) Same as (1) but who are willing to help out testing updates for the whole distro in order to catch things before they hit the people in category (1) - these people have the updates and updates-testing repos enabled
- 3) Mostly the same as (1) or (2), but have a specific interest in testing new virt features and are willing to deal with virt regressions - these people enable the updates, updates-testing and preview repos
- 4) People who are interested in helping with helping with F-12 development in general, not just virt - these people run rawhide
No libguestfs on Fedora 10
Richard "had a go at backporting the changes to
qemu that we ship in
qemu in F-10 is based on
qemu 0.9, and doesn't include the
vmchannel patch." But "ended up with a qemu which compiled, but kept
segfaulting, and it was tricky to diagnose exactly why."
"Is it really a problem to use the
qemu packages from
Fedora 11 builds? You can grab the latest builds out of Koji."
"This worked OK for me, although I have now moved to using Fedora
11-Preview, and have mostly abandoned Fedora 10."
Daniel B and Mark Mc concurred, Fedora 11 is the place to get
New Release virt-inspector
"This is a tool based around libguestfs which can inspect a virtual machine disk image and tell you some interesting things about what's inside it."
Some of the things virt-inspector can tell you:
- What operating system(s) are installed, and what distros and versions. It currently covers RHEL releases, Fedora releases, Debian releases, and has limited support for Windows.
- How disk partitions are expected to be mounted (eg. /dev/sda1 -> /boot)
- What applications are installed.
- What kernel(s) are installed.
- What kernel modules are installed.
Fedora Xen List
This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-xen list.
Xen 3.4.0 Released
"This release contains a number of important new features and updates including:
- Device passthrough improvements, with particular emphasis on support for client devices (further support is available as part of the XCI project)
- RAS features: cpu and memory offlining
- Power management - improved frequency/voltage controls and deep-sleep support. Scheduler and timers optimised for peak power savings.
- Support for the Viridian (Hyper-V) enlightenment interface
- Many other x86 and ia64 enhancements and fixes
Fedora 11 includes
This section contains the discussion happening on the libvir-list.
Libvirt VMWare ESX Driver In Development
"a project of the Paderborn Center for Parallel Computing"
having "a subgoal is to extend the driver base of
started an VMware ESX driver and are investigating Hyper-V support."
"The ESX driver isn't complete yet, currently it supports:"
- domain lookup by ID, UUID and name
- domain listing
- domain suspend and resume
- domain reboot, if the VMware tools are installed inside the domain
- domain start and shutdown
- domain migration
"We think this code might be useful for others and would be glad if the
driver could be merged into libvirt in medium term." Matthias was met with enthusiasm from the core