Fedora Weekly News Issue 169
Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 169 for the week ending March 29th, 2009.
This week in "What Happened Last Summer?" Developments conveys an announcement on the Fedora intrusion of 2008. Announcements reels-off a list of interesting "Upcoming Events". PlanetFedora selects choice blog posts including Richard W.M. Jones' RPM-dependency visualizer. Marketing reports that "Fedora has the Most New Features". Ambassadors reports that "Fedora is on the move in Italy". QualityAssurance shares the results of "Test Days" for the nouveau driver and other outstanding work. Translation catches-up on problems with Persian l10n and more. Artwork asks is it too late for "A Lion for Leonidas?". Security warns of a "Firefox Emergency". Virtualization concludes that "KVM and QEMU Merge Feature Stays in Fedora 11" and on "Web Based libvirt Management" and a comprehensive "Fedora Virtualization Status Report".
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In this section, we cover announcements from the Fedora Project.
Contributing Writer: Max Spevack
Join #fedora-board-meeting to see the Board's conversation.
Join #fedora-board-public to discuss topics and post questions. This channel is read/write for everyone.
Paul also mentioned a change in the procedure for the meeting. "We're trying something new (albeit in a minor way) in this meeting. The moderator will still be available to gather input from the #fedora-board-public channel, but will voice people, one at a time, in the queue in the #fedora-board-meeting channel."
Andreas Bierfert announced that opensync was being downgraded to 0.22, as discussed on fedora-devel-list. As a result, maintainers will need to rebuild "all packages which depend on opensync in some way."
Kevin Kofler informed the community that, "we are working on providing Qt 4.5.0 as updates for Fedora 9 and 10." There are several important pieces of information that anyone who maintains a Qt-4-based package needs to know. Please read the full announcement.
FUDCon Berlin 2009
March 31-April 2: Linux Solutions in Paris, France.
April 1-2: OpenExpo in Bern, Switzerland.
April 15: NYLUG in New York, New York, USA.
April 17-19: Summer Geek Camp 2 in Antipolo City, Phillipines.
April 18: BarCamp Rochester in Rochester, New York, USA.
April 19-22: Red Hat EMEA Partner Summit in Malta.
In this section, we cover the highlights of Planet Fedora - an aggregation of blogs from Fedora contributors worldwide.
Contributing Writer: Adam Batkin
Dave Malcolm developed, a command line app called
show that allows for access to various log files through an SQL-like interface. It supports aggregates and can handle Apache access logs,
/var/log/secure and various others using backends from Augeas for configuration files like
Rakesh Pandit wrote a "Report for National Institute of Technology Hamirpur Software Activity Workshop" describing an event where students were trained in software development using Free and Open Source Software.
Richard W.M. Jones posted a visualization of RPM dependencies by size, as part of his quest to build a minimal Fedora installation. A later followup noted that very different results occur depending on how the dependencies are traversed (in this case, breadth-first traversal versus depth-first). He then released a tool,
rpmdepsize to allow users to generate their own dependency visualizations.
Jef Spaleta continued writing about "the NSF workshop on software sustainability for cyberinfrastructure" and the mismatch that often occurs between the length of grant funding and expected software lifetimes and lifecycles. Chitlesh Goorah followed-up with the abstract of the Fedora Electronic Lab position paper from the workshop. Chitlesh later posted some information on FEL's place in the open source Electronic Design Automation (EDA) world.
Luis Villa wrote about "deliberative nirvana and software design myopia". He cited the White House's Open For Questions site, built using tools like Google Moderator and App Engine, allowing it to scale on a technological level without any realistic limitations but with results that may not perfectly reflect the United States due to social/demographic limitations of the technology.
In this section, we cover the Fedora Marketing Project.
Contributing Writer: Kam Salisbury
Marketing Meeting Log for 2009-03-24
The meeting log of the 2009-03-24 Fedora Marketing Meeting was made available.
Fedora on Twitter and Identi.ca
Fedora on Twitter.com passed 500 followers and Identi.ca 50 followers!
Fedora has the Most New Features
In another example of Fedora leading the way, a comparison of the Fedora 11 and an upcoming similiar distribution's release shows that Fedora has the lion's share of new features.
In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.
Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero
Fedora is on the move in Italy
Luca Foppiano's recent blog item outlines developments in Italy.
While Luca mentions that Italy has not yet reached the numbers of the French and German communities, the Italian community is growing. With around 7 ambassadors and 10 to 15 regular IRC participants, the community has put down firm roots in the country.
For 2009, Luca reports that some activities are in the works, like:
- One meeting each month, to keep in touch regularly, have brainstorming, discussions and involving all interested people.
- Pages on fedora wiki to keep and track internal information like events and inventory.
"I think we are on the right way," Luca writes. "Stay tuned"
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.
In this section, we cover the activities of the QA team.
Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson
This week's was on the Noveau driverfor NVIDIA video cards, which will become the default in Fedora 11. Thanks to an excellent turnout, over 80 sets of results were reported, and several bug reports were made: some of the issues have already been resolved. The developer present was Ben Skeggs, and Adam Williamson, James Laska and Will Woods were present for the QA team.
Next week again will see two test days. The first will be on the radeon driver for ATI graphics cards, while the second will be on  power management. Live CDs will be available for both test days so you'll be able to test without a Rawhide installation. The Radeon test day will be held on Wednesday (2009-04-01) and the Power Management test day on Thursday (2009-04-02) in the #fedora-qa channel on Freenode IRC. If you have a Radeon graphics card, please make sure to come along to the first test day; if you have a laptop, please come to the second. If you can't make it on the day, please do the tests and fill out your results on the page another day.
James Laska reported that packaging work on the Semantic extension for Mediawiki was progressing, and one package had already passed review. He also noted that he had created a test Mediawiki instance with the extension enabled, but had not yet been able to do much testing. Adam Williamson confirmed that he also had not had time to do much testing.
Adam Williamson reported that planning for the Radeon test day was still in progress. He also reported that Bugzappers team review of Anaconda bugs for the Fedora 11 beta release had been successfully completed.
Adam Williamson reported that the Xfce test day was fully planned, and Kevin Fenzi reported that he had successfully generated some live CD images for the test day. Adam asked if someone could make sure these images would be available for download.
Will Woods reported that he had been testing upgrade scenarios for the Fedora 11 beta release and had found several bugs in this area.
James Laska noted that most critical bugs for the beta release were already known and being tracked, and re-testing was not necessary for any known issues. A long discussion followed on the correct place and format in which to note known issues. The group agreed that known issues for the beta release should be noted within the beta release notes as separate sub-headings, and a concerted effort should be made to make sure that the release notes were referred to in all official, semi-official and unofficial communications regarding the beta release. Will Woods' suggestion that this was a job for the <marquee> tag was roundly rejected.
The Bugzappers group weekly meeting was held on 2009-03-24. It was a short meeting as several key group members were not able to attend. Matej Cepl reported that he had consolidated his RHEL and Fedora triage and signature scripts into a single Greasemonkey script. Other topics were deferred to future meetings or the mailing list for lack of a reasonable number of group members to make binding decisions.
The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-04-02 at 1600 UTC (note reversion to previous meeting time) in #fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-04-01 at 1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.
The group discussed Christopher Beland's new How to Triage draft, and Chris made several revisions and improvements. Chris summarized several remaining questions relating to the page, and Adam Williamson and Edward Kirk provided feedback.
Bugzappers meeting schedule
Triage Days on the Wiki
In this section the people, personalities and debates on the @fedora-devel mailing list are summarized.
Contributing Writer: Oisin Feeley
What Happened Last Summer
Paul W. Frields broke radio silence to provide a detailed explanation of last August's (2008-08-12) security problem. Briefly, a
Fedora Project systems administrator used a pass-phraseless SSH key. This was copied from the administrator's machine and used to gain access to Fedora infrastructure. Subsequently trojaned versions of
rpm were built and deployed on Fedora infrastructure. The investigation concludes that these packages were detected and removed before any
rpms were built with them or distributed to Fedora users. The full, detailed communication includes a time-line.
Emacs Cabal Disables Xorg Ctrl-Alt-Backspace
Much work has been done on the
Fedora 11 release notes to advise users of significant changes. A thread started by Gerry Reno to question the disabling of Ctrl-Alt-Backspace as a key combination to kill the X server shows that these beta release notes are an important means to notify prospective users of new features of the operating system. Gerry was among many contributors to the thread that preferred to keep the traditional functionality enabled. This change was an upstream Xorg decision apparently taken to prevent users from accidentally killing their X servers. Although there had previously been extensive discussion (reported in FWN#162) and a nice, hot flamewar on the upstream lists the change seemed to take many by surprise. This prompted accusations that "[...] big changes like this need to be advertised extensively instead of just quietly slipped in."
Roland McGrath suggested ways in which
xorg.conf could be changed using a
kickstart post-scriptlet but preferred that such choices would be pushed into the users' "keyboard shortcut" preferences. Gerry raised the issue of the use of the Ctrl-Alt-Backspace combination being essential to virtual machine management.
Another dissatisfied user was Arthur Pemberton. He requested discussion of why such large changes as disabling Ctrl-Alt-Backspace, removing
Xorg.conf in favor of auto-detection, and others had been made without what he considered to be enough discussion. Response to this line of questioning suggested variously that the change had been made "secretly" upstream in order to appease an emacs-using cabal, and that Fedora had adopted the changes solely because Ubuntu had done so. This latter accusation was disputed by Matthew Garrett. The
emacs angle seems to come from the fact that the
emacs key-combinations "Ctrl-Alt-End" and "Ctrl-Alt-\" are, with certain keyboard layouts, a danger to fumble-fingered users. Arthur pointed to an added complication in a use case in which booting with the monitor powered off requires restarting the X server.
Felix Miata mentioned that OpenSuSE's solution was to require that the Ctrl-Alt-Backspace sequence be struck twice before it took effect. This was also suggested by Gerry during a thread in which Matthew Garrett and Matthias Clasen explained that the
Terminate_Server symbol could be bound to any desired key-binding through
Ahmed Kamal suggested: "To anyone wanting to kill X when it hangs, why not login through a VC and `pkill X' .. Just like any process, why do we have to have magic keys!" Similarly Adam Jackson challenged the assertion that it would be possible to use the key combination to deal with faulty drivers.
Neal Becker posted a link to an interesting way to use the capabilities of the
ZFS filesystem to take snapshots of the system and provide a safe, stable way to upgrade. Seth Vidal seemed sanguine that this would be relatively easy with a
Repoview Temporarily Bust in Fedora 10
After a report from Uwe Kiewel that he could not create a repoview for
Fedora 10 Everything Seth Vidal posted that there was a fix available in rawhide but it had not got into
Fedora 10 yet. Konstantin Ryabitsev (Icon) built the updated packages and Josh Boyer posted that they would be available very shortly.
LGPL Qt-4.5 in Fedora 10 and Fedora 9
KevinKofler announced updates of
Fedora 10 and
Fedora 9. He detailed the advantages of this backwards-compatible update and suggested that maintainers of
Qt-4-based packages do some quick checks to ensure that there would be no snags.
This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) Project.
Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee
The common meeting for the Fedora Localization Project team was held on 25th/26th March 2009. The discussion centered around general feedback around the new transifex interface for statistics and submissions. Currently, it lacks the FLP logo and is also not the landing page for the project. AnkitPatel from the FLP-Admin team informed that these issues can be fixed after the end of Fedora Infrastructure freeze period.
Other issues that were discussed were the non-availability of the updated Anaconda file and problem related to leadership in the Persian Translation team. The meeting was chaired by NorikoMizumoto.
FLP Admin Meeting
The FLP Admin team met on 24th March 2009 to discuss about the new transifex instance, publican/docs support for statistics generation on transifex, feedback ticket filing FAQ, coordination with Fedora Infrastructure team to iron out the current issues.
Anaconda File Ready for Translation
VillePekkaVainio announced the availability of the updated Anaconda .po files for translation. The files were held back due to a delay from the Anaconda developers who were running additional tests .
Release Notes Moved in the Repository
PackageKit 0.4.6 version for Fedora 11
RichardHughes announced that the 0.4.6 version of PackageKit would be part of Fedora 11 and translations for this version were to be submitted by 29th March 2009. PackageKit 0.4.6 is scheduled for release on 30th March 2009.
New Members in FLP
Hamid Reza Neyari (Persian), Hedda Peters (German), Sam Friedmann (French), Sveinn Helgi Sverrisson (Icelandic), Imre Csuhai (Hungarian) joined the Fedora Localization Project during the past week.
In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.
Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei
Preparing for the Berlin FUDCon
Max Spevack presented on @fedora-art a check list with items needed by the organizational team for the upcoming FUDCon in Berlin: a T-shirt design, a magazine ad, posters, banners and more "I'd love to use FUDCon Berlin to really show off the coolness of the Fedora Art team, and to provide our EMEA crew with some reusable resources for future FUDCons in the region, as well as some stuff that we can use for the F11 release, and then auction off or something :)"
A Lion for Leonidas?
Samuele Storari advanced a new concept for the Fedora 11 artwork, a lion "So I created a new theme based on the meaning of the name: Leonidas come from Lions and Leonidas was a king,so why don't use another king? This graphic proposal is about the proud and the glory for being a king and the subject is shouting:'The King is here!'" The graphics were generally liked but considered a bit too late by Martin Sourada and Máirín Duffy "We are *really* late in the schedule right now, and we had already made a decision, based on our survey, to go with a landscape depicting Greece so we have a number of mockups and work around that concept already".
In this section, we highlight the security stories from the week in Fedora.
Contributing Writer: JoshBressers
On Friday, a new version of Firefox  was released. The number of hours that went into this event are amazing to even consider. For most of the week, there were various groups working non stop to make this happen. Be sure to update your firefox, it's pretty important.
In this section, we cover discussion on the @et-mgmnt-tools-list, @fedora-xen-list, @libvirt-list and @ovirt-devel-list of Fedora virtualization technologies.
Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley
Fedora Virtualization List
This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-virt list.
KVM and QEMU Merge Feature Stays in Fedora 11
"Currently, there is both a
KVM package's source is a fork of the
QEMU source, but
KVM regularily re-bases to the latest
QEMU source and merging of
KVM support into the
QEMU code base is actively under-way."
Fedora Virtualization Status Report
After a few weeks off, Mark McLoughlin reached back into the future and produced an exhaustive status report covering all the developments in fedora Virtualization for the last month. Grab a bowl of popcorn and dig in!
Fedora Xen List
This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-xen list.
Success with Experimental Fedora 10 pv_ops dom0
Users are continuing to build experimental kernels with
pv_ops dom0 support. Pasi Kärkkäinen was happy to report
success getting a "custom Xen
kernel working with
on Fedora 10".
"I was able to run the following on Fedora 10 32bit PAE pv_ops dom0:"
- CentOS 5.3 32bit PAE PV domU
- Fedora 10 32bit PAE PV domU (using
virt-installand custom kickstart to force PAE kernel installation to avoid the anaconda BUG)
Pasi was successful by using:
- pv_ops dom0 kernel (2.6.29-rc8 or newer) "Compile with
CONFIG_HIGHPTE=nsince it seems to be broken still"
0.6.1 and related packages from Fedora 10 updates-testing
3.3.1-9 packages from rawhide/F11 rebuilt for F10
- LVM volumes for domU disks (
tap:aiois not yet supported by
Yum Repository for Experimental Dom0 Kernels
This section contains the discussion happening on the libvir-list.
More Formal libvirt Release Scheduling
After Daniel Veillard proposed a
0.6.2 release next week, Daniel Berrange thought  the "release schedule has become a little too variable in timeframe and quality in recent times[...]" (FWN #155) and suggested:
- Monthly releases aiming for the 1st of the month.
- Any non-trivial new feature for release must be reviewed, approved and committed at least 1 week before the release.
Daniel Berrange is also "working on an integration test suite, which will enable us to run automated tests against individual hypervisor drivers. This will help us detect regressions in hypervisor drivers, and more importantly let us ensure that all drivers are implementing consistent semantics for their APIs."
- commit feature freeze: Tuesday 31 Mar
- expected release date: Friday 3 Apr
- commit feature freeze: Friday 17 Apr
- expected release date: Friday 24 Apr
New Release perl-Sys-Virt 0.2.0
- Fix network create API, and UUID lookups
- Implement storage pool, storage vol, node device, security model, domain events and event loop APIs
- Improve way constants are exposed to Perl layer
- Fix horrible memory leak in methods returning a hash
- Fix integer overflow in APIs using 64-bit ints (aka 'long long')
- Minimum required libvirt C library for building is 0.6.1
SCSI Host Pools Patch
API for Host Interface Configuration
Web Based libvirt Management
Radek Hladik is developing "a simple web application in PHP to monitor and control VMs using libvirt." The stateless nature of the web presents efficiency problems when each action must call out to the
virsh command. Radik sought advice on picking from a list of approaches.
Daniel Berrange picked door number two, which is to create a libvirt-aware Zend extension in C. "A few people have expressed interest in this idea in the past, but unforatuntely I'm not aware of anyone having written any code for this yet. We'd very much like to see a PHP binding for libvirt developed & happy to give advice/support to anyone attempting this."
Russell Haering mentioned a Django (python) WebApp he's working on, called virtadmin. To bridge the stateless to stateful gap, the "system consists of a
python daemon used for actual
libvirt interaction and a separate
django web interface that interacts with the daemon via
AMF over https."
Although more of an appliance, it is also worth mentioning
oVirt. "oVirt is a small host image that provides libvirt service and hosts virtual machines and a web-based virtual machine management console."