Fedora Weekly News Issue 129
Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 129 for the week ending June 1, 2008.
Fedora Weekly News returns after a several week absence. We are undergoing a little bit of turnover in our staff. If you are interested in contributing to Fedora Weekly News, please see our 'join' page. Being a Fedora Weekly News beat writer gives you a chance to work on one of our community's most important sources of news, and can be done in only about 1 hour per week of your time.
In particular, we are looking for beat writers to cover Fedora Marketing, the highlights of Fedora Planet, Fedora Security Advisories, and to summarize the Fedora Events and Meetings that happened during each week.
In this section, we cover announcements from the Fedora Project.
Contributing Writer: Max Spevack
Wiki Migration Complete!
MikeMcGrath announces in fedora-announce-list,
"The migration to Mediawiki is finally complete! The technical side, that is. Now is the part where we all learn how to migrate our knowledge and clean-up content."
For information on how to clean up your personal content, or your group's content on MediaWiki, please see the wiki migration to-do page.
Info about FUDCon Boston
MaxSpevack writes in fedora-announce-list,
"As we begin the homestretch around finalizing FUDCon Boston, I wanted to clarify a few things about the importance of pre-registering, and also about the travel and hotel sponsorships."
Max discusses the final logistics around budget, hotel reservations, and sponsorships for FUDCon Boston 2008.
The registration page for the event is here.
In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.
Contributing Writer: JeffreyTadlock
APAC Ambassadors Meeting - June 8, 2008
Susmit Shannigrahi posted  to the ambassador mailing list that the APAC region will be having another meeting on June 8, 2008 at 10:00 UTC. The meeting information page, including agenda, is located on the wiki . If you live in the APAC region please try to attend this meeting.
Call to North American Ambassadors
Greg Dekoenigsberg put out a call  to all North American ambassadors requesting that they add to the email thread what events they were planning to attend this year. If you are planning on attending an event this year, please drop by the email thread and add your response.
Release Party Reports
We had three release party reports announced to the list this week. Grady Laksmono reported  on the Los Angeles release event, Gianluca Varisco reported  on the Rome release party and Clint Savage added his report  on the Utah release party. Definitely worth taking some time to read those reports of the very successful parties happening around the world.
Second Release of the Fedora Brazil Magazine
Rodrigo Menezes announced  the second release of the Fedora Brazil Magazine. They cover the new Fedora 9 release, system-config tools, KDE4, Anaconda and more. The magazine is released in Portuguese and produced by Brazilian Ambassadors.
In this section, we cover the problems/solutions, people/personalities, and ups/downs of the endless discussions on Fedora Developments.
Contributing Writer: Rahul Sundaram
Heading for Fedora 10
Speeding right past a pretty successful Fedora 9 release, a number of interesting developments for Fedora 10 are being discussed.
Glitch Free PulseAudio
Lennart Poettering, our resident PulseAudio maintainer and primary upstream developer has posted a detailed explanation of his plans in his blog at http://0pointer.de/blog/projects/pulse-glitch-free.html. Following that, he initiated a heads-up in Fedora development list about pushing this change to rawhide. Note that glitch free doesn't mean bug free especially in rawhide and feedback from testers is solicited
Augeas Configuration Mechanism
Configuration files are under widely different formats among various upstream projects and writing robust parsers in a easy to use method for higher level tools has been a ongoing problem. We all have our own horror stories about some management utility overwriting user comments or worse configurations without even a backup. To address this and related issues, Augeas project has initiated by Red Hat. Harald Hoyer who was recently appointed as a Fedora Project Board member posted a mail introducing this tool and provided some interesting examples of the tool in action.
Taking Advantage of Upstart
Upstart was introduced in Fedora 9 (and other distributions) in Sys V compatibility mode as a means of transitioning into a stage where Fedora can take advantage of it's features better. Now we have reached that stage, Fedora is taking the initial steps to spearhead some changes in a core part of it's distribution. Bill Nottingham, one of the maintainers of the init system in Fedora posted a mail explaining his ideas on what could be done followed by a long discussion
Live CD creator in SELinux enforcing mode
One of the long standing complicated issue to resolve is the difficulty of enforcing SELinux policies in a chroot. While this can affect a number of similar areas that uses chroot to do it's job, the current focus is the ability to run livecd-creator in in SELinux enforcing mode to create a live image with SELinux labels correctly set. While we can do this now by running in permissive mode, that is not a optimal solution. This was discussed within the Fedora Board which made a call to action. Eric Paris, one of the SELinux developers at Red Hat responded to this and has been diligently working on a solution for the past couple of weeks. He finally made a initial stab at getting this fixed and explained what needs to be done at
While there are still some issues to address, we are far closer to a solution now than we have ever been.
Tim Waugh, the master of CUPS and printing management in Fedora has posted in his blog at http://cyberelk.net/tim/2008/05/29/version-100/ about changes in system-config-printer as it reaches the mystical 1.0 milestone. As he has explained, the main focus has been improving the way the application looks and behaves.
OpenJDK and Fedora 10
While Fedora 9 already includes OpenJDK by default, packaging can still be improved a lot. Thomas Fitzsimmons, Java expert and initiator of IcedTea project has explained the scheduled improvements of OpenJDK for Fedora 10.
Plymouth, singing the death of RHGB
Red Hat Graphical Bootloader aka RHGB has been lingering with us for quite a while now. There has been a number of core improvements in Fedora 9 including a preview kernel mode setting (http://airlied.livejournal.com/58778.html. Explanation by Keith Packard at http://keithp.com/blogs/kernel-mode-drivers/) and rewrite of GDM which paves the way for a better method.
Plymouth (http://freedesktop.org/software/plymouth/), a freedesktop.org has been announced by Ray Strode at Red Hat with the intention of replacing RHGB which in true Fedora fashion can be adopted by other distributions too. Plymouth is already in rawhide now though not activated yet.
Better Webcam Support
Fedora has a long standing upstream policy (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/PackageMaintainers/WhyUpstream) which means not stuffing up the kernel with third party drivers that aren't getting merged in the Linux kernel. One of the areas affected is webcam support. Hans de Goede, a very active Fedora community volunteer has been working on merging the gpsca(v2) driver to the upstream Linux kernel which will vastly improve the amount of webcams Fedora supports out of the box. He has posted a feature specification to do this and related things.
Fedora: Prowling In The Night
Fedora Nightlife has been announced by Bryan Che, product manager of Red Hat MRG product which provides real time and grid computing capabilities. Fedora Nightlife is a community grid computing project that takes advantage of idle CPU cycles donated by the Fedora community to provide social benefits to the world. A ambitious project with hopes of more than a million nodes, this would be a interesting effort to keep a eye on
As Bryan Che explains, Fedora Nightlife will leverage the Condor project, which was (http://www.cs.wisc.edu/condor/) created and hosted by the University of Wisconsin Madison, for scheduling and harnessing donated computing power. Last year, Red Hat and the University of Wisconsin signed a strategic partnership around Condor. Part of this partnership entailed releasing Condor's source code under an OSI-approved open source license. As a result, we now have Condor packaged at Fedora, and upstream development continues to happen at the University of Wisconsin repository in an open manner.
This section, we cover the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) Project.
Contributing Writer: MarekMahut
With most of the translation team at LinuxTag, there is no news to report this week. However, Dimitris Glezos had several good conversations about Transifex at LinuxTag, so keep your eyes open for news as we follow up on those threads.
This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-infrastructure-list
Contributing Writer: HuzaifaSidhpurwala
OpenID and CLA
Karsten Wade writes for fedora-infrastructure-list 
If we want to move our OpenID acceptance outside of Fedora's OpenID server, we'll have a blocker with the CLA. AIUI, we need someone to knowingly accept the CLA and have that tied to a Real Name and email address in our database.
Mike McGrath writes for fedora-infrastructure-list 
There's been some requests to log #fedora-meeting automatically. There's technical issues there like where to store them, is there a way to auto start / stop meetings, etc. In this thread there was some discussion on what bot to use etc.
Mike McGrath writes for fedora-infrastructure-list 
The last little bits are in good shape for the OpenID provider we're attempting to be. Don't go announcing this to others yet.Lets test it out, if it breaks something let us know. We'll be announcing it officially soon. You can, for example, log in to livejournal.com with: username.id.fedoraproject.org. The thread continued with people reporting that things were working.
In this section, we cover Fedora Artwork Project.
Contributing Writer: NicuBuculei
The Fedora History Tour
On the Fedora Art list MartinSourada propose  an interesting project "to make some sort of tour through the Fedora history. It might be interesting to directly compare Fedora 1 to Fedora 10 :-D ".
In reply, MatthiasClasen points  to a study by WilliamJonMcCann  covering a large amount of wallpapers from various operating systems, including Fedora. Building on Jon's work, Martin comes with a simple walkthrough  from Fedora Core 1 to Fedora 10 current proposals.
Contributing to Echo icon theme
On his blog , NicuBuculei starts publishing tips for creating icons for Fedora's own brewed icon theme, Echo  and invites the other project members to come with their own tips and tutorials, encouraging new blood to start contributing to the theme. The initiative is warmly received by LuyaTshimbalanga and MartinSourada - "I have plan to provide some how-to's and similar things, as well as some recruitment page to the fh.o echo page", so Fedora 10 may have at least a new default icon theme.
In this section, we highlight the security stories from the week in Fedora.
Contributing Writer: JoshBressers
The existence of the OSS-Security Community was announced last week. If you're interested in the unique challenges that Open Source software faces with respect to security, feel free to join the discussions within the group. As all communities go, the idea here is to grow a self sustaining community, not something that's just a few people doing all the work.
There were rumblings of a 0day Flash Player flaw in the wild. It turned out to be unpatched copies of Flash Player as noted on the Adobe Product Security Blog. This is just another example of why it's very important to keep your system updated properly.
A quite serious Samba flaw was released last week.
Initially this was thought to be quite minor, until it was noticed that it's possible for a Samba server to connect back to a client when doing certain printing actions. This means that this particular Samba client issue also affected the server. Quite tricky.
In this section, we answer general questions from Fedora community. Send your questions to askfedora AT fedoraproject.org and Fedora News Team will bring you answers from the Fedora Developers and Contributors to selected number of questions every week as part of our weekly news report. Please indicate if you do not wish your name and/or email address to be published.
Contributing Writer: Matt Domsch
Local Fedora Repository Management Best Practices?
Erik Turk <email@example.com>
Hello to Ask Fedora Team. I am just starting to maintain my own Fedora 8 repositories for my local use. I think that these questions are about best practices for maintaining a Fedora repository. I have found many articles about how to create your own fedora repository 1. How can I determine the intersection of the i386 and x86_64 repositories, both for updates and base? I have noticed that there are several ( I don't know how many ) packages that exist in both the i386 and the x86_64 arch folders. These are i386 packages that exist in the x86_64 updates folder such as: adminutil-1.1.5-1.fc8.i386.rpm adminutil-1.1.5-1.fc8.x86_64.rpm Also, there are noarch packages which appear in both i386 and x86_64 repositories. Is there any way that I can download the .i386 package once and have it linked (to save local disk space as well as the download bandwidth) to the x86_64 directory for packages that appear in both? What are the implications of downloading the updates first for i386, then copying all the i386 update packages to the x86_64 update folder, then rsync'ing the x86_64 update folder? Will this download only the x86_64 packages How can this work with the rsync command that many of the "create your own repository" articles use? I recognize that this is only important for people who maintain both repositories locally. 2. (5 of the top 20 update packages by size, as of April 16,2008 ) and (12 of the top 20 base packages by size in the Everything Folder) are games. In the Everything base folder, these 12 packages are over 1GB of data, close to 10% of the total of the directory. Is there any way to identify these as a group in the repository so that they are not downloaded as part of an rsync run, other than excluding them individually? 3. With the upcoming release of Fedora 9, How can I save bandwidth by "converting" my Fedora 8 repositories into Fedora 9 repositories, without re-downloading the entire Everything folder? Is there a process that can be followed by local repositories at each new Fedora release? I know that many packages will have new fc9 files, but some will still be fc8 in the f9 repo. How can I determine which ones to copy vs which ones to download?
Matt Domsch answers:
> > Hello to Ask Fedora Team. I am just starting to maintain my own Fedora 8 > > repositories for my local use. I think that these questions are about best > > practices for maintaining a Fedora repository. I have found many articles > > about how to create your own fedora repository Most of these articles are outdated. Instead, see http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Infrastructure/Mirroring. > > 1. How can I determine the intersection of the i386 and x86_64 > > repositories, both for updates and base? > > > > I have noticed that there are several ( I don't know how many ) packages > > that exist in both the i386 and the x86_64 arch folders. > > These are i386 packages that exist in the x86_64 updates folder such as: > > > > adminutil-1.1.5-1.fc8.i386.rpm > > adminutil-1.1.5-1.fc8.x86_64.rpm > > > > Also, there are noarch packages which appear in both i386 and x86_64 > > repositories. > > > > Is there any way that I can download the .i386 package once and have it > > linked (to save local disk space as well as the download bandwidth) to the > > x86_64 directory for packages that appear in both? Yes, rsync -H (as described at the above URL) will preserve hardlinks, and these files are hardlinked on the mirrors. > > What are the implications of downloading the updates first for i386, then > > copying all the i386 update packages to the x86_64 update folder, then > > rsync'ing the x86_64 update folder? Will this download only the x86_64 > > packages Just use rsync -H and this will happen automagically. > > How can this work with the rsync command that many of the "create your own > > repository" articles use? I recognize that this is only important for > > people who maintain both repositories locally. > > > > 2. (5 of the top 20 update packages by size, as of April 16,2008 ) and (12 > > of the top 20 base packages by size in the Everything Folder) are games. > > > > In the Everything base folder, these 12 packages are over 1GB of data, > > close to 10% of the total of the directory. > > > > Is there any way to identify these as a group in the repository so that > > they are not downloaded as part of an rsync run, other than excluding them > > individually? No. > > 3. With the upcoming release of Fedora 9, How can I save bandwidth by > > "converting" my Fedora 8 repositories into Fedora 9 repositories, without > > re-downloading the entire Everything folder? Is there a process that can > > be followed by local repositories at each new Fedora release? > > > > I know that many packages will have new fc9 files, but some will still be > > fc8 in the f9 repo. How can I determine which ones to copy vs which ones > > to download? There are very few, and again, the whole tree on the mirrors is hardlinked, so any packages that haven't been updated won't be downloaded again, just hardlinked. Thanks, Matt Fedora Mirror Wrangler