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Fedora Weekly News Issue 152

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 152 for the week ending November 16th, 2008.


This week's exciting issues features extensive coverage of a Server SIG formation in the Developments beat, along with clarifications from the Fedora Engineering leadership on feature freeze policies. In announcements, reminders of this Tuesday's public Fedora Board meeting on fedora-board-meeting at irc.freenode.net. The Translation beat features various Fedora 10 milestones and an introduction of three new members to the translation team. In Artwork, some history on the genesis of the Fedora infinity bubble is saved, and more feedback on Fedora 10 themes. Virtualization includes updates of dom0 support in the upstream kernel, and a RFC on including greater detail in domain events. Finally, Fedora 9 and 8 updates for the week in Security Advisories. These are but a few highlights in this week's Fedora Weekly News!

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

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

[1] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/NewsProject/Join


In this section, we cover announcements from the Fedora Project.



Contributing Writer: Max Spevack

Public Fedora Board Meeting on IRC

Paul Frields reminded[1] the community about the upcoming Fedora Board meeting on IRC. The meeting will be on 2008-11-19 (Tuesday) at 19:00 UTC.

"Join #fedora-board-meeting to see the Board's conversation. This channel is read-only for non-Board members. Join #fedora-board-public to discuss topics and post questions. This channel is read/write for everyone.

The moderator will direct questions from the #fedora-board-public channel to the Board members at #fedora-board-meeting. This should limit confusion and ensure our logs are useful to everyone."

[1] http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-announce-list/2008-November/msg00010.html

Upcoming Bugzilla Activities

Jon Stanley wrote[2] about some upcoming Bugzilla changes, that will coincide with Fedora 10's release. There are two things of which people should be aware: First, "we will be rebasing all rawhide bugs to F10. This will result in regular bugs reported against rawhide during the Fedora 10 development cycle being changed to version '10' instead of their current assignment, 'rawhide'."; Second, "all bugs for EOL releases (at this point, Fedora 8) will get a comment on or about GA of Fedora 10, explaining that one month of maintenance remains, and to either move the bug to a later version if still applicable, or they will be automatically closed in one month with a resolution of WONTFIX."

See the link below[2] for the complete announcement.

[2] http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-announce/2008-November/msg00008.html


In this section the people, personalities and debates on the @fedora-devel mailing list are summarized.

Contributing Writer: Oisin Feeley

Features Policy Modified

The latest FESCo discussions (2008-11-12) clarified[1] the Features[2] process. The changes make explicit the need for testing to be complete one week prior to the final freeze. Failure to meet that condition can result in FESCo deciding to drop the feature or implement a contingency plan or other suitable action.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00847.html

[2] Features are "a significant change or enhancement to the version of Fedora currently under development": http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/Policy/Definitions

The spur to these discussions was several last-minute changes for Fedora 10 which included dropping the instant-messaging client Empathy as the default, and the late addition of LiveConnect (see FWN#151[3]) and AMQP[4]. Earlier confusion about the Feature process and difficulties with communication had also been expressed (see FWN#147[5]) after the decision to drop the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment as a feature.

[3] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FWN/Issue151#LiveConnect_Feature_Approved_for_Fedora_10

[4] The Advanced Messaging Queue Protocol is a vendor-neutral middleware transport for business processes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Message_Queuing_Protocol

[5] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FWN/Issue147#LXDE_Feature_Removal_Disappointment_-_How_to_Avoid

The other major changes to the process include the emailing of the Feature owner to inform them when their feature is being discussed by FESCo and any decisions made concerning said feature. The extra work involved in tracking down email addresses was anticipated to be an over-burdening of the committee chair, Brian Pepple. To ease this problem it was decided that Feature owners must include current email addresses on their Feature pages.

Server SIG

DanHorák announced[1] that a "[...] formal entity to coordinate [...] the server fundamentals that later create a successful enterprise product [...]" had been launched as a SIG. He invited constructive ideas and the wiki page[2] suggests that the SIG has many important initial goals including: a spin for headless servers, CLI equivalents of GUI tools, a lightweight installer and maintenance of the /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts.

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00645.html

[2] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/DanHorak/ServerSIG

The extensive discussion which followed mostly consisted of approval for the idea. Dennis Gilmore expressed[3] enthusiasm for the general idea and specifically requested kickstart files for different types of servers and "best practice" whitepapers. An example of one of the issues the SIG might deal with was[4] the observation by Chris Adams that an installation of ntop had resulted in seventy dependencies, including metacity, being pulled down. Peter Robinson attributed[5] this to graphviz and suggested that while such problems were declining in number it would be useful for the ServerSIG to co-ordinate bug filing for these issues. Chris provided[6] a script which allowed test installs into a subdirectory to determine "what gets pulled in." Later James Antill mentioned two useful scripts written by himself and Seth Vidal which show package dependencies and provides as a tree structure. Dominik "rathan" Mierzejewski added[7] a mention of rpmreaper, a utility which eases the removal of unnecessary dependencies.

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00652.html

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00730.html

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00736.html

[6] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00778.html

[7] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00932.html

After Chris observed that "[w]ith rawhide, it appears impossible to install a kernel without pulling in X libraries (because of plymouth), so I guess the base X libraries can be considered "core" now" the conversation took a more adversarial turn. The accuracy of this statement turned out[8] to depend on whether libpng and pango were considered to be "X libraries" and Chris demonstrated the dependency chain as originating with the plymouth-plugin-solar. Les Mikesell commented[9]: "This is all pretty strange from a server perspective. And plymouth is there to keep the screen from blinking while you boot?" When Jesse Keating replied that Plymouth "handl[ed] the passphrase prompting for encrypted volumes" Les argued[10] that it should be optional for remote, headless boxes. Dominik "rathann" Mierzejewski was shocked[11] when Jesse Keating pointed out that plymouth also provided working /var/log/boot.logs: " Hm, you're right, all my boot.log files are 0 bytes (F-9). So instead of fixing the bug, a new package was introduced? Amazing." Dominik's dissatisfaction continued[12] to be unabated when he was informed that the absence of the kernel commandline parameter "rhgb" would result in plymouthd running but without any graphical plugins.

[8] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00787.html

[9] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00787.html

[10] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00795.html

[11] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00814.html

[12] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00859.html

The automatic selection of plymouth-plugin-solar as opposed to the alternate "plymouth-text-and-details-only" resulted[13] in a discussion around whether it was possible to make yum behave differently in such ambiguous situations. Enrico Scholz wished to add a "fail, warn and/or prompt when multiple packages satisfy a (virtual) dependency[.]" Seth Vidal reminded[14] him that the constraint of non-interactive defaults meant that this might not work. James Antill posted[15] that he had a patch to yum which "[...] would allow Fedora (or any active repo.) to configure these choices manually. We could then also easily have different defaults for the desktop vs. the server spins." James received some questions from Jesse Keating and Bill Nottingham who asked how per-spin defaults would be stored and how to deal with conflicting information from multiple repositories. His answer suggested[16] that introducing new repositories for the metadata or changing its syntax would be necessary.

[13] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00858.html

[14] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00907.html

[15] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00995.html

[16] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg01030.html

Dan Horák's desire to remove plymouth entirely was dismissed[17] as non-optional by Bill Nottingham as it will take on an even more important role in storage handling in the future. Bill suggested that the default plugin was optional however. He reassured[18] Dan that as regards headless machines there had been "[...] some testing on PPC boxes via serial/hvc consoles. Please test that it works in your scenarios as well, of course." When Enrico Scholz rejected disk encryption as important for servers Jesse Keating made[19] the case that "In a colo environment I /would/ want some encryption on the disk, and if I have to use a remote kvm to input the passphrase at reboot time, that's OK. Reboots are either planned events, or emergencies, both of which are going to require the attention of the people who have the passphrase." Alan Cox backed[20] this up: "If you are storing personal data on a system in a colo its practically mandatory to have encryption, and if you are storing anything sensitive its a big deal indeed - at least in those parts of the world with real data and privacy law ;)"

[17] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00784.html

[18] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00792.html

[19] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00798.html

[20] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00823.html

The thread continued in fits and starts. Adam Tkac raised[21] the problem of handling static IPs with NetworkManager (see this same FWN#152 "NetworkManager keyfiles for Pre-login Static Routes" for a discussion of as yet undocumented features). Chuck Anderson disputed[22] that the problem existed and provided commandline and GUI solutions: "[...] for system-wide connections which you would presumably want for a server, you edit /etc/sysconfig/networkscripts/ifcfg-* as usual and NM will bring the interface up at boot. From the desktop, you can Edit Connections and create a new static connection and select it instead of the System or Auto connection which is very handy when moving between networks that don't support DHCP."

An important addendum was provided[23] by Olivier Galibert "Try a "chkconfig -list network". It should be on for levels 2-5. If it isn't, you haven't enabled the old-style networking [.]" The same point was made by Chuck[24] "Are you using NetworkManager or network service? chkconfig -list NetworkManager; chkconfig -list network If NetworkManager is enabled and network is not, then you need to change ifcfg-eth0: NM_CONTROLLED=yes" and by Bill Nottingham[25] "You need to either set NM_CONTROLLED to something other than 'no', or enable the 'network' service. In either case, NM's static network support is not your problem."

[21] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00863.html

[22] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00871.html

[23] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00892.html

[24] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00887.html

[25] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00938.html

The LSB[26] also came in for a bashing due to infrequently used, old tools (such as ypbind and the insecure r-commands) being installed to achieve compliance. Patrice Dumas clarified[27] that ypbind was necessary in @base to provide NIS functionality. Later discussion separated[28] out LSB-Core and LSB-Desktop which should simplify making a minimal install LSB compliant. Bill Nottingham and Chris Adams performed[29] a dissection of @core with the intent of separating out items such as hdparm , prelink , dhclient , ed and others into @base.

[26] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00718.html

[27] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00753.html

[28] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00759.html

[29] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00802.html

Jeremy Katz outlined[30][31] a perspective from the Quality Assurance point of view. The burden imposed by preserving the modularity that many of the participants advocated sounds quite high: "[...] trying to preserve that modularity combinatorially adds to the testing matrix and also makes it significantly more difficult to write code since you can no longer depend on functionality. It also makes things slower as you have to conditionally check for things constantly [...] It's more than just /etc/init.d/network that has to be maintained. There's oodles of stuff in install-time configuration that will have to be maintained, tested, and have things fixed when people report them." Seth Vidal acknowledged[32] this but cautioned against dismissing the objections to particular changes as merely "neoluddite".

[30] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg01023.html

[31] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg01025.html

[32] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg01027.html

The massive thread included much more discussion and resists easy summary. Those interested should probably plow through the messages. Among the issues raised were finding DBus documentation[33] and contention between class devices to set default routes[34].

A quote from DanHorak which seems to offer the perspective of the ServerSIG concisely is appropriate in closing: "It is really time to look back at the roots of Unix systems. It should be a combination of small pieces with well defined interfaces doing well their tasks. Only the time had changed those pieces from simple command line utilities to more complex ones."

[33] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg01071.html

[34] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00911.html

NetworkManager keyfiles for Pre-login Static Routes

In the course of the ServerSIG discussions (see this same FWN#152 "Server SIG") an interesting question about NetworkManager was asked[1] by Les Mikesell: "If you bring up a mix of static and dynamically assigned interfaces, can you control which gets to assign the default route and DNS servers?"

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00872.html

Dan Williams provided[2] a useful description of how NetworkManager currently decides the default route. In response to Olivier Galibert he added[3] that static routes could be set up using the "[...] connection editor see the "Routes..." button in the IPv4 tab. Routes from ifcfg files aren't yet supported, but could be. Routes from keyfile-based system connections (ie, prelogin) are supported." After this tidbit Chuck Anderson prodded[4] Dan into explaining that keyfiles were a way to support things like "VPN, 3G, WPA" which were difficult or impossible to support with the ifcfg files in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts. "NM has a system settings 'keyfile' plugin that allows editing system connections from the connection editor, or your favorite text editor if you don't use a GUI at all. Add `,keyfile' to the --plugins argument in the /usr/share/dbus-1/systemservices/org.freedesktop.NetworkManagerSystemSettings.service file, and then 'killall -TERM nm-system-settings'."

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00880.html

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00897.html

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00900.html

Jesse Keating wondered when and where the documentation for this was placed and Dan replied[5] "[w]hen I struggle up for air from the tarpit that is the concurrent release of NM 0.7 + F10 + RHEL 5.3? :) "

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00912.html

Flash 10 in 64-bit Fedora 9

Jos Vos asked[1] for comparative data on using nspluginwrapper with Firefox to access Flash content in 64-bit Fedora 9. He was experiencing "[...] error messages about not finding 'soundwrapper' in my $PATH [.]"

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00432.html

Although Chris Adams reported success Orcan Ogetbil described[2] a "gray rectangle bug" which seemed to be manifested mostly when multiple tabs were open. Brennan Ashton claimed[3] that it was due to a PulseAudio "bug".

[2] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00439.html

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00443.html

Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams and others reported[4] no problems and Jos posted[5] that there appeared to be a dependency on libcurl.i386 in the Adobe supplied rpm. This was later stated[6] by Paul Howarth to be changed so that either libcurl.so.3 or libcurl.so.4 will be used via a dlopen() and there is no explicit requires:libcurl in the rpm. Gianluca Szforna supplied[7] a link[8] which suggests that libflashsupport should be completely removed as it may cause crashes.

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00437.html

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00445.html

[6] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00479.html

[7] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2008-November/msg00484.html

[8] http://macromedia.mplug.org/


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


Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee

Fedora 10 Release Notes Translation Over

The translation task for the Release Notes to be packaged with Fedora 10 came to an end on 13th November 2008. However, translations for the web version can continue until 21st November 2008[1].

Additionally, the Colophon section has been updated to include the names of the new translators[2] and other contributors[3].

[1] http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-November/msg00013.html

[2] https://fedorahosted.org/release-notes/ticket/34

[3] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-November/msg00118.html

Fedora Website Translations for F10

Ricky Zhou announced the start of the translations for the Fedora website, for Fedora 10[4]. The counter is also available for translation[5].

The due date for the Fedora Web translations is November 24th 2008[6] and can be submitted via translate.fedoraproject.org[7].

[4] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-November/msg00058.html

[5] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-November/msg00070.html

[6] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-November/msg00087.html

[7] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-November/msg00092.html

Few System-config tools to be migrated

Nils Philippsen announced the plans for the migration of a few system-config tools (date, nfs, samba, services, users) from the mercurial to the git repository. Additionally, the documentation and the software would be segregated[8][9]. During the migration, these modules will not be available for updation in translate.fedoraproject.org.

[8] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-November/msg00065.html

[9] https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-infrastructure/ticket/970

New members in FLP

Three new members joined the Fedora Translation Project last week. Christopher Grebs (German)[10], Muhammad Panji (Indonesian)[11], Rui Gouveia (Portuguese)[12].

[10] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-November/msg00106.html

[11] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-November/msg00076.html

[12] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-November/msg00075.html

Confusion over Hindi Release Notes

There was a confusion while building the hindi release notes for Fedora 10, due to the presence of an obsolete file for the same locale[13]. A bug has been filed for this matter by Rejesh Ranjan[14].

[13] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-November/msg00102.html

[14] https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=471028

Docs-Homepage module is now obsolete

The module docs-homepage is now obsolete and does not require further translation[15]. This query was raised by Xavier Conde Rueda and clarified by Paul Frields. A bug has been filed by Noriko Mizumoto for the removal of this module from translate.fedoraproject.org[16].

[15] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-November/msg00108.html

[16 https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=471322

FLSco review

Dimitris Glezos, the current chair of the Fedora Localization Steering Committee (FLSCo) has initiated a discussion to evaluate the Committee's present method of functioning and any changes that can be made to improve it [17]. It is to be noted that the next elections for the Steering Committee would be held in December 2009[18].

[17] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-trans-list/2008-November/msg00115.html

[18] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/L10N/SteeringCommittee/Elections#Upcomming_election


In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.


Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei

Keeping the History Alive

A few years ago, when the Fedora "Infinity Bubble" logo was created, it was accompanied by an insightful set of slides, describing the process which led to its creation. As the original page hosting the slides closed some months ago this particular piece of history was lost. Lost, that is, until now when Máirín Duffy posted[1] on @fedora-art the results of her recovery work "I took some time to grab what I could from archive.org and reconstruct it here: [2]"

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-art-list/2008-November/msg00040.html

[2] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Logo/History

Feedback on the Fedora 10 themes

With the final release for Fedora 10 closing, more and more previews are published on the web and in most of them the artwork is praised. This week Jayme Ayres linked[1] to yet another such praising review "I was giving a look at the blog Rodrigo Menezes [2] and saw on the analysis done by 10 Fedora dual blog JupiterBroadcasting [3] (who particularly did not know), said some puerility on Fedora, but praised highly the work of Artwork and then I'd like to share with you. Congratulations to all!"

[1] https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-art-list/2008-November/msg00036.html

[2] http://rmenezes.com/2008/11/in-depth-fedora-10-preview/

[3] http://www.jupiterbroadcasting.com/?p=326

Security Advisories

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


Contributing Writer: David Nalley

Fedora 9 Security Advisories

Fedora 8 Security Advisories