Fedora Weekly News Issue 166
Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 166 for the week ending March 8th, 2009.
A small sample of this issue's stories reflects the imminent release of Fedora 11! Announcements lists the freeze dates and upcoming Fedora events. PlanetFedora rounds up essential blog reading including a piece by Thomas Vander Stichele on "meltdown analysis". Marketing cheers for "1 Million New Fedora 10 Installations". In QualityAssurance a reminder that the next of the "Test Days" is of interest to Intel video users is just one of the items reflecting a massive amount of QA activity. Ambassadors relates some OLPC news from Rochester Institute of Technology. Developments explains why "Orphans are Purged" and asks are we "Ready for a New RPM Version?". Translation highlights a "Study about FLP". Artwork stares at the wallpaper while "Preparing for the Beta Release". SecurityAdvisories lists stuff to help you avoid a rooting. Virtualization pops some salient items out of the development maelstrom including a "New Release of libvirt-0.6.1". There's a lot more, so keep reading!
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In this section, we cover announcements from the Fedora Project.
Contributing Writer: Max Spevack
Jesse Keating reminded the community that the Fedora 11 Beta freeze is coming this week. "It is scheduled for Tuesday, March 10th. They way we've historically enacted the beta freeze is to tag the content in that day's rawhide into the freeze tag. That is, what gets reported as rawhide-20090310 is the frozen content. As such, your builds need to be complete by 0600 UTC March 10 2009 in order to be in the Beta, without a special request."
The string freeze is also on March 10th.
March 10-12: FOSE in Washington, DC.
March 13-15: Chemnitzer Linux Tage in Chemnitz, Germany.
FUDCon Berlin 2009
FUDCon Berlin will be held from June 26 - 28 in Berlin, Germany.
In this section, we cover the highlights of Planet Fedora - an aggregation of blogs from Fedora contributors worldwide.
Contributing Writer: Adam Batkin
Michael DeHaan responded to a post by Karsten Wade from a few weeks ago titled "Failure as the secret of success". Michael agreed and argued that it is usually impossible to build a piece of software that is 100% perfect for 100% of its users. "Failure is good. Chasing perfect is bad. Making any one aspect perfect or spending too much time on it tends to make other aspects of things bad. We need to get close enough and find some new challenge to work on, so we have more time to iterate and fail a few more times. We all need more time to fail."
Thomas Vander Stichele described "an approach to doing meltdown analysis". Also known as a post-mortem analysis, this is a useful process for "when we've gotten into a bad situation involving multiple people that we want to learn from and avoid next time".
Richard Hughes explained some of the issues currently associated with installing Applications as opposed to Packages (first by explaining the difference between the terms Application and Package). Along with some other folks, they published a proposed specification that is distribution-agnostic and should allow relevant metadata (including localized content) as well as icons to be efficiently and easily integrated into the local/distribution-specific software installation utility.
Paul W. Frields announced that after working with the Red Hat legal department to revise the Fedora Trademark guidelines, a new version has been released. Among other changes the changes should make building remixes and unofficial spins easier.
Greg DeKoenigsberg started working on a Sugar activity for 4th Grade Maths called "Dungeons of Mongo". Remember, you too can potentially get a free XO as part of the Fedora Developers XO Program.
Greg DeKoenigsberg congratulated Chris on the new Teaching Open Source community and provided some points that came up while visiting with people who are in the trenches trying to teach Open Source. Chris responded and suggested that anyone interested should join the mailing list.
(As a related sidenote, Teaching Open Source has its own Planet for those interested)
Rangeen Basu Roy Chowdhury wrote about a "visit to a high school in a village located on the outskirts of Durgapur and made famous by the DGPLUG project . This project set up a computer lab in a village school where you don't even get proper drinking water and where none of the students would have never had a chance of so as to even see a computer if not for this project."
In this section, we cover the Fedora Marketing Project.
Contributing Writer: Kam Salisbury
Marketing Meeting Log for 2009-02-26
The meeting log of the February 26th 2009 Fedora Marketing Meeting is now available.
1 Million New Fedora 10 Installations!
Paul W. Frields, Fedora project leader, declared that there has been "a major up-tick in Fedora involvement over the last 6 months. Since the release of Fedora 10, we've seen about 1 million new installations and approximately 2 million unique visitors to fedoraproject.org each month"
Marketing Meeting Log for 2009-03-03
The meeting log of the March 3rd 2009 Fedora Marketing Meeting is now available.
In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.
Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero
RIT Pitches in on OLPC Project
Fedora OLPC project seems to have found a friend at Rochester Institute of Technology. Fedora Ambassador Karlie Robinson contacted RIT professor Stephen Jacobs and discussed the project, which spurred Jacobs' interest in doing a class around the
Karlie brought Professor Jacobs up to speed on what
Fedora is doing around the
Fedora is providing
XOs to those who will do development work. The deal revolved around getting XOs for Jacobs classroom in exchange for the RIT students working on Greg DeKoenigsberg's 4th Grade Math project.
So RIT students got
XOs and the project got some more help.
Fedora at CUE
Karsten Wade represented Fedora at last week's Computer-Using Educator (CUE) conference in Palm Springs, California. Karsten gave a talk about the advantages of bringing a culture of participation to the classroom.
A detailed report of what happened at CUE can be picked up at Karsten's blog, specifically the items entitled "Stumbling around in the K-12 space" and "Moodle as a killer K-12 app."
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 regular test day was on the rewritten handling of storage devices in
Anaconda. Dave Lehman, Chris Lumens and Joel Granados were the developers present. Several people showed up and provided valuable testing in a wide range of scenarios, and the developers were able to identify and resolve several bugs. Further testing in this area is still very helpful. The wiki page contains instructions for using a supplementary image while installing
Rawhide, to use the new storage code successfully, but the code will soon be available directly in
Rawhide, so testing can be performed simply by attempting to install
Rawhide in as many different storage scenarios as possible.
Next week's test day is tentatively scheduled for testing
Intel graphics devices, especially the new kernel mode setting support and identifying performance regressions from Fedora 10. It will be held on Thursday (2009-03-12) in the #fedora-qa channel on Freenode IRC. If you use an Intel graphics card, please come by to help make sure it will be well-supported in Fedora 11 - the more testing, the better the code!
The QA group weekly meeting was held on 2009-03-04. The full log is available. Will Woods pointed out that the next week's meeting would be an hour earlier for most people, after the onset of Daylight Savings Time. Adam Williamson and Jesse Keating, as the resident West Coast representatives, led a revolt against having to wake up at 7 a.m., and the group agreed to move the meetings to 1700UTC from 2009-03-11.
James Laska reported on the progress of the project to make the Semantic test result plugin for mediawiki available. He reported that he is currently trying to make the plugin work in his test setup prior to building a Fedora package for it, as the infrastructure group requires all software used for Fedora systems be available as a Fedora package. Adam Williamson offered to help with the packaging.
Will Woods reported that 33 of the Fedora 11 proposed features have not yet been reviewed by the QA group to ensure that they include a workable test plan, and appealed for help from the group in getting this process completed. He noted that features for which test days have already taken place are likely to have workable test plans in place, as these are generally necessary for a test day to happen, so suggested at least those features could be quickly reviewed and, most likely, approved.
Adam Williamson reported that the test day for the new nouveau driver for NVIDIA hardware was already planned and prepared, but that he was waiting on developer replies for the planned Intel KMS and automatic fonts and MIME installer test days. Jóhann Guðmundsson suggested having a single big graphics test day, but Adam Williamson explained that he did not want to do that as it would be too large and unmanageable. James Laska suggested running the Piglit OpenGL test suite as part of the test days for drivers with usable 3D support (radeon and intel).
Jesse Keating reported that the mass rebuild of Rawhide was complete. Adam Williamson pointed out that three large bugs had resulted from GCC 4.4 optimization problems after the rebuild, and Will Woods reported that this had been discussed during the release engineering meeting. Will noted that the new hashing system in RPM was not backwards compatible, the upshot being that those upgrading from Fedora 11 Alpha to current Rawhide need to run 'yum update rpm' first. He queried why yum did not automatically update itself and rpm before other packages, and Jesse Keating explained it was because this would usually bring in hundreds of other packages via Python and glibc dependencies in any case, and so was not worth the effort.
Jesse Keating reported that live CD image builds from current Rawhide were not working very well, and Anaconda is often broken while its developers are busy working on the storage rewrite and EFI features.
The Bugzappers group weekly meeting was held on 2009-03-03. The full log is available. The group agreed to make sure the two most important Greasemonkey scripts for triagers were easily available in a central place, and this was implemented by making them available directly from the Wiki Tools page.
The group discussed Christopher Beland's plan to re-organize the Wiki area. It was agreed that a mailing list discussion should take place to create and agree upon a new front page for the Bugzappers wiki area, and work could then progress on re-writing and re-arranging other pages based on the organization system set up by the new front page. The group also discussed and agreed upon a plan for revising the Components page, and Christopher Beland pointed out that the current bug flow diagram is incorrect, as it dates from before NEEDINFO was converted from a bug status into a flag. Edward Kirk bravely volunteered to fix the picture.
Finally, the group discussed creating SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for Bugzappers, along the lines of those already used by the Infrastructure group. John Poelstra proposed the first SOP cover the procedure for gaining membership in the Bugzappers, and further proposed that it should involve the prospective new member posting a self-introduction email to the mailing list. Christopher Beland and Edward Kirk opposed this as they were worried that some new members would not feel comfortable posting such a message, particularly if it contained personal information. The group agreed to discuss the proposal further on the mailing list.
The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-03-11 at 1700 UTC (note changed time, in UTC reference frame) in #fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-03-10 at 1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.
Bugzappers Wiki Re-organization
Christopher Beland made several proposals on reorganizing the Bugzappers wiki area. This prompted a long discussion. In the end, Christopher was asked to provide drafts for several of his proposed changes for the group to evaluate. Both Christopher and Edward Kirk provided drafts for a new front page. Adam Williamson commented that both drafts had good elements, and offered to create a new draft to try and combine the two.
20 Second Boot Test Day Follow-up
Bugzappers Meeting Schedule
Lalit Dhiri proposed having a second meeting to accommodate those whose schedules made it impossible for them to attend the regular group meetings. Adam Williamson said that was not likely to be practical, but suggested that the meeting time could be moved if a time when more group members would be able to attend could be identified. Susan Lauber suggested using the Wiki's meeting matrix template to handle registering who is available when, and set up a Wiki page for the purpose.
Ubuntu Triage Discussion
Paul Frields pointed out a long discussion on the topic of bug triaging in Ubuntu, and wondered what the lessons for the Bugzappers might be. Adam Williamson suggested that it showed it is important for triagers to follow up on bugs they triage, rather than just touching them once and then never returning, which can leave the reporter more frustrated than if the bug had never been triaged at all. In the ensuing discussion, John Summerfield suggested that triagers should try to cover one area of which they had substantial knowledge rather than attempting to cover all bugs in all components, and that the Bugzappers group should remember actively to involve package maintainers in the triaging process. Kevin Kofler explained that, within the KDE SIG, maintainers and triagers do work together and communicate via IRC.
Adam Williamson mooted the proposal from the weekly meeting that introduction emails be required for new group members. John Poelstra supported the proposal, as did Edward Kirk. Christopher Beland suggestedthat anyone who became active on the mailing list but did not write a formal self-introduction email should also be accepted.
This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) Project.
Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee
FLP Infrastructure Team Meeting
The second meeting of the FLP Infrastructure team was held on 2009-03-05. The important topics discussed included the enabling of login via
FAS for the
Publican support (statistics), inclusion of the
Transifex RPM files into the yum repositories etc.
Meanwhile, the test instance of http://translate.fedoraproject.org with a new version of transifex is currently available on http://publictest14.fedoraproject.org for testing and feedback. The statistics can be viewed without login. For advanced operations, a log-in can be created on the server.
Statistics Page and Submission Outage
Additionally, Xavier Conde Rueda reported failure to submit authconfig and fedora-web module via the submit page. The error, caused in the main server, was fixed by the Fedora Infrastructure team.
Publican Documents Now on tfp.org
The two publican documents which were requested for translation by Ruediger Landmann can now be submitted via translate.fedoraproject.org. Until last week, these files had to be sent back to Ruediger for submission.
F11 String Freeze Reminder
Study about FLP
DimitrisGlezos has put together a study about the progess of the Fedora Localization Project. The discussion includes various aspects of FLP including the community structure, communication, language coverage, FLP backend administration and engineering etc.
New Members in FLP
In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.
Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei
Echo Weekly News
Martin Sourada announced on @fedora-art a new edition of the Echo Weekly News  "This issue covers February 2009 and contains this topic: New Icons, Perspective" and a few days later he also advanced a new design for the "computer" icon.
Preparing for the Beta Release
With the Beta release for Fedora 11 nearing, Paul Frields asked about the wallpaper status "We are a little past that deadline if the wallpaper is to get into the Beta spin as was originally intended, but it *can* still happen. I suggest deciding on a candidate by tomorrow. If the design isn't perfect there is still time to tweak it as we move toward the Preview Release and the other collateral designs are made" and Máirín Duffy came with a round of images, which gathered the consensus of the team with the reserve on improving them further post-Beta. The images were also packaged in a yummable format by Martin Sourada.
Working on the Picture Book
After the project was initiated on @fedora-marketing a couple of months ago, the time came for implementation on @fedora-art and Máirín Duffy started the process with an acclaimed first mockup "Let the games begin! :) My concept for the theme of the book here is a guide on how to be Fedora. There would be 4 chapters, freedom, friends, features, first. The photos for each chapter will have the model's perspective on the chapter's four f, talking about how that f affects their life and affects their role in Fedora. Then below that, per picture, we could suggest to the readers how they can bring that into their own life with a suggestion. Kind of a call to action" which was followed by a round of improvements from Nicu Buculei.
In this section, we cover Security Advisories from fedora-package-announce.
Contributing Writer: David Nalley
Fedora 10 Security Advisories
- mediawiki-1.14.0-45.fc10 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-March/msg00033.html
- psi-0.12.1-1.fc10 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-March/msg00071.html
- jhead-2.86-1.fc10 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-March/msg00174.html
- wireshark-1.0.6-1.fc10 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-March/msg00187.html
- curl-7.19.4-1.fc10 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-March/msg00195.html
Fedora 9 Security Advisories
- mediawiki-1.14.0-45.fc9 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-March/msg00036.html
- psi-0.12.1-1.fc9 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-March/msg00080.html
- dkim-milter-2.8.1-1.fc9 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-March/msg00151.html
- jhead-2.86-1.fc9 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-March/msg00177.html
- curl-7.19.4-1.fc9 - https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-package-announce/2009-March/msg00196.html
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
Enterprise Management Tools List
This section contains the discussion happening on the et-mgmt-tools list
Managing Guest OS Types
Cole Robinson created a patch to provide a
--list-os-options option to
virt-convert. Output from this option would be used to help users determine the appropriate argument for
--os-type option is used to
"Optimize the guest configuration for a type of operating system. This will
attempt to pick the most suitable ACPI & APIC settings, optimally supported
mouse drivers and generally accommodate other operating system quirks."
This touched off a discussion of how such information is managed. Daniel P. Berrange pointed out shortcomings in the current approach and perscribed the following fixes, and supplied an example XML file.
- An XML schema for defining all the information wrt to guest OS distros that is relevant to virt management tools.
- A C library for querying the information in the XML file(s).
- Bindings of the C library into Python/Ruby etc as needed
- Ability for local admins to extend / override the information either by editing the XML files directly, or a pretty GUI
virt-manager Storage Removal
A patch from Cole Robinson "adds a storage aware delete dialog to virt-manager. When deleting a VM, we are presented with a list of storage attached to it, with an option to remove individual disks as part of the delete process."
virt-install Host Device Assignment Support
Cole Robinson added "support for host device assignment to
This adds a
--host-device command to
"Attach a physical host device to the guest. HOSTDEV is a node device name
as used by libvirt (as shown by 'virsh nodedev-list')."
Daniel P. Berrange described the management options for host devices.
- "If 'managed=yes' then libvirt will automatically detach the device from the host driver."
- "If 'managed=no' then libvirt expects that the caller has already ensured the device is detached from the host before *ALL* attempts to start the guest, now & in the future."
This change supports the KVM PCI Device Assignment feature in Fedora 11.
Fedora Virtualization List
This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-virt list.
User Interface Makeover for virt-manager
Daniel P. Berrange pointed out
"there's a significant redesign of
in progress" and brought
attention to Cole Robinson's 'New VM' wizard makeover.
"Many more design improvements are targetted for the next few virt-manager
releases, impacting nearly every area of the UI, so keep an eye out for
more UI review postings during F12 timeframe too."
New Release virtinst 0.4.2
is a module that helps build and install
libvirt based virtual
machines. It currently supports
Xen virtual machines. Package
includes several command line utilities, including
and install new VMs) and
virt-clone (clone an existing virtual machine).
--original-xml, allows cloning a guest from an xml file, rather than require an existing, defined guest.
--import, allows creating a guest from an existing disk image, bypassing any OS install phase.
--host-device, for connecting a physical host device to the guest.
- Allow specifying 'cache' value via
--diskoptions (Ben Kochie)
- Lots of backend cleanups and documentation improvements.
Fedora Xen List
This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-xen list.
dom0 Kernel Inches Closer
Pasi Kärkkäinen walked the bleeding edge while testing Xen dom0 host support. Using Fedora 10 with Xen 3.3.1-9 from Rawhide and a custom built 2.6.29-rc7 pv_ops dom0 kernel the system boots, but
virt-manager fail with the error "
Unsupported virtualization type 'xen'".
It seems that
/sys/hypervisor/properties/capabilities is not present for some unknown reason.
This section contains the discussion happening on the libvir-list.
New Release libvirt 0.6.1
Libvirt is a
C toolkit to interact with the virtualization capabilities of recent versions of Linux (and other OSes).
- new APIs for Node device detach reattach and reset (Mark McLoughlin)
sVirt mandatory access control support (James Morris and Dan Walsh)
- don't hardcode ssh port (Guido Gunther)
- new test cases and testing infrastructure (Jim Meyering)
- improve the SExpr parser (John Levon)
- proper error reporting on
xendshutdown command (John Levon)
- proper handling of errors when saving
QEmudomains state (Guido Gunther)
- revamp of the internal error memory APIs (John Levon)
virsherror reporting (John Levon)
- more daemon options to allow running multiple daemons (Jim Meyering)
- error handling when creating a
QEmudomain (Guido Gunther)
- fix timeouts in
QEmulog reading (Guido Gunther)
- migration with
xend3.3 fixes (John Levon)
virshXML dump flags cleanup (Cole Robinson)
- fix build with loadable drivers (Maximilian Wilhelm)
- internal XML APIs to read long long and hexa values (Mark McLoughlin)
- function to parse node device XML descriptions and associated test (Mark McLoughlin)
- generate network bridge names if not provided (Cole Robinson)
- recognize ejectable media in hostdev hal driver (Cole Robinson)
- integration of
There were also dozens of cleanups, documentation enhancements, portability and bug fixes.
With about five weeks since the release of 0.6.0, Daniel added "So quite a bit of changes happened in one month of development, so it's getting clear we aren't really slowing down and keeping a relatively fast release cycle is needed. So expect 0.6.2 in a month or so."
sVirt Support Committed
Secure Guest Migration Between Hosts
Chris Lalancette posted a request for comments on secure migration with an initial focus on
Qemu. The proposal included two options. One leveraged existing RPC while the second created a new well known port to handle the migration. Using RPC adds a layer of authenitcation which may possibly be avoided in the second option by simply opening a new port in a firewall.
Sticking with existing RPC and enhancing the authentication system for migration seemed to be the consensus.
Hynesim Project Interest in Libvirt
Florian Vichot of the Hynesim project was
interested in replacing their wrappers around
KVM, VirtualBox, and OpenVZ with
libvirt, and so asked about support for a number of features including auxiliary TAP devices in the host to correspond with ethernet devices in the guest.