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Fedora Weekly News Issue 168

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 168 for the week ending March 22nd, 2009.

With the Fedora 11 Beta release slipping by one week Announcements reminds the community about "FUDCon Berlin 2009". In PlanetFedora the recent Red Hat patent acquisitions are among several topics covered. Ambassadors reports on the OLPC XO work at Rochester Institute of Technology. QualityAssurance gets excited about "Test Days" for DeviceKit, Xfce and an upcoming one for nouveau. Developments reflects a lot of anxious upgrading and "How to Open ACLs and Find Non-responsive Maintainers". Translation notes the "Upgraded Transifex" and translation to Cornish. Infrastructure advises in "Change Requests" that the infra team is in freeze and lists all the approved recent changes and hotfixes. Controversy rages in "Artwork" over the choice of Greek temple imagery. Yet again SecurityAdvisories lists packages that you want, really, really want. Virtualization worries about "More Flexible x86 Emulator Choice". Needless to say there's lots more to read this week!

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

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


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

Contributing Writer: Max Spevack

Fedora 11

Jesse Keating[1] announced[2] that the Beta of Fedora 11 will slip one week, due to some issues with both PPC and anaconda. The new Beta release date is March 31.

FUDCon Berlin 2009

Max Spevack[3] reminded[4] the community about FUDCon Berlin 2009[5], including registration[6], lodging[7], and speaking[8] opportunities.

Upcoming Events

March 23-29: LUGM OpenWeek [1] in Manipal, India.

March 25: Document Freedom Day in Kolkata, India.

March 25: Document Freedom Day in Opera, Italy.

March 26: Infotech Niagara Beta Awards[2] in Buffalo, New York, USA.

March 26: Ithaca College EdTech Day[3] in Ithaca, New York, USA.

March 27-29: PyCon[4] in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

March 31-April 2: Linux Solutions[5] in Paris, France.

April 1-2: OpenExpo[6] in Bern, Switzerland.

Planet Fedora

In this section, we cover the highlights of Planet Fedora - an aggregation of blogs from Fedora contributors worldwide.

Contributing Writer: Adam Batkin


Rangeen Basu Roy Chowdhury explained[1] how to build a Live USB stick from a Live CD image. Another option, suggested in the comments, is to use the liveusb-creator[2].

Paul W. Frields described[3] some of the preparations that the Fedora Marketing team has been making for Fedora 11, including in-depth articles on some of the new features.

Richard Hughes showed off[4] an updated Gnome PackageKit update viewer.

Rob Tiller, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, IP at Red Hat responded[5] to concerns within the community about Red Hat's patenting efforts and the Red Hat Patent Policy[6]. Paul W. Frields wrote[7] about the response, and a lively discussion in the comments ensued.

David Woodhouse posted[8] about some documentation he had written to support Greylisting and the exim-greylist package shipped with Fedora.

Jef Spaleta wrote[9] his "most important Fedora blog post ever" which revolves around the "NSF sponsored workshop on Sustainable Cyberinfrastructure"[10]. The workshop is important "for people who believe in either the function of basic science research as a catalyst for technical and social progress or people who believe strongly in open development methodologies as a catalyst for deeper and more impactful collaborations. Even more so if you happen to be in the union of those groups and a US citizen and care about how the NSF as a Federal agency goes about funding research and education."

As an interesting aside, Dave Jones mentioned[11] that it takes two days and twenty minutes to run badblocks on his new 1TB hard drives.

Richard W.M. Jones worked[12] on building a minimal Fedora installation and managed to get an installed system down to 225MB. He later responded[13] to a comment about why it makes sense to minimize Fedora as opposed to building a custom minimal distribution. And then he managed[14] to get the minimal distribution down to 15.9MB.

Amit Shah benchmarked[15] various filesystems (including ext4) to find out how well they handled pre-allocation of disk space and the new Linux fallocate support.


In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.

Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero

RIT Pitches in on OLPC Project

(This item corrects a report on this topic filed in FWN Number 166)

The Fedora OLPC project seems to have found a friend at Rochester Institute of Technology[1]. Fedora Ambassador Karlie Robinson met RIT professor Stephen Jacobs at an OLPC Grassroots meeting on January 22 and learned of Jacobs' interest in doing a class around the XO.

Days later, David Nalley announced the Fedora Ambassador Developers Project and Karlie brought Professor Jacobs up to speed on what Fedora is doing around the XO,[2] where 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[1].

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[1].

Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson

Test Days

This week we had two test days, far more exciting than the boring regular one! The first[1] was on DeviceKit[2], which will replace HAL for disk and power management in Fedora 11. Turnout was not the highest, but those who came along were able to find several issues which are being addressed with the help of some of the developers involved, including David Zeuthen and Matthias Clasen. The second test day[3] was on Xfce[4], which is being updated to a major new release (4.6) in Fedora 11. A group of enthusiastic Xfce users showed up and were able to do some productive testing and refining of the Xfce environment together with the lead packager for Fedora, Kevin Fenzi.

Next week's test day[5] will be on Nouveau[6], the new default video driver for NVIDIA cards for Fedora 11. This is a very important event, as NVIDIA graphics cards are the most popular type, and the new driver is a fairly big change, so we need testing on a wide range of hardware to make sure it's ready. A live CD will be available for the day so you'll be able to test without a Rawhide installation. It will be held on Thursday (2009-03-26) in the #fedora-qa channel on Freenode IRC. If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, please make sure to come along, or - if you can't make it on the day - do the tests and fill out your results on the page another day.

Weekly meetings

The QA group weekly meeting[1] was held on 2009-03-18. The full log is available[2]. James Laska reported good progress in his work on the Semantic test result reporting extension for mediawiki. Packaging is complete and he is next planning to put up a test instance of mediawiki with the plugin enabled.

Adam Williamson reported that the Intel graphics adapter test day had been a success, and a follow-up event was in the works. He also reported that a Radeon test day had not yet been planned and promised to follow that up with the appropriate developers.

Jesse Keating was asked to report on the status of the beta release. He said that current Rawhide and particularly Anaconda was still too unstable and said he expected the beta release would slip if he could not get a Rawhide tree with a good Anaconda soon. He requested further testing of Rawhide installation from the QA group, and some help from the main QA group and the Bugzappers group on organizing and checking existing bug reports against Anaconda.

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.

The Bugzappers group weekly meeting[3] was held on 2009-03-17. The full log is available[4]. John Poelstra asked for feedback on the draft Standard Operating Procedure for new memberships which he had sent to the mailing list. The group generally approved of the draft. It was also agreed that the 'triagers' and 'fedorabugs' groups in FAS should be merged or linked, so that anyone who joined the triagers group automatically becomes a member of fedorabugs. Edward Kirk proposed not putting the SOP online and into operation until the appropriate changes have been made in FAS, and this was agreed. Christopher said he will send a draft of the new 'How to Triage' page to the mailing list for discussion in the coming week.

The group discussed Adam Williamson's draft front page for the Wiki area. Discussion centred on the links in the Tools and Procedures section. Adam explained that he expected further work on the Wiki to clean up and merge the pages linked to in that section, so the number of links would be smaller. Christopher Beland fixed the links in the draft which were broken. Christopher proposed putting up the new page immediately and then working to clean up the pages further down the hierarchy, and this was agreed by the group.

The group discussed the revised Components and Triagers[5] wiki page and agreed the new layout was good. John Poelstra did not like the static statistics. Adam Williamson pointed out that it is planned to replace them with dynamically updated data from Brennan Ashton's metrics tool once it is complete.

John Poelstra brought up the potential meeting time and date change. Adam Williamson promised to send a mail to the mailing list summarising the results of the matrix survey to see if a definite conclusion could be made about whether to move the meeting.

The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-03-25 at 1700 UTC (note changed time, in UTC reference frame) in #fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-03-18 at 1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.

Wiki changes

Adam Williamson announced[1] that he had added a new column to the Components and Triagers[2] wiki page to make it easy to find out who is the maintainer of a given component (and other information on it). Christopher Beland changed[3] the stock response text for EOL bugs in an attempt to make it friendlier. Adam pointed out[4] that changes to the stock responses should be mirrored in the GreaseMonkey script. Chris also announced[5] a draft of a new How to Triage page for the group's feedback. Adam and Milos Jakubicek both approved of Chris' work and provided some suggestions to improve it.

Bugzilla status, priority and severity procedures

Christopher Beland began a discussion[1] about the use of various statuses, resolutions and the priority and severity fields in Bugzilla. Adam Williamson pointed out[2] that some of the more unconventional statuses and resolutions come from the RHEL side, where there is a specific and carefully defined workflow, and these statuses do not always mean exactly what they might appear to. Further to this, Tom Lane noted[3] that the Bugzilla page defining each status[4] contains accurate information on the RHEL workflow. He then suggested[5] that a similar page should be created to define a standard workflow for Fedora bugs, and included in Bugzilla. Jesse Keating suggested[6] that instead, the Fedora and RHEL workflows should be merged so that both would use the same statuses and resolutions in the same ways.