From Fedora Project Wiki


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" and SELinux "sVirt Support Committed". There's a lot more, so keep reading!

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 reminded[1] the community that the Fedora 11 Beta freeze[2] 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.

Upcoming Events

March 10-12: FOSE[1] in Washington, DC.

March 13-15: Chemnitzer Linux Tage[2] in Chemnitz, Germany.

FUDCon Berlin 2009

FUDCon Berlin[1] will be held from June 26 - 28 in Berlin, Germany.

Planet Fedora

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[1] to a post[2] 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[3] "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".

Harald Hoyer summarized[4] the results from the 20 Seconds Boot Feature Test Day and offered some suggestions for users and developers alike.

Matthew Daniels offered[5] some ideas to improve the Fedora documentation by splitting the User Guide into three parts, Practicum, Theory and Appendices & Glossary.

Mark J Cox published[6] a set of metrics that tracks security vulnerabilities and the time-to-fix versus their time of disclosure within RHEL.

John J. McDonough wrote[7] an article about Fedora, the four Foundations of the project/community and how and why you should join.

Richard Hughes explained[8] 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[9] 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.

Scott Williams made[10] The Case for Open Source.

Paul W. Frields announced[11] 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.

Chitlesh Goorah posted[12] about the goals of Fedora Electronic Lab[13] (FEL) and also how the project bridges the Open Source software and hardware communities.


Greg DeKoenigsberg started[1] working on a Sugar activity for 4th Grade Maths[2] called "Dungeons of Mongo". Remember, you too can potentially get a free XO as part of the Fedora Developers XO Program[3].

Chris Tyler announced[4] that the[5] is open for business, "a neutral collaboration point for everyone and everything involved in Teaching Open Source".

Greg DeKoenigsberg congratulated[6] 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[7] and suggested that anyone interested should join[8] the mailing list.

(As a related sidenote, Teaching Open Source has its own Planet[9] for those interested)

Karsten Wade described [10] some of the issues associated with getting kids interested in computers, Open Source and issues with the US educational system in general.

Rangeen Basu Roy Chowdhury wrote[11] 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[1] of the February 26th 2009 Fedora Marketing Meeting is now available.

One 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 each month"[1]

Marketing Meeting Log for 2009-03-03

The meeting log[1] 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

The Fedora OLPC project seems to have found a friend at Rochester Institute of Technology[1]. Fedora Ambassador Karlie Robinson contacted RIT professor Stephen Jacobs and discussed the project, which spurred Jacobs' interest in doing a class around the XO.

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].

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[1], 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[1].

Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson

Test Days

This week's regular test day[1] was on the rewritten handling of storage devices in Anaconda[2]. 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[3] 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!

Weekly Meetings

The QA group weekly meeting[1] was held on 2009-03-04. The full log is available[2]. 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 and Jesse Keating reported that there had been no progress on the autoqa systems this week, as Jesse had been tied up doing the mass rebuild of Rawhide.

Will Woods reported that 33 of the Fedora 11 proposed features[3] 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[4] for NVIDIA hardware was already planned and prepared, but that he was waiting on developer replies for the planned Intel KMS[5] and automatic fonts and MIME installer[6] 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[7] 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[8] was held on 2009-03-03. The full log is available[9]. 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[10].

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[11], 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[1] 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[2] 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

Harald Hoyer posted a follow-up email[1] on the previously-held 20 Second Boot test day[2], pointing to a blog post[3] where he summarized all the useful data he was able to get from the test day.

Bugzappers Meeting Schedule

Lalit Dhiri proposed[1] having a second meeting to accommodate those whose schedules made it impossible for them to attend the regular group meetings. Adam Williamson said[2] 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[3] using the Wiki's meeting matrix template to handle registering who is available when, and set up a Wiki page[4] for the purpose.

Ubuntu Triage Discussion

Paul Frields pointed out[1] a long discussion on the topic of bug triaging in Ubuntu[2], 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[3], and that the Bugzappers group should remember actively to involve package maintainers in the triaging process[4]. Kevin Kofler explained[5] that, within the KDE SIG, maintainers and triagers do work together and communicate via IRC.

Introduction Emails

Adam Williamson mooted the proposal from the weekly meeting that introduction emails be required for new group members[1]. John Poelstra supported the proposal[2], as did Edward Kirk[3]. Christopher Beland suggested[4]that anyone who became active on the mailing list but did not write a formal self-introduction email should also be accepted.


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

Contributing Writer: Oisin Feeley

Orphans are Purged

It sounded[1] like Dickensian cruelty when Jesse Keating announced that he would be purging the orphans. All that it meant however was that those packages which were not blocked and had no owners would be "[...] blocked, and will not be shipped with F11." The initial list mistakenly listed EPEL packages and a shorter revised list was posted[2].

A follow-up posted[3] states that packages listed therein will be removed on 2009-03-09 unless volunteers are found to maintain them.

Fedora 11 to Ship Tiger VNC

Adam Tkac wrote[1] to explain why he had decided "one minute before the beta freeze" to replace TightVNC with the TigerVNC fork. Adam has a history of very actively seeking to merge improvements upstream which in the past led[2] to the replacement of RealVNC with TightVNC when it seemed that the latter was more willing to evolve. The glacial pace of RealVNC development seemed to be correlated with the presence of a non-Free enterprise edition. Adam reported that unfortunately a lack of co-ordination of the TightVNC project had led to the TurboVNC and TightVNC projects deciding that a fork was necessary. An initial mail posted[3] by PeterÅstrand on @tigervnc-users provides some more details.

One specific outcome anticipated[4] by KingInuYasha was a "[...] proper implementations of VNC 4 for UNIX like systems [...] Having a VNC implementation that actually is kept up to date with the VNC protocol and is optimized with extensions is something I have been waiting for awhile now."

Another hint of good things which may come from a more rapid pace of development was revealed[5] when Daniel Berrange asked about Adam's plans to include the VeNCrypt server-side SSL/TLS extension. This would result in a "[...] consistent TLS extension that's inter operable across all the VNC clients & servers in Fedora." Daniel also mentioned that he had "[...] recently defined & implemented another VNC auth extension based on SASL. This provides for a good extendable authentication capability, most importantly including GSSAPI Kerberos for single sign on. I've got it implemented for QEMU, KVM, GTK-VNC and VINO already, so again it'd be good to plan for adding it to TigerVNC too so we have a widely interoperable strong authentication system."

All in all it looks as though contrary to their slogan "The VNC that bites" TigerVNC will be superb.

Ready for a New RPM Version ?

On 2009-02-26 Panu Matilainen asked[1] if it would be possible to introduce RPM-4.7 at this late stage of the Fedora 11 release cycle. This new version decreases memory use and improves performance. Panu emphasized that it was not as large an upgrade as the "[...] 4.4.2.x -> 4.6.0 leap-of-faith upgrade last year [.]"

Bill Nottingham was among those who expressed concern that rpm-4.7 would be completely ready for the final release of Fedora 11. He also wondered if there would be incompatibilities with previous rpm version. Panu answered[2] that rpm-4.7 was expected to be ready for the final release and that incompatibilities would only result if packagers used the POSIX file capabilities. This latter is protected against with an rpmlib() dependency.

A certain amount of disquiet at the idea of "[g]oing with a beta version of critical infrastructure like RPM [...]" based on the recent changes to RPM was voiced[3] by Tom Lane. Upon a challenge from Seth Vidal some problems with the process of upgrading rpm to handle stronger hashes were listed[4] by Bill Nottingham. These included including "No solution for handling packages natively on F9" and Tom Lane expanded[5] on the point: "I'm personally still ticked off that I'm being forced to update my development workstation to F-10 immediately in order to continue doing useful work on rawhide packages. I don't have time for that right now. Since F-9 is still supported, isn't it a management failing to have allowed this to happen without a plan to make mock on F-9 work?" The general response seemed to be that developers need to use one of the virtual machine solutions in order to be able to build for rawhide.

A substantial sub-thread on the rate of change in rawhide and whether or not developers should use it or stick to the current stable release with a virtualized instance of rawhide developed[6] following some thoughts from Adam Williamson.

RahulSundaram asked[7] for more information on the use of LZMA compression as this is one of the new features of rpm-4.7. Panu replied[8] LZMA will not be used by default as it would make even the current Fedora 10 rpm unable to read packages produced with such compression.

A FESCo decision made on 2009-03-06 confirmed[9] that rpm-4.7 would be the version shipping in Fedora 11.

Windows Cross-compiler Added to comps.xml

Following from a FESCo 2009-03-06 decision Richard W.M. Jones asked[1] to add a "Windows cross-compiler" group to comps.xml before the rapidly approaching 2009-03-10 string freeze.

Kevin Kofler asked why Richard did not call it "MinGW cross compiler" and Richard responded[2] that he wanted to avoid trademarks and leave open the possibility to broaden support to other non-embedded platforms. He came up with either "Consumer cross-compilers (CCC) or Consumer cross-compiler collection (CCCC)." Kevin had some other interesting questions about the legality of possible OS X cross-compilers and the desirability of one group per OS. Richard pointed[3] to an earlier thread on the latter question.

Anaconda Default of Separate / and /home Partitions

A long-standing bugzilla entry was referenced[1] by Lex Hider as background for the idea that anaconda should support separate /home and / partitions in order to support clean installs during upgrades. Lex's detailed post included links to relevant previous discussion.

Adam Williamson was very much in favor of the idea and in response to Jesse Keating suggested[2] some heuristics which might allow anaconda to determine the relative sizes of the / and /home partitions. Bruno Wolff III's / partition size (circa 40GB) proved[3] to be surprisingly large due to multiple languages installed. Michel Salim[4] and Callum Lerwick[5] both brought up the necessity to have a large / partition in order to be able to run preupgrade.

Lex elaborated[6] on possible space requirements for such a scheme.

Beta Freeze and String Freeze this Tuesday 2009-03-10

Dennis Gilmore posted[1] a heads up on 2009-03-06 that "[...] anything that needs translations needs to be done by COB [Tuesday]. This is a blocking Freeze any packages you need included in the Beta release must be requested via release engineering [.]"

A brief amount of confusion occurred[2] due to the misnaming of the day of the week. Till Maas also wondered exactly what Close Of Business meant exactly for an international project like Fedora.

Fedora 11 Default Mediaplayer Not Banshee. Mono to Blame ?

A summary of FESCo deliberations posted[1] by BillNottingham stirred DavidNielsen to object that he had not been alerted (as maintainer) that discussion of the Banshee media player was to occur. David also objected[2] that the onus had been placed on him to convince the maintainer of the competitor Rhythmbox package to allow the replacement. He also suggested that the use of the Mono language was a stumbling block due to RHEL eschewing Mono: "[...] RHEL does not ship Mono, if RHEL wants to ship Rhythmbox that is their decision but what Fedora ships should not be. What else are we going to be dictated from above.. who else should bother to make proposals for what they preceive to be improvements?"

Jesse Keating responded[3] that his understanding was that the desire to avoid mono in Fedora is to avoid bloating the LiveCDs with dependencies. The IRC logs bore out[4] this interpretation with FESCo members explicitly stating that "[...] what its written in should have no bearing on what goes in[.]" It was also clear however that RHEL, as the largest downstream distributor of an OS directly derived from Fedora, would not be ignored.


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

Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee

FLP Infrastructure Team Meeting

The second meeting[1] of the FLP Infrastructure team was held on 2009-03-05. The important topics discussed included the enabling of login via FAS for the Transifex instance, Publican support (statistics), inclusion of the Transifex RPM files into the yum repositories etc.

Meanwhile, the test instance of with a new version of transifex is currently available on for testing and feedback. The statistics can be viewed without login. For advanced operations, a log-in can be created on the server[2].

Statistics Page and Submission Outage

Due to a failed refresh process, the translation statistics were not correctly generated on[1]. The error was fixed rapidly by the FLP Infrastructue Team[2].

Additionally, Xavier Conde Rueda reported[3] 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[4].

Publican Documents Now on

The two publican documents which were requested for translation by Ruediger Landmann can now be submitted via[1]. Until last week, these files had to be sent back to Ruediger for submission.

F11 String Freeze Reminder

FLSCo member NorikoMizumoto has sent out a reminder[1] of the upcoming String freeze[2] date to the Devel team. The string freeze for Fedora 11 is scheduled to be in place on the 10th of March 2009.

Study about FLP

DimitrisGlezos has put together a study[1][2] 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

Jorge Gallegos[1], Ricardo Pinto[2], Teemu Vartiainen[3] and Alexey Vasyukov[4] joined the Spanish, Portuguese, Finnish and Russian translation teams respectively.


In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.

Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei

Echo Weekly News

Martin Sourada announced[1] on @fedora-art a new edition of the Echo Weekly News [2] "This issue covers February 2009 and contains this topic: New Icons, Perspective" and a few days later he also advanced[3] a new design for the "computer" icon.

Preparing for the Beta Release

With the Beta release for Fedora 11 nearing, Paul Frields asked[1] 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[2] with a round of images[3], which gathered the consensus of the team with the reserve[4] on improving them further post-Beta. The images were also packaged[5] 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[1] with an acclaimed[2] 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[3] from Nicu Buculei.

Security Advisories

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

Contributing Writer: David Nalley

Fedora 10 Security Advisories

Fedora 9 Security Advisories


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[1] a patch to provide a --list-os-options option to virt-install and virt-convert. Output from this option would be used to help users determine the appropriate argument for --os-type. The --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[2] 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

Cole later dropped[3] his patch and automated[4] the creation of the OS list in the virt-install man page instead.

virt-manager Storage Removal

A patch[1] 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[1] "support for host device assignment to virtinst and virt-install. This adds a --host-device[2] 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[3] 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[4] 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[1] out "there's a significant redesign of Package-x-generic-16.pngvirt-manager in progress" and brought attention to Cole Robinson's 'New VM' wizard makeover[2]. Daniel added "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

Cole Robinson announced[1] a new virtinst release, version 0.400.2.

Package-x-generic-16.pngpython-virtinst is a module that helps build and install libvirt based virtual machines. It currently supports KVM, QEmu and Xen virtual machines. Package includes several command line utilities, including virt-install (build and install new VMs) and virt-clone (clone an existing virtual machine).

New features:

  • New virt-clone option --original-xml, allows cloning a guest from an xml file, rather than require an existing, defined guest.
  • New virt-install option --import, allows creating a guest from an existing disk image, bypassing any OS install phase.
  • New virt-install option --host-device, for connecting a physical host device to the guest.
  • Allow specifying 'cache' value via virt-install's --disk options (Ben Kochie)
  • New virt-install option --nonetworks (John Levon)
  • 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[1] 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-install and virt-manager fail with the error "Unsupported virtualization type 'xen'".

It seems[2] that /sys/hypervisor/properties/capabilities is not present for some unknown reason.

Libvirt List

This section contains the discussion happening on the libvir-list.

New Release libvirt 0.6.1

Daniel Veillard announced[1] a new Package-x-generic-16.pnglibvirt release, version 0.6.1.

Libvirt is a C toolkit to interact with the virtualization capabilities of recent versions of Linux (and other OSes).

New features:

  • new APIs for Node device detach reattach and reset (Mark McLoughlin)
  • sVirt[2] 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 xend shutdown command (John Levon)
  • proper handling of errors when saving QEmu domains state (Guido Gunther)
  • revamp of the internal error memory APIs (John Levon)
  • better virsh error reporting (John Levon)
  • more daemon options to allow running multiple daemons (Jim Meyering)
  • error handling when creating a QEmu domain (Guido Gunther)
  • fix timeouts in QEmu log reading (Guido Gunther)
  • migration with xend 3.3 fixes (John Levon)
  • virsh XML 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 sVirt (Daniel Berrange)

There were also dozens of cleanups, documentation enhancements, portability and bug fixes.

With about five weeks since the release of 0.6.0[3], 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

Daniel P. Berrange applied[1] the sVirt[2] patches to enable selinux support in libvirt.

Secure Guest Migration Between Hosts

Chris Lalancette posted[1] 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[2] the authentication system for migration seemed to be the consensus.

Hynesim Project Interest in Libvirt

Florian Vichot of the Hynesim[1] project was interested[2] 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.