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Fedora Weekly News Issue 187

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 187[1] for the week ending August 2, 2009.

This week's issue kicks off with updated details on the Fedora 12 (Constantine) schedule, including an update on feature set scheduled for this week. From the Fedora Planet, tips on how to create your own system branding when building Fedora, lots of detail on debugging random screen blanking in Fedora, and thoughts on why to hate quick software benchmarking. From the Quality Assurance team, details from a discussion around Phoronix's Linux distribution benchmarking in relation to Fedora, fixes to the Test Day live image, and many updates on the weekly meetings related to QA. In Ambassador news, a report from the Congress of Free Software in Caracas, Venezuela and the Venezuela Fedora Team's presence there. In translation news, several updates to, details on the Fedora 12 Translation schedule, and new translations for the Quick Start Guide in eighteen different languages. From the Art team, updates on theming Fedora 12 Alpha and details on cutting the Fedora logo on a steel plate. This week issue comes to a finale with news on virtualization, including discussion of how to distribute I/O load across guests, and details on new releases of virt-manager, virtinst, and virt-viewer. These are just a few highlights of this week's FWN. Enjoy!

If you are interested in contributing to Fedora Weekly News, please see our 'join' page[2]. We welcome reader feedback:

The Fedora News team is collaborating with Marketing and Docs to come up with a new exciting platform for disseminating news and views on Fedora, called Fedora Insight. If you are interested, please join the list and let us know how you would like to assist with this effort.

FWN Editorial Team: Pascal Calarco, Adam Williamson


In this section, we cover announcements from the Fedora Project[1] [2] [3].

Contributing Writer: Max Spevack

If anyone is interested in taking over this beat, please contact the Fedora News[4] team.

Fedora 12 (Constantine)

John Poelstra[1] has made several important announcements related to the ongoing development of Fedora 12.

On July 28th, John wrote[2] about the upcoming Fedora 12 schedule[3] deadlines.

The complete Fedora 12 schedule that John maintains is incredibly detailed and serves as a model for any group or project that is looking to produce results on a deadline.

On July 31st, a request for feature updates[4] landed. See the list included in the link. John wrote, "According to a review of all the feature pages, the following features have not been updated recently or are not 100% complete. Please update them no later than Wednesday, August 6, 2009."

Upcoming Events

Consider attending or volunteering at an event near you!

  • North America (NA)[1]
  • Central & South America (LATAM)[2]
  • Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)[3]
  • India, Asia, Australia (India/APJ)[4]

Planet Fedora

In this section, we cover the highlights of Planet Fedora[1] - an aggregation of blogs from Fedora contributors worldwide.

Contributing Writer: Adam Batkin


Julian Aloofi explained[1] how to create your own system branding when building Fedora.

Martin Sourada rewrote[2] the GTK Nodoka theme engine from scratch. Video included! Goals include wanting "to support wider configurations in the engine (with future in mind), develop more consistent, usable and pleasing look and feel and write the drawing code in a way that would be independent on the toolkit."

Matt Jadud wrote[3] a tutorial titled "the busy student’s guide to project blogging" with all kinds of useful tips and ideas.

Richard Hughes investigated[4] some of the causes behind one of the more common F11 bugs: random display blanking. No solution just yet, but lots of information in the post and linked bugzilla reports.

Mark J Cox detailed[5] "How the Kaminsky SSL talk at Black Hat affects various OSS libraries". A number of vulnerabilities in various SSL implementations were exposed at the conference, some of which affect OpenSSL, GnuTLS and NSS (including Firefox).

Here is a fun summer project: Simon Wesp apparently lasercut[6] the Fedora logo onto a stainless steel plate (and explained how to do it).

James Laska posted[7] a note to Rawhide Watch[8] with instructions on how to upgrade to Rawhide if you are getting the error "Unable to update to rawhide – rpmlib(PayloadIsXz)".

James Antill hates[9] "quick benchmarks" and so should you. "The summary of the problem is that quick software benchmarking often involves taking a huge amount of differences between two applications and have a single number result. Then you compare just the numbers, and come to a conclusion. So X gets 3 and Y gets 5 for problem ABCD ... therefore Y is 66% worse than X at ABCD. Except that might be a highly misleading (or worse) conclusion..."

Max Spevack recapped[10] his time living in Amsterdam, working to develop the EMEA relationships and events for Red Hat and Fedora, now that it is time to move back to the US.


In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project[1].

Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero

Fedora at the Congress of Free Software in Caracas, Venezuela

Maria Gracia Leandro reports that last month the Fedora Venezuela community participated in the 5th National Congress of Free Software (5CNSL - Congreso Nacional de Software Libre) in Caracas, Venezuela, with a variety of other users, LUGs and friends. This year in particular there were several conference attendees from outside Venezuela, including:

  1. Richard Stallman, USA
  2. Esteban Saavedra, Bolivia
  3. Oscar Valenzuela, Chile
  4. Daniel Yucra, Perú
  5. Andres Ricardo Castelblanco, Colombia
  6. Alexandre Oliva, Brasil
  7. Quiliro Ordóñez, Ecuador

At the conference, according to Maria, the Fedora Venezuela community was one of the best prepared and the one where people were more involved. The community had 2 banners, a large number of stickers, CDs and DVDs and of course the tattoos. Maria says people were fascinated.

Maria wishes to thank the people that helped with participation in the event from the Fedora Venezuela Team!!!

Photos are available at

Video at

Review (in Spanish) :

Official site for the event:

Get on the map

Want to find the nearest ambassador? How about one in Romania? Now you can.

Susmit Shannigrahi reports that finding out the nearest ambassadors, which was once a tedious task, is now as simple as viewing a map. The map is at and instructions on how to place yourself on the map can be found at

Get the word out about your F11 event

Fedora 11 was released recently and with it a variety of activities around the release will be forthcoming. As such, with the upcoming release of Fedora 11, this is a reminder that posting your event on Fedora Weekly News can help get the word out. Contact FWN Ambassador correspondent Larry Cafiero at lcafiero-AT-fedoraproject-DOT-org with announcements of upcoming events -- and don't forget to e-mail reports after the events as well.


In this section, we cover the activities of the QA team[1].

Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson

Test Days

There was no Test Day last week, and No Test Day is currently scheduled for next week. If you would like to propose a main track Test Day for the Fedora 12 cycle, please contact the QA team via email or IRC, or file a ticket in QA Trac[1].

Weekly meetings

The QA group weekly meeting[1] was held on 2009-07-27. The full log is available[2]. James Laska reported that he had contacted the infrastructure team's Mike McGrath regarding whether has enough resources to make test composes and release candidate builds publicly available. Mike believes it does, so the test composes for Fedora 12 Alpha will be made publicly available as a test. They will be announced to fedora-test-list. A ticket[3] is being used to track this.

Jóhann Guðmundsson had not yet been able to contact Harald Hoyer regarding testing and contingency plans for the Fedora 12 Dracut feature[4]. He will update again at the next meeting.

The group discussed the state of Rawhide in regards to the Alpha test compose that was due the Wednesday following the meeting. John Poelstra noted that a bug was currently preventing install images from being generated in Rawhide's daily updates. Jesse Keating said a bug should be filed on this and added to the Alpha blocker bug list. James Laska mentioned there were known to be two bugs entirely blocking Rawhide installation from working. Kamil Paral mentioned two more bugs which were breaking installation in KVM-based virtual machines. As these are essentially QA's reference platform, the group asked Kamil to add them to the Alpha release blocker list.

James Laska noted that a Fedora 12 Alpha blocker bug review meeting was scheduled for Friday 2009-07-31. It was agreed that John Poelstra would send out an announcement of the meeting, and Adam Williamson would send out a recap after it had finished.

Will Woods reported on the progress of the AutoQA project. He has now automated seven test cases in the Rawhide Acceptance Test Plan[5], and is working on a script to send out test status emails. He is also working on a blog post and possibly some Wiki documentation regarding the project. David Pravec noted that the latest autotest packages had some problems. Jesse Keating would work on fixing those.

Jesse Keating alerted the group that a Rawhide mass rebuild would be starting during the week, due to the arch change from i586 to i686, new compression format for RPM payloads (XZ), new glibc, and new gcc. He asked everyone to be on the lookout for rebuild-related bugs. Will Woods noted that, after the rpm package itself was rebuilt with an XZ format payload, upgrades from Rawhide installs before the XZ change to current Rawhide would no longer work normally. The best workaround for this issue is to install the updated rpm package from Fedora 11 updates-testing, then update Rawhide as normal. The issue does not affect upgrades from Fedora 11 via yum or anaconda, only upgrades from older to newer Rawhide. James Laska volunteered to submit the issue to Warren Togami for inclusion in the Rawhide Watch blog[6].

Kamil Paral noted that, at the time of the meeting, the guide to creating live images for test days[7] had a problem which would cause anyone following it to create a live CD based on Fedora 11, not Rawhide. James Laska thanked him for the report, and promised to look into the problem. (Editor's note: since the time of the meeting, this problem has been fixed, and the guide as it stands works correctly).

Jóhann Guðmundsson brought up an old request he had filed for the QA team to have a web page / blog for hosting announcements of QA-related projects, and articles on QA-related topics. The issue was tabled for further discussion as it was not clear exactly what the scope of this page should be, or whether existing Fedora Project pages already sufficiently covered the perceived need. Adam Williamson and Will Woods suggested that a QA team blog aggregator (a Planet) may be another way to achieve this goal.

The Bugzappers group weekly meeting[8] was held on 2009-07-28. The full log is available[9]. The group discussed the latest revision of the critical path component list-based expansion of the priority triage packages list[10]. Since last week, Niels Haase had reduced the size of the list by removing dependencies. The group decided this was a sensible approach given the triaging resources available, and approved merging it into the main priority triage package list[11].

Adam Williamson gave an update on the status of the kernel triage project. Richard June had volunteered to start triaging wireless-related kernel bugs, as a test of the viability of the plan. Adam asked him to contact the kernel maintainer with responsibility for wireless, John Linville, to notify him of the project and ask for any advice or requests he had, and then to start triaging bugs. Adam would also send a follow-up mail to the group of people interested in the kernel triage project with this current status.

Brennan Ashton gave an update on the triage metrics project. His development version of the code was not functional at the time of a meeting due to problems with its database code. He had reverted the public instance of the triage system to the last stable working code, but it had only one day's data available at the time of the meeting. More data would be available shortly after. Adam Williamson asked if, when the development code was ready for production, it would be able to use the existing data, or whether the data would have to be re-generated again. Brennan said that since the development version could use more information than the current stable version, re-generating the data would be faster. Brennan also plans in future to branch the code to use TurboGears 2.0[12]. Adam also asked if Brennan was happy to have co-maintainers on the project, to speed up the work and ensure more reliable availability of maintainers. Brennan said that this was fine, and Adam and Brennan agreed to work together to put out a call for volunteers to help work on the project.

The group discussed again the 'Bugzilla Semantics' proposal Adam Williamson had made to the mailing list. The current feeling on the mailing list and in the meeting seemed to be most in favour of the second option presented in Adam's last email on the topic[13]. The group agreed to propose option #2 as the way forward on the mailing list, and proceed with it if no serious objections were raised.

The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-08-03 at 1600 UTC in #fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-08-04 at 1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.

Benchmarking discussion

Adam Pribyl brought up[1] Phoronix's benchmarking of Fedora Rawhide in comparison with OpenSUSE, Ubuntu and Mandriva[2], suggesting that Fedora's supposed poor performance in these benchmarks should be an issue for concern, in terms of the image of the distribution if nothing else. Jóhann Guðmundsson felt[3] that benchmarking of a development distribution was fundamentally meaningless. He said ongoing performance monitoring of Rawhide may be useful to development, but would have to properly managed. Frank Murphy agreed with Adam[4] that, irrespective of the quality of Phoronix's benchmarks, the fact that the site was widely read meant apparent 'poor performance' in Fedora was a problem. As a source of the apparent poor performance, several people pointed out that Rawhide has debugging code enabled that stable releases don't have, and Dave Jones went into more detail[5] about some debugging code Fedora enables and which other distributions do not.

Test Day live image creation

Kamil Paral announced[1] that he had fixed the Test Day live image creation guide[2] so that images are generated from Rawhide as intended, rather than Fedora 11 as was previously the case.

Fedora 12 Alpha test compose delay

Liam Li announced[1] that the test compose for Fedora 12 Alpha had been delayed from 2009-07-29 to 2009-08-06, due to multiple bugs entirely blocking Rawhide installation from working.


This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) Project[1].

Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee

Docbook-locales Added to

Ruediger Landmann announced the addition of the new project, 'docbook-locales' to[1]. The strings in this project would provide translations for docbook stylesheets.

Installation Quick Start Guide Added to

The Installation Quick Start Guide (IQSG) has been introduced[1] as a new project for translation in This is a smaller book compared to the main Fedora Installation Guide and the translations from either book can be reused in the other.

Fedora 12 Release Notes and Translation Team Schedule Discussion

In continuation from last week's discussion[1] about the Translation Team Schedule for Fedora 12, Noriko Mizumoto and Ankit Patel, proposed further changes to eliminate ambiguous titles in some of the schedule milestones and proposed availability of package and document builds for a 'Translation Review Phase'[2] [3] [4] [5] respectively. The earlier concern raised by Dimitris Glezos about the pre-poned string freeze on the Fedora 12 Schedule were put to rest due to the convention that the Beta Release date is always considered to be the String Freeze date[6].

John J. McDonough initiated a discussion[7] about the some parts of the Fedora 12 Schedule concerning the Release Notes and proposed a modified schedule. Due to the expectation that the Alpha Release would have to be feature ready, a major portion of the Release Notes work is assumed to be complete between Alpha and Beta Release and issues uncovered during the Beta phase would be updated by GA[8]. FLSco member Noriko Mizumoto requested[9] a 'Review Phase' to be included in the proposed schedule to allow translators to review the translated documents.

For both the above discussions, additional phone meetings have also been proposed by Paul W. Frields.

New Translated Builds for Translation Quick Start Guide

New translations for the Translation Quick Start Guide (TQSG) has been published for Bosnian, Indonesian, Malay, and Swedish. New builds for the following languages earlier published have also been published: German, Greek, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Punjabi, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian and Chinese (Simplified). This was announced[1] by the TQSG maintainer Noriko Mizumoto.

Czech Version of Fedora 11 Release Notes Published

The Czech version of the Fedora 11 Release Notes have been published on docs.fedoraproject org[1].

New Members in FLP

Mahmoud Jalajel (Arabic)[1] joined the Fedora Localization Project recently.


In this section, we cover the Fedora Design Team[1].

Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei

Theming Fedora 12 Alpha

As the deadline for the Alpha release was closing, as Nicu Buculei blogged[1] and Martin Sourada reminded[2] on @design-team "today, as per the schedule [1], is the wallpaper designs submission deadline. We are not going to consider completely new designs for F12 wallpaper after this deadline so if you still have something to share, please share it with us today, even if the work is still incomplete", everyone was busy uploading last-minute proposals, including Jayme Ayres[3], Samuele Storari[4][5] and Máirín Duffy[6]

After the date passed, Nicu summarized the submissions on his blog[7] and asked for feedback, which feedback started to flow, both on the blog and mailing list[8], with people pointing the proposals they like and the things they think can be improved. Feedback from the Fedora Weekly News readers is also highly appreciated.

A Small Icon Request

Matthias Clasen asked[1] for a set of multimedia icons "we would like to add a speaker setup dialog to gnome-volume-control to help people setting up surround sound. But this currently blocks on not having suitable icons for this", Manuel Hidalgo wondered[2] if that task is suitable for a beginner "What do you believe: Is This work appropriate to begin designing..." and Evangeline McGlynn started to work on the request[3] and produced a number of graphics: "these are super flat and un-styled at the moment, but if the concept seems reasonable I can keep working and polish them off"

Simon Wesp raised an unexpected question[1] to @design-team about problems while cutting the Fedora logo with a laser on a steel plate "I tried to import an svg. the problem is that this wouldn't be conform to my metal laser machine (and other major laser-machines which is used in this industry sector). i can import it, but i will miss my 0-polyline and i can't define one or import one from svg", something which is not easy to to while maintaining the shape of the logo. Mel Chua tried to provide a technical solution[2] " Could you engrave the 'infinity' part and cut out the 'f-cross' part? That would keep the aspect ratio intact" and Nicu Buculei outlined[3] the lack of conformance with the logo usage guidelines[4] "Ages ago i played myself with a simplified version [...] intended for very cheap printing but it was pointed (and i understood) it is breaking the logo usage guidelines"


In this section, we cover discussion of Fedora virtualization technologies on the @fedora-virt and @virt-tools-list lists.

Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley

Fedora Virtualization List

This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-virt list.

Distributing I/O Load Among Guests

Dennis J. asked[1] about virt storage. "What is the best way to deal with I/O load when running several VMs on a physical machine with local or remote storage?" "What I'm primarily worried about is the case when several VMs cause disk I/O at the same time." "What is the best way to soften the impact of such a situation?"

Pasi Kärkkäinen suggested "If the IOs are not split evenly between VMs, you could use some tool like dm-ioband[2] to make sure IOs are split fairly between VMs. Or then get faster disks. Single 15k rpm SAS disk will give you up to 350 IOPS, so it's 2-3x faster than 7200 rpm SATA."

Richard Jones concurred[3] "For KVM, each VM isn't really any different from a host process, so you have to deal with them the same way that you'd deal with having lots of host processes doing I/O. So: lots of spindles, expensive I/O hardware, etc."

Virtualization Tools List

This section contains the discussion happening on the virt-tools-list list.

The very newest releases of virt packages are available (for testing purposes only) in the Virtualization Preview Repository before they become generally available.

New Release virt-manager 0.8.0

Cole Robinson [1] a new Package-x-generic-16.pngvirt-manager[2] release, version 0.8.0.

Virtual Machine Manager provides a graphical tool for administering virtual machines, using Package-x-generic-16.pnglibvirt as the backend management API.

New features:

  • New 'Clone VM' Wizard
  • Improved UI, including an overhaul of the main 'manager' view
  • System tray icon for easy VM access (start, stop, view console/details)
  • Wizard for adding serial, parallel, and video devices to existing VMs.
  • CPU pinning support (Michal Novotny)
  • Ability to view and change VM security (sVirt) settings (Dan Walsh)
  • Many bug fixes and improvements

New Release virtinst 0.500.0

Cole Robinson announced[1] a new Package-x-generic-16.pngpython-virtinst release, version 0.500.0.

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-install device options --serial, --parallel, and --video
  • Allow various auth types for libvirt connections (PolicyKit, SASL, ...)
  • New virt-clone option --auto-clone: generates all needed input.
  • Option to specify network device model via virt-install --network (Guido Gunther)
  • New virt-install option --virt-type for specifying hypervisor type (kvm, qemu). --accelerate is now the default behavior: To provision a plain qemu VM on a KVM enabled host, use '--virt-type qemu'
  • OVF input support for virt-convert
  • Many bug fixes and improvements

New Release virt-viewer 0.2.0

Daniel Berrange announced[1] a new Package-x-generic-16.pngvirtinst[2] release, version 0.2.0.

New features:

  • Switch UI over to use Glade
  • Support graphical dialog for VNC and libvirt authentication
  • Resize window to match VNC desktop size where possible
  • Scale down VNC desktop if it cannot fit in host desktop space
  • Allow user to resize window to arbitrary size, scaling VNC
  • Fix blocking of accelerators
  • Allow automatic reconnect to a VM via --reconnect
  • Use libvirt events to detect when VM changes state
  • Wait for VM to appear if it does not exist
  • Fix plugin build with newer xulrunner
  • Port & build for Mingw32 target