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Fedora Weekly News Issue 194

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 194[1] for the week ending September 20, 2009. What follows are some highlights from this issue. This week we welcome a brand new beat by Ryan Rix on KDE developments in Fedora!

In news from the Fedora Planet, news, views and innovations from Fedora community members. The Quality Assurance beat this week provides details from last week's various graphics tests, audio and virtualization Test Days, along with detailed summaries of the QA weekly meetings, Bugzappers and other regular activities. In Art/Design news, discussion around the desire for a "do it yourself" media sleeve, and updates on the Fedora 12 schedule for the team. In virtualization news, updates on the recent virtualization Test Day, and details of new versions of libvirt, perl-Sys-Virt, and coverage of recent discussion about guest sound over VNC. Our first KDE beat features news of KDE 4.3.1 hitting Fedora updates and some post-release fixes, news on several new KDE applications, and coverage of work of the KDE SIG team this past week. That rounds out this week's issue of Fedora Weekly News, which we hope you 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

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


Lennart Poettering wrote[1] a mutex profiler called mutrace. "When naively profiling multi-threaded applications the time spent waiting for mutexes is not necessarily visible in the generated output. However lock contention can have a big impact on the runtime behaviour of applications...To improve the situation if have now written a mutex profiler called mutrace."

Way back in May, Daniel Walsh introduced[2] the SELinux sandbox. "As soon as I released it, I received email asking if it could be used to sandbox Acroread, and I had to say 'Sorry, it can't do that'."[3]. But now it can. It can even be used to sandbox Firefox[4].

Josh Boyer shared[5] an amusing anecdote about running wires with his two-year-old son. Who knew that patch cables could be so much fun?

Mel Chua asked[6] for "I use Fedora" stories from the community. "Write up your story about using Fedora, the stories of your friends and the people you’ve introduced Fedora to".

Michael DeHaan quickly built[7] a lab of 85 machines in Chicago for the Red Hat Summit, using cobbler (did I mention that version 2.0 was just released?[8]).

Similarly, Jeroen van Meeuwen mentioned[9] that is available, comprising "a collection of modules for Puppet", the "system for automating system administration tasks".

Máirín Duffy finished[10] a set of mockups for the Fedora Project's Spins page.


In this section, we cover the Fedora Marketing Project.

Contributing Writer: Chaitanya Mehandru

Marketing Meeting Log for 2009-09-15

Meeting logs [1] and notes [2] for the 2009-09-15 Fedora Marketing Meeting were made available. All Marketing meetings and notes are open to the public. [3]

F12 Talking points

Some big news!! The F12 talking points have been released, and are ready for use (and improvement!)[4]. Many thanks to Steven Moix, Paul Frields, and Jon Roberts for their hard work.

F12 release slogan selection

Different ideas and themes were introduced making it a hot topic. Finally ‘Unite’ was supported well and is the proposed slogan waiting acceptance in the final call[5].

Fedora Insight update

We are almost done with Deployment and have the status for some of the known outstanding things like packaging[6][7]. By September 21, everything gets packaged and staged for loadtesting and we will then be able to move from staging to production by September 28.

Dale Bewley is looking into a workflow to see how FWN could use "fun things you can do with Fedora" and has been experimenting with Zikula to prepare a mini FWN[8].

Mel suggested that it might be a good opportunity for Ambassadors to help create Marketing collateral that would be useful for other Ambassadors: Prepare short stories for "I use Fedora" rotations on the webpage and Fedora Insight. [9].

It's something that would be great for Ambassadors to do before the F12 launch (before the Beta launch, if possible) - write up *your* story about using Fedora, the stories of your friends and the people you've introduced Fedora to - and also potentially something fun to do *at* an F12 launch event; interview new users, make a podcast with them, film them describing something cool they've just discovered about their new operating system, help them write an article for FI.

Marketing Research

Robyn Bergeron proposed the participation of FUDCon attendees being useful in marketing research. Sub-groups like FI, Design, Desktop SIG, Ambassadors and FUDCon attendees can be very helpful resources for answering/retrieving valuable market research questions/information. Robyn wil also figure out the marketing research timeline between now and FUDCon. Mel Chua to look into getting limesurvey into infra and ask RHT Marketing folks about publicly available datasets for marketing research


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

Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson

Test Days

Last week saw two main track Test Days. The first was on audio, including PulseAudio[1]. The second was on virtualization[2]. The audio Test Day saw good turnout and encouraging results, with basic audio functionality failing for only two out of 21 testers. The virtualization event saw a group of experienced testers carry out much detailed testing on a wide range of features. Thanks to all who turned out to both events.

Next week's Test Day will be on Xfce[3]. This popular alternative desktop environment has an enthusiastic Fedora maintenance team and has produced polished live CD releases for the last few Fedora releases, so if you're an Xfce fan, please come along to the Test Day and help make sure it's in good working shape for the Fedora 12 release!

No Fit and Finish track Test Day is planned 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[4].

Weekly meetings

The QA group weekly meeting[1] was held on 2009-09-14. The full log is available[2]. Adam Williamson mentioned that the new test-announce mailing list[3] was up and running and already being used for announcements, and thanked David Pravec for the idea and the implementation.

Kamil Paral gave an update on his investigation into the possible use of zsync to reduce the size of live image transfers. He had written a blog post[4] on the potential benefits. They seemed significant and worthwhile, but Kevin Fenzi had pointed out a problem: zsync is not packaged in Fedora, so cannot be installed on the server, and acceptance of zsync as a Fedora package is currently blocked by its use of an internal copy of the zlib library[5]. Various attempts have been made to have the zlib changes involved, which are also included in rsync, split out into a separate package or merged into upstream zlib, but this has not yet been successfully accomplished. After some discussion, Adam Williamson promised to send a follow-up email to all interested parties to try to restart this process.

Will Woods reported on the progress of the AutoQA project. Failure reports sent to the mailing lists now include traceback information, where available. The installation tests now monitor both the serial console and the installer log files. Will is working on a TurboGears application to cover exporting the necessary information from the autoqa system to support the proposed Rawhide status page. His current code is available in a git repository[6]. He expects to be able to implement the page within a few weeks, and also to make a public instance of the autotest/autoqa systems available.

Adam Williamson led a Test Day roundup. Sebastian Dziallas reported on the Sugar on a Stick Test Day[7]. He was very happy with the participation and feedback received, and felt that the experimental use of the Semantic plugin for result reporting had been successful. He promised to follow up with Adam and James Laska on the use of Semantic. Adam reported on the Graphics Test Week which had happened the previous week, saying that turnout had been good and he was working on a round up. He also trailed the then-upcoming audio and virtualization Test Days. Mark McLoughlin reported that preparations for the virtualization Test Day were advanced, but asked people to check over the Wiki page and suggest any improvements.

John Poelstra reminded the group of the then-upcoming blocker bug review meeting for Fedora 12 Beta on Friday 2009-09-18.

The Bugzappers group weekly meeting[8] was held on 2009-09-15. The full log is available[9]. Brennan Ashton reported he was close to having the new version of the triage metrics system available, and hoped to have it available in a few days' time. He had looked for a co-maintainer for the project, but not found one yet.

Edward Kirk made some proposals to improve the Triage Day project. He suggested moving it to the weekend and making it bi-monthly. Niels Haase said he was interested in driving the changes and leading the events, as Edward would not be able to do this regularly. Niels suggested requiring new members attend a Triage Day before their membership was approved, but Edward felt this would not be a good idea. Ben Williams suggested creating a Fedora classroom for triaging, and the other group members felt this was a promising idea. Adam Williamson suggested Edward and Niels develop their thoughts and bring them forward on the mailing list or at the next week's meeting.

Niels Haase asked a question about the Test Day live CD images, wondering if the default configuration could make it easier to access the system via ssh, to make it easier to access logs in the case of failures which make the system unusable directly. Adam Williamson explained that there were considerable security problems in doing this. Niels suggested making it optional via the use of a kernel parameter. Adam said that would involve development work, and suggested posting the suggestion to the development mailing list.

The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-09-21 at 1600 UTC in #fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-09-22 at 1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.

Pre-beta install testing

Liam Li announced[1] a pre-beta installation testing session, to assess the state of the installation process shortly before the process of building the Fedora 12 Beta begins. He explained that a test matrix was available on the Wiki[2], and asked for group members' help in filling out the tests.

Intel graphics information request

Adam Jackson asked[1] users of Intel graphics adapters to send him some information to help with reliable display detection. He asked for a dump of the system video BIOS, together with information on the connectors available on the hardware in question. All Intel graphics adapter owners are encouraged to read Adam's request and send him the information from their systems - it is very easy and takes only a minute.

Graphics test week recap

Adam Williamson reported[1] on the Graphics Test Week, providing a summary of all the bugs reported across the three Test Days, and thanking the developers and testers who showed up to help with testing.


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

Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei

Behind the Schedule

After John Poelstra reminded[1]to the Design Team about the planned schedule, Máirín Duffy pointed[2] the team is late. While Michael Beckwith tried an alternate 3D route[3], Nicu Buculei argued [4] for using the curent working image "We are late in the process and missed enough deadlines, so we can't afford delaying more" and advanced[5] a first splash mock-up based on it.

DIY Media Sleeve

Grant Bowman asked[1] for a "do-it yourself" media sleeve "I would like to work with a designer to develop a one page, color, printable 8.5x11 page that can be printed, folded and used to identify and protect a downloaded and burned CD or DVD copy of Fedora." twohotis proposed[2] a design to which Nicu Buculei objected about the lack of source, "Please also include the source files, so other people in the team can work with them, build on them, make derivatives", bad version of the Fedora logo "request a vector version of our logo, do not use such a small resolution bitmap" and unusable fonts "do not use proprietary fonts (Segoe), other people will want to work on your files and won't be able to due to the lack of fonts".


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

Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley

Fedora Virtualization List

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

Virtualization Test Day

The latest Fedora Test Day focused on Virtualization improvements in Fedora 12[1]. Even though the test day was on Sept. 17th, you can still help make F12 the best release possible and learn about the newest features in the process. Visit the test day page, download the live image, and post your experiences on the wiki.

Libvirt List

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

New Release libvirt 0.7.1

Daniel Veillard announced[1] a new Package-x-generic-16.pnglibvirt release, version 0.7.1.

"There is a fair amount of new features and improvement, not surprizing considering 0.7.0[2] was 1.5 months ago. And of course many bug fixes and cleanups:"

New features:

  • Add an internal <secret> XML handling API (Miloslav Trmač)
  • VBox 3.0.6 API change support (Pritesh Kothari)
  • also allow use of XZ for Qemu image compression (Jim Meyering)
  • Multipath storage support module (Dave Allan)
  • VBox add Storage Volume support (Pritesh Kothari)
  • Support configuration of huge pages in guests (Daniel P. Berrange)
  • Add support for encrypted (qcow) volume creation. (Miloslav Trmač)
  • Secret manipulation public API (Miloslav Trmač)
  • support lzop save compression for qemu (Charles Duffy)
  • Support new PolicyKit 1.0 API (Daniel P. Berrange)
  • Compressed save image format for Qemu. (Chris Lalancette)
  • QEmu add host PCI device hotplug support (Mark McLoughlin)

New Release perl-Sys-Virt 0.2.2

Daniel Berrange announced[1] an update of the Perl binding for libvirt, Package-x-generic-16.pngperl-Sys-Virt[2].

New features:

  • Add all new APIs upto libvirt 0.7.0 APIs (listing defined network interfaces)
  • Add missing APIs for looking up storage volumes based on path and key
  • Fix lookup of network interfaces based on MAC address
  • Add missing APIs for defining network interfaces and starting defined interfaces

Guest Sound Over VNC

Dave Allan noticed[1] "when a KVM guest created with virt-manager is running on F10, sound on the physical host stops working. When all VMs are shutdown, sound starts working again. Removing the <sound> tag from the VM XML allows sound to work while the VM is booted." and suggested disabling sound in guests by default.

Daniel Berrange explained[2] "It is complicated :-) In Fedora >= 11 we currently disable all use of sound cards, but this upsets people who want sound ;-P I'm working on a new version of the patch which sets up audio-over-VNC[3], while for SDL allows the host audio backend to be used & configured. I still need to finish my GTK-VNC patches to do the client end of audio over VNC, then it'll all play correctly with desktop audio services via gstreamer/pulseaudio."


This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora KDE Special Interests Group[1].

Contributing Writer: Ryan Rix

Live image dependencies: breaking libcanberra-gtk2 dependency

This week the KDE SIG team worked to remove a dependency in libcanberra-gtk2 that pulled in GDM and various GNOME utilities. The dependency was introduced this week and was not included on any KDE live images, but by fixing this by having both GDM and libcanberra-gtk2 own /usr/share/gdm/autostart/LoginWindow/,[1] KDE Live Images are kept about about 30MiB smaller.

KDE 4.3.1 pushed to Stable

KDE 4.3.1 is now available in Fedora Updates. A full list of 4.3.1 changes can be found upstream[1]

Post 4.3.1 fixes

A number of bug fixes[1][2][3] will be pushed as separate updates some time after KDE 4.3.1. These bugs address issues in a fix in Kopete's Bonjour plugin, a crash in Kmail's LDAP autocompletion and a fix in Krfb and have are awaiting testing.

New KDE Applications

This week a few new applications have been put into review and testing stages.

  • Eike Hein and the Konversation team have been working to put out a new, unofficial build of Konversation, working to make it feature complete as compared to the KDE 3 version. Rex Dieter has built an SVN build containing markerline support and various bug fixes and it is in kde-redhat/unstable[1] Eike says that Konversation 1.2 Beta1 should be available very soon.
  • Skrooge, a personal finance manager[2] has been added to Fedora Rawhide and Updates-testing by Thomas Janssen.