Fedora Weekly News #165
pcalarco at nd.edu
Mon Mar 2 19:42:22 UTC 2009
Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 165 for the week ending March 1, 2009.
In this week's issue, in announcements we're reminded about this month's
Fedora Board meeting and updates on the Fedora 11 feature freeze and
updates on upcoming Fedora events. News from the Fedora Planet includes
summer internship opportunities at Red Hat, an interview with Matt
Domsch in Red Hat Magazine, and reports from Fedora events in Egypt and
India. In Ambassador news, many reports from the recent Southern
California Linux Expo (SCaLE) meeting, and another update from a Fedora
install fest in Texas. In the QA beat, updates from Fedora 11 testing
and weekly planning, as well as helping new contributors with the
BugZapper team. Art work brings more updates on the Echo icon theme and
Fedora 11. In security news, updates on this week's fixes for Fedora 9
and 10, and ongoing conversation on the security of open and closed
source systems. Finally, the issue wraps up with updates on Fedora 11
virtualization features, dom0 kernel experimentation, and some Q&A on
Libvirt, VirtIO, KVM, and Xen.
If you are interested in contributing to Fedora Weekly News, please see
our 'join' page. We welcome reader feedback: fedora-news-list at redhat.com
FWN Editorial Team: Pascal Calarco, Oisin Feeley, Huzaifa Sidhpurwala
-- Announcements --
In this section, we cover announcements from the Fedora Project.
Contributing Writer: Max Spevack
--- General ---
The Fedora Board is having its monthly meeting on Tuesday March 3rd at
1900 UTC on IRC.
* Join #fedora-board-meeting to see the Board's conversation. This
channel is read-only for non-Board members.
* Join #fedora-board-public to discuss topics and post questions.
This channel is read/write for everyone.
The moderator will direct questions from the #fedora-board-public
channel to the Board members at #fedora-board-meeting. This should limit
confusion and ensure our logs are useful to everyone.
--- Fedora 11 ---
The Fedora 11 feature freeze is coming this week. Feature owners
should update their feature's status on the wiki before March 3rd, as
the feature list will be sent to FESCo on March 6th for review.
Mass rebuilds of all packages are ongoing for Fedora 11. Package
maintainers should check to see whether or not they own any packages
that still need to be rebuilt.
Finally, we need to ensure that any hard-coded i386 architectures in
spec files are fixed, or else the package runs the risk of not being
built in the 32bit Rawhide repository.
--- Upcoming Events ---
March 5-7: Computer Using Educators in Palm Springs, CA.
March 9: Florida Linux Show in Jacksonville, FL.
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.
-- Planet Fedora --
In this section, we cover the highlights of Planet Fedora - an
aggregation of blogs from Fedora contributors worldwide.
Contributing Writer: Adam Batkin
--- General ---
Harish Pillay disected an interview regarding Oracle's rebuild of CentOS.
Martin Sourada showed off some Echo Icon Theme eye candy.
Jeremy Katz mused on some ideas to make sharing Git repositories easier.
Daniel Walsh announced a summer internship at Red Hat working on SELinux.
Jef Spaleta discussed Canonical's methodology for determining its
userbase size and relative contributions to upstream projects (compared
to Red Hat and Fedora). Yaakov Nemoy suggested  that usage of the
word "canonical" should be increased, starting with changes like
renaming the "Fedora Packaging Guidelines" to the "Packaging Canon".
Abhishek Rane posted a screenshot tour of KDE 4.2.
Joseph Smidt wrote about the massive number of new Features that
Fedora 11 is slated to contain.
Cole Robinson demonstrated the Fedora 11 virt-manager "New VM" wizard.
Red Hat Magazine interviewed Matt Domsch to discuss the Fedora
Mark J. Wielaard explained a new feature in Systemtap 0.9 that
allows you to "collect data from any variable in scope at a probe point
using the DWARF debug info. You can even dereference pointers, access
struct members, array elements, etc."
--- Events ---
Diaa Radwan posted pictures and a report from Fedora Day at Misr
University for Science and Technology.
Rangeen Basu Roy Chowdhury wrote about the Kalyani Government
Engineering College Install Fest and FAD.
-- Ambassadors --
In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.
Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero
--- FAD, Fedora booth at SCaLE a success ---
Fedora Ambassadors hosted a Fedora Activity Day  at the Southern
California Linux Expo (SCaLE) as part of the many events at the expo.
The FAD took place on Friday, February 20th at the Westin Airport Los
Angeles, where a group of between 12 to 20 people worked on both font
packaging and documentation. Not only did a significant amount of work
get done, but it was great to have a face-to-face meeting with people
who, on a daily basis, you are in contact with via IRC or by e-mail.
One sensation at the expo was the Fedora kids who walked around the show
floor, dressed in Fedora shirts chanting about Fedora; they were Malakai
and Saskia Wade (daughters of Karsten Wade), Shaun Savage (son of Clint
Savage), and Mirano Cafiero (daughter of Larry Cafiero). Also, the
Fedora booth had XOs on hand for demonstration, and the fact the kids
were also using them brought the attention of the general public and the
press covering the event.
Clint Savage presented on Fedora Remix on Saturday, which was well
attended. Several media outlets, including a reporter for the Los
Angeles Daily News, visited the booth and interviewed Karsten Wade.
A few hundred disks and other items of swag were handed out and many
contacts were made for upcoming presentations about Fedora at LUGs
throughout California in the next few months.
Thanks to all those who attended FAD and who helped in the booth at SCaLE.
Here are reports from the FAD and from the Southern California Linux Expo:
--- Larry Cafiero ---
--- Karsten Wade ---
--- Clint Savage ---
--- Joseph Smidt ---
--- Fedora installed by users at KGEC ---
Kalyani Government Engineering College (KGEC) is on the Kalyani
University Campus, Kalyani in West Bengal, India, and has quite a large
base of students interested in Linux. An install fest event  took
place on Feb. 21.
This install fest is a starting point for spreading the use of Linux and
Fedora was the distro used. Around 150 students were shown how to
install and administer a Fedora system and were helped to get Fedora
installed on their systems.
Reports from the following individuals are available:
* Arindam Ghosh
* Subhodip Biswas
* Ratnadeep Debnath
* Rangeen Basu Roy Chowdhury
-- Fedora at Sam Houston State University
Adam Miller gave his first tech talk as a Fedora Ambassador,
presenting to the student organization at Sam Houston State University's
"Sam Houston Association for Computer Scientist" (SHACS for short). Adam
introduced his fellow classmates to the wonders of Free/Open Source
Software, Linux, and most notably, Fedora.
--- 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.
-- Quality Assurance --
In this section, we cover the activities of the QA team.
Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson
--- Test Days ---
This week's regular test day was on CrashCatcher. Zdenek Prikryl
and Jiri Moskovcak were the developers present. Further results are
still welcome from anyone - a full set of instructions for running tests
is available on the Wiki page. As a result of the testing, over thirty
issues were discovered and filed in the CrashCatcher trac system .
Next week's test day will be on Anaconda's (the Fedora installer)
interaction with block devices - especially RAID, LVM and encrypted
devices. It will be held on Thursday (2009-03-05) in the #fedora-qa
channel on Freenode IRC. Please drop by if you would like to help test
this this area of Fedora.
--- Weekly meetings ---
The QA group weekly meeting was held on 2009-02-25. The full log is
available. Josh Boyer reported epic news: the PPC build of Rawhide
can now be successfully installed. Will Woods suggested that now is a
good time to start putting bugs on to the tracker bug for the release of
Fedora 11 Beta. He also pointed out the tracker bug for Intel
KMS-related issues. Adam Williamson volunteered to organize a test
day for the proposed new default NVIDIA driver, nouveau.
Will Woods and Jesse Keating discussed the progress of the autoqa
system. Jesse would like to have more refined results output available
soon, and a working example of a post tree-compose sanity test. Will
Woods wants to aim to have a working verifytree test available by Fedora
11 Beta release.
James Laska gave a progress update on the Nitrate test case
management system, mostly on working with the developers of the internal
Red Hat system to get the code publicly available. He also promised to
get around to proposing the Semantic system developed by the Laptop.org
project (also discussed in last week's meeting) to the Infrastructure
group this week.
Will Woods pointed out the Fedora 11 feature list and explained that
the QA team must ensure, by feature freeze, that all accepted features
have a workable test process. He asked for the group's help in ensuring
that all proposed features are checked for this and a useful test plan
is drawn up where possible. Adam Williamson volunteered to liaise with
the developers of the Nouveau and automatic font / MIME installer
The Bugzappers group weekly meeting was held on 2009-02-24. The full
log is available. There was some more discussion of goals for the
group, and the group agreed with Christopher Beland's suggestion that
the targetted components page be updated to list the number of NEW
bugs for each component.
Matej Cepl provided the new Greasemonkey script to add a standard
signature to each comment posted by a Bugzapper group member. John
Poelstra wanted to have a single location for all necessary Greasemonkey
scripts for triagers. Brennan Ashton reported that he is working on an
RPM package which would contain Greasemonkey and the scripts.
Adam Williamson volunteered to organize a new series of triage days, to
get the whole group together to work on triaging and training new
members. Matej stated that he is happy to help mentor new triagers by
email or IRC at any time.
The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-03-04 at 1600 UTC in
#fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-03-03 at
1700 UTC in #fedora-meeting.
--- Goals ---
Christopher Beland wrapped up the discussion on group goals. "The
official goal is now to stabilize the number of NEW bugs for each key
component. Counts from today have been copied into that page on the
wiki, and there's a preformatted query from which you can get the
--- Bugs filed against default component ---
Lex Hider pointed out that the 0xFFFF component in Bugzilla gets many
reports simply because it is the first component in the list. He
reported that he has tried to clean up all the current reports against
this component, and suggested creating a new component, owned by the
Bugzappers group, to catch this problem in future.
--- QA review for feature pages ---
Will Woods asked the group to work on reviewing the feature pages for
Fedora 11, and help make sure they all have viable test procedures, as
previously discussed at the weekly meeting. He later emphasized that
the aim is actively to help the development team produce viable test
plans, not simply to reject or mark the features which do not yet have them.
--- Improving Bugzappers documentation for beginners ---
A new group member, Hunter Bukowski, agreed with previous suggestions
that the current Bugzappers documentation in the Wiki is not sufficient
in quantity or organization to allow new Bugzappers to get started
without other references. He volunteered to help improve this situation.
--- The CLA for Bugzappers ---
A new volunteer, Lalit Dhiri, introduced himself and tried to join
the FAS group for the Bugzappers team. Rahul Sundaram rejected his
application, as he had not yet signed the CLA - the legal agreement all
Fedora contributors are required to sign. Upon further discussion, it
was agreed by Paul Frields and Tom 'spot' Callaway that signing the CLA
should not be required for Bugzappers, as none of the work normally
required in the Bugzappers group constitutes a 'contribution' to Fedora
in this sense. The requirement for Bugzappers to sign the CLA was
--- Translation ---
This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n)
Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee
--- L10n Infrastructure Team Meeting ---
The first meeting of the Fedora L10n Infrastructure team was held on
24th February 2009. The discussion centered around the progress of
the Transifex setup for Fedora 11, New features in Transifex to provide
better statistics and submission on translate.fedoraproject.org, and
Djamned Lies with Publican support to be ready for testing on 27th
February. The discussion about branching of packages was marked for
further talks with the devel team.
--- Common Content Files for Publican ---
A request for translation of Common Content files, used by Publican to
give a uniform appearance for documents, was put forward by Ruediger
Landmann. The two files available for translation are
Conventions.pot and Feedback.pot. The translated versions of these
files are also available on the fedoraproject.org wiki
--- Sponsor Upgrades Request ---
Due to a technical difficulty, the process of sending out
notification messages on wiki-edits for watched pages was stalled. In
view of this, NorikoMizumoto has requested that Team Coordinators
request sponsor upgrades via mail to the fedora-trans mailing list for
the cvsl10n group via the fedoraproject.org wiki page.
--- Inconsistency in a Desktop string and GDM translations ---
IgorSoares brought forward the problem about locating a string that is
displayed in the Fedora Gnome menu. This string - About This Computer
- was earlier translated and submitted via fedoraproject.org wiki
page. Additionally, he also raises the the issue about the
inconsistency in the translations of GDM strings. This matter is also
being currently discussed in a bug.
--- New Member in FLP ---
Mario Santagiuliana joined the Italian translation team.
-- Artwork --
In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.
Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei
--- A Lot of Folder Icons for Echo ---
MArtin Sourada contributed a large number of folder icons for the
Echo Perspective set, small variations of the base folder icon "I've
began remaking the the whole folder set to have perspective projection".
He also wrote a blog post about those icons but also about the
evolution of the Echo theme "we like Echo and would like to see it being
default in Fedora sometime in the future, but we also need to keep up
with others – and that means perspective projection" and *his* own
evolution on working on them "And how far have I gone? In short very
far. In longer – from an occasional contributor to main contributor and
practically the Echo Icon Theme project leader... Also as you can see
from the images above, my inkscape skills have improved a lot ;-)"
--- Closer to Fedora 11 ---
With a bit of worry ("Okay I am a bit worried at this point. I had no
time at all this weekend to work on it, and I need to travel next
weekend"), Máirín Duffy frontally attacked with a number of new
mock-ups the development of the artwork for Fedora 11. Brian Hurren
and Paolo Leoni came with useful ideas  for the night version of
-- Security Week --
In this section, we highlight the security stories from the week in Fedora.
Contributing Writer: JoshBressers
--- Open Source Security ---
One of the dead horses that various security folks like to beat is
claiming that Open Source software is less secure because anyone can
look at it and analyse its security weaknesses. So what happens when a
system should be closed, but is suddenly broken open? Marine One Data
It seems that Iran (the country), may have acquired sensitive
information about the helicopter the President of the United States
uses. When you're an organization with virtually limitless resources,
the easy solution here is probably to just get a different helicopter,
but suppose something similar happens to a piece of closed source
software. Now you're at an elevated level of risk because people haven't
been analysing your source code for weakness. Any good security system
should still hold up even if complete details are made public. By
purposely putting the source in public view, Open Source software has a
very real advantage over a similar system that relies on obscurity as a
-- Security Advisories --
In this section, we cover Security Advisories from fedora-package-announce.
Contributing Writer: David Nalley
--- Fedora 10 Security Advisories ---
* gstreamer-plugins-good-0.10.13-1.fc10 -
* trickle-1.07-7.fc10 -
* perl-Crypt-OpenSSL-DSA-0.13-12.fc10 -
* optipng-0.6.2.1-1.fc10 -
* libpng-1.2.35-1.fc10 -
* mldonkey-2.9.7-3.fc10 -
* mingw32-libpng-1.2.35-1.fc10 -
* rubygem-actionpack-2.1.1-2.fc10 -
--- Fedora 9 Security Advisories ---
* gstreamer-plugins-good-0.10.8-10.fc9 -
* trickle-1.07-7.fc9 -
* optipng-0.6.2.1-1.fc9 -
* mldonkey-2.9.7-3.fc9 -
* libpng-1.2.35-1.fc9 -
* rubygem-actionpack-2.1.1-2.fc9 -
-- Virtualization --
In this section, we cover discussion on the @et-mgmnt-tools-list,
@fedora-xen-list, @libvirt-list and @ovirt-devel-list of Fedora
Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley
--- Enterprise Management Tools List ---
This section contains the discussion happening on the et-mgmt-tools list
--- virt-manager Redesigned 'New VM' Wizard ---
Cole Robinson with the help of Tim Allen and Jeremy Perry started
work on a resdesign of the image:Echo-package-16px.pngvirt-manager guest
creation wizard, because "The original design was largely based on xen
specific assumptions and the state of libvirt/virtinst at the time: many
of those assumptions don't apply today, or require a bit more thought
since we now support both xen and qemu based VMs." See the post for full
details on the long list of changes and screenshots.
---- Hot Add USB Device to Guest ----
Cole Robinson answered a question about hot adding a USB device to a
running guest. The steps are "Use 'lsusb' to determine the bus and
device", use this to create an XML snippet, and then feed that
snippet to 'virsh attach-device.
--- Fedora Virtualization List ---
This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-virt list.
---- Fedora Virt Status Update ----
Mark McLoughlin posted another weekly status update including details
on numerous virtualization developments and bugs.
--- Improved Guest Mouse Pointer Movement ---
Daniel P. Berrange announced an improvement to mouse pointer movement
in Fedora 10 and 11 KVM guests.
"The default mouse for KVM guests is a PS/2 mouse. This causes pain for
users because it only works with relative coordinates, which means we
are forced to grab the mouse pointer in the VNC client.
KVM can emulate a USB graphics tablet which works in absolute coordinate
mode, and thus gives flawless mouse motion tracking without needing any
grab in the client." 
USB tablet will now be used by default
image:Echo-package-16px.pngpython-virtinst in F11.
--- Approved F11 Virtualization Features ---
Chris Lalancette relayed the outcome of the FESCO meeting on February
27 as it relates to virtualization.
Features approved for inclusion in Fedora 11 at this time are:
Deferred to Fedora 12 was:
On the KVM and QEMU merge, Daniel P. Berrange explained that "The
QEMU upstream release will be so close to the feature freeze, that we
don't want to risk causing KVM regressions by trying to then merge the
two. Hopefully come F12, more of the KVM bits will be in QEMU mainline,
so work we need todo to merge would be minimal."
--- Fedora Xen List ---
This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-xen list.
---- dom0 Kernel Experimentation Continues ----
Michael Young made his work more accessible when he began creating
experimental dom0 kernel builds within Koji. This latest kernel has
gotten as far as booting in single user mode.
--- Libvirt List ---
This section contains the discussion happening on the libvir-list.
---- About Libvirt VirtIO and Xen ----
Patrick Archibal had a few questions about virtualization and the
relation of libvirt, VirtIO, KVM, and Xen. Daniel P.
Berrange took the time to provide a detailed response to each of
Patrick's questions. A selection follows.
* What is the difference between libvirt and virtio? "libvirt
provides a API for the host OS, allowing management of virtual machines,
storage, networking, host devices, etc."
virtio is basically providing paravirtualized device drivers between
guest and host, and has several aspects
A generic infrastructure layer in guest kernel for writing device
drivers that talk to the host
A generic host<->guest data transport running as a PCI device
A generic host<->guest data transport using a ring buffer
Guest implementations for paravirt network, disk & memory balloon
QEMU host backends for network, disk & memory balloon drivers"
* Why must hypervisor developers (Xen and KVM) develop drivers each
time there are new devices? "The virtio infrastructure is intended to
provide generic drivers that can be used on any hypervisor. Currently
supports KVM and LGuest. Xen has its own device drivers because they
were developed years ago outside the context of the Linux kernel
community just for Xen's needs."
* Can we use VirtIO with Xen?
"VirtIO is currently only supported for KVM and LGuest. It could in
theory be implemented for Xen too, but its not clear if it is worth the
---- Encrypted VNC to Guests and TLS ----
Michael Kress wanted to encrypt the session between a windows VNC
client and a KVM guest. The thread was long with a lot of back and forth
touching on windows clients, certificate setup, and
Daniel P. Berrange pointed out libvirt's RemoteTLS documentation and
described the Fedora 11 feature VirtVNCAuth which dovetails with
VeNCryptto "Define a mapping of SASL authentication into the VNC
protocol, and implement it for QEMU and GTK-VNC, providing strongly
authenticated, securely encrypted remote access of virtual guest consoles."
---- VirtualBox Support ----
Pritesh Kothari has been working on adding Virtualbox support to
libvirt. Most of the functionality is complete, but Pritesh sought help
with working out the domain XML format.
---- Run QEMU Guests Within a CGroup ----
Daniel P. Berrange posted a proof of concept patch set with this
"Recent Linux kernels have a new concept of 'CGroups' which is a way
to group tasks on the system and apply policy to them as a whole. We
already use this in the LXC container driver(FWN#146), to control
total memory usage of things running within a container.
This patch series is a proof of concept to make use of CGroups in the
QEMU driver. The idea is that we have a 3 level cgroup hierarchy
* Top level; contains the libvirtd daemon itself
* 2nd level: one per libvirt driver, but dos not contain any processes.
* 3rd level: one per guest VM. Contains the QEMU process
The host admin can do control on the top level and 2nd level to set an
overall system policy. libvirt will then provide APIs / capabilities to
control individual VMs policy."
--- end FWN #165 ---
More information about the fedora-announce-list