Fedora Weekly News #167
oisinfeeley at imapmail.org
Mon Mar 16 15:08:25 UTC 2009
Fedora Weekly News Issue 167
Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 167 for the week ending March 15th,
This week Announcements links to some helpful "Fedora Classroom IRC
Logs" including one on using mock. PlanetFedora big-ups several posts
including David Lutterkort's explanation of how config file manipulation
can be simplified using XPath to query Augeas. Marketing notes the
latest meeting log. QualityAssurance reports that the last "Test Day"
for Intel graphics chipsets was valuable and advertizes the next for
XFCE. Developments summarizes the "Provenpackager Re-Seed" and watches
aghast as the "Mono Conflagration Jumps to Blog". Artwork listens to
some ideas about a "Theme Song". Virtualization reports the Xen "dom0
Kernel: Better, Still not Ready" and KVM "Snapshot Support Discussed".
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
1.1.1 Fedora Classroom IRC Logs
1.1.2 Upcoming Events
184.108.40.206 FUDCon Berlin 2009
1.2 Planet Fedora
1.3.1 Marketing Meeting Log for 2009-03-10
1.3.2 Fedora 11 Features 80% Complete or Better
1.4.1 Test Days
1.4.2 Weekly Meetings
1.4.3 Bugzappers Wiki Re-organization
1.4.4 Advertising Triage Days
1.5.1 GSoC InstantMirror
1.5.2 Enhance Anaconda to Enable Repositories As Needed ?
1.5.3 Password Resets and Inactive Accounts
1.5.4 Mono Conflagration Jumps to Blog
1.5.5 Documentation Betas
1.5.6 Provenpackager Re-Seed
1.5.7 Closing Bugs NEXTRELEASE
1.6.1 Theme Song
1.6.2 Artwork for the Beta Release
1.7.1 Enterprise Management Tools List
220.127.116.11 New Release virt-manager 0.7.0
18.104.22.168 New Release virtinst 0.4.3
1.7.2 Fedora Xen List
22.214.171.124 dom0 Kernel: Better, Still Not Ready
126.96.36.199 Missing Hypervisor Capabilities Restored
1.7.3 Libvirt List
188.8.131.52 Snapshot Support Discussed
184.108.40.206 Memory Ballooning Support for QEMU
== Announcements ==
In this section, we cover announcements from the Fedora Project.
Contributing Writer: Chris Tyler
=== Fedora Classroom IRC Logs ===
Rahul Sundaram noted  that IRC logs were available for the Fedora
Classroom  sessions held on March 7-8:
* Introduction to bash shell scripting - Scott McBrien
* Training & Tips for Fedora Ambassadors -- Max Spevack
* Fedora Trademarks -- Paul W. Frields
* Perl Basics -- Doran Barton
* Using the Windows cross-compiler - Richard Jones
* Introduction to mock, the chroot package builder -- Kevin Fenzi
=== Upcoming Events ===
March 21: Free Software Embedded/Hardware workshop in
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.
March 23-29: LUGM OpenWeek  in Manipal, India.
March 25: Document Freedom Day in Kolkata, India.
March 26: Infotech Niagara Beta Awards in Buffalo, NY, USA.
March 26: Ithaca College EdTech Day in Ithaca, NY USA.
==== 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 ===
Dimitris Glezos analyzed how Fedora's Localization community has
grown (hint: a lot).
Will Woods mentioned that in Fedora 11, all of the x86 that were
previously .i386 will be replaced with .i586 (with requisite kernel arch
Jef Spaleta asked: "How do we want casual users to do a Fedora
Desktop install?" In other words, should Fedora be pushing new users
towards DVD install media, or installable Live CDs?
Joseph Smidt wrote about the massive number of users downloading
Fedora. According to the statistics, around 100,000 new users have
started using Fedora 10 since Fedora 9 (based on unique IPs checking in
Jeroen van Meeuwen responded to an earlier post (that may have lacked
context) by explaining how certain dependency checks would be handled in
Cobbler for ris-linux and Windows provisioning.
David Lutterkort explained how you can use Augeas and XPath to easily
and uniformly query a system's configuration files.
Bastien Nocera boasted about the new Gnome Volume Applet.
== Marketing ==
In this section, we cover the Fedora Marketing Project.
Contributing Writer: Kam Salisbury
=== Marketing Meeting Log for 2009-03-10 ===
The meeting log of the 2009-03-10 Fedora Marketing Meeting was made
=== Fedora 11 Features 80% Complete or Better ===
The Fedora 11 Features List neared completion.
== QualityAssurance ==
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 the Intel graphics card driver,
particularly kernel mode setting. Kristian Høgsberg was the developer
present. Several people showed up and provided valuable testing for the
full set of test cases on various chips, giving a good overview of the
current state of the driver in several situations. A follow-up event
will be held before the release of Fedora 11 to check on the progress of
fixes for the identified issues. Further testing in this area is still
very helpful: the Wiki page contains full instructions on performing the
range of tests, and the Results table is still available, so anyone with
an Intel graphics adapter is encouraged to visit the Wiki page, perform
the tests, and file bug reports as appropriate.
Next week will be special, as two test days are scheduled. A special
test day is planned for Tuesday, on DeviceKit - the partial HAL
replacement scheduled to be included in Fedora 11. Anyone can help with
this testing, so please come along and help out at the test day! The
regular test day will be on the Xfce desktop environment,
particularly the new 4.6 release that will be part of Fedora 11. If Xfce
is your desktop environment of choice, please come along and help make
sure it'll be working properly in Fedora 11.
The DeviceKit test day will be held on Tuesday (2009-03-17) and the Xfce
test day on Thursday (2009-03-19) in the #fedora-qa channel on Freenode
IRC. Please come by to help make sure these features will be in shiny
working order for Fedora 11!
=== Weekly Meetings ===
The QA group weekly meeting was held on 2009-03-11. The full log is
available. After a bracing discussion on how to send an apparently
empty line to IRC, James Laska reported little progress in his work on
making the Semantic test result reporting extension for mediawiki
available as a package. He also deferred investigation of X.org test
suites for next week. Adam Williamson noted that he had discussed one
such suite, rendercheck, with Ben Skeggs, and he will make a package
available either as a scratch build or in the official repository to be
used in the upcoming nouveau Test Day. The group agreed to see if it
might be useful for other graphics test events.
Jesse Keating and Will Woods reported that they had not had time to look
at a method for identifying bugs caused by GCC 4.4 miscompilation
issues. The group evaluated the response to the known bugs in this area,
and decided that the responses suggested most issues would be resolved
by fixes to GCC itself, and this should not cause major problems.
Adam Williamson reported that he and François Cami had spoken to the
intel and radeon driver developers about holding test days for those
graphics drivers, and were in the process of organizing both events.
Jesse Keating reported that a serious bug in squashfs in the Rawhide
kernel was causing Rawhide installation to be impossible. This was to be
fixed by a kernel update in the following day's Rawhide (which turned
out indeed to be the case). He also reported that initial signing of
packages for F11 was in progress in chunks, in order to ease the
synchronization load for the mirroring system.
Jesse also reported that work on the substantial rewrite of Anaconda's
storage code was in progress. The group agreed that this was quite close
to the beta release, and that it seemed possible there could still be
substantial problems in the code at the time the beta should be
released, so discussed what kind of problems might be acceptable for a
beta release and what might not. Despite some concern on the part of
Will Woods, the group agreed to evaluate issues on a case-by-case basis,
taking care to make sure all issues in this area were added to the beta
release blocker bug so they would be evaluated.
The Bugzappers group weekly meeting was held on 2009-03-10. The full
log is available. John Poelstra reminded the group to evaluate all
bugs with regard to the Fedora 11 blocker ('F11Blocker') and Fedora 11
target ('F11Target') blocker bugs. He also announced that Monday
2009-03-16 will be a bug blocker day, for the maintainers, QA and
release engineering groups to go over the list of blocker bugs.
The group agreed to require a short self-introduction email to
fedora-test-list as the criterion for becoming a member of the
fedorabugs group in FAS. Edward Kirk volunteered to write up this
procedure into an SOP, as discussed at the previous meeting.
The group again discussed the Wiki re-design, particularly how the front
page should be laid out and how the main information flow should work
from there. Everyone agreed that it was important to keep the front page
short and simple and lay out a clear linear path for potential new
members to follow. The group agreed to wait for Adam Williamson to
finish his combination of Edward Kirk's draft and Christopher
Beland's draft, with reference to the ideas discussed in the meeting.
The group also discussed the new Tracking page (since re-arranged to
become Components and Triagers ), and agreed it was a good layout,
but some of the content that had been merged into it should not have
been. Adam Williamson suggested that the statistics be updated regularly
and automatically via Brennan Ashton's metrics script.
Edward Kirk reported that he had updated the bug workflow graphic to
reflect that NEEDINFO is no longer a status, but some members had
trouble seeing the updated graphic due to caching issues.
The group discussed the potential new meeting time with reference to the
availability matrix, but did not yet come to a decision.
The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-03-18 at 1700 UTC (note
changed time, in UTC reference frame) in #fedora-meeting, and the next
Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-03-11 at 1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.
=== Bugzappers Wiki Re-organization ===
Christopher Beland worked hard to revise several areas of the Wiki,
including a new Tracking page which combined pages on active
triagers, priority triage components, group goals and finding bugs.
After feedback from Edward Kirk, John Poelstra and others, this was
reduced simply to the Components and Triagers page, leaving the
others separate for now. Christopher updated these pages also. Adam
Williamson submitted his combined new front page draft for the group's
=== Advertising Triage Days ===
Christopher Beland pointed out that triage days are not advertised
anywhere in the Wiki. Adam Williamson apologized and explained
that this is because he is short on time at present as he is taking an
internal Red Hat training course during his work days. He welcomed any
help from the group in adding information about the triage day events to
=== Metrics ===
Christopher Beland reported that he could not access the pages for
Brennan Ashton's triage metrics reporting system. Brennan thanked him
for the feedback and explained that there was a hardware issue on the
server. John Poelstra suggested that the code for the metric system
be hosted in the Bugzappers group's git repository.
== Developments ==
In this section the people, personalities and debates on the
@fedora-devel mailing list are summarized.
Contributing Writer: Oisin Feeley
=== GSoC InstantMirror ===
Warren Togami asked for any interested parties to get involved with a
GSoC project to improve repository replication to mirrors.
=== Enhance Anaconda to Enable Repositories As Needed ? ===
Jud Craft reported that installing from the Fedora 10 DVD with the
fedora-updates repository enabled resulted in a broken NetworkManager
due to a missing dependency on libudev.so.0. Jud pointed out that
although he could install the missing library from the DVD the situation
would present a serious problem to anyone that tried "[...] a network
install with updates [...] the result (a system without network access)
can't be fixed without A) network access, or B) another Fedora image
(also possibly requiring more network access)."
In answer to Jef Spaleta's questions Jud revealed that:
"[libudev.so.0] doesn't seem to actually be installed by the stock F10
image. If I do a plain install (no updates), NetworkManager works fine.
Running a `yum update' then pulls down all the updates, as well as
`Install libudev0'. So at some point I suppose NetworkManager picked up
a dependency on libudev0, but for some reason updating during the
installation process doesn't pull this new package in." Kevin Kofler
and Jesse Keating both pointed out that: "[T]he updates repo isn't
the Everything repo. To really do a proper install with updates you have
to enable both the Updates repo and the Everything repo." Kevin added
that this was why the install from DVD with updates enabled was not an
officially supported method.
Several people, including Thorsten Leemhuis, suggested that modifying
the anaconda installer to be aware of which repositories depend on each
other would be useful. Jesse Keating was not averse to the idea as
long as it could be done in a "[...] distro agnostic way. Avoiding
hardcoded hacks specifically for Fedora is one of the goals of anaconda
Later Jeremy Katz explained that the thinking behind the installer
ignoring unsatisfiable dependencies in such cases is to "[...] get
someone installed and then let them clean up afterwards[.]"
=== Password Resets and Inactive Accounts ===
When Mike McGrath was perturbed that so many FAS account holders had
failed to reset their passwords recently a discussion of the
entanglement of active account status and passwords followed.
Many respondents posted that they had received the email notifications
but had not needed to, or had not had time to, perform their password
Tom Lane worried that forcing periodic password resets caused people to
weaken security by writing down their passwords but Bruno Wolf III
argued that a potentially bigger threat might be "[...] someone
forging messages from Mike with deceptive URLs that trick people into
changing their passwords using a hostile proxy. Doing things in the
current manner is training people to get fooled." He added that
cryptographically signing the reset messages was important.
Till Maas requested consistent titling of the password reset
notification emails, suggested extending the grace period beyond two
weeks and asked that the notification contains the information that the
contents of the user's fedorapeople.org home would be moved.
Mike McGrath and others explored possible grace periods and numbers
of warning emails.
Patrice Dumas asked why there was a password reset at all and was
answered by Jesse Keating that it was "[...] the best way Infra has
today to discover all the active and inactive accounts." In response
Toshio Kuratomi pointed to an open ticket which nominally deals with
how long accounts should be left open if passwords have expired but had
become an investigation of how account inactivity can be determined.
After Mike McGrath explained that "[...] we've got thousands of
contributors, relatively few of them actually commit to cvs. So we could
go around to figure out how to make all of our various auth points
report back but that's a lot of work. The account system is the only
common point of entry for every contributor [...]" Christopher Aillon
suggested: "So let's require to them to simply _log in_ to FAS to
reset the timer (you need to do that to change passwords, anyway!)."
=== Mono Conflagration Jumps to Blog ===
Following the FESCo decision not to replace rhythmbox with banshee as
the default media-player in Fedora 11 some follow-up clarifications
were made by parties to the discussion and the conflagration jumped
between @fedora-devel and the personal blog of David Nielsen, the
Banshee ex-maintainer and perhaps the main force behind the Mono SIG.
Bill Nottingham put forward a concise time-line which attempted to
show that the proposal had been handled in a straightforward and usual
manner. Bill noted that the Desktop SIG had expressed a lack of
enthusiasm early in the process and that the imminent beta-freeze meant
that the decision had to be taken without further prolonged discussion.
AdamWilliamson suggested that because Mono's Microsoft links worried
many F/OSS developers it would have been a good idea to address such
concerns: "[...] explicitly rather than just pretend they don't exist in
your initial proposal (the word 'Mono' does not actually occur a single
time in the initial version of the Wiki page you posted)."
A question put by Jóhann B. Guðmundsson wondered whether there was
anything preventing the Mono SIG from creating their own Fedora spin in
which banshee was given pride of place as the default media-player. Rex
Dieter confirmed that there were no obstacles on this path.
A proposal to adopt a Code of Conduct modeled upon Ubuntu's was made
by Richard W.M. Jones. He also expressed regret that David was leaving
Fedora and apparently moving to Ubuntu as referenced by a blog entry.
Reading the blog suggest that Foresight Linux seems more to David's
taste although one comment does point out that Ubuntu "[...] head
community people have been calling for volunteers to increase the work
surrounding Mono and have a huge love for banshee and Canonical
isnt anti-mono since some of their new job postings desire Mono as a
Seth Vidal was among those who wondered specifically how such a code
could be enforced and also where specifically the Fedora Project could
be alleged to have engaged in misconduct on this issue. Reading David's
blog seems to suggest both that any rudeness was privately exchanged and
that his perception is that "[...] Mono isn't welcome in Fedora, and
will always be a second class citizen[.]"
=== Documentation Betas ===
John J. McDonough posted that owners of major features should review
the Beta release notes. Scott Radvan posted that the Security
Guide would benefit from the scrutiny of any interested @fedora-devel
=== Provenpackager Re-Seed ===
Jon Stanley asked that everyone read the process by which the
"provenpackager" group will be repopulated.
A request by Ralf Corsepius for some definitions led Patrice Dumas to
post that: "provenpackagers are people who can change all the
packages with opened ACLs. Sponsors are the people who can accept new
contributors in fedora." Further discussion led Michael Schwendt to
voice a concern that non-responsive maintainers might be shielded from
feedback if provenpackagers step in to update and upgrade packages.
Kevin Kofler offered the non-responsive maintainer process as a way
to rectify any problems with Bugzilla tickets being ignored.
Michael Schwendt questioned Patrice Dumas in greater detail as to why
provenpackagers and sponsors are not equal sets.
Further details on how to apply to FESCo to become a provenpackager were
elicited from JoshBoyer by Stepan Kaspal.
In a separate thread MichelSalim asked about the preferred way to
become a sponsor.
=== Closing Bugs NEXTRELEASE ===
Christoph Wickert requested that all maintainers (and especially Red
Hat developers) would "[p]lease fix your bugs  in the release they
were filed against instead of just closing them NEXTRELASE!"
When Rahul Sundaram responded that it depended on the seriousness of the
bug and complexity of back-porting Daniel P. Berrange and Rakesh
Pandit acknowledged that such complex cases might exist but that
suggested that this was often a cop-out which could discourage users.
Jeremy Katz responded "[...] as the person who has apparently pissed
you off this morning [...]" and described the case in point as much more
complex than Christoph had claimed. It seemed that Christoph's ability
to create LiveCD images of Fedora 11 using Fedora 10 as the development
platform had been stymied by changes to syslinux. Jeremy added that even
if this single change were reverted Christoph would need a newer kernel
and squashfs-tools and more.
Later Jeremy clarified that the combination of livecd-creator + mock
were complicated by SELinux but that this had been addressed by recent
One complication is that Bodhi uses NEXTRELEASE even for updates to
stable releases. After some confusion on this point LukeMacken posted
that anyone wanting to change the behavior should file a ticket.
== Artwork ==
In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.
Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei
=== Theme Song ===
Subodh Bhagat proposed a new artistic initiative: a Fedora theme
song. Subodh asked: "Do we have something like a theme song for fedora?
Either lyrics or a composition?" The intitiative was saluted by
Konstantinos Antonakoglou: "Sounds great! I got some music skills
(compose and play) too", Henrik Heigl: "I also think of ideas like a
contest", Paul Frields: "I think song in general is a great idea. I'm
a musician myself and an appreciator of songwriters", and Keiran
Smith all of whom have experience in the field.
=== Artwork for the Beta Release ===
In preparation for the upcoming Beta release, Paolo Leoni started the
work on a website banner by proposing two graphic concepts, a generic
one and another based on the graphics for the Beta wallpaper image "The
first is a non-themed version, while the second uses a part of Mo's
wallpaper mockup." The general opinion was favourable to the themed
version and after a few iterations, Máirín Duffy concluded with a
final version, a graphic which all the Fedora enthusiast are invited
to use on their blogs.
On a related note, Paul Frields reviewed the Art's Team release
tasks and produced a short list "the listed splashes, headers and
other art scheduled for March 27 includes" to check the status "Is the
listed date of March 27 enough time to produce these various
== 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
==== New Release virt-manager 0.7.0 ====
Cole Robinson announced a new
image:Echo-package-16px.pngvirt-manager release, version 0.7.0.
Virtual Machine Manager provides a graphical tool for administering
virtual machines for KVM, Xen, and QEmu. Start, stop, add or remove
virtual devices, connect to a graphical or serial console, and see
resource usage statistics for existing VMs on local or remote machines.
Uses image:Echo-package-16px.pnglibvirt as the backend management API.
* Redesigned 'New Virtual Machine' wizard (Jeremy Perry, Tim Allen,
* Option to remove storage when deleting a virtual machine.
* File browser for libvirt storage pools and volumes, for use
when attaching storage to a new or existing guest.
* Physical device assignment (PCI, USB) for existing virtual
* Bug fixes and minor improvements.
==== New Release virtinst 0.4.3 ====
Cole Robinson announced a new
image:Echo-package-16px.pngpython-virtinst release, version 0.400.3.
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
This is largely a bug fix release.
=== Fedora Xen List ===
This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-xen list.
==== dom0 Kernel: Better, Still Not Ready ====
Itamar Reis Peixoto reported success with Michael Young's latest
image:Echo-package-16px.pngkernel build and wondered when it could be
Michael explained, "The current plan is to wait until basic dom0 support
makes it into the vanilla kernel, which should happen for 2.6.30, and
then decide if dom0 can be enabled and if the patches for full dom0
support can safely be added without affecting ordinary operation."
"At the moment there are still things that are broken such as X support
in some cases, and there are also Fedora patches that have been omitted
because they were tricky to merge, so it is too early to start adding
dom0 support to official Fedora kernels."
==== Missing Hypervisor Capabilities Restored ====
There was progress on a bug discovered last week. This missing file
/sys/hypervisor/properties/capabilities has been restored, however a
bug remained in libvirt or virt-install.
=== Libvirt List ===
This section contains the discussion happening on the libvir-list.
==== Snapshot Support Discussed ====
In an attempt to make it easier to backup KVM windows guests, Matt
McCowan created a checkpoint virsh function. "Modelled on the
virDomainSave function it takes an optional script which it will
execute (and pass the name of the domain as an argument) while the
domain is paused, then resume the domain." Within this script, a backup
of the guest domain could be created.
The patch was seen as too ad-hoc, and not accepted as-is.
Daniel Veillard commented "I think this can help administrators in a
controlled situation, but I'm hoping a real snapshotting API will be
possible at some point where image:Echo-package-16px.pnglibvirt goes
though the list of storage resources used by the domain and properly
make a snapshot using a storage API or return an error if that's not
Daniel P. Berrange described what he would like to see. "In terms of
API I think I'd like to see snapshotting available as part of a more
generic save/restore API. I tend to think of the current API as
providing 'unmanaged save/restore'". Libvirt does not track saved
images, so does not know if a snapshot is available to be started at the
restart of libvirtd."
"Thus I think the first step towards a general snapshot facility would
be to provide an API for 'managed save/restore' where we explicitly
track saved images." "With this, you could configure libvirtd, so that
when starting up, it" would "see if the guest was suspended before the
previous host shutdown, and if so, then restore from that saved image
automatically. Or make it skip autostart completely, if any save
images exist, and allow an admin defined initscript to do auto restore
from the save image."
==== Memory Ballooning Support for QEMU ====
Daniel Berrange patched the libvirt QEMU driver to fully support
memory ballooning. "Memory ballooning allows you to have your guest
dynamically change its memory usage by evicting unused memory during
runtime. This is a useful feature because it reduces the impact your
guest can have on memory usage of your host by giving up unused memory
back to the host."
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