Status of the Alpha

Jesse Keating jkeating at
Sat Jan 31 06:38:28 UTC 2009

I have bad news, and some good news.  Due to either over use of
kickstart, or a subtle difference in my home composes vs the composes
done in our Phoenix colo, the freeze done last week turns out to not be
a good package set.  There is a bug that manifests itself the first time
a checkbox is checked in the anaconda gui.  I never ran into this with
my testing, and so we thought things were good for a refresh.  We only
discovered the bug while testing composes after the refresh on Tuesday.

We were unable to determine the root cause of the above bug, however we
did discover that later rawhide trees (like say the tree from yesterday)
did not have this bug, a quick test compose was made and tested, and
found to be suitable.  We decided to refresh the tag again all the way
up to rawhide-20090129.

Unfortunately the testing of i386 and ppc didn't uncover a bug with
x86_64 early in anaconda, regarding executing some iscsiadm calls.
These only appear to happen on x86_64 in graphical mode.  Text mode is
fine.  I tried VNC, only to find out that vnc caused an early crash of
anaconda when booting over the network.  This particular vnc bug did not
exist in the earlier freeze tag or was otherwise undetected.

So now we're at a point with a critical bug that existed throughout our
freeze (gtk checkbox) thus no good point to fall back to, and while this
bug is fixed in later rawhide builds (fixed by an unknown component, so
no idea what we could cherry pick to the old freeze tag), newer rawhide
builds introduce new bugs above.

Then I tested today's rawhide, x86_64, gui, and found that it does not
have the iscsi bug.  I then proceeded to do a full iso compose from this
package set and have continued to do testing (of the actual isos and
bits) and continue to find them suitable.

So now I think we have a golden tree, although I can only test on my
limited hardware and KVM.  Such little testing has bitten us before, but
since this time I'm testing the actual bits I feel better about the
limited coverage, particularly because it's Alpha.

I'm going to stage the bits on the master mirror, and try to con some
other folks into testing the isos I've generated.  With luck we'll be
able to release it to mirrors tomorrow and have a chance at things being
ready for Tuesday.  Any further issues or an inability to get a second
opinion in time though will incur a slip of the Alpha release.

Thanks for your patience, and help.

Jesse Keating
Fedora -- Freedom² is a feature!
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