Fedora Weekly News #174
oisinfeeley at imapmail.org
Mon May 4 16:03:30 UTC 2009
Fedora Weekly News Issue 174
Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 174 for the week ending May 3rd,
This week Announcements suggests reading the release notes for "Fedora
11 (Leonidas)". PlanetFedora highlights some choice posts from Fedora
blogs including one on the relevance of PPC as a primary architecture.
Ambassadors reports that "Fedora stars at Flisol Caracas".
QualityAssurance is packed with information on "Test Days" for SSSD and
Virtualization. Developments warns of a "Presto No Go" and shares some
"Ext4 fallocate() Happiness". Translation reflects a huge amount of
activity including "Documentation Decisions for Fedora 12". Artwork
wonders if there will be a Plymouth plugin for Fedora 11 Leonidas. The
Weekly Webcomic peeks and pokes at some color preferences!
Virtualization includes a look at a new libguestfs release and other
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 Fedora Weekly News Issue 174
1.1.1 Fedora 11 (Leonidas)
1.1.2 FUDCons and FADs
18.104.22.168 Fedora Activity Day Malaysia
22.214.171.124 FUDCon Porto Alegre 2009
126.96.36.199 FUDCon Berlin 2009
1.1.3 Upcoming Events
1.2 Planet Fedora
1.3.1 Test Days
1.3.2 Weekly Meetings
1.3.3 Special Triage Procedure Requests from Developers
1.3.4 Priority/Severity Proposal Draft
1.4.1 Fedora 11 Preview Xorg "Lock-up"
1.4.2 Presto No Go
1.4.3 Fedora 12 Changes to GConf and intltool
1.4.4 Ext4 fallocate() Happiness
1.4.5 NetworkManager in Fedora 11 Preview
1.4.6 Moblin2 Mostly Fedora-derived ?
1.4.7 Fedora 12: How to use DBUS for Terminal Sessions ?
1.4.8 PulseAudio Flamewar Continues
1.5.1 Document Colophon
1.5.2 Missing sections from the F11 Release Notes
1.5.3 Fedora 11 Countdown Banner
1.5.4 Fedora Security Guide Now Available
1.5.5 FLP Meeting Scheduled
1.5.6 Freeze break in comps module
1.5.7 Transifex Translation Request
1.5.8 Documentation Decisions for Fedora 12
1.5.9 New Members/Co-ordinators in FLP
1.6.1 FUDCon T-shirts
1.6.2 Closing to the Release
1.7 Fedora Weekly Webcomic
1.8.1 Fedora Virtualization List
188.8.131.52 Virtualization Test Day
184.108.40.206 New Release libguestfs 1.0.15
220.127.116.11 Install Grub Bootloader on Converted Virtual Images
18.104.22.168 Virt-Manage an Existing Guest
1.9.1 Fedora stars at Flisol Caracas
1.9.2 Got Ambassador News?
== Announcements ==
In this section, we cover announcements from the Fedora Project.
Contributing Writer: Max Spevack
=== Fedora 11 (Leonidas) ===
The Fedora 11 Preview was released on April 28th. Be sure to read the
release notes, and make sure you report any bugs that you find.
The final release is just around the corner.
Download the Fedora 11 Preview here.
=== FUDCons and FADs ===
This section previews upcoming Fedora Users & Developers Conferences, as
well as upcoming Fedora Activity Days.
==== Fedora Activity Day Malaysia ====
Planning is underway for a Fedora Activity Day in Malaysia at the end
of May, contingent upon gathering together sufficient Fedora
contributors to make such an event worthwhile. If you are in the area
and are interested in attending or have some ideas on projects that
could be worked on, see the wiki page for more information.
==== FUDCon Porto Alegre 2009 ====
FUDCon Porto Alegre will take place June 24-27 in Brazil. About 30
people have signed up so far, and we're hopeful for an attendance of
If you would like more information, and to sign up, please visit the
==== FUDCon Berlin 2009 ====
FUDCon Berlin will be held from June 26-28, and we're getting close
to crossing the 100-person-preregistered mark.
Don't forget to pre-register for the event, and also to sign up for
lodging if you need it.
==== Upcoming Events ====
Consider attending or volunteering at an event near you!
May 2: Introduction to FOSS, Fedora workshop in Pradesh, India.
May 4-8: VI Foro Mundial de Conocimiento Libre in Mérida, Venezuela.
May 9-10: FossComm2 in Larissa, Greece.
May 10: Akihabara Fedora 10 Distribution in Tokyo, Japan.
May 15: Fedora Venezuela Anniversary in Caracas, Venezuela.
May 15-16: VCNSL in Caracas, Venezuela.
May 22-23: eLiberatica in Bucharest, Romania.
May 29-30: III ENSL e IV FSLBA in Salvador, Brazil.
== 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 ===
Daniel Walsh described some recent changes to the way SELinux deals
with unconfined domains and users.
Tom Callaway explained a few intricacies relating to trademarks. He
also explained how he worked with a Fedora rebuild to ensure that
Fedora's trademarks were protected.
Adam Williamson summarized "The Great Mixer Debate" (see also FWN173)
together with nice screenshots. Without going into too many details, the
volume control systems in Fedora 11 have been changed and a great debate
Harish Pillay attended a Microsoft Interoperability event in which
the topic of software patents was discussed.
Heherson Pagcaliwagan showed off some photos from a Geek Camp in
Batangas City, Philippines.
Richard W.M. Jones wrote a tutorial explaining how to extend
James Antill found an interesting way of searching for all "the
BugZilla tickets which I've looked at 'recently'" (other than archiving
all of the bugzilla mails into a giant folder).
Jeremy Katz questioned the relevance of PPC as a primary architecture
Lubomir Rintel released shortrpm, a tool to allow rpmbuild to
short-circuit already completed parts of a build, instead of starting
from scratch every time.
Luis Villa shared his thoughts on the pending lawsuit between
RealNetworks and the MPAA regarding the legality of Real's RealDVD
In a later (unrelated) post, Luis Villa posted a response to a
recent controversy resulting from potentially offensive slides being
presented at a conference.
John Poelstra described Test Days, their usefulness and recent
successes in the run up to Fedora 11.
John Palmieri reached out for donations to the GNOME Foundation in
order to continue developments and retain their new Executive Director.
== QualityAssurance ==
In this section, we cover the activities of the QA team.
Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson
=== Test Days ===
This week's Test Day was on SSSD, which provide a set of daemons
to manage access to remote directories and authentication mechanisms. A
good group of interested people turned out to help test the system, and
several bug reports were filed.
Next week's Test Day will be on virtualization, with a particular
emphasis on some of the new features in Fedora 11, mainly to do with
KVM. The Test Day page already includes a list of test areas, with
estimated test times and the number of testers needed for each area, so
you can sign yourself up in the list in preparation for the test day.
You will need an installed system fully updated to latest Rawhide (you
can start by installing the Fedora 11 Preview release). If you're a
virtualization enthusiast, please come along and help test! The Test Day
will be held on 2009-05-07 (Thursday) in IRC #fedora-qa.
=== Weekly Meetings ===
The QA group weekly meeting was held on 2009-04-29. The full log is
available. Adam Williamson reported on his request for feedback on
PulseAudio in Fedora 11 from the forum community. He said the response
had been quite small and had not reported any major problems, a good
indication that things are quite solid. Will Woods mentioned that the
known problems with some Intel chipsets and PA's glitch-free audio
feature had now been mostly resolved.
James Laska noted that there were several reports indicating the new
hard disk failure detection system may be reporting false positives. The
group agreed it should keep an eye on this situation and try to
determine for certain whether there were bugs in the detection.
Will Woods reported on autoqa progress. A trac installation for autoqa
is now available, but there has been no progress in the code since
next week. James Laska suggested setting a goal of finishing the
previously agreed-upon to-do list by the time of Fedora 11's release,
and Will agreed that this was a sensible target.
Will also reported on a planned new version of preupgrade, the tool for
helping do smooth in-place upgrades of Fedora systems. It now attempts
to find updated versions of all repositories, including third-party
ones, and rejects /boot on mdraid.
The group then discussed the state of the Fedora 11 blocker bug list,
with reference to the impending Fedora 11 RC cycle. They agreed that
2009-05-11 and 2009-05-12 would be set aside for review of the list,
divided by component, with each team member working on components with
which they are familiar.
The group then discussed upgrade methods, with regard to a bug noted
by Seth Vidal which would essentially prevent an in-place upgrade using
yum from working correctly. Will Woods reiterated that yum-based
upgrading is intentionally undocumented and unsupported (i.e. yum's
developer does not consider that it should be expected to work, FESco
does not expect package maintainers to build their packages such that it
works, and QA does not accept responsibility for ensuring it works). The
intended method for doing such upgrades is to use the preupgrade tool.
James Laska mentioned that he was looking for volunteers to help
organize test cases for the upcoming virtualization Test Day. Please
contact James if you're interested in helping out with this.
The Bugzappers group weekly meeting was held on 2009-04-28. The full
log is available. John Poelstra noted that, as the Fedora 11 release
nears, it is time for the group to request the regularly scheduled
Bugzilla changes that accompany a new release. John then selflessly
volunteered to take care of this, with the help of Niels Haase.
In the absence of Brennan Ashton, Adam Williamson reported on the
progress of the triage metrics project, having met with Brennan the
previous weekend. He reported that the code for the project was
essentially complete and hosting via the Infrastructure group had
already been provisioned, but the code relied on Python 2.5-specific
features, while Infrastructure's servers all run Python 2.4. Thus the
project was waiting on Brennan, or someone else, to port the Python
2.5-specific code to Python 2.4 before it could be operational.
Adam also reported on the status of the Bugzilla priority/severity
proposal, and noted he was nearly ready to send the proposal to the
John Poelstra reported that the maintainers of the Red Hat Bugzilla
installation were interested in feedback from the Bugzappers group on
what proposed new features and fixes for Bugzilla would be of most
interest to them. He promised to send relevant URLs to the mailing list.
The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-05-06 at 1600 UTC in
#fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-05-05 at
1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.
=== Special Triage Procedure Requests from Developers ===
The Bugzappers group continued its discussion of how to handle special
triage procedure requests from maintainers (which was started the
previous week by Adam Williamson). Adam continued to maintain that all
special requests from maintainers should be respected if at all
possible, as the triage process exists almost entirely to aid
maintainers in their work. John Poelstra worried that it may be
impossible to accurately track all the different special requests that
maintainers might make, a position backed up by John Summerfield.
Christopher Beland felt that special requests have a cost in terms of
recruiting triagers and performing system-wide tasks. Kevin Kofler
suggested an alternative system that might work without varying the
standard triage process for the particular special request that had
started the discussion, and pointed out that in the current process, the
NEW, ASSIGNED and ON_DEV statuses are essentially being abused. No final
agreement was reached on the various topics brooched as of yet, and it
seems the issue might feed back into the problem of shared bug workflow
between Fedora and RHEL.
=== Priority/Severity Proposal Draft ===
Adam Williamson submitted a revised proposed draft of the email to
the development list on the use of the priority and severity fields in
Bugzilla, addressing the concerns raised since the previous draft, and
including Matej Cepl's alternative proposal.
== Developments ==
In this section the people, personalities and debates on the
@fedora-devel mailing list are summarized.
Contributing Writer: Oisin Feeley
=== Fedora 11 Preview Xorg "Lock-up" ===
DrDiesel reported an Xorg lockup with a fully updated Fedora 11
Preview on 2009-04-28 whenever he visited a particular webpage.
Subsequent confirmation from other testers led to a bugzilla report.
It intially appeared to be a soft lock according to some comments on the
bug which reported the ability to move the mouse cursor and play music.
Some very helpful contributions from Adam Jackson suggested that the
problem was due to a ridiculously large blit exposing mis-handling of
video memory mapping by the kernel. Adam laid the blame squarely on
the mis-coding of the web-page. He added that this was not actually a
lock-up, just agonizingly slow rendering. RichardKörber requested
further help in debugging this and similar problems and that request
led to a nice, succinct recipe for generating gdb backtraces.
=== Presto No Go ===
Unfortunately it appears that Presto, the near miraculous bandwidth
saving YUM plugin, will not be an official part of Fedora 11 due to
infrastructure issues cited by Paul W. Frields. This is contrary to
what we reported in FWN#172.
=== Fedora 12 Changes to GConf and intltool ===
Matthias Clasen requested feedback on changes in the way sechma
translations were handled in GConf and intltool: ly, translations were
merged by intltool from .po files into schemas files and then copied by
gconftool from the schemas file into the database. Now, translations are
kept in .po files, and intltool only copies the gettext domain into the
schemas, and further into the GConf database. The only tool that ever
uses these translations, gconf-editor, knows how to get them from the
message catalogs. The big advantage of this change is that schemas
shrink radically, which should help a lot with the 'slow updates due to
GConf' problem. It also reduces the redundancy of storing the schema
translations in three places, which should help with live cd size."
It seemed that all GConf-using applications will be rebuilt before
Fedora 12 ships but that there is no immediate rush to do so.
=== Ext4 fallocate() Happiness ===
Eric Sandeen suggested that it would be useful to speed the adoption
of the preallocation features of the ext4 filesystem. (See FWN#170
for previous coverage.) Eric provided a concise, informative description
of what preallocation is and how it can be used: "One big feature that
has already been brought up on the list is file preallocation, which
allows an application to pre-allocate blocks it knows that it will
eventually write into, thereby making sure it won't run out of space,
and also generally getting a more efficient/contiguous file layout. Only
a few applications are taking advantage of this so far, in part because
it's new. The transmission bittorrent client is using it, but only if
you tweak a configfile in (IMHO) non-obvious ways."
A list of possible starting points to get more applications using
preallocation was also provided.
In response to some skepticism from Tom Lane further explanation of
which sorts of applications might benefit from preallocation was
shared by Eric: "You wouldn't want to use it for every little file
you write, either. But for some cases it can be a big win. Torrent
downloading? This is sort of the quintessential case where it can help.
Databases? yes. Rsyncing large files? yep. Creating virtual images? yep.
Helping samba cope with weird windows client behavior? yep Basically
anything that is filled in over time, or filled in sparsely, could
potentially benefit." Further questioning by Michael Cronenworth on the
value of using ext4 as opposed to xfs yielded further interesting
It seemed that the libvirt developers had already jumped at the
opportunity thanks to a patch provided by Amit Shah.
=== NetworkManager in Fedora 11 Preview ===
Mark Bidewell wondered why his sole network interface was inactivated
automatically following a fresh install of Fedora 11 Preview.
Dan Williams explained that this was a logical result of anaconda
if the install was not over a network or else
if the install was over a network. Dan explained that this was in part a
security policy decision. Later Dan suggested using
nm-connection-editor to correctly
for both wired and wireless connections.
=== Moblin2 Mostly Fedora-derived ? ===
Matthew Garrett picked up on an older discussion about the extent to
which Moblin2 could be considered a derivative of Fedora. Matthew's
conclusion was that most of the packages were "[...] identical to the
Fedora package or is a simple mechanical transformation of a Fedora
package[.]" A significant number of the patches were mostly derived from
Fedora or SuSE also.
=== Fedora 12: How to use DBUS for Terminal Sessions ? ===
Dan Walsh asked for help in running a dbus session upon login to
terminals so that he could run restorecond as a system service rather
than a user service: "I want to run it under the Users UID and under
with the users context. Then I can have it watch for creation of files
in the users home directory and be the equivalent of running restorecon
~/ by the user."
Steve Grubb was worried that this would disrupt the audit trail and
suggested a PAM session module instead. Bruno Wolff III also was
disturbed by the idea: "This seems to increase the risk of hostile
apps being able to get executables relabelled to something they couldn't
=== PulseAudio Flamewar Continues ===
The fallout from last week's thermonuclear flamewar continued to
splatter downwards. Among the hotspots were: a thread in which Jóhann B.
Guðmundsson suggested some way in which there would be no privileged
default desktop spin;
Bill Nottingham argued that slamming the PulseAudio team for closing
bugs WONTFIX was inaccurate.
It seems that perhaps pavucontrol may be one way to change the relative
volume of individual applications (as per a question posed my Matthew
Woehlke and echoed by Paul W. Frields. Lennart Poettering stated,
however, that pavucontrol should be removed.
== Translation ==
This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n)
Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee
=== Document Colophon ===
Domingo Becker and TianShixiong made a request to add the names of
all the past/present translators of Fedora Installation Guide in the
books. Considering the vast number of languages and translators,
PaulFrields had initially suggested adding the names of the writers and
translators into individual wiki pages which could be linked to the
Document's Colophon section, since the list of names could potentially
run into quite a few pages.
Alternatively, Domingo Becker suggested restricting the names of
translators for only a particular language in the translated version of
the document for that language.
=== Missing sections from the F11 Release Notes ===
DomingoBecker reported about three missing sections in the .po files for
the Release Notes. These 3 sections are currently not available for
=== Fedora 11 Countdown Banner ===
The countdown banner for the Fedora 11 Release is available for
translation. For correct display the mgopen-fonts package may be
required to be installed. The .svg files with the singluar/plural
versions of the countdown message are to be sent to Paolo Leoni .
=== Fedora Security Guide Now Available ===
Translations for the Fedora Security Guide can now be submitted via
translate.fedoraproject.org. Eric Christensen requested for the book
to be added to translate.fedoraproject.org.
Additionally, Diego Búrigo Zacarão pointed out that the translations
for this book do not need to be submitted to the target 'po/lang.po'.
Unlike other modules there is no 'po' directory for this book and the
file has to be uploaded to the target 'lang.po', where 'lang' is the
language code of the file being uploaded.
=== FLP Meeting Scheduled ===
The next meeting of the Fedora Localization Project is scheduled for 5th
May 2009, Tuesday at 1900UTC on #fedora-meeting channel.
=== Freeze break in comps Module ===
Bill Nottingham requested a freeze break for the comps module to
include the names for languages for which support has been added in the
upcoming release of Fedora. The changes were committed after an aye from
the FLP team.
=== Transifex Translation Request ===
The .po files for Transifex User Interface translation has been included
in translate.fedoraproject.org by Dimitris Glezos and Piotr Drag.
Both the development release and the current stable (0.6.x) release are
available for translation.
It is to be noted, that after the release of Fedora 11 and the lifting
of the Fedora Infrastructure freeze, translate.fedoraproject.org would
be upgraded to Transifex v.0.6
=== Documentation Decisions for Fedora 12 ===
In an effort to review the process of documenting the Release notes for
Fedora 12, John J. McDonough has put together a wiki page and started
a discussion with the Fedora-docs and Fedora-trans team.
=== New Members/Co-ordinators in FLP ===
Adib Rastegarniya  joined the Persian translation team last week.
== Artwork ==
In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.
Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei
=== FUDCon T-shirts ===
Max Spevack asked on @fedora-art about a T-shirt design for the
upcoming FUDCon "we're simply adopting the FUDCon Boston design, with
the following changes: s/Boston/Berlin" and in reply Charlie Brej
pointed at the program he made to dynamically generate the needed
images "the program is available  and is easy to modify".
=== Closing to the Release ===
With the Fedora 11 closing, Clint Savage checked the status of the
CD/DVD sleeves, "so with that, I'd like to get the conversation started
and see what we want to do for the sleeves, design wise" for which Paul
W. Frields expressed his preference for including a lion "since it
won't generate any usability problems, I'd like to request that the lion
appear on the sleeve. :-)". Paul also asked about a Fedora 11
specific Plymouth plugin "Was there a Plymouth plugin being created or
reviewed for F11? I seem to recall Charlie producing something but
wasn't sure about the status", which according to Ray Strode, the
main Plymouth developer, is still under work and its availability is not
certain "I've been working on coming up with something the last couple
of days, but it may be too late for F11 at this point, so we may end up
with spinfinity. We'll have to see how it goes down."
== Fedora Weekly Webcomic ==
Nicu Buculei's weekly take on the world of Fedora.
== Virtualization ==
In this section, we cover discussion of Fedora virtualization
technologies on the @fedora-virt list.
Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley
=== Fedora Virtualization List ===
This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-virt list.
==== Virtualization Test Day ====
Mark McLoughlin announced that Fedora 11 "Test Day" for
virtualization is this week on Thursday May 7th. "On the day, you'll
have the opportunity to work closely with other Fedora developers and
contributors to make a real impact on the quality of Fedora's
"The wiki page contains a first cut at listing test areas which we
will cover on the day. Each test area will have a set of test cases. We
plan to flesh out these test cases as part of the test day, but if
people could dive in now and start writing some test cases, that would
make a huge difference."
==== New Release libguestfs 1.0.15 ====
Richard Jones announced "version 1.0.15 of libguestfs, the library
for accessing and modifying virtual machine filesystems."
* New virt-inspector tool.
This can tell you at a high level what is on a virtual machine, such
as how its filesystems are mounted, what OS and version it is
running, what kernel, drivers and apps are installed.
* New 'lvremove', 'vgremove', 'pvremove' commands.
* Add really working support for NTFS and FAT.
* Add really working support for CD-ROMs and DVDs.
* Add --ro option for read-only mounts in guestfish.
* New 'set-e2uuid', 'get-e2uuid', 'set-e2label', 'get-e2label'
commands for setting ext2/3/4 UUIDs and labels.
* New 'debug' command for debugging daemon internals.
* Guestfish recipes.
* Many bugs fixed (note: including a data corruptor that affected
FileOut transfers, so upgrading is recommended).
Version 1.0.10 was announced just last week (FWN#173). Also see
Richard's many blog posts on libguestfs.
==== Install Grub Bootloader on Converted Virtual Images ====
Dennis J. was "experimenting with converting a physical system to a
virtual one" and "was able to transfer the system to a volume group in
an image file. My problem is that I don't know how to install grub on
that image file."
Richard Jones asked "Why not just copy across the whole block device?
This is essentially what virt-p2v does, although virt-p2v is doing
nothing more than automating what you could do by hand." Richard then
quickly added a grub-install feature to libguestfs,and
demonstrated how to use it.
Richard noted the minimum target is Fedora 11. "There's no chance of
libguestfs for Fedora 10, because the qemu maintainers aren't interested
in pulling back vmchannel support into that old qemu 0.9 package in
==== Virt-Manage an Existing Guest ====
Tom London asked about importing an existing guest for management by
virt-manager. One option is to use virt-install to create a similar
guest, then export and modify the XML definition of that guest, and
finally 'virsh define' it.
Another option was by posted by Daniel Berrange. It's a perl script
that can be used to create an XML definition from the set of qemu-kvm
command line arguments used to create the guest.
== Ambassadors ==
In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.
Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero
=== Fedora stars at Flisol Caracas ===
As reported by event organizer Maria Leandro, Flisol Caracas was held
recently, with an estimated attendance of 1,700 people, including 100
installers, 15 protocol and 15 sponsors. The Fedora team had a hard day
with eight conferences and 12 workshops; as well as the first National
tournament of UrbanTerror (a freeware game) and a gpg key sign fest. At
the closing, players had the StarWars Club (Darth Vader and one
StormTrooper) hovering around with the guys.
Fedora Venezuela installed a lot of machines and gave out 300 LiveDVDs,
50 bubble stickers and 50 vinyl stickers; and the users were really
happy with this. Pablo Hernandez (paceh) gave a workshop about
Fedora-USB installations and I gave a Conference about the Fedora
Community in Venezuela, and found a lot of new users.
Maria also want to say that we had two major interviews, one on national
radio and another on national TV (Globovision) and in both of them,
Fedora was the center of attention.
Next year Maria will be the National Organizer and she hopes to set up
the first Fedora Venezuela General Meeting with all the Fedora users in
the country. In the mean time, the Fedoristas have some workshops at
several universities, some stands at national conferences (3 stands) and
a special "B-day" for our community.
These are some of the photos... but I'm still waiting for more, and the
video of the TV appearance:
== 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.
More information about the announce