Fedora Weekly News 199

Pascal Calarco pcalarco at nd.edu
Mon Oct 26 16:33:08 UTC 2009

Fedora Weekly News Issue 199
           o 1.1 Planet Fedora
                 + 1.1.1 General
                 + 1.1.2 Fedora 12 Beta Roundup
           o 1.2 Ambassadors
                 + 1.2.1 Fedora at ABLEConf in Phoenix, Arizona
                 + 1.2.2 Fedora 12 is coming
           o 1.3 QualityAssurance
                 + 1.3.1 Test Days
                 + 1.3.2 Weekly meetings
                 + 1.3.3 Fedora 12 Beta release
                 + 1.3.4 Confined users Test Day summary
                 + 1.3.5 Fedora 12 blocker bug review meeting
           o 1.4 Translation
                 + 1.4.1 Scheduled Translation Tasks for Fedora 12
                 + 1.4.2 Cracklib Translations for Anaconda
                 + 1.4.3 FLSCo Election Proposal
                 + 1.4.4 New Members/Maintainers in FLP
           o 1.5 Artwork
                 + 1.5.1 Fedora 12 Countdown banner
                 + 1.5.2 Icon Emblems
                 + 1.5.3 F12 Final Wallpaper Polish
                 + 1.5.4 Post-Beta Changes for the Desktop Look
           o 1.6 Security Advisories
                 + 1.6.1 Fedora 11 Security Advisories
                 + 1.6.2 Fedora 10 Security Advisories
           o 1.7 Virtualization
                 + 1.7.1 Fedora Virtualization List
                       # KVM and Paravirtualization
                       # Installing Virtio Drivers in Windows XP 
                 + 1.7.2 Virtualization Tools List
                       # libosinfo Revisited
                 + 1.7.3 Other Sources
                       # Using Kernel Samepage Merging with KVM

-  Fedora Weekly News Issue 199 -

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 199[1] for the week ending October 
25, 2009. What follows are some highlights from this issue.

Our issue kicks off this week with news from the Fedora Planet community 
of Fedora developers and users, including thoughts on PHP security, a 
new tool, rpmguard, continued work on libguestfs, and a great Fedora 12 
beta roundup. From Ambassadors we have an event report on ABLEConf in 
Phoenix, Arizona. Much goodness from the Quality Assurance beat, with 
updates on this past week's two Test days, detailed weekly meetings 
notes, and various Fedora 12 beta-related activities. In news from 
Fedora's Translation team, updates on milestone for Fedora 12 
translation tasks, new contributors of a couple Fedora Localization 
Project language teams, and details on the next FLSCo election. In 
Art/Design news, some icon emblem work, Fedora 12 final wallpaper 
polish, and details on post-beta F12 desktop look changes. Security 
Advisories brings us up to date on a couple security releases for Fedora 
10 and 11. Our issue rounds out with the always-interesting 
Virtualization beat, with discussion on paravirtualization and KVMs in 
Fedora, installing Virtio drivers in Windows XP, and details on Fedora 
12's kernel samepage merging (KSM) feature. We hope you enjoy FWN 199!

If you are interested in contributing to Fedora Weekly News, please see 
our 'join' page[2]. We welcome reader feedback: fedora-news-list at redhat.com

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. We plan to have the next issue of Fedora Weekly 
News in Fedora Insight, next week. We welcome your feedback as we 
migrate FWN to this new content platform!

FWN Editorial Team: Pascal Calarco, Adam Williamson

    1. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FWN/Issue199
    2. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/NewsProject/Join

--  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

    1. http://planet.fedoraproject.org

---  General ---

Pavol Rusnak described[1] how scripts using LD_LIBRARY_PATH can be 
written to work in a more secure way.

Konstantin Ryabitsev explained[2] the many reasons why embedding 
passwords in PHP scripts is a Bad Idea, and possible alternatives.

Matt Domsch helped[3] get some patches integrated so that Linuxes can 
use embedded TPM chips to feed the entropy pool (and get better/more 
secure random numbers).

Kamil Páral created[4] a tool, rpmguard "for checking differences 
between RPM packages. It is very similar to rpmdiff, but it prints only 
important changes, not all. Therefore it can be used every time a new 
package is built to easily see if something hasn’t went completely wrong."

Richard W.M. Jones has been busy at work on libguestfs. There are a few 
new tools: virt-tar[5] and virt-ls[6] as well as a list[7] of current 
(and upcoming) virt-* tools. Richard provided some tips too, 
obtaining[8] the Windows version and service pack number and 
unpacking[9] a Mac .dmg installer. And lastly, building a supermin 
appliance using febootstrap: Given a Fedora appliance on a Fedora host, 
"Let’s strip out all those programs and libraries from the appliance, 
and we’ll add them back from the host just before we launch it."

    1. http://stick.gk2.sk/blog/2009/10/wrong-usage-of-ld_library_path/
    2. http://blog.mricon.com/2009/10/passwords-in-php-scripts.html
    3. http://domsch.com/blog/?p=107
    5. http://rwmj.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/new-tool-virt-tar/
    6. http://rwmj.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/new-tool-virt-ls/
    7. http://rwmj.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/fedora-virt-commands/

---  Fedora 12 Beta Roundup ---

Lots of people have downloaded, installed and written up their 
experiences with the just-released Fedora 12 Beta. Collected here are 
some of the Fedora Planet blog posts on the topic.

Adam Williamson[1], Sandro Mathys[2], Paul W. Frields[3] and Andrew 
Vermilya Jamison[4] all installed the Beta and posted their initial 

Nicu Buceli noted[5] F12's better webcam support and threw[6] a Windows 
7 party to celebrate. And if you want your menu icons back, Nicu can 
tell[7] you how to do that too.

Nicu also reviewed[8] the new GNOME Shell, as did Jeff Ollie[9].

Matt Domsch mentioned[10] that Fedora 12 is now self-hosting. "What does 
this mean? Simply put, it means that you can use a copy of Fedora 12 to 
rebuild, from source, all of Fedora 12 again."

Máirín Duffy displayed[11] the work so far in developing a new desktop 
wallpaper background image.

And finally, some news from off-planet. Ars Technica took a look[12] at 
the Fedora 12 Beta release.

    1. http://www.happyassassin.net/2009/10/20/fedora-12-beta-is-go/
    2. http://blog.sandro-mathys.ch/2009/10/20/f12-beta-on-lenovo-t400s
    3. http://marilyn.frields.org:8080/~paul/wordpress/?p=2808
    5. http://nicubunu.blogspot.com/2009/10/better-webcam-support.html
    6. http://nicubunu.blogspot.com/2009/10/my-own-windows-7-party.html
    7. http://nicubunu.blogspot.com/2009/10/give-back-my-icons.html
    8. http://nicubunu.blogspot.com/2009/10/way-of-dodo.html
    9. http://jeff.blogs.ocjtech.us/2009/10/gnome-shell.html
   10. http://domsch.com/blog/?p=116
   11. http://linuxgrrl.com/blog/2009/10/24/f12-wallpaper-sprinting/

--  Ambassadors --

In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project[1].

Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero

    1. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Ambassadors

---  Fedora at ABLEConf in Phoenix, Arizona ---

Ryan Rix provides wrap up of Fedora's representation at the Arizona 
Business and Liberty Experience in Phoenix, Arizona over the weekend.


Ryan thanks to Clint Savage and FAmNA for the Fedora table's supplies 
(which were a huge success, by the by) and also many thanks to Aaron 
Siego for flying out from the icy north to be with us in the 
uncomfortably warm fall.

---  Fedora 12 is coming ---

While you may still be promoting Fedora 11 in your areas, you can make 
plans for Fedora 12 events to promote and celebrate the release of our 
next version.

As such, with the upcoming release of Fedora 12, this is a reminder that 
posting an announcement of your event on Fedora Weekly News can help get 
the word out. Contact FWN Ambassador correspondent Larry Cafiero at 
lcafiero-AT-fedoraproject-DOT-org with announcements of upcoming events 
-- and don't forget to e-mail reports after the events as well.

--  QualityAssurance

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

Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson

    1. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/QA

---  Test Days ---

Last week's first Test Day[1] was on the confined SELinux users feature. 
The modest turnout of testers managed to run through nearly the whole 
set of tests and expose several bugs to help refine the feature. The 
second Test Day[2] was on power management[3] improvements in Fedora 12. 
A good turnout of testers ran the carefully prepared test suite on an 
even wider array of machines, providing valuable data for the developers.

Next week's Test Day[4], the last of the Fedora 12 cycle, will be on 
internationalization (also known as i18n)[5] - an event which usually 
has a strong focus on input methods, but can also cover issues like 
fonts. This Test Day was previously scheduled for 2009-10-15 but was 
postponed, this is the new date. The Test Day will run all day on 
Thursday 2009-10-29 in the #fedora-test-day IRC channel. Please come 
along and help ensure Fedora works just as well no matter what language 
you use!

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 13 
cycle, please contact the QA team via email or IRC, or file a ticket in 
QA Trac[6].

    1. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Test_Day:2009-10-20
    2. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Test_Day:2009-10-22
    3. https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/PowerManagementF12
    4. https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Test_Day:2009-10-29
    5. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/I18N
    6. http://fedorahosted.org/fedora-qa/

---  Weekly meetings ---

The QA group weekly meeting[1] was held on 2009-10-19. The full log is 
available[2]. James Laska followed up on concerns raised at the last 
meeting by Jesse Keating that blocker bugs may not be being identified 
fast enough. James noted that research by himself and Adam Williamson 
indicated almost all issues had been escalated within two days of being 
identified, which he felt was a good record.

James Laska had also investigated the packaging of the 
israwhidebroken.com project code. He found it was very easy to build a 
package since the code used Python setuptools. He also reported that he 
had requested the creation of a public autoqa-devel mailing list for the 
AutoQA project[3].

James Laska initiated a review of the Beta testing process. Liam Li was 
thinking about ways to get 100% installation test case coverage, or at 
least improve the coverage to all tier 2 tests. James was pleased that 
all tier 1 tests had been covering during the Beta test process. James 
asked whether it would be possible to reduce the number of tests in the 
matrix. Liam was not sure whether that would actually reduce release 
quality. James suggested looking for potential duplication of cases in 
the matrix. Adam Williamson wondered if it would be possible to generate 
a version of the matrix showing only uncompleted tests, so it would be 
clearer which tests still needed to be performed. James pointed out that 
the matrix could already be sorted. Adam had not considered that 
possibility, and suggested that it be explained in Liam's test request 
emails. Ben Williams pointed out the Fedora Unity test matrix[4], and 
James suggested merging the two together. Will Woods discussed the 
possibility of integrating the AutoQA installation test results; he said 
it would be simpler to just have a link to an external AutoQA results 
page, but having the AutoQA system insert results into a Wiki page would 
be possible.

Will Woods and Kamil Paral reported on the progress of the AutoQA 
project. Will had been working on getting the production AutoQA instance 
up and running. He had given up on the idea of having 
israwhidebroken.com link back to detailed test results, instead planning 
to provide a page explaining where to find the results. This means 
israwhidebroken.com can go up as soon as the production AutoQA instance 
is running. Beyond this, Will has been working on a hook for Koji, which 
will allow AutoQA to trigger on new builds in Koji. A preliminary 
version of this code is available[5]. Kamil had continued work on his 
script to monitor important changes in packages, now renamed 'rpmguard'. 
It is now maintained in AutoQA git[6]. He had created test packages to 
make sure the script works as intended, and now is looking for feedback 
from a wider test audience. He planned to write a blog post to try and 
trigger people to test and provide feedback on the script. He was also 
looking for suggestions for the best possible output format for the tool.

Jóhann Guðmundsson and Adam Williamson updated the status of the project 
to revise debugging-related pages. Richard June had helped out by 
starting work on an alternative template page[7]. Adam felt it should be 
possible to come up with a template which would standardize the layout 
of such pages while still providing enough flexibility to cover 
different components, but he had not yet had enough time to try and work 
on this himself. He emphasized that no-one should wait on the planned 
template before revising pages to fit the new format and naming scheme. 
James Laska volunteered to work on renaming all existing pages to fit 
the new naming scheme.

Jesse Keating asked the group to help review tag requests for the final 
release. He noted there was no formal set of requirements for tag 
requests for critical path packages, but asked reviewers to be sensible 
in judging whether the change was safe and genuinely necessary. Requests 
should explain what issue the updated package fixes, why it needs to be 
fixed, and the likely impact if it is not fixed. He provided an RSS 
feed[8] to monitor tickets as they come in.

Adam Williamson asked the group to help develop the Fedora 12 Common 
Bugs page[9] by adding issues to it and marking bugs which should be 
added to it with the CommonBugs keyword. James Laska provided a search 
URL[10] for listing bug reports marked as needing to be added to a 
Common Bugs page.

The Bugzappers group weekly meeting[11] was held on 2009-10-20. The full 
log is available[12]. Richard June reported on the progress of the 
kernel triage project. He had found more bugs that required further 
information, and was working with John Linville to ensure his process 
for getting more information on these reports was correct.

Adam Williamson provided an update on the debugging page revision 
project, recapping the discussion from the previous day's QA meeting.

Edward Kirk made a suggestion for a Triage Day event. He suggested a day 
to review all remaining open Fedora 10 bugs, trying to close reports 
that can be closed and rebase others to later Fedora releases if 
possible and necessary. The group liked the idea, and there was general 
agreement on Friday 2009-10-30 at 15:00 UTC as the date and time. Edward 
promised to announce the event on the mailing list ahead of time.

Brennan Ashton updated the status of the triage metrics project. He had 
not had time to work on it since his last update. He had tried to find 
someone to help maintain the project, but had not yet been successful. 
However, he had the upcoming week off and would try to produce a summary 
of the current state of the project to make it easier to find other 
maintainers. Adam Williamson and Edward Kirk were eager to try and help 
move the project forward.

Steven Parrish asked if any other group members would be at the upcoming 
FUDCon Toronto event[13]. Adam Williamson said that he and the rest of 
the Red Hat Fedora QA team would be there. Steven and Adam noted that 
limited funding was available for community members to attend the event, 
and explained that those wanting funding should add their name to the 
attendee list and check the column for funding. Brennan Ashton asked if 
anyone else would be driving from Boston. Adam pointed out that there 
was a group bus[14] being organized.

The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-10-26 at 1600 UTC in 
#fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-10-27 at 
1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.

    1. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/QA/Meetings
    3. https://fedorahosted.org/fedora-infrastructure/ticket/1733
    6. http://git.fedorahosted.org/git/autoqa.git?a=tree;f=tests/rpmguard
    7. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Template:How_to_debug2
    9. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Common_F12_bugs
   10. http://tinyurl.com/l4kma5
   11. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/BugZappers/Meetings
   13. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FUDCon:Toronto_2009
   14. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FUDCon:Toronto_2009#Bus_Travel

---  Fedora 12 Beta release ---

Of course, the week's big news was the release of Fedora 12 Beta[1]. 
This prompted several threads[2] [3] [4] [5] (and more) from 
enthusiastic testers, with valuable experiences which Adam Williamson 
encouraged to be turned into bug reports.


---  Confined users Test Day summary ---

Eduard Benes provided a summary[1] of the SELinux confined users Test 
Day[2], listing the bug reports resulting from the Test Day and thanking 
the testers and also Dan Walsh, who had already begun resolving reported 

    2. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Test_Day:2009-10-20

---  Fedora 12 blocker bug review meeting ---

Adam Williamson provided a recap[1] of the blocker bug review meeting 
which took place on Friday 2009-10-23, linking to a report[2] of the 
meeting which lists the status and actions decided for all 51 blocker 
bugs reviewed during the course of the meeting. He thanked all those who 
attended for their help in reviewing the large load of bugs.


--  Translation --

This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) 

Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee

    1. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/L10N

---  Scheduled Translation Tasks for Fedora 12 ---

The currently scheduled task for the Fedora Translation teams is the 
translation of all the Fedora Guides. This would end on the 5th of 
November 09[1].


---  Cracklib Translations for Anaconda ---

Translation of the cracklib package was recommened by Ankit Patel[1], as 
this package provides some strings for the 'Root password creation' 
dialog that is presented by Anaconda during Fedora installations. At 
present the translations can be submitted directly in the 
sourceforge.net project page. However, Dimitris Glezos informed that 
this package would be made available via transifex.net to accept 
translation submission[2].


---  FLSCo Election Proposal ---

The current chair of the FLSCo Dimitris Glezos has put forward the 
suggestion about conducting another round of elections for the FLSCo 
after the release of Fedora 12[1]. Currently this discussion is open on 
the fedora-trans mailing list.


---  New Members/Maintainers in FLP ---

Dimitrios Typaldos[1] joined the Greek Translation team last week while 
Iñigo Varela announced the new Asturian Translation team[2]. Also, 
Silvio Pierro took over the maintainership of the Italian Translation 
team[3]. This team was earlier led by Francesco Tombolini.


--  Artwork --

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

Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei

    1. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Artwork

---  Fedora 12 Countdown banner ---

Máirín Duffy asked[1] for someone to take care of the countdown banner 
for the Fedora 12 final release "Does anybody have the cycles to take 
the beta banner and refactor it into a countdown banner?" and both Nicu 
Buculei[2] and Alexander Smirnov[3] provided alternate implementations.


---  Icon Emblems ---

Matthias Clasen asked for help[1] with the xdg folder icons " Your 
challenge, if you accept it, is to take the scalable Mist folder icon 
and add scalable lookalikes of the emblems to it" and Máirín Duffy 
completed the task[2].


---  F12 Final Wallpaper Polish ---

After consulting on IRC with other members of the team Máirín Duffy 
proposed[1] a final update for the Fedora 12 wallpaper artwork "I'd love 
to hear your thoughts. I think we want to stay with the order & chaos 
concept; Nicu and I brainstormed a bit and I started taking this 
direction where you have close-together/orderly bokeh bursting out onto 
the left [...] I would love to hear what you think - could this work for 
F12? How could we push it further?" Bill Nottingham worried[2] about a 
need to respin all the release artwork, Jaroslav Reznik complained[3] a 
late and potentially disruptive change "I was really happy that we have 
everything ready in time for alpha and now we're starting again from 
point zero :(". Máirín pointed [4] this is an evolutionary process "This 
is not restarting from point zero. There is an absolute progression here 
if you start from the first iteration to these iterations", while others 
like Charlie Brej expressed their support[5] for the new design "As I 
said in IRC, I do like very much." At the time of this writing, the 
development continue, Fedora Weekly News will keep you updated.


---  Post-Beta Changes for the Desktop Look ---

Matthias Clasen started la large controversy[1] on @fedora-desktop after 
announcing a number of post-Beta changes to the desktop look and feel 
"note has been moved to the left, with the other launchers, the user 
switcher has been moved to the far right and the show desktop button has 
been removed. We have added padding between objects on the panel." A lot 
of people criticised the change so late in the release cycle, after the 
feature freeze made in a non-transparent way, like Rahul Sundaram[2] 
"The show desktop button has been in the GNOME panel for years and 
years. I am not sure why you wait for such changes to be done at the 
last minute. Where does such changes get discussed?" or John Poelstra[3] 
"I think removing the hide desktop button is a really bad change too. I 
also don't understand why these changes continue to pile on when we are 
way past past alpha and feature freeze. These do not seem like 'bug 
fixes'. Are more changes planned too?"


--  Security Advisories --

In this section, we cover Security Advisories from fedora-package-announce.


Contributing Writer: Pascal Calarco

---  Fedora 11 Security Advisories ---

     * xpdf-3.02-15.fc11 - 
     * pidgin-2.6.3-2.fc11 - 

---  Fedora 10 Security Advisories ---

     * xpdf-3.02-15.fc10 - 
     * pidgin-2.6.3-2.fc10 - 

--  Virtualization --

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

Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley

---  Fedora Virtualization List ---

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

----  KVM and Paravirtualization ----

The Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine is a form of hardware assisted 
virtualization[1] as opposed to software-only or paravirtualization. 
This means the underlying hardware must have CPU features like Intel-VT 
or AMD-V. While common in the last few years, there are still many 
servers in operation which lack these extensions.

Giovanni Tirloni asked[2] about the state of paravirtualization support 
in KVM, and asked about a set of KVM patches[3].

Dor Laor answered[4] there is no plan to support non-VT hardware with 
KVM. While Xen is not supported on Fedora, it is still a 
paravirtualization for such hardware option under Redhat 5.

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardware-assisted_virtualization
    2. http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-virt/2009-October/msg00090.html
    3. http://people.redhat.com/mingo/kvm-paravirt-patches/
    4. http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-virt/2009-October/msg00092.html

----  Installing Virtio Drivers in Windows XP Setup ----

Richard Hughes posted[1] the following directions for installing VirtIO 
drivers[2] during Windows XP setup.

     * create a 1.44Mb image file
     * mount it by loopback
     * format it with vfat
     * copy the Install/Xp/x86/viostor.sys, Install/Xp/x86/wnet.inf, and 
the txtsetup.oem file below to the root of the mounted image
     * umount the loop device
     * attach the floppy image as a floppy storage element in the VM's 
details pane
     * boot the VM
     * remember to press F6 when booting the windows xp setup and select 
the VirtoIO device.

File txtsetup.oem:

d1 = "Viostor SCSI driver disk",\disk1.tag,\

SCSI = viostor

viostor = "Viostor SCSI Controller"

driver = d1,viostor.sys,viostor
inf = d1,wnet.inf

id = "PCI\VEN_1AF4&DEV_1001","viostor"

Richard added "I'm still unable to install XP using ide, scsi or virtio 
drivers as it gives the message "Setup was unable to format the 
partition. The disk maybe damaged." -- any ideas welcome."

    1. http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-virt/2009-October/msg00101.html
    2. http://www.linux-kvm.org/page/WindowsGuestDrivers/Download_Drivers

---  Virtualization Tools List ---

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

----  libosinfo Revisited ----

Arjun Roy revived[1] discussion of a library to track details of OS 
distributions for use by tools such as 
image:Echo-package-16px.pngpython-virtinst and virt-inspector. LibOSinfo 
was first proposed[2] by Cole Robinson.


---  Other Sources ---

----  Using Kernel Samepage Merging with KVM ----

An upcoming feature of Fedora 12 is KSM[1]. "Kernel SamePage Merging is 
a recent linux kernel feature which combines identical memory pages from 
multiple processes into one copy on write memory region." Haydn Solomon 
described[2] how KSM and KVM work together.

    1. http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/KSM

- end FWN 199 -

Pascal Calarco, Fedora Ambassador, Indiana, USA

More information about the announce mailing list