Fedora Weekly News 199
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
# 18.104.22.168 KVM and Paravirtualization
# 22.214.171.124 Installing Virtio Drivers in Windows XP
+ 1.7.2 Virtualization Tools List
# 126.96.36.199 libosinfo Revisited
+ 1.7.3 Other Sources
# 188.8.131.52 Using Kernel Samepage Merging with KVM
- Fedora Weekly News Issue 199 -
Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 199 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. 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
-- 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 ---
Pavol Rusnak described how scripts using LD_LIBRARY_PATH can be
written to work in a more secure way.
Konstantin Ryabitsev explained the many reasons why embedding
passwords in PHP scripts is a Bad Idea, and possible alternatives.
Matt Domsch helped 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 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 and virt-ls as well as a list of current
(and upcoming) virt-* tools. Richard provided some tips too,
obtaining the Windows version and service pack number and
unpacking 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."
--- 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, Sandro Mathys, Paul W. Frields and Andrew
Vermilya Jamison all installed the Beta and posted their initial
Nicu Buceli noted F12's better webcam support and threw a Windows
7 party to celebrate. And if you want your menu icons back, Nicu can
tell you how to do that too.
Nicu also reviewed the new GNOME Shell, as did Jeff Ollie.
Matt Domsch mentioned 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 the work so far in developing a new desktop
wallpaper background image.
And finally, some news from off-planet. Ars Technica took a look at
the Fedora 12 Beta release.
-- Ambassadors --
In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.
Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero
--- 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
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.
In this section, we cover the activities of the QA team.
Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson
--- Test Days ---
Last week's first Test Day 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 was on power management 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, the last of the Fedora 12 cycle, will be on
internationalization (also known as i18n) - 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
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
--- Weekly meetings ---
The QA group weekly meeting was held on 2009-10-19. The full log is
available. 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
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, 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
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. Kamil had continued work on his
script to monitor important changes in packages, now renamed 'rpmguard'.
It is now maintained in AutoQA git. 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. 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 to monitor tickets as they come in.
Adam Williamson asked the group to help develop the Fedora 12 Common
Bugs page by adding issues to it and marking bugs which should be
added to it with the CommonBugs keyword. James Laska provided a search
URL for listing bug reports marked as needing to be added to a
Common Bugs page.
The Bugzappers group weekly meeting was held on 2009-10-20. The full
log is available. 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. 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 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.
--- Fedora 12 Beta release ---
Of course, the week's big news was the release of Fedora 12 Beta.
This prompted several threads    (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 of the SELinux confined users Test
Day, listing the bug reports resulting from the Test Day and thanking
the testers and also Dan Walsh, who had already begun resolving reported
--- Fedora 12 blocker bug review meeting ---
Adam Williamson provided a recap of the blocker bug review meeting
which took place on Friday 2009-10-23, linking to a report 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
--- 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
--- Cracklib Translations for Anaconda ---
Translation of the cracklib package was recommened by Ankit Patel, 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
--- 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. Currently this discussion is open on
the fedora-trans mailing list.
--- New Members/Maintainers in FLP ---
Dimitrios Typaldos joined the Greek Translation team last week while
Iñigo Varela announced the new Asturian Translation team. Also,
Silvio Pierro took over the maintainership of the Italian Translation
team. This team was earlier led by Francesco Tombolini.
-- Artwork --
In this section, we cover the Fedora Design Team.
Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei
--- Fedora 12 Countdown banner ---
Máirín Duffy asked 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 and Alexander Smirnov provided alternate implementations.
--- Icon Emblems ---
Matthias Clasen asked for help 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.
--- F12 Final Wallpaper Polish ---
After consulting on IRC with other members of the team Máirín Duffy
proposed 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 about a
need to respin all the release artwork, Jaroslav Reznik complained 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  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 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 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
"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
"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 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 about the state of paravirtualization support
in KVM, and asked about a set of KVM patches.
Dor Laor answered 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.
---- Installing Virtio Drivers in Windows XP Setup ----
Richard Hughes posted the following directions for installing VirtIO
drivers 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
* boot the VM
* remember to press F6 when booting the windows xp setup and select
the VirtoIO device.
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."
--- Virtualization Tools List ---
This section contains the discussion happening on the virt-tools-list list.
---- libosinfo Revisited ----
Arjun Roy revived 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 by Cole Robinson.
--- Other Sources ---
---- Using Kernel Samepage Merging with KVM ----
An upcoming feature of Fedora 12 is KSM. "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 how KSM and KVM work together.
- end FWN 199 -
Pascal Calarco, Fedora Ambassador, Indiana, USA
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