Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: February 17th, 2003
Catch Gentoo Zetagrid Fever
We've reported on the
Zetagrid project before. Recently, however, the GLUE team broke the
top 100 producers list and, as of press time, currently
ranks 86th on the list. Now, thanks to an
ebuild in Portage, along with a sample configuration file from Michael's
zetagrid site, it's even easier for Gentoo users to donate their spare CPU cycles
to the GLUE team and help increase the chances of winning part of the $1,000,000 prize.
New rsync mirrors.
After our recent report on the Gentoo
mirror slowdowns, several Gentoo users stepped forward with offers to set up new Gentoo Linux mirrors, both for the Portage tree, as
well as the source packages. The result has been a significant increase in the number of
download mirrors available to the Gentoo community.
Guidelines are available for users who wish to set up public mirrors to help the Gentoo Linux project, including instructions for setting
up rsync mirrors, which just mirror the Portage tree as well as instructions for
setting up source mirrors, which mirror the actual source tarballs of the
various packages contained within Portage.
GNOME 2.2 now in Portage
GNOME 2.2 ebuilds were released to the Gentoo community early last week and Gentoo GNOME users everywhere rejoiced at the new features
like multihead support,
unified theming and the official inclusion of the
Metacity window manager. A complete list of features and changes
can be found in the GNOME 2.2 release notes.
There were no new security alerts issued in the past week.
New Security Bug Reports
The following new security-related bug reports were submitted to the bugzilla database
Featured Developer of the Week
Figure 3.1: Dan Armak
There's been much rejoicing among KDE users lately because of
the release of KDE 3.1, and this week we feature one of the developers
responsible for bringing it to Gentoo:
Dan Armak, KDE team leader. Dan
began using Gentoo back when you had to scroll halfway down a list of
more than a hundred minor and specialized distros to even see it
mentioned anywhere, and seeing that it was the kind of power-user distro
he was looking for, he started using it and writing ebuilds for some
important apps he needed, like LyX. It was around this time that Dan
came up with the idea for CVS ebuilds and eclasses in general and,
before he knew it, got invited to become a developer. Dan wrote the KDE
eclasses(Dan shudders at the thought of the old KDE ebuilds, which
contained most of the code that the KDE eclasses do today) and the
cvs.eclass, and now maintains both. Thanks to these eclasses Dan
doesn't have to do too much work with miscellaneous KDE packages (unless
there's a bug in the source that they need to fix) so kde-base (along
with koffice and kdevelop) takes up most of Dan and the other KDE
Besides KDE, some of Dan's favorite pieces of software include mc, Lyx
(a front-end to LaTeX), bash, and epsxe. His Toshiba laptop is out for
repairs at the moment, but he's borrowing a nice Athlon with lots of RAM from a
friend, as well as a panoply of ancient boxen for parts and doorstops.
Dan lives in Matan, a smallish town in Israel, and is a student - at
Ami Asaf high school during the day and at the Open University in the
year, he'll be going into the army, but hopes to find a nice job in the
tech/computers unit of the IDF, where he'll be free to preach Gentoo.
His hobbies include Squaresoft RPGs, reading, writing, observing
Interesting People, and OSS evangelism toward his friends.
Heard In The Community
New powerbooks and Gentoo PPC
Apple Computers has whetted the appetite of its fans with the new 12 and 17 inch Powerbooks last month, and now they're finally shipping all over the place. Gentoo PPC users aren't any less excited, they have begun gathering their troops to install Linux as soon as their new gadgets arrive in the mail. After some initial skepticism about kernel support for the new hardware it seems like a quick solution may be available after all:
Bob the Ebuilder
There have been several attempts by Gentoo parents to gather information about Linux software for younger children in the past. A few notoriously addictive games and educational applications for Linux have always been available as ebuilds, but many other alternatives to the huge Windows market for kiddie progs are still out there waiting to be Gentooified. And last week, a collective "Bob the Ebuilder" initiative has come forth that promises to catch up quickly with some of the things missing in Portage. The official thread to post requests, announce ebuilds checked into bugs.gentoo.org, and feedback from beta testers in the age bracket 3-10 is here:
Linux user profiles are as varied as in any other random group of people. Just because we happen to use the same operating system doesn't mean necessarily that we have anything else in common. As it turns out, some people do, though: a planetary convention of musicians using Gentoo Linux has built up in the Forums, thrown together by coincidence, united in their effort to come up with something special. One of the possible results of this thread (besides mentions of the most obscure software names ever) may well be a Gentoone on the LiveCD, something to hum along during installation:
...is all it takes to write an ebuild for a missing window manager in Gentoo. What started as an innocent question about Wing's Desktop Manager and why it wasn't available as an ebuild, has become a fine example of how someone with the right skill set and half an hour of spare time on their hands can remedy that on the spot. Have a look at this thread:
'gcc: command not found'
A lot of talk about gcc not being available to the system was happening on gentoo-user this week.
One thread entitled 'distcc'
began with the author's solution to the 'gcc: command not found' problem. The root of the issue is caused by
attempting to invoke gcc in a shell where /etc/profile isn't being sourced. Three unique solutions were offered within
this thread alone! Nick Jones contributed the simplest one, being 'su -'. A monumental strength and joy of Gentoo is
the encouragement of customization, thus choose whichever soltuion best fits your needs.
All kinds of tars make up the pit
Brett Holcomb, a gentoo-user veteran,
whether Gentoo's "tar" command was a modified version of the
one on the GNU site. Tar is the standard *nix utility for compressing all kinds of data into a single file called an archive.
Interesting enough, the responses made clear that the tar command does vary from distro
to distro. The switches, especially dealing with bzip2 and gzip, will often vary depending on the distro's compile
of the tar sources. This shouldn't present itself as a problem as it is easily worked around through the use of
pipes and standalone utilities.
ProPolice enabled gcc/gentoo.
Matt Rickard has implemented a ProPolice patched GCC ebuild. He says: "This patch will build stack-smashing protection into your code at compile time. This is an excellent security measure -- one that has just recently been implemented in OpenBSD-current. It can be enabled explicitly through the CFLAG -fstack-protector or turned on by default with a separate patch." Dylan Carlson pointed out that there is a bug filed regarding this topic.
Gentoo Vienna Meeting
Meetings of the Austrian branch of Gentooism have started happening in July last year, but sort of went out of fashion. Last week, the official Viennese Gentoo users coordination thread has started an attempt to revive the tradition and is making plans for the next gathering. It'll be soon, but a date hasn't been fixed yet, so you can still make your preferences heard.
tirantloblanc has traced the official Spanish name for the Gentoo penguin, and discovered that flocks of this fastest swimmer among birds are living in the southernmost parts of Chile. The Pingüino Papúa's largest colonies, however, live on the Falk^H^H^H^HMalvinas islands off the coast of Argentina. Which presumably makes them UK citizens, but as an open source bird rather unlikely to become a sufficient reason for anything more serious than a flame war...
The following stable packages were added to portage this week
Note: Because of the pending release of 1.4_final, the Portage tree is currently frozen. As such, no new stable packages were introduced to Portage this week
Updates to notable packages
- gnome-base/gnome - gnome-2.2-r1.ebuild;
- sys-kernel/* - ac-sources-2.4.21_pre4-r3.ebuild; ac-sources-2.4.21_pre4-r4.ebuild; ck-sources-2.4.20-r3.ebuild; development-sources-2.5.60-r1.ebuild; development-sources-2.5.60.ebuild; hppa-sources-2.4.20_p23.ebuild; hppa-sources-2.4.20_p24.ebuild; hppa-sources-2.4.20_p26.ebuild; mjc-sources-2.5.59-r1.ebuild; ppc-sources-2.4.20-r3.ebuild; rsbac-sources-2.4.20.ebuild; wolk-sources-4.0_pre10.ebuild;
- dev-php/php - php-4.3.0-r3.ebuild; php-4.3.0-r4.ebuild;
- app-admin/gentoolkit - gentoolkit-0.1.18-r1.ebuild; gentoolkit-0.1.18.ebuild;
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track
bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. In the last 7 days, activity
on the site has resulted in:
There are currently 2305 bugs open in bugzilla. Of these: 45 are labelled 'blocker', 82 are labelled 'critical',
and 160 are labelled 'major'.
- 270 new bugs this week
- 191 bugs closed this week
- 1680 total bugs currently marked 'new'
- 574 total bugs curently assigned to developers
- 51 bugs that were previously closed have been reopened.
Closed Bug Rankings
The developers and teams who have closed the most bugs this week are:
New Bug Rankings
The developers and teams who have been assigned the most new bugs this week are:
Tips and Tricks
Bash Commands and Tricks
Just about all Gentoo user make use of the command line - this week focuses on some little-known navigation commands that may make your life easier.
Code Listing 8.1: Bash Key Combinations
Also you can use !word to re-execute the last command beginning with "word".
Code Listing 1.1: Using !word
$ gcc -o test test.c
gcc -o test test.c
Ever get tired of typing long directory names? Try using the directory stack with the commands pushd, popd, and dirs. THe directory stack allows you to keep a list of directories and navigate between them.
Code Listing 1.1: The directory stack
~:$ pushd /usr/portage
The idea for this weeks tip came from Pavel Tcholakov and was submitted to the GWN feedback list.
Moves, Adds and Changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo team:
- Guy Martin (GMSoft) -- Gentoo/HPPA
- Graham Forest (vladimir) -- Gentoo/PPC
- Bartosch Pixa (DarkSpecter) -- Gentoo/PPC
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project.
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