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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: August 25, 2003

Content:

1.  Gentoo News

Summary

New experimental LiveCDs and stages released for the AMD64 platform

New LiveCDs and stage tarballs have been released for the AMD64 platform, along with some technical notes about the port. Changes include many new updated ebuilds, miscellaneous bugfixes and other improvements. Users with Opterons are encouraged to test these items out to help our efforts to port Gentoo Linux over to the AMD64 architecture.

Gentoo Forums reach several new milestones

Most users of Gentoo Linux have taken advantage of the wealth of knowledge available in the Gentoo Forums. As Gentoo Linux has continued to grow in popularity, so have the forums. Recently, the forums past several milestones:

  • More than 25,000 registered users
  • More than 75,000 topic threads
  • Over 500 days old

Additionally, the forums database is nearing 2GB in size, with almost half a million posts. As far as we can tell, this makes it the busiest forum of any Linux distribution. While the forums have recently started to show some signs of strain due to the continued growth, they remain one of the best sources of information related to Gentoo Linux.

Over the coming months, we will continue to make changes to the forums to improve their usability and scalability.

2.  Gentoo Security

Summary

There were no Security announcements this week

New Security Bug Reports

The following new security bugs were posted in the past week:

3.  User stories

User stories is on hiatus this week. Remember to send us your bizarre, hilarious, or incredible Gentoo stories so they can be featured here!

4.  Featured Developer of the Week

The Featured Developer section is taking a break this week.

5.  Heard in the Community

Web Forums

Mostly Harmless

Some people used to blame baselayout, some the transition from modutils to module-init-tools, and everybody agrees that devfs is behind it all. Several threads over the past few weeks have pointed out that dozens of error messages are scrolling past the screen or cluttering the log files upon each reboot and user login or logout. While the noise certainly has nothing to do with a malfunctioning system, it is very annoying to many people, and makes the occasional real error much harder to spot, of course:

2.6 Kernel Attracting the Masses

With the test being up to number 4 by now, many people (including lots who never tried the 2.5.x series before) are checking if it works for them to move on to the next major release of the Linux kernel. The most weathered kernel testers among the Gentooists have always been particularly fast to spot problems and discuss them in the Forums, and many times they're also providing help to newcomers while they're at it.

Missing Locales

Not all locales get created automatically in Gentoo. Few people seem to know this, and every now and again it shimmers through a forum post:

gentoo-user

Understanding Cron

Something like the Cron daemon may seem simple to experienced Linux administrators. But sometimes the configuration and layout can be confusing to newer Linux users, like Scott Jones. Scott was trying check his email every hour with Cron, and some other mailing list members replied with tips and pointers that even more experienced Linux users may benefit from. Thread here .

Switching Processors

Mailing list member Stephen was swapping an Intel P4 processor for an AMD Athlon XP. in a post he made on the -user list this week, he inquired how he could do this without reinstalling Gentoo all over again. Some fellow list members came to the rescue with a flood of tips and suggestions to help the swap go smoothly. Read it here .

gentoo-dev

To Root or not to Root?

Rob Cakebread posed a question about root privilages when interacting with portage, especially with the perspective of creating portage related applications.

Copyright, copyleft, copy what?

A issue that comes up as often as the portage tree is changed is the one of copyright and how it relates back to our much loved Gentoo linux systems. Paul asked this question related to why licence and copyright assignments are included in ebuilds.

Install CD Bloat

There was a very active thread this week regarding the current status of the installation CDs. Some users were concerned about the current size of the LiveCDs while other users suggested ways of reducing the overallsize.

6.  Gentoo International

International takes a break this week

While there are certainly many things worth noting, it would help the GWN team tremendously if its readers were forthcoming with any events, user stories, interesting projects and trivial tidbits in their own countries they happen to come across. Please send suggestions to gwn-feedback@gentoo.org.

7.  Portage Watch

The following stable packages were updated or added to portage in the last two weeks:

Total categories: 85

Total packages: 5274

8.  Bugzilla

Summary

Statistics

The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 15 August 2003 and 21 August 2003, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 373 new bugs during this period
  • 260 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 12 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 3666 currently open bugs: 92 are labeled 'blocker', 184 are labeled 'critical', and 279 are labeled 'major'.

Closed Bug Rankings

The developers and teams who have closed the most bugs during this period are:

New Bug Rankings

The developers and teams who have been assigned the most new bugs during this period are:

9.  Tips and Tricks

Converting data with units

This week's tip shows you how to use the units command which is a nifty utility that converts quantities between scales (e.g. meters to feet or kilograms to pounds). While not an essential tool, it can certainly be convenient at times.

Code Listing 9.1: Getting units

# emerge app-sci/units
  

There are two ways to use the units command, interactively and non-interactively. To use it interactively, simply issue the command units.

Code Listing 9.2: Using units interactively

% units
1948 units, 71 prefixes, 28 functions

You have: 1 meter
You want: feet
        * 3.2808399
        / 0.3048
You have: 3 kilograms
You want: pounds
        * 6.6138679
        / 0.15119746
  

The first number (prefixed by a *) indicates the conversion as you specified (i.e. there are about 3.28 feet in a meter). The second number is the conversion in the opposite direction (i.e. there are about 0.3 meters in a foot).

To use units non-interactively, issue the command followed by the original expression and then the new expression.

Code Listing 9.3: Using units non-interactively

(How many pecks are in a bushel?)
% units '1 bushel' 'peck'
        * 4
        / 0.25

(How many miles per hour are in a knot?)
% units '1 knot' 'mph'
        * 1.1507794
        / 0.86897624
  

Note: A 'knot' is one nautical mile per hour.

See the man page (man units) for more information on the units command.

10.  Featured Quote/Signature of the Week

Featured Quote/Signature is on hiatus this week. If you see an interesting signature or hear an interesting quote in the web forums, mailing lists, IRC, or in a meatspace conversation with a fellow Gentooist, let us know at gwn-feedback@gentoo.org.

11.  Moves, Adds and Changes

Moves

The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:

  • none this week

Adds

The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:

  • none this week

Changes

The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux project.

  • none this week

12.  Contribute to GWN

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13.  GWN Feedback

Please send us your feedback and help make GWN better.

14.  GWN Subscription Information

To subscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank email to gentoo-gwn-subscribe@gentoo.org.

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15.  Other Languages

The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter is also available in the following languages:



Print

Page updated 25 August 2003

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of August 25th, 2003.

Yuji Carlos Kosugi
Editor

AJ Armstrong
Contributor

Brian Downey
Contributor

Cal Evans
Contributor

Chris Gavin
Contributor

Luke Giuliani
Contributor

Shawn Jonnet
Contributor

Michael Kohl
Contributor

Kurt Lieber
Contributor

Rafael Cordones Marcos
Contributor

David Narayan
Contributor

Gerald J Normandin Jr.
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Ulrich Plate
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Mathy Vanvoorden
Dutch Translation

Hendrik Eeckhaut
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Jorn Eilander
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Bernard Kerckenaere
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Peter ter Borg
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Jochen Maes
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Roderick Goessen
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Gerard van den Berg
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Matthieu Montaudouin
French Translation

Martin Prieto
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Antoine Raillon
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Sebastien Cevey
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Jean-Christophe Choisy
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Steffen Lassahn
German Translation

Matthias F. Brandstetter
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Thomas Raschbacher
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Klaus-J. Wolf
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Marco Mascherpa
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Claudio Merloni
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Christian Apolloni
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Stefano Lucidi
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Yoshiaki Hagihara
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Katsuyuki Konno
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Yuji Carlos Kosugi
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Yasunori Fukudome
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Takashi Ota
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Radoslaw Janeczko
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Lukasz Strzygowski
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Michal Drobek
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Adam Lyjak
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Krzysztof Klimonda
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Atila "Jedi" Bohlke Vasconcelos
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Eduardo Belloti
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João Rafael Moraes Nicola
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Marcelo Gonçalves de Azambuja
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Otavio Rodolfo Piske
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Pablo N. Hess -- NatuNobilis
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Pedro de Medeiros
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Ventura Barbeiro
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Bruno Ferreira
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Gustavo Felisberto
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José Costa
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Luis Medina
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Ricardo Loureiro
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Sergey Galkin
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Sergey Kuleshov
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Alex Spirin
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Dmitry Suzdalev
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Anton Vorovatov
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Lanark
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Fernando J. Pereda
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Lluis Peinado Cifuentes
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Zephryn Xirdal T
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Guillermo Juarez
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Jesús García Crespo
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Carlos Castillo
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Julio Castillo
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Aycan Irican
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Bugra Cakir
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Cagil Seker
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Emre Kazdagli
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Evrim Ulu
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