Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: September 15, 2003
Official Gentoo port to IA64 begun
Earlier this week Daniel Robbins announced on gentoo-dev that HP had donated a dual-CPU Itanium 2 system to Gentoo and spelled out the steps in the porting plan, mainly consisting of getting Portage to work in Debian/IA64 and converting it to a native Gentoo installation, and expanding IA64 support throughout the Portage tree. What no one expected, though, was for someone to chime in with a working stage1 tarball and enough ebuild patches to have a usable headless system. The donated machine is now set up on Daniel Robbins' LAN and is awaiting conversion to Gentoo. If you have experience with IA64 and wish to help in some capacity, please email Seemant Kulleen and cc Daniel Robbins. This port will probably proceed quickly because of the many developers interested in the port as well as this early boost; check future newsletters for information on its progress.
There were no Security announcements this week
New Security Bug Reports
The following new security bugs were posted in the past week:
User stories is on hiatus this week. Remember to send us your bizarre, hilarious, or incredible Gentoo stories so they can be featured here!
Featured Developer of the Week
Figure 4.1: Adrian Almenar
This week, we are featuring Adrian Almenar (strider). Adrian works primarily with Gentoo's
java team, fixing bugs and maintaining the packages in dev-java/*. He
particularly focuses on maintaining the JDK packages and java-config,
as well as xalan-j, xerces-j, ant, maven and jikes. Gentoo is his
first major role as a developer on an open-source project, but he has
collaborated on translating materials for Jakarta-Tomcat. The work he
is most proud of was commencing the port of java-config to python, a
task that was completed by Todd Berman and Jason Mobarak.
Adrian lives and works in Caracas, Venezuela, where the climate
encourages his fondness for cold beer. He is employed as a java
programmer for a mobile Internet services company, where 90% of the
production servers are now Gentoo-based. At night, he is studying
Economic Sciences at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, after
studying Computer Science for some years. Despite daytime work, night
courses, and weekends working on Gentoo, he still manages to spend a
little time with his girlfriend, Stella. He also claims to be able to
find time to pursue hobbies in Ham radio, electronics and
telecommunications as well as the more prosaic pastimes of reading,
movies and going out with friends.
Adrian prefers to use XFCE4 as his Window Manager at work, but uses
KDE at home for his mother's sake (yes, his mother uses Gentoo). He
uses Sylpheed-claws to manage his 5 email accounts, and prefers
Mozilla-Firebird, Gaim, XMMS, J-Pilot, GKrellm, vim and kvim for other
tools. His home computers are a Pentium IV 1.8 GHz (768 Mb, Geforce
2) development box and an Athlon 800 MHz (128 Mb, TNT2) that serves as
a mail server, firewall, and computer for his mother.
Adrian first began using Linux with Slackware in 1996, when he used it
for Web development and Java programming in his first job. He became
aware of Gentoo in April of 2002, and began using it that June, when
the 1.2 release was available. When he discovered how well it met his
needs, he began using it at work, and eventually assisted with the
migration of many of his company's computers to Gentoo. He offered us
a quote from the movie Hackers, which he says describes Linux'
role in the OS market: "Mess with the best, die like the rest."
Heard in the Community
The Race for the G5
When oubipaws casually claimed he had been running Gentoo Linux on his Apple Macintosh G5, the Gentoo PPC developer elite flocked to the thread to see what was going on. Sadly, the skeptics prevailed in the end, but at least the excitement was real... And even the most fool-proof devs are definitely glad to see so many people trying Gentoo Linux on their new G5 machines:
From Denmark with Love
Not everyone is looking for just fifteen minutes of fame... Rather than pushing their personalities to the front, some people are quite successful at using the Forum as a channel to get their work into the limelight. At 20,000 regulars on board, and a rather grateful audience at that, this is often greeted with loud cheers and upped thumbs by Forum users. This week's most blatantly obvious example of a non-official development stint anchored in a Forum thread comes from Lovechild. The Forum legend and notorious Breakmygentoo contributor now even has his own kernel patch set out, and last week opened shop in a thread at the forums that has become second home to a merry bunch of desktop performance guerilleros:
Quick Tips for Dial-Up users
Broadband users shouldn't have all the fun. A gentoo-user list member wanted to know what tips and tricks were out there for dial-up users,
and some good ones got posted
Germany: "Practical Linux" Show on 11 October in Gießen
Benjamin Judas, aka Beejay, a Gentooist living a mere half hour from the conference venue, has announced Gentoo's participation in this year's Practical Linux Day, an annual event at the Fachhochschule Gießen (University of Applied Science), located about 80 km north of Frankfurt/Main. Beejay will give a presentation during the main session, and a Gentoo booth will undoubtedly be manned by the usual suspects. A shipment of freshly minted LiveCD is rumoured to be on its way for sale at the show. Tell the other lads you're coming at at the corresponding forum thread (in German).
Portage Watch is on hiatus this week.
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track
bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 05 September 2003 and 11 September 2003, activity
on the site has resulted in:
- 437 new bugs during this period
- 295 bugs closed or resolved during this period
- 8 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
Of the 3864 currently open bugs: 94 are labeled 'blocker', 200 are labeled 'critical', and 285 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:
Tips and Tricks
An introduction to sudo
This week's tip demonstrates some common uses of sudo which allows
normal users to run commands with elevated privileges. This week we look
at using sudo to view log files and handle basic user
Code Listing 9.1: Getting sudo
% emerge app-admin/sudo
The first thing to do is set up the /etc/sudoers file which
controls all the privileges handled by sudo. Instead of editing
this file directly, use the visudo command. For a full list of
configuration options, see the sudoers man page (man 5 sudoers).
This file is just an example and demonstrates how to create command and
Code Listing 9.2: /etc/sudoers
# sudoers file.
# This file MUST be edited with the 'visudo' command as root.
# See the sudoers man page for the details on how to write a sudoers file.
# User alias specification
User_Alias HELPDESK = jfox, helpdesk
User_Alias SYSADMINS = david, jc
# Cmnd alias specification
# Create aliases for all commands used in viewing files
Cmnd_Alias VIEW = /bin/cat, /bin/grep, /bin/more, /usr/bin/head, \
# commands for user administration
Cmnd_Alias USERADMIN = /usr/sbin/useradd, /usr/sbin/userdel, \
# User privilege specification
# Allow SYSADMINS to run any command as any user
SYSADMINS ALL = ALL
# Allow users in HELPDESK to use the user administration commands and
# to use the VIEW commands without a password
HELPDESK ALL = USERADMIN, NOPASSWD:VIEW
# Allow users in the %users group to use the VIEW commands
%users ALL = VIEW
Now that your /etc/sudoers file has been created, you can
issue commands using sudo command.
Code Listing 9.3: Examples
helpdesk@mybox% sudo tail /var/log/critical/current
jfox@mybox% sudo useradd marcus
Password: password for jfox
While this is no means comprehensive, this should introduce you to some of
the many possibilities of sudo. For more examples and options see
the man pages or the web page at http://www.courtesan.com/sudo/.
Featured Quote/Signature of the Week
Featured Quote/Signature is taking a break this week.
Moves, Adds and Changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux project.
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