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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: July 25th, 2005


1.  Gentoo News

Bugzilla: Bug 100,000!

In early 2002 Gentoo Bugzilla was started to have a central tool for tracking bugs. Over time, other things like feature requests and version bumps were also tracked as bugs since Bugzilla makes it quite easy.

On Saturday, July 23rd, at 9:58 UTC, bug number 100,000 was posted.

Figure 1.1: Bug 100,000 in Gentoo Bugzilla

Fig. 1: Bug 100,000

This is a numerical milestone that shows how popular Bugzilla has become. The database weighs in at almost 1.5GB! The current rate is just over 100 new bugs a day with a small spike on weekends and a larger spike during the BugDays that are taking all available timezones to expand to almost two days these days.

Without the constant tweaks and upgrades by Jeffrey Forman this wouldn't be possible. Also, a big thanks to the bugwranglers that manage the bugs and keep us from drowning in the constant flood of new bugs!

Keeping gentoo-sources-2.4

In last week's Gentoo Weekly Newsletter we wrote about “Discontinuing Gentoo-2.4-sources”. Due to the whole bunch of e-mails the Gentoo kernel team received, they decided to keep gentoo-sources-2.4 beside vanilla-sources-2.4.

There was an update to sys-kernel/gentoo-sources-2.4.31-r1, which is masked ~x86 currently. Gentoo developer Tim Yamin asks for tests of this kernel-version, as some patches have been removed. A detailed list of the patches and a some help for the migration can be found in Gentoo developer John Mylchreest's blogpost from last Monday after the first bunch of user e-mails reached the Gentoo kernel team.

Furthermore John asks those users who are using OpenSWAN with gentoo-sources-2.4 and who are unable to move to a 2.6-kernel, to mail, so that they can make a decision about the future of this patchset from the feedback they got. Last of all the kernel team would like to mention that for those users who are using OpenAFS, that this package is getting it's much needed attention, and that a kernel-2.6 compatible release should be available reasonably soon.

2.  Heard in the community


upgrades and rc-scripts

Brian Harring starts a nice discussion with the naive question: “Out of curiousity, has any put any thought into some automated method or hook for allowing restarting of rc-scripts on upgrade/re-emerge of a package?”

Bugzilla isn't just for bugs [reminder]

Maybe it's named badly, maybe the documentation isn't obvious enough, but Gentoo Bugzilla is not only for bugs, but also for feature requests and other things. Michael Cummings even asks for reports of working packages in ~ARCH so that it's easier for developers to see if there are any issues. Of course this shouldn't be abused!

3.  Gentoo International

Germany: National User-Meeting in August

German forums moderator slick currently organises a national user-meeting during the weekend August 13 and 14. Currently planned is camping near to an inn in the lovely village Wissen located in the countryside called Westerwald (between Cologne and Frankfurt/Main). Potential attendees to this meeting are asked to register on a special website slick set up for this event.

The idea behind is that there are many people in the quite large German community who meet daily in IRC or the forums, probably met at one of the local Gentoo User Meetings or on a fair somewhere in Germany. But there was often too few time for a longer talk and getting known better to each-other.

4.  Gentoo in the press

Intel's virtualization tests with Gentoo as basis

In NewsForge's Ottawa Linux Symposium diary was mentioned a talk by Intel's architect Gordon McFadden about a virtualization test-setup. He used Gentoo with a 2.6.11-kernel and XFS-filesystem as basis for a User-Mode-Linux (UML) server. “His reasoning for using Gentoo was not philosophical, but simply that he had not used it before and wanted to try something new.”

5.  Tips and Tricks

Using vim as Man-page and Info browser

Man-pages and Info are a very good resource for additional information of an application. Man-pages are usually shown with less and for Info you use the info-browser. Especially the info-browser is somewhat uncommon to use if you are not an emacs-user. In this week's Tips and Tricks we will show you how to use vim as your Man-page and Info browser.

First we need to install an additional package for the Info browser in vim. The Man-page browser is included by default, but needs a little config-change for vim:

Code Listing 5.1: Installing app-vim/info

# emerge app-vim/info

Code Listing 5.2: Configuring vim for Man

# echo "runtime ftplugin/man.vim" >> ~/.vimrc

After that we will use bash-functions for calling vim and create aliases for man and info. Therefore edit your ~/.bashrc:

Code Listing 5.3: Creating man- and info-functions

function viminfo () { vim -R -c "Info $1 $2" -c "bdelete 1"; }
alias info=viminfo
function vimman () { vim -R -c "Man $1 $2" -c "bdelete 1"; }
alias man=vimman

Using the aliases gives the advantage that you still can use the original command by calling \man or \info.

Inside vim's Man-page browser you can use CTRL-] in order to call the man-page for the word under the cursor, and CTRL-T to jump back. More information are available with :help Man. There are more keys for the Info browser. A short help is shown with H when you display an Info-file.

6.  Moves, adds, and changes


The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:

  • None this week


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:

  • New developer: Bjarke Istrup Pedersen (Gurligebis) (bugday)


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

  • None this week

7.  Gentoo security

Mozilla Thunderbird: Multiple vulnerabilities

Several vulnerabilities in Mozilla Thunderbird allow attacks ranging from execution of script code with elevated privileges to information leak.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

MediaWiki: Cross-site scripting vulnerability

MediaWiki is vulnerable to a cross-site scripting attack that could allow arbitrary JavaScript code execution.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

zlib: Buffer overflow

zlib is vulnerable to a buffer overflow which could potentially lead to execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Shorewall: Security policy bypass

A vulnerability in Shorewall allows clients authenticated by MAC address filtering to bypass all other security rules.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

8.  Bugzilla



The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 16 July 2005 and 23 July 2005, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 811 new bugs during this period
  • 426 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 29 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 8200 currently open bugs: 106 are labeled 'blocker', 193 are labeled 'critical', and 553 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.  GWN feedback

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Page updated July 25, 2005

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 25 July 2005.

Ulrich Plate

Patrick Lauer

Lars Weiler

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