Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: August 15th, 2005
Gentoo Linux 2005.1 released
The Gentoo Release Engineering team is proud to announce the release
of Gentoo Linux 2005.1. This release is the second release of 2005
and is the culmination of five months of work. Some major software
changes from 2005.0 are GNOME 2.10, KDE 3.4.1, XFce 4.2.2, X.Org
6.8.2, and a 2.6.12 kernel.
This release also provides two additional x86 LiveCD images,
in combination with the minimal and universal InstallCDs seen in
previous releases: a new x86 LiveCD from the
Hardened project, and the new x86 Installer LiveCD which features a
first public alpha release of the Gentoo Linux Installer, with both a GTK+
and dialog-based front-end.
The SPARC team has switched to using hwsetup for doing device
auto-detection, which should give them more device compatibility and
the IA64 team has released a minimal LiveCD as mentioned in a previous
GWN. PPC and PPC64 now operate under a joint parent profile in the
same fashion as SPARC and MIPS do for their 32/64-bit equivalents and
G5 support has been moved completely from PPC32 to PPC64.
The genkernel utility has also been heavily worked on and now has many
new features such as initramfs, gensplash and dmraid
support along with many other enhancements and bug fixes.
Figure 1.1: CD labels can be downloaded for each of the architectures
The release is available for download from our
mirrors and from the
BitTorrent tracker kindly provided by Friends
of Gentoo e.V.. Companion CD labels, color-coded to represent the
different architecture, can be downloaded from a common location.
First Gentoo developer conference webcast
Having just about packed up the Gentoo booth at last week's Linux World
Expo in San Francisco, the mostly US-based developers who had represented
Gentoo at the show stayed on for another day, to participate in the first
fully-fledged US Gentoo developer conference, held at the premises of Global Netoptex, Inc. (GNi). Owing
its success to the tireless work of organizer Corey
Shields, the event brought together Gentoo Foundation trustees, developers
and guests. Special thanks to Indiana University for their streaming services that
made it possible for dozens of fellow developers at large to participate
in the conference! For those who followed the presentations via the webcast,
a special IRC channel #gentoo-devconference was set aside on
irc.freenode.net to allow for interaction: developers abroad were able to
ask questions and voice their opinions almost in real-time during the entire
Presentations held are listed at the event's
website, the slides are going to be made available soon. The webcast
has also been recorded and will be put up for download, too. Watch this space.
You may be wondering, why in the world will one nice, easy xorg-x11
package turn into almost 300 separate ones? And you'd certainly be
justified in this. It's not something Gentoo is doing independently
of upstream X.Org; they're
splitting up all the packages into separate releases, and we're
just following along.
The reasoning behind the split and changing build system is at least
X is too difficult to get into for new devs, so thus the move to
autotools, a system more people are comfortable with if not happy with.
Along with that move, splitting out the source is possible with
autotools, and this also makes it more developer-friendly.
Things have been unnecessarily tied together in the past, and this
has made getting bugfixes out often impossible. If they were able to get
out fixes, it required rebuilding all of XOrg. For example, a bug in the
ati driver would either need to wait 6 months until the next release, or
you'd have to rebuild your fonts to get it, for absolutely no reason.
For Gentoo users, the change should be seamless. All you'll have to do
is `emerge xorg-x11` and you'll get all the required packages, although
some rarely used programs such as xedit or xmh may not be a part of it.
So far, most of the packages are in the tree, but not the meta-ebuilds
necessary for the seamless transition. Over the next month, expect to
see the modular X experience transform from arduous to exciting.
The release of X11R7.0 isn't expected until sometime in September, but
the "zeroth" release candidate already came out a couple of weeks ago.
If you want to become an early adopter of modular X, be prepared to do a
bit of work and file upstream bugs. Here's a guide
on using what Gentoo has in the tree for modular X. Over time, it will
become much easier to migrate than it is now. If you have any questions,
please contact Donnie Berkholz.
Heard in the community
imlate on x86
Olivier Crête used the "imlate"
script which is used to find packages that have newer versions to see
how up-to-date x86 is compared to other architectures. He writes:
"The results are surprising, 214 packages are more recent on non-x86
architectures. But its pretty hard to know if its because they have arch
specific patches or because the maintainer's arch is not x86..."
do we need a "man" USE-flag?
Since almost everything in Gentoo can be customized, why don't we have a
"man" USE-flag that prevents that man-pages get installed? Of course
there is FEATURES="noman", but it doesn't solve all (potential)
gcc-config 2.0 development
Jeremy Huddleston offers some
insight into the development of gcc-config 2.0, a rewrite of
gcc-config that should address some of the shortcomings of the gcc-config
UK: AFFS conference in London
Gentoo in the UK was recently asked to have a voice at the Association For Free
Software's annual general meeting. Gentoo developers Daniel Drake, Tim Yamin, Stuart Herbert and Rob Holland went along accompanied
by George Prowse from the
Gentoo Forums. Tim Yamin gave a 45 minute introduction to Gentoo and
Figure 4.1: Left to right: Rob Holland, Stuart Herbert, Daniel Drake and Tim Yamin
Organised by the association, the meeting was also used to showcase
potholes and problems with the up-and-coming software patents problems
in the European Parliament; at the same time allowing Linux distributions
to talk with FOSS advocates. The conference made it possible for the
Gentoo developers in the UK to meet with not only some of their userbase
but also some of their equivalent developers at Debian. The day was
considered a success after Tim's speech made the Gentoo stall very busy
with interested people and we learned that a few of our users had
migrated from Debian.
Germany: Report from the first GentooSummerCamp
Thanks to the organisation of German Forums moderator Uwe Hölzel (slick),
from Friday until Sunday, 12 to 14 August 2005, several Gentoo users and
developers packed their tents and made a trip into Germany's hinterland
region called "Westerwald". On a meadow at the camping site and inn ”Gasthof
Hahnhof“ the first attendees set up their tents on Friday afternoon. Some
more arrived during the evening as they had to ride up to 800 km, like
Stefan Walkner (Hephaistos)
from Salzburg who came all the way from Austria, or Hilefoks
who lives on Germany's North Sea coast.
Figure 4.2: The campground ”Gasthof Hahnhof“ and the campfire
After a long evening and short night, the Saturday became a very
beautiful day. The sun was shining the whole day and quite everybody got
a nice sunburn. At the afternoon somebody pushed his bicycle to the
campground… It turned out that Thorsten Zantis (psyqil)
did the 100km-trip with his bike and during the very last kilometre a tire
burst! Anyways, we had enough drinks available, like every kind of beer
from a good Austrian ’Helles‘, via some Pils, Alt and Kölsch up to a dry
beer from the coast. And nobody had to stay hungry, as we had enough
meat for the barbecue and salads for everyone.
A campfire in the evening held us warm during the whole night, and even
when it started to rain on early Sunday morning, some of us still sat
at the campfire. After a short breakfast in the rain we removed our wet
Figure 4.3: (left to right) oma, HaPhi, tomyum, Pylon, dertobi123, Hilefoks, dakra, Hephaistos, psyqil, slick, Inte
It's noteworthy that we did not need any computers, and still had enough topics
to talk about, even besides Gentoo! It was a pleasure to meet a couple of people
you know only from the forums or IRC. And there are fledgling plans for another
camp next year on the North Sea coast already.
Gentoo in the press
Ars Technica (8 August 2005)
A review of a 64-bit laptop computer powered by Gentoo Linux was published
in Ars Technica last Monday. The "LinuxCertified"
model sports an AMD64 processor and comes preloaded with Gentoo, Fedora
or SuSE Linux.
Harvard Business School Working Knowledge (1 August 2005)
Toyota and Linux Keep Collaboration Simple" is the title of an
article originally printed in the Harvard Business Review, recounting
the events when Gentoo developer Andrea
Barisani - or more specifically his Trieste University's Gentoo
Linux server - was under attack a couple of years ago. Authors Philip
Evans and Bob Wolf take the ensuing bug fix activities that rapidly
span the globe as an example for the ways of the Linux world, and put
them into perspective of the Toyota production system, finding lots of
similarities: "Widespread, granular communication. In both the Linux and
Toyota communities, information about problems and solutions is shared
widely, frequently, and in small increments."
Moves, adds, and changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:
- Luis Medinas (MetalGOD) - Printing herd and AMD64
The following developers recently changed roles within the
Gentoo Linux project:
- Jose Alberto Suarez Lopez (BaSS) - stepped down from his post as Spanish lead translator
No security announcements this week
No GLSAs have been issued since publication of the last GWN. Check back next week.
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track
bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the
development team. Between 07 August 2005
and 14 August 2005, activity on the site has resulted in:
- 832 new bugs during this period
- 462 bugs closed or resolved during this period
- 34 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
Of the 8117 currently open bugs: 108 are labeled 'blocker', 196 are labeled 'critical', and 538 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:
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