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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: November 21st, 2005


1.  Gentoo news

European Gentoo Developer Conference

Around 20 participants spent an icy November day at Schloss Kransberg, the venue for the second European Gentoo developer conference. Hosted in splendid isolation outside Frankfurt by GWN editor Ulrich Plate, the all-day event was attended by developers from Denmark, France, Switzerland Germany and the Netherlands.

Figure 1.1: Devs pYrania and tantive with Forum regular Inte in front of the castle

Fig. 1: SK

The program included presentations by Damien Krotkine who explained his libconf approach to make configuration file management a more rational affair, and Fabian Groffen who gave a rundown of past and future endeavours of the reanimated Gentoo on Mac OS X project. Markus Nigbur introduced his efforts at rewriting the old Gentoo statistics client, gentoo-stats, which is humming away nicely in a test environment, but has to wait for the latest PHP and MySQL in the stable tree before it becomes eligible for official hosting.

Figure 1.2: Short break between presentations

Fig. 2: Devcon

A big part of the discussion before lunch was centered around efforts to set up a master mirror in Europe to help alleviate the load on Gentoo's infrastructure at OSU. Patrick Lauer gave a status report on negotiations with potential sponsors, the scope and timeline for setting up a master distfiles and/or rsync mirror was discussed, and the participants agreed on aiming to get everything up and running before the 2006.0 release.

Tobias Scherbaum presented an overview of the redesign efforts at the German Gentoo website which include development of a content management system to benefit other national web presences, too, Ulrich Plate reported about a number of Gentoo book projects currently in planning or making, and the afternoon session closed with a lightning talk by the castle's owner and guest speaker Klaus Landefeld who introduced the local CraNet infrastructure project that connects households in the Kransberg village via Linux-based WLAN routers to the castle's WLL internet uplink. The open-floor discussion just before dinner touched on other topics, with demands for wider tinderbox availability ranking highest.

The Kransberg meeting is due to be repeated, on an alternating schedule with developer meetings at Brussels' FOSDEM in February. Next year it will be detached from the German edition of the Linux World Expo, and moved ahead on the calendar towards the end of summer, to avoid the sound of clattering teeth interrupting presentations. And since several developers had expressed interest in attending and presenting papers at the conference, but couldn't find the financial means in their budgets, finding sponsors to cover travel expenses will be an important part of the preparations for the next time.

2005.1 media refresh: 2005.1-r1 released

A media refresh over the 2005.1 release has been announced on Sunday. Since it mainly contains bug fixes, not all architectures warranted this intermediate release, but namely AMD64, PPC64, SPARC, and x86 took the opportunity to refresh their stages and installation CD images before next year's 2006.0 release. Install media for other architectures than the ones mentioned, and all 2005.1 package CDs remain unchanged and are available as-is.

Gentoo Weekly News via RSS feed

Thanks to Xavier Neys, the GWN is now available as an RSS feed. Xavier added the rss.xml files and edited the English and French overview pages to mention the feed at the beginning. The list of languages at the end of the overview file also lists the available feeds.

phpgroupware no longer in the tree

Due to outstanding security bugs, the upstream homepage no longer being available, and no releases in over a year, phpgroupware will be removed from the Portage tree. Anyone still using it is asked to switch to egroupware or any other suitable replacement.

2.  Heard in the community


use.defaults and pointless commits

Some users may have wondered why some USE flags seemingly automatically changed (and reverted a bit later). This was caused by a commit to use.defaults, a file that is used by portage to set USE flags on package installation (emerge gnutls and the gnutls USE flag will be set globally). During the following discussion it became apparent that this is a mostly unneeded feature that may be removed in the future.

Gentoo Council Meeting, GLEP 41

The Gentoo Council had its third monthly meeting on November 15. The summary was posted to the mailing list shortly after. GLEP 41 (Making arch testers official Gentoo staff), which was not accepted during the last meeting as it needed some minor changes, was accepted by the council. Due to a communication error it seemed as if there were last minute changes (which were only communicated a bit late). This lead to a long discussion about procedures, the content of the GLEP and became one of the largest threads of the last months.

3.  Gentoo international

Italy: Only five days to go until Gentoo Day!

The schedule for the 3rd Italian Gentoo Day has been published, including highlights like the first public presentation on Gentoo FreeBSD by a Gentoo developer, Diego Pettenò. His introductory speech will be followed by an assisted installation session, while other activists of the GeCHI center their talks around applications like Openoffice and GIMP. Three parallel tracks will make the Gentoo Day a luxurious event for everyone who'd like to learn more about Gentoo. Details about the event can be found at the official Gentoo Forum thread and the GeCHI's own forum (all links in Italian)."

4.  Gentoo in the press

Distrowatch (14 November 2005)

Kororaa is an installer project spun off Gentoo Linux, or as Ladislav Bodnar puts it, "an independently developed, user-friendly installation method for Gentoo Linux and a full-featured Gentoo-based distribution." The announcement on Distrowatch comes as the the second beta version of Kororaa was released, to be followed by a Gnome version called Gororaa soon. (31 October 2005)

Irfan Habib makes mention of Portage as one specimen of "a new breed of distributed package management systems" that aim to overcome the defects of traditional package managers. His article at compares Portage to Conary, a binary distribution tree used by rPath, evaluating inherent differences and similarities in both methods' network-based repository approach.

5.  Gentoo developer moves


The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:

  • None this week


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:

  • Joshua Nichols (nichoj) - Java
  • Damian Florczyk (thunder) - Gentoo/NetBSD lead
  • Alexey Chumakov (achumakov) - Russian lead translator


The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:

  • Lisa M. Seelye (lisa) - added ccache and memcached to prior responsibilities

6.  Gentoo Security

Scorched 3D: Multiple vulnerabilities

Multiple vulnerabilities in Scorched 3D allow a remote attacker to deny service or execute arbitrary code on game servers.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Sylpheed, Sylpheed-Claws: Buffer overflow in LDIF importer

Sylpheed and Sylpheed-Claws contain a buffer overflow vulnerability which may lead to the execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

GTK+ 2, GdkPixbuf: Multiple XPM decoding vulnerabilities

The GdkPixbuf library, that is also included in GTK+ 2, contains vulnerabilities that could lead to a Denial of Service or the execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Smb4k: Local unauthorized file access

A vulnerability has been identified that allows unauthorized access to the contents of /etc/sudoers and /etc/ files.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

7.  Bugzilla


The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 13 November 2005 and 20 November 2005, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 680 new bugs during this period
  • 364 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 28 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 9040 currently open bugs: 106 are labeled 'blocker', 199 are labeled 'critical', and 556 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:

8.  GWN feedback

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9.  GWN subscription information

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10.  Other languages

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Page updated November 21, 2005

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 21 November 2005.

Ulrich Plate

Patrick Lauer

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