Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 3 April 2006
Gentoo/MIPS for Cobalt stages available
Stuart Longland announced the
availabity of stage 3 tarballs for Cobalt servers.
This completes the 2006.0 release for the MIPS architecture to include Cobalt
Qubes and RaQs on top of the Silicon Graphics machine support that was already
pushed to the mirrors last month. If you own a Cobalt server, please test the
new stage 3 and report your findings back to Stuart.
Kolab and Gentoo
Most of the current open-source groupware systems that are
comparable to the Microsoft Exchange Server are build out of a
high number of sub-services like LDAP, Apache, Postfix etc. Kolab
is a typical example of such an aggregated system.
A main feature of Kolab is the use of IMAP to store groupware
information like addresses, events, notes etc. This allows to
reduce the main components of the system to OpenLDAP, Postfix and
Cyrus-Imapd. This makes the server somewhat more lightweight than
competitors such as Open-Exchange. It is also one of the few
groupware servers that has full support for e-mail clients on Linux
(Kontact) and Windows (Outlook) and works together with a web client
(Horde). Thus it can be easily employed in an environment with
The main obstacle for molding a multi-component system into an
efficient groupware server on Linux is obviously the
configuration. The e-mail service needs to work together with
virus and spam scanning tools, sending and receiving mail
requires the setup of appropriate channels, each service needs to
use a central user database, etc.
One option of dealing with the configuration is to leave the
configuration of sub services in the state suggested by the
distribution and provide a lengthy document that describes all
necessary tweaks and changes to get the system up and
running. This has the advantage that the groupware server is
rather distribution independent.
Kolab chose a different method and tries to fully automate the
configuration process. This is extremely nice for the end user
since it usually means that it is not necessary to have the
manuals of Postfix, Cyrus-Imap, Apache etc. at hand. But on the
other hand it is a nightmare for the developer if the goal is to
enable the system for most distributions. One would have to
take all the small but important differences between these
distributions into account. So the companies involved in creating
Kolab selected one distribution (OpenPKG) and decided to establish
the system only for OpenPKG. In order to install Kolab on a different
distribution you would simply add a complete OpenPKG installation
resulting in a somewhat awkward "system in a system" situation.
During the last three months several volunteers helped on
converting Kolab to tools such as autoconf and automake in order
to have a build system that allows the transfer of Kolab to other
Linux distributions. This finally allowed to get a native Kolab
server environment in Gentoo. The beta stage of the project can
be found here.
It is expected to be fully stabilized once Kolab-2.1 will be
What are the advantages of having Kolab available as a native
Gentoo system? First of all you get rid of the rpm system that
you had to use for the OpenPKG version. As a Gentoo user this
feels more than awkward since the choice to bear with compile
times was not made without a reason. With the independence of the
OpenPKG distribution also comes a far greater potential for extension
of the system. You want telephony? Integrate it with asterisk.
You need a document management system? Why not activate the LDAP features
of knowledgetree in order to provide your mail users will a full-blown
DMS system. You need website access? DAV? SVN? Trac? Anything on apache
that requires authentication and can use LDAP should be no problem.
In essence, Gentoo is the optimal system to enhance some of the
existing ebuilds with a "kolab" USE flag in order to provide a
groupware server with exciting new features. While this is not yet
available, work is underway to achieve this.
Heard in the community
Libexpat ABI change catches ~ARCH users by surprise
Major uproar in the Forums this pas weekend: the application binary
interface of the expat library changed with the upgrade to 2.0.0,
and as a result a whole wave of system breakage washed over many
Gentoo users who hadn't seen the small print in the ebuild telling
them to revdep-rebuild everything that depended on
libexpat.so.0. This sticky thread now makes sure
everybody knows what needs to be done:
USA: Gentoo at Boston Linux World Expo
Christian Fernandez of VoiceSignal Technologies, Inc. will hold a Birds
of Feather session at this year's Boston LWE. Besides Christian's
talk on Portage and Gentoo scheduled for 6 April at 18:30, the project
will again be represented at the show with a booth of its own. Join them from
3 to 6 April at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, MA.
Gentoo developer moves
The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:
- Thomas Cort (tcort) - Alpha, sound
The following developers recently changed roles within the
OpenOffice.org: Heap overflow in included libcurl
OpenOffice.org contains a vulnerable version of libcurl that may cause a
heap overflow when parsing URLs.
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement
bsd-games: Local privilege escalation in tetris-bsd
tetris-bsd is prone to local privilege escalation vulnerabilities.
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track
bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the
development team. Between 26 March 2006
and 02 April 2006, activity on the site has resulted in:
- 869 new bugs during this period
- 392 bugs closed or resolved during this period
- 18 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
Of the 9788 currently open bugs: 65 are labeled 'blocker', 152 are labeled 'critical', and 531 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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