Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 22 May 2006
GCC 4.1 on its way into Portage
The long awaited moment of GCC 4.1 being unmasked has almost arrived. The
toolchain team will be unmasking gcc-4.1.1 this week after it is released.
The upgrade should be incredibly easy and require no additional work to
install and use. The number of applications that do not compile with gcc-4.1
is extremely small now, and most users should not experience any problems
with ~arch packages not compiling. To upgrade to the new version (assuming
you are using gcc-3.4), all that is required is to upgrade GCC and then select
the new profile using gcc-config. If you are upgrading from an earlier version
of GCC, please refer to our GCC Upgrading
Guide for more detailed instructions.
If you run into any applications that do not compile, and they do not have a
bug currently open, please file a "GCC Porting" bug and assign it to
firstname.lastname@example.org so that
the GCC Porting team can look into it.
Gentoo Summer of Code
There were over 6400 applications from students, almost 90 mentoring
organizations - in almost every respect the Summer of Code program from
Google has grown a lot since last year. This year Gentoo will be one of
the mentoring organizations, with the UserRel project acting as organizer.
While the final numbers will be released on Monday the 22nd
we can already say that Gentoo got 130 applications. Out of these around
13 will be sponsored by Google. We are very happy to see such a great
interest in Gentoo and hope that all sponsored projects will be
Old-style PHP packages removed from Portage
After being package.masked for quite some time, the old-style PHP
packages (dev-php/php, dev-php/php-cgi, dev-php/mod_php, and friends)
have been removed from the Portage tree. The new-style PHP packages
(dev-lang/php, dev-php4/*, dev-php5/*, and friends) are now stable on
Heard in the community
et_EE locale and language of error messages
The Gentoo bugwranglers often have to wrangle bugs that have error
messages in other languages. This makes it difficult to understand and
to find duplicates. A workaround for this issue would be to set the
default language used by portage to "C", which is (through historic
precedents) English and the default when nothing else is set.
A different class of bugs comes from the estonian locale, et_EE: As
their alphabet ordering is different some "silly" buildsystems stumble
as [a-z] no longer matches all letters. While these bugs can be really
annoying they should be fixed. Setting the locale to another language
would prevent these bugs, but it is recommended to fix it so that future
problems are avoided.
As there are many different Revision Control Systems and it is often
useful to have ebuild support to check out files directly from a
repository this week gives us a few eclasses that help with managing
darcs, git and mercurial. Those three are relatively new RCS that are
already used by many projects instead of CVS or subversion.
Signing everything, for fun and for profit
The first recorded discussions about signing all Gentoo-provided files
to avoid tampering go back to 2003. Since then there have been a few
tries to get a Gentoo-wide system to cryptographically sign all files,
but there was never a consensus, and in the end it never got fully
implemented. Patrick Lauer
revives the discussion in the hope of getting it finally done.
RFC - Gentoo Knowledge Base
A new Gentoo project gets kickstarted by Sven Vermeulen. The goal is to create a
knowledge base that "[...] provides answers to specific questions and problems
that users (or developers) might encounter. It is easily searchable and
maintained by developers who are knowledgeable in the topic. The
knowledge base entries ("topics" as I like to call them) are not
documentation guides, but very specific to a particular environment and
Paludis profiles yay or nay?
What started as a simple question by Stephen
Bennett whether there were any objections to adding profiles for the
Paludis package manager into the mainline Gentoo tree became one of the
fastest and most heated email exchanges to happen on the gentoo-dev
mailinglist. With around 300 messages in the main thread and three
forked subthreads this is an impressive debate:
Baselayout 1.12 going stable?
Asked by many users Roy Marples now announced that there is only one
unionfs bug left before he starts building baselayout's 1.12.0 tarball.
If there don't occur any show-stopping bugs it will take another month
before baselayout-1.12.0 can be marked stable by our ARCH-teams.
Apache 2.0.58 now available
Later than expected Apache 2.0.58 finally made it into the tree, including
some changes how Apache works within Gentoo. Most notable is the deprecation
of net-www/gentoo-webroot-default as discussed in Bug #90748. As of 2.0.58
the /var/www/localhost directory will be left untouched if it exists. If
it doesn’t exist, it will be created and populated.
Austria: Gentoo at the Grazer Linuxtage
As announced in last week's GWN, Gentoo was present at the Linuxtag in Graz.
Markus Lang, Roger Miliker, Gregor
Perner and Wernfried Haas
were present at the Gentoo booth, handing out LiveCDs on request, selling
case badges and chatting with users about Portage features, and giving away
As usually, the grml folks (who were next to Gentoo) asked if we still were
compiling stuff, which was promptly answered by demonstrating the installer.
Of course this was just poking fun at each other between the different
distributions, the teams from Funkfeuer, Gentoo, grml and Debian had a good
time with each other. Wernfried Haas also held a workshop introducing people
to IRC with focus on the popular IRC client irssi and the Freenode
network. Both visitors as well as the exhibitors had fun at the GLT,
thanks to the organisation team and see you in 2007.
Figure 3.1: Amne readjusting the word order
Note: More pictures of the event can be found on http://dufo.tugraz.at/glt06/
Italy: Gentoo at the Linux World Summit in Milano
Fellows from GeCHI (Gentoo CHannel Italia www.gechi.it) spent two
intense days at the Linux World Summit in Milan. Compared to past
years, the spaces reserved by the organization at the Marriot Hotel for
the event were small, which is probably why few commercial vendors were
represented in the exhibition hall. Stands managed by associations were
bigger, more colorful and funnier. As predicted in the last GWN, the GeCHI
showed a Sun Fire V120 and an OpenMosix cluster composed of four Via Epia
motherboards, both systems running Gentoo Linux. In the cluster only the
first node is connected to the two SATA disks, while the remaining three
nodes boot from network and are diskless. Due to its unusual casing, the
cluster was at the center of the public's attention on both days of the
exhibition. The GeCHI had also prepared a Gentoo brochure distributed at
the stand, and matching penguins and cows (as in: Larry) on offer.
Figure 3.2: One Larry, four Tuxes: The GeCHI at work
Note: Left to right, in the back: deadhead, blackman, ElDios, front: mouser,
riquitoi. More pictures of the event can be viewed at the GeCHI website
Gentoo in the press
Dot KDE (16 May 2006)
In a series of interviews with businesses that benefit from KDE --
or vice-versa -- the KDE Dot News magazine spoke with Gentoo developer
Caleb Tennis in his
professional quality as system designer at AEI, a company in Columbus,
Indiana, specializing in diesel engine durability assessment, exhaust
research, performance development and numerous other services. Caleb
sees reliability as a key element in AEI's decision to run Linux and
KDE, as everything else "may be liveable on your girlfriend's computer,
but for one that's monitoring a $1,000,000 development engine, it becomes
pretty important to not have problems because 'Windows crashed'."
Newsforge (19 May 2006)
Gentoo trustee and infrastructure lead Kurt
Lieber gets his say in an article about Gentoo sponsor OSUOSL titled
lab plays Web host to the stars of open source." Setting the backdrop
for the following interview with OSUOSL's Scott Kveton, Kurt points out how
fabulous the open-source lab's services to Gentoo have been: "in fact, it's
better than what I would expect from commercial vendors in a lot of respects."
Tips and Tricks
Managing your overlays with layman
This is the first tips and tricks section in a while. If you have tips and
tricks you would like to share with the Gentoo community please drop us a
mail at email@example.com.
layman is a small and nifty Python application written by Gentoo
developer Gunnar Wrobel which allows
to easily use and synchronize several Portage overlays on your local
As of now there is no stable layman version available, so you
need to add layman to your package.keywords file
Code Listing 5.1: Installing layman
# echo "app-portage/layman" >> /etc/portage/package.keywords
# emerge layman
To include the overlays managed by layman to your
PORTDIR_OVERLAY variable you have to source a file where all
layman-managed overlays listed. Note that you can still add other
overlays to the PORTDIR_OVERLAY variable in
Code Listing 5.2: Sourcing layman overlays
# echo "source /usr/portage/local/layman/make.conf" >> /etc/make.conf
Configuring layman is as easy as riding a bike ;) First you
fetch a list of available overlays and then start adding overlays you
would like to use.
Code Listing 5.3: Configure layman
# layman -f
# layman -a gentoo-de
layman -l gives you a list of all available overlays, using the
-a switch you can add other overlays.
The -s switch allows you to synchronize the local overlay
copies. You can choose between syncing one specific overlay or all
overlays you added.
Code Listing 5.4: Synchronizing overlays
# layman -s gentoo-de
# layman -s ALL
Gentoo developer moves
The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:
- Steve Dibbs (beandog) - Planet
The following developers recently changed roles within the
libextractor: Two heap-based buffer overflows
libextractor is vulnerable to two heap overflow vulnerabilities which could
lead to the execution of arbitrary code.
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement
Quagga Routing Suite: Multiple vulnerabilities
Quagga's RIP daemon allows the injection of routes and the disclosure of
routing information. The BGP daemon is vulnerable to a Denial of Service.
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 14 May 2006
and 21 May 2006, activity on the site has resulted in:
- 653 new bugs during this period
- 323 bugs closed or resolved during this period
- 24 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
Of the 10139 currently open bugs: 56 are labeled 'blocker', 149 are labeled 'critical', and 524 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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