Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 17 July 2006
The VDR project needs your help
The Gentoo Video Disk Recorder
(VDR) project is looking for some people to help out and join
the team. If you are interested in helping out, please contact
Developer of the week
"The emperor told me it was my destiny." -Jason Wever, aka Weeve
Figure 2.1: Jason Wever, aka Weeve
Developer Jason Wever, aka Weeve, grew up in upstate New York. At 27,
he currently resides in Broomfield, CO... for the rest of us, that is
somewhere outside of Denver.
Jason has a variety of interests. He has been able to fulfill his
childhood dream of becoming a pirate by riding the ebb and flow of
packet tides, stealing from the rich and streaming to the poor. When
he's not off pirating, Weeve also enjoys some more common things like
reading, walking, and biking. He enjoys listening to punk and a little
jazz, ska, or reggae and occasionally writes and performs as well.
Weeve also collects obscure punk, jazz, and classical vinyl records.
We might all be surprised to think of him listening to classical music,
but he said he does so in order to slow things down and to contemplate
the finer points of life. Yes that's right, this IRC clown has a
serious side. He believes that philosophy is something that should be
experienced, not taught and enjoys sampling other cultures and their
view of the world with regards to inner peace and serenity.
Weeve has a rather interesting job as a Security Engineer for Avaya.
He does penetration testing of products and helps determine the impact
of vendor advisories, like RHE or MS, on Avaya products. Weeve
obviously enjoys his work, stating "getting paid to break stuff is the
Weeve recalled his start with Linux... he was a Slackware user as it
did not make assumptions about what a user wanted or try to do things
for the user, but felt that he was limited with the package set.
That's when a friend introduced him to Gentoo. While running Gentoo on
a SPARC workstation, he answered forum posts, submitted bugs, and began
pestering Seemant until he made him a developer. An active developer
for four years, Weeve is also the Strategic Lead for the SPARC team,
and has recently joined the Infrastructure team.
As for his home machines, Weeve has an x86 server that runs apache,
samba, NFS, IMAP, and spamassassin. He also has an x86 laptop and an
AMD64 workstation. As to be expected, he also has a collection of SPARC
machines, to include 6 test SPARC64's (Ultra1, Ultra2, Ultra10,
Ultra60, Blade 100, and Blade 1000), as well as an assortment of
SPARC32 machines. The first apps he launches are rxvt-unicode,
gkrellm2, firefox, sylpheed-claws and/or pine, screen, xmms, and
Heard in the community
dispatch-conf or etc-update?
Welp, an Arch Tester, created a poll asking people which tool they use
for managing files under CONFIG_PROTECT. etc-update seems to be
favored among the older users, as that was the only tool for the job in
previous releases. dispatch-conf on the other hand is favored
by mainly the newer users, although there are some older users who
swear by it. While almost 50% prefer either one of these utilities,
there are also a few who use neither, using programs such as
cfg-update to manage merging and updating configuration files.
Nazi / German 3rd Reich symbols
A discussion has sparked on the forums about the usage of Nazi symbols
on the Gentoo forums. Several different views are expressed by the
posters. What do you think? Speak your mind on the thread, as a
friendly discussion is wanted by those involved.
Gentoo around the world
Several events took place during the past few weeks, including the
Gentoo UK Conference in London and the Libre Software Meeting (LSM) in
France. Several people, including Damien
Fersing and Hanno Boeck
manned the Gentoo booth at LSM and gave away 2006.0 LiveCD's.
Daniel Drake reports about the
Gentoo UK Conference in his blog. About 65 people attended the third
Gentoo Conference in the UK and listened to talks about Ainkaboot (a
London-based startup company providing cluster-solutions based on
Gentoo Linux), an introduction to Gentoo's release engineering by
Tim Yamin and Andrew Cowie's
talking about "How Gentoo rocks in the enterprise". After a lunch-break
Daniel presented a few ideas about problems with the contribution flow
through the Gentoo community. Finally Bryan Østergaard gave a short
introduction to Gentoo's developer relations project, especially about
the recruitment and retirement process.
Figure 3.1: from left to right: dertobi123 (HPPA), Kugelfang (AMD64), plasmaroo (IA64/genkernel) and kloeri (Alpha)
LarryTheCow.com - Gentoo Community Portal
Thomas Cort started to build a
collection of Gentoo community sites with the goal of giving them more
provides not only links to community sites but also to their gentoo.org
counterparts. About 50 sites are currently added, please mail additions
New PHP revisions in the tree
New PHP versions (dev-lang/php-4.4.2-r6 and
dev-lang/php-5.1.4-r4) hit the tree some days ago. Notable
things include various bug and security fixes, but the shiniest new
feature is the concurrentmodphp USE Flag which allows use of
both mod_php4 and mod_php5 in the same Apache instance, with each
mod_php version having its own mime-types and configuration directives.
Though this feature is considered highly experimental, it has been
tested on x86.
Tips and Tricks
Changing virtual terminals
Changing virtual terminals is already a fairly easy combination of
keypresses in a standard Linux installation.If are you are in X,
you would use Ctrl+Alt plus the function key of the terminal number to
change to. Switching back is easy, just select Ctl+Alt+F7. Outside of
X it's one less keypress - Alt+F2.
Like most things in a Unix-like environment, there is more than one way to
accomplish your goal.This one is no different. The sys-apps/kbd
ebuild installs a chvt binary which lets you change terminals
with one command. The only argument it takes is an integer value of
which one you want to switch to.
Code Listing 4.1: Changing terminals with chvt
# chvt 1
If you are in X, you can only execute the command as root, otherwise
it will not work. It will work as any user outside of X, though.
If you're interested in a workaround, you can use app-admin/sudo
to allow your user(s) to run chvt from inside an X11 session.
Code Listing 4.2: Adding sudo access to chvt
$ echo "%users $HOSTNAME=/usr/bin/chvt" >> /etc/sudoers
Be sure you know what you are doing when modifying sudo permissions,
since you are giving root access to run certain commands.
More ScummVM games
In a previous GWN article
we covered ScummVM a little bit,
and mentioned Flight of Amazon Queen as a freely downloable game.
A user wrote in to tell us that we forgot to mention another one,
Steel Sky, also available in portage.
So if you're looking for another classic point-and-click adventure game,
emerge games-rpg/bass, make sure your user is in the games group,
and run /usr/games/bin/bass.
Gentoo developer moves
The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:
- Fernando Serboncini (fserb)
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:
The following developers recently changed roles within the
- Karl Trygve Kalleberg (karltk) - Stepped down as Java project
- Joshua Nichols (nichoj) - Elected Java project lead
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track
bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the
development team. Between 09 July 2006
and 16 July 2006, activity on the site has resulted in:
- 863 new bugs during this period
- 418 bugs closed or resolved during this period
- 24 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
Of the 10528 currently open bugs: 49 are labeled 'blocker', 139 are labeled
'critical', and 520 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
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