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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 31 July 2006


1.  Gentoo news

Catalyst 2.0 released

The Gentoo Release Engineering project is pleased to announce that catalyst 2.0 has been released. The new catalyst version is a complete re-write from the aging 1.x code base, and includes several new features and updates, including:

  • autoresume - attempts to resume a failed build
  • kerncache - caches the build of the kernels to speed up livecd-stage2
  • seedcache - use the build output of a previous target if it exists to speed up the copy
  • snapcache - cache the snapshot so that it can be bind-mounted into the chroot
  • DIGESTS - creates digests in any format supported by shash

This version is currently masked in portage under package.mask and will be unmasked this week for ~arch users. Users of the 2.0_pre series of catalyst builds will need to perform some steps to ensure a clean upgrade, especially if you wish to keep your package caches.

Code Listing 1.1: Renaming catalyst directories

(Rename the cache directory)
# mv -i /var/tmp/catalyst2 /var/tmp/catalyst
(Rename the configuration directory)
# mv -i /etc/catalyst2 /etc/catalyst
# cd /etc/catalyst
# sed -i -e 's/catalyst2/catalyst/' *.conf

The online documentation is being written for catalyst 2.0 and will be in place before 2.0 is marked stable. For now, the example spec templates installed to /usr/share/doc/catalyst-2.0/examples are the best documentation.

Third anniversary of Gentoo's Bugday

Saturday 5th August is the third anniversary of the Gentoo/Bugday project. This marks a major milestone, and it will be celebrated appropriately with contests and prizes!

Bugday first started out life as GLEP 6. From the very beginning the bugday project had the potential to be a big influence on Gentoo. It has certainly proved its worth in its first 3 years. Lots of new developers have been recruited directly from their Bugday involvement as users, and others have had their first ebuild experiences from past Bugdays and have since joined Gentoo projects unrelated to Bugday.

Besides being a powerful recruitment tool, users and developers have cooperated on fixing an astonishing number of bugs on Bugdays. Bugday is one of the important cornerstones of the Gentoo community. Certainly, Bugday has helped bridge the often talked about gap between users and developers and the Bugday IRC channel has long since turned into a channel where ebuild issues and fixes are discussed daily.

To celebrate the third anniversary, they will have a number of contests. Users will battle each other for most solved bugs, most Gentoo knowledge, etc.

They are still working on finalizing contests and prizes, but all details should be announced on the Bugday site later this week.

Good luck to everybody. The Bugday project hopes that this will be the best Bugday yet. A big thank you to everybody who has participated in the last three years -- you've truly helped make Bugday the big success it is today.

Gentoo/Java staffing needs

As has been the case for some time, the Java team is still atrociously understaffed. Below, they'll outline a few 'positions' that they would like see filled. The term 'filled' is used really loosely, and it is meant more as in the sense of 'these are things we would like people to be working on'. If current developers are interested, that would be great, but they are also willing to mentor some fresh blood for the team.

  • Java generalists

The Gentoo/Java team has tons of Java packages. At last count, it was around 400 or so packages. As one can imagine, this kind of number generates a pretty constant stream of bug reports and version bump requests.

So, basically, the Java team is looking for some people to help out with general maintenance of their packages. They would expect them to be familiar with Gentoo and Java (surprise!). If they are not already, they will need to become familiar with the ins and outs of how Java is handled on Gentoo. Familiarity with ant, which is used for a large majority of their packages, would also be very useful.

  • JBoss maintainer

JBoss is a pretty important app in the enterprise world of Java. It has been pretty unmaintained for some time now, and could use some love. Because of the nature of this beast, the Java team would want someone that uses JBoss on a daily basis, preferably in an enterprise setting, to be the type of person to maintain this.

  • Jetty maintainer

Jetty is a web container, like tomcat and resin. It also has been pretty unmaintained in recent times. Preferably, the person who picks this fella up uses jetty on a daily basis in an enterprise type setting.

  • Free Java Hackers

One of illustrious users has been working on working away at getting GCJ usable as a JDK, in the sense that it can be used to build our packages. The Java team does have a handful of other free Java VMs in portage, like kaffe, sablevm, jamvm, etc. If people were interested, it would be great if they could get their packages building using these other VMs.

  • Eclipse / Netbeans maintainers

Eclipse and Netbeans are the primary IDEs for Java. Eclipse is well kept for the moment, but the plugins haven't been. Netbeans needs a bit of love though, as it hasn't been updated in awhile.

So, if one or more of these sounds interesting and like something you'd want to do? For starters, you should take a gander over at the project page, and check out various documentation they have. If you are still interested, then contact Josh Nichols.

Other things you can do:

  • Join the mailing list, gentoo-java. It is pretty low-traffic.
  • Lurk in the IRC channel, #gentoo-java on It is also fairly low-traffic, so don't expect immediate responses.

Czech translation of Gentoo documentation finally official

After more than one year of hard work, the Czech translation team is proud to announce that they have finally made the Czech translation official. That means that interested Czech-speaking users can read the documentation in their native language.

Everyone who can write Czech and understand written English (yeah, that's you if you read this :) ) is more than welcome to help with our efforts. All the applicants who want a shiny e-mail address and aren't afraid of endless months of tedious work are requested to hang on at #gentoo-doc on freenode or just drop a mail to Jan Kundrát.

2.  Developer of the week

Joshua Kinard

Figure 2.1: Joshua Kinard, aka kumba

Fig. 1: kumba

Developer Joshua Kinard, known as Kumba, resides in Waldorf, MD, a short drive outside Washington, D.C. He lives with his parents and has several pets, including a family dog, two cats, Isis and Leto, and oddly enough, a mouse. The cats obviously love the mouse. The mouse must not mind either as Kumba said his family has tried to release the mouse but he just won't leave. At 24, Joshua can still vividly recall some of the places he and his family have been stationed throughout his father's Air Force career. Perhaps most memorable were the few years they lived in Spain, on a military base outside of Madrid.

Kumba's interests include some rather uncommon music tastes, such as Irish/Celtic tunes (especially good bagpipes), Gregorian chants, and some sub-genre's of metal like therion and blind guardian. He also moderates about 13 IRC channels, mostly Gentoo, and still finds the time to fit in a game of Diablo 2 now and then.

Joshua currently works as a System Administrator for a non-profit organization near Washington, D.C. The environment ranges among Netware, HP-UX, Linux, and even Windows. As for the future, he admits that he's not the biggest fan of the corporate world and has considered pursuing grad school or even a career change.

As for Kumba's start with Gentoo, he claims a rather simple beginning. While using various flavors of Linux, he looked for something that he could use on his recently acquired 64-bit SPARC, and that search quickly led to Gentoo. He has been a Gentoo developer since 2004 and currently is the team lead for the MIPS team, though he also enjoys helping with baselayout, toolchain, and SPARC teams.

The rumors are true, Kumba's home Workstation, a Dual Pentium III, is indeed running Windows Server 2003 and boasts a hot-swappable RAID5 SCSI array. The first application any IRC moderator launches is obviously mIRC and Kumba follows that with AIM/DeadAIM, Winamp, and Firefox. He's also known to track unusual weather events using Stormlab and to dabble inside of NASA's WorldWind application. Kumba's other home machines include a dual Athlon MP 2000, acting as a web server, an old SPARC machine, used for testing, and several SGI boxes: an Octane used for development, two O2's, one for package testing and one for kernel testing, and an IP28. He even has an old SGI Indy, from the early 90's, which he still uses to do kernel testing!

3.  Heard in the community


Another IRC channel has just opened its (virtual) doors. #gentoo-db is intended to provide a platform for discussions and development around database support within Gentoo. Currently MySQL and PostgreSQL people hang out there, developers maintaining other database-related packages for Gentoo and users are encouraged to join the channel.

State of Gentoo in 5 minutes

Donnie Berkholz held a lightning talk about Gentoo's current state at this year's OSCON covering Portage 2.1, the upcoming 2006.1 release (including a new Installer version) and support for multiple overlays. His talk is also mentioned in a recent NewsForge article.

Wanted: PowerPC Release Testers

The call for Release Testers about a month ago wasn't that successful for Gentoo's PowerPC team. Only less then a handful of people with supported machines responded. Lars Weiler now started another call for Release Testers - if you can help out (he listed a list of supported machines in his blog entry) please contact Roger Miliker.

4.  Gentoo developer moves


The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:

  • Henrik Brix Andersen (brix)
  • Michael Kohl (citizen428)


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:

  • Wolf Giesen (frilled) Security


The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:

  • none this week

5.  Gentoo security

Wireshark: Multiple vulnerabilities

Wireshark (formerly known as Ethereal) is vulnerable to several security issues, potentially allowing the execution of arbitrary code by a remote attacker.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Samba: Denial of Service vulnerability

A large number of share connection requests could cause a Denial of Service within Samba.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

TunePimp: Buffer overflow

A vulnerability in TunePimp has been reported which could lead to the execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement Multiple vulnerabilities is affected by three security vulnerabilities which can be exploited to allow the execution of arbitrary code by a remote attacker.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Audacious: Multiple heap and buffer overflows

The adplug library included in Audacious is vulnerable to various overflows that could result in the execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

6.  Bugzilla



The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 23 July 2006 and 30 July 2006, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 679 new bugs during this period
  • 289 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 19 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 10687 currently open bugs: 52 are labeled 'blocker', 134 are labeled 'critical', and 533 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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Page updated July 31, 2006

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 31 July 2006.

Ulrich Plate

Chris Gianelloni

Tobias Scherbaum

Jan Kundrát

Bryan Østergaard

Josh Nichols

Chrissy Fullam

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