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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 11 September 2006


1.  Gentoo news

New Gentoo Council elected

The Gentoo Council is the elected governing body of Gentoo and decides on global issues and policies that affect multiple projects in Gentoo. It also serves as an appeal court for disciplinary decisions. The Council members are elected for a year and must hold monthly public meetings.

The new council for the coming year has been elected. The polls were open for a one-month voting period, to allow all developers a chance to vote on their elected representatives. The winners of this year's council vote are as follows:

  • Diego Pettenò (Flameeyes)
  • Mike Doty (KingTaco)
  • Danny van Dyk (Kugelfang)
  • Bryan Østergaard (kloeri)
  • Robin H. Johnson (robbat2)
  • Mike Frysinger (vapier)
  • Chris Gianelloni (wolf31o2)

Of the new council, only Mike Frysinger is returning for another tour. The GWN staff wishes to congratulate all of the new council members and wishes them a productive year.

Donation from Cloanto: Amiga Forever CD

This week, Gentoo received a donation of the Amiga Forever CD from Cloanto. The Amiga is the family of personal computers developed initially by Amiga Corporation and later by Commodore International. These computers had great success due to their graphics and sound, which were far ahead of their time. Therefore, Amiga received its nickname, the ultimate games machine. These computers are in the past, but fortunately, the power of modern PC hardware has made it possible to emulate Amiga software and games. Gentoo provides two Amiga emulators app-emulation/uae and app-emulation/e-uae. However, to make full use of these programs, one must have access to an image of the Amiga Kickstart ROM. To properly maintain these packages, access to the Amiga Kickstart ROM is required for Gentoo developers.

The Amiga Forever CD is the award-winning Amiga preservation, emulation, and support package, made by Cloanto, Amiga developers since 1986. Cloanto has made this CD available to all Gentoo developers to aid in the maintenance of the Amiga emulation programs.

Gentoo would like to thank Cloanto for this generous donation.

Monolithic X no longer supported

Developer Donnie Berkholz wrote to the gentoo-dev mailing list about the discontinuation of support for the monolithic X ebuilds. This means there will be no more fixes added to the monolithic packages, including no more security fixes. Package maintainers will begin removing dependencies for the monolithic ebuilds from their packages. Donnie hopes to move the monolithic X ebuilds into an overlay soon.

Users still using the old monolithic ebuilds should upgrade to modular X using the Migrating to Modular X HOWTO instructions.

2.  Developer of the week

"Gentoo, it's what all the cool kids are doing." -Joshua Nichols

Figure 2.1: Joshua Nichols, aka nichoj

Fig. 1: nichoj

Developer Joshua Nichols, aka nichoj, resides in Boston, MA - known for their baked beans and tea parties... OK, one in particular. He graduated last spring from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a dual degree in Computer Science and Psychology. At 23, Josh shares an apartment with three friends and one phantom roommate. They have no pets, but Josh considers himself a dog lover and hopes to have a German Shepard when he has more time and a bigger place.

Josh works for Banta Corporation, a print and supply chain management company, not that anyone knows what that means. His office develops web applications, both internal and external. Josh works with a team developing modular web applications, primarily with Java and J2EE (like Eclipse, Tomcat, Spring, JDO, web services, etc).

Nichoj claims some fairly canon interests as far as geekery goes. He enjoys reading, mostly sci-fi and fantasy, and some occassional technical reference, for a bit of light reading. He also really enjoys watching Adult Swim, but don't we all? When Josh manages to get out of the house, it may be for some rollerblading or hackey sack, but will inadvertently end up like many Boston festivities... having a few drinks with friends at one of the many Boston drinking establishments.

Josh started using Gentoo back in his freshmen year at college. He had been a Linux user for years but found that hand configuring things quickly became hard to maintain and discovered that using Gentoo helped him maintain his computer the way he wanted. About a year ago, Josh decided that he wanted to be more involved with open source software. He started attending the LUG's, actively reporting bugs, and helping people on IRC. He was becoming rather proficient with Java, and was quickly recruited by karltk. Josh's current role with Gentoo is one that he rather enjoys, as the Java Project Lead.

Perhaps the Gentoo achievement Josh is most proud of is his contribution to the new Java system, which was released a few months ago. While it was mostly developed by the time Josh joined the team, they did quickly realize that all of their 400+ Java packages would have to be updated. Josh is very proud to have contributed to the planning and execution, as well as working through the inevitable rough edges upon rolling it to the ~arch masses. Of noteworthy mention, Josh received his first 'hate mail' while working on this project; he must have been doing something right. ;-)

Josh's primary desktop is an AMD64 box, sporting an X2 4400+, 4GB of RAM, and a 7800GT connected to a 24" LCD. He also has two Dell x86 laptops, an Athlon XP file server, and a G5 desktop for some PPC goodness. His first apps launched? Compiz and CGWD of course, shortly followed by GAIM, Firefox, and Thunderbird.

Josh's parting words were that of wisdom: "It may be obvious, but you should enjoy what you do. This can be both applied to work within open source projects or with a job. If you're doing something you can't enjoy, or even worse, hate, well, that's bad mmmkay. It'll make your hair grey prematurely, and you might even poke your own eyes out in frustration. I don't know about you, but I like having both eyes. But seriously, I feel fortunate to be able to thoroughly enjoy both my work for Gentoo and my day job."

3.  Heard in the community


A graphical program for creating ebuilds

A suggestion to create a graphical program, an IDE of sorts for the purpose of creating ebuilds has been proposed on the forums. Those in favor claim that a program could substantially reduce the effort in writing ebuilds from scratch, as it will ask the user for the information required. Those against the idea cite that the complexity of options in ebuilds would make such a program impossible to create without limiting the options or providing an ill-thought out interface. Whether you support the idea or not, this is not the first time such a program has been proposed. Efforts in the past were made by Pythonhead, a Gentoo developer, in the now stagnant Abeni package.

4.  Gentoo International

Australia: Software Freedom Day, Canberra

Canberra Software Freedom Day, on the 9th of September, was an event talking about software freedom, encouraging people to give Linux a go and handing out Gentoo, Ubuntu, and TheOpenCD. After the event, 48 people have a new Gentoo Linux 2006.1 x86 LiveCD, and 23 have a 2006.1 amd64 LiveCD.

Figure 4.1: The Software Freedom Day team

Fig. 1: The team

Note: Left to Right: Rainer Klein, Neill Cox, Daniel Black (dragonheart), Brian Bishop, Pascal Klein, David Symons, and Evan Leybourn -- Missing: Steve Walsh, Troy Newell

All participants had a lot of fun meeting interesting people watching the Elephants Dream production. People were interested in alternatives to avoid spyware/viruses, making their old PC hardware useful again as backup/storage servers and making old laptops usable again.

5.  Gentoo in the press

LinuxPlanet (7 Sep)

This week, LinuxPlanet covers Sectoo, a security-focused distribution based on Gentoo Linux. Sectoo is a LiveCD-based distribution designed to aid in penetration testing, and also to be a useful toolbox for network administrators interested in securing their own networks.

6.  Gentoo developer moves


The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:

  • none this week


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:

  • Javier Villavicencio (The_Paya) Gentoo/FreeBSD
  • Mike Kelly (pioto) creandus/GLEP27/vim
  • Vlastimil Babka (Caster) Java


The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:

  • Krzysiek Pawlik (nelchael) joined PPC/Java
  • Jorge Manuel B. S. Vicetto (jmbsvicetto) joined UserRel

7.  Gentoo security

Streamripper: Multiple remote buffer overflows

Streamripper is vulnerable to multiple remote buffer overflows, leading to the execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

GTetrinet: Remote code execution

GTetrinet is vulnerable to a remote buffer overflow, potentially leading to arbitrary code execution.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

OpenTTD: Remote Denial of Service

The OpenTTD server is vulnerable to a remote Denial of Service.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

LibXfont: Multiple integer overflows

A buffer overflow was discovered in the PCF font parser, potentially resulting in the execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

OpenSSL, AMD64 x86 emulation base libraries: RSA signature forgery

OpenSSL fails to properly validate PKCS #1 v1.5 signatures.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

8.  Bugzilla



The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 03 September 2006 and 10 September 2006, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 929 new bugs during this period
  • 565 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 38 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 11040 currently open bugs: 38 are labeled 'blocker', 124 are labeled 'critical', and 530 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:

9.  GWN feedback

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11.  Other languages

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Page updated September 11, 2006

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 11 September 2006.

Ulrich Plate

Mark Kowarsky

Daniel Black

Peter Volkov

Chrissy Fullam

Chris Gianelloni

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