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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 16 October 2006


1.  Gentoo news

New Java system marked stable

With great pleasure, the Gentoo/Java team wishes to announce that the new Java system has been marked stable on all architectures with a supported Java implementation (amd64, ia64, ppc, ppc64, and x86). This represents the culmination of over a year of development and is a giant step forward for Java on Gentoo.

In case you have missed the previous announcements, here is a brief summary of the new Java system:

  • Ability to switch the current VM on the fly
  • Changes to the user and system VM take effect immediately and are not tied to the shell environment, which means you no longer have to run env-update followed by source /etc/profile when you switch the system VM
  • New concept of a "build VM", which is used to emerge packages, and is configured independently of the system VM
  • For each version of Java, ie 1.4, 1.5, etc, the build VM can be configured as to which vendor and version of a VM to use
  • The VM at emerge time will be switched on the fly according to its configuration, as well as the dependency of the package. For example, some packages won't compile with 1.5. In these cases, a 1.4 VM will be used at build time
  • Java 1.5 has now been marked stable.
  • Configuration of VM and browser plugin using eselect
  • We will be prepared for Java 1.6 when it is released this December

Updated user documentation can be found at

Documentation about upgrading to the new system can be found at

KDE 3.5.5 released

The Gentoo KDE team would like to announce the release and unmasking of KDE 3.5.5 in the tree. The biggest change for Gentoo's KDE users will be the deprecation of net-im/kopete in favor of kde-base/kopete, which is now only released with mainline KDE.

2.  Heard in the community


Where is aislerot?

Darren Kirby had misplaced his favorite GNOME time waster, the solitaire application aislerot. He had installed the gnome-games package, but the aislerot binary was absent.

Michael Sullivan to the rescue. Sullivan pointed out that the guile USE flag needed to be enabled. kirby recompiled and reported problem solved.


GLEP: RESTRICT=interactive

In theory, ebuilds should not require interactions from users during the compilation process. In the real world, interaction may be needed as is the case of a game where the CD may need to be inserted.

Marius Mauch intends to submit a GLEP adding a RESTRICT="interactive" option to portage to indicate interaction-required ebuilds. Users would be warned that interaction may be needed during compilation so they would not include the offending package in unattended overnight compilation sessions.

The draft GLEP can be found at

Commenters noted that all other restricted flags were in the form "RESTRICT=Thing_You_Don't_Want". Sentiment seemed to be running in favor of a "RESTRICT=unattended" syntax which would parallel the other RESTRICT flags.

Is it time for bash 3?

Donnie Berkholz had received a patch to the mesa ebuild which used some of the new features in bash3. Instead of having dependencies at the ebuild level, Berkholz thought that a minimum version of bash should be added to the list of applications required by the base gentoo profile. Since bash 3 had been required by baselayout for over two years, it was likely most users had it and the change would be a non-issue for almost all. The change would make the better bash 3 feature set available for all ebuilds.

Marius Mauch and Vlastimil Babka noted that for users who had not made the change, the inclusion of bash 3 in system would not help. Mauch proposed a number of either bruteforce or complex solutions to the issue. Further, Babka noted that the Mac OS X may still use bash 2.59.

Berkholz stated he was implementation agnostic and just wanted the change made. Mike Frysinger stated that the last time he tried to use a bash 2 system portage fell apart entirely anyway, and that therefore the simple change to the base profile was preferable.


NSLU2 as a DNS server

wireless writes in to gentoo-embedded wondering if it would be possible to turn a Linksys NSLU2 into a lightweight DNS server. He worries that only having 32MB of RAM may make this goal impossible and wonders if there are ways to increase its RAM capacity or if there was another embedded device with more capability. However, many on gentoo-embedded, unhampered by so called "limitations," suggested trying dnsmasq as a lightweight alternative to other larger DNS solutions.


Securing dhcpcd (client)

7v5w7go9ub0o writes into gentoo-security with worries about the security of running dhcpcd as root on his laptop at hotspots. There was talk about patching dhcpcd (similar to a patch that already exists in other distributions for dhcpd) to be able to drop privileges, and about using alternatives to dhcpcd that already have this functionality.

3.  Gentoo in the press (11 Oct 2006)

Author Patrick Green discusses 64-bit blade servers and running Linux on them. He recommends buyers to ensure that they have a proper match of hardware and software before undertaking such a challenge. Green goes on to discuss various Linux distributions and their various caveats. He explains the primary differences in support options between commercial and community-based distributions. His take on Gentoo?

"Well, Gentoo is not for the faint of heart when it comes to installation and configuration; but once it is set up, Gentoo's Portage and Emerge make your life pretty trouble-free. Pain on the front end for an easy ride? Sweet!"

We would have to agree, Patrick.

4.  Gentoo developer moves


The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:

  • Thierry Carrez (Koon)
  • Gerald J. Normandin Jr. (gerrynjr)
  • D.M.D. Ljungmark (Spider)


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:

  • David Shakaryan (omp) desktop-misc/commonbox
  • Alexis Ballier (aballier) media-sound/media-video


The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:

  • none this week

5.  Upcoming package removals

This is a list of packages that have been announced to be removed in the future. The package removals come from many locations, including the Treecleaners and various developers.

Last Rites:

Package: Removal date: Contact:
sys-fs/ocfs-tools 09 Nov 06 Donnie Berkholz
net-im/kopete* 12 Nov 06 Diego Pettenò
net-im/universalkopete 14 Nov 06 Alec Warner
app-admin/sus 14 Nov 06 Christian Heim
app-admin/linup 14 Nov 06 Christian Heim
media-libs/gltt 14 Nov 06 Christian Heim
media-radio/xastir 14 Nov 06 Christian Heim
app-misc/gpsdrive 14 Nov 06 Christian Heim

*Kopete remains part of kde-base; only the net-im ebuild will be deleted.

6.  Bugzilla



The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 08 October 2006 and 15 October 2006, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 978 new bugs during this period
  • 535 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 44 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
  • 149 closed as NEEDINFO/WONTFIX/CANTFIX/INVALID/UPSTREAM during this period
  • 156 bugs marked as duplicates during this period

Of the 11099 currently open bugs: 35 are labeled 'blocker', 122 are labeled 'critical', and 503 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:

7.  GWN feedback

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Page updated October 16, 2006

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 16 October 2006.

Ulrich Plate

Josh Nichols

Chris Atkinson

Kyle Bishop

Chris Gianelloni

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