Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 16 October 2006
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
- 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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Gentoo in the press
SearchOpenSource.com (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.
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
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.
*Kopete remains part of kde-base; only the net-im ebuild will be deleted.
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) 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
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