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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: August 4th, 2003


1.  Gentoo News


Gentoo Linux at Linux World Expo on August 5-7

Gentoo Linux will be at Linux World Expo in San Francisco at the Moscone Convention Center on August 5-7, where we'll be releasing Gentoo Linux 1.4. Find us at booth #1 in the .org pavillion where we'll be giving away free Gentoo Linux 1.4 LiveCDs and free computer hardware, including a new Pentium 4 system and an Epson Stylus Photo 900 printer. We have many other surprises planed both on site and online, so please join us at the show!

First Gentoo BugDay held on August 2

The first Gentoo BugDay was a success: 130 participants gathered in #gentoo-bugs on, and a total of 124 bugs were closed - about double the usual number (51 bugs were closed last Saturday). Users and developers worked together in the channel, testing, discussing, and fixing bugs. It was a great chance for users and developers to get to know each other, and we may even have scouted a few candidates for future developers. The current plan is to hold BugDays on the first Saturday of each month; thanks to Brian Jackson for organizing this event.

WineX ebuilds removed from Portage

By request from Transgaming Technologies, two WineX ebuilds (winex and winex-cvs) which build WineX from Transgaming's public CVS tree available under the Aladdin Free Public License have been removed from Portage and will no longer be maintained. According to Transgaming, the public CVS tree's purpose is not to provide a free version of WineX, but to enable people to assist with their development efforts, and if it's trivial for people to get WineX from CVS without contributing, it seriously discourages them from providing public CVS at all. See this excerpt from their LICENSE:

"Note that while this license does permit certain kinds of non-commercial distribution of pre-compiled binary packages of WineX, doing so on a large scale is discouraged, as it affects TransGaming's ability to continue to improve and develop the code. TransGaming reserves the right to change the license under which TransGaming-owned copyright code is made available, and will not hesitate to do so if non-commercial distribution of pre-compiled binary packages adversely affects the financing of continued development."

The winex-transgaming ebuild remains available for subscribers to Transgaming who want to install binary WineX packages. Also, Wine, the free project on which WineX is based, is still in the Portage tree.

2.  Gentoo Security


There were no Security announcements this week

New Security Bug Reports

There were no new security bugs opened this week.

3.  User stories

User stories is on hiatus this week. Remember to send us your bizarre, hilarious, or incredible Gentoo stories so they can be featured here!

4.  Featured Developer of the Week

Seemant Kulleen

Figure 4.1: Seemant Kulleen

Fig. 1: Seemant Kulleen

This week, we're pleased to feature Seemant Kulleen (seemant), a long-time developer and familiar name from the forums and mailing lists. Gentoo is actually Seemant's first involvement with a major Open Source project, where he served until recently as Project Co-Ordinator. He is on Gentoo's XFree team and often contributes bugfixes to unmaintained packages (before embarking on a mission to find a maintainer).

A few weeks ago, Seemant was named to a position as the Manager of Developer Relations under Gentoo's new management structure. Developer Relations' primary responsibility will be the care and feeding of Gentoo's burgeoning developer community. This includes identifying and recruiting new developers, providing resources for the developers, organizing teams, and resolving conflicts. He is currently working with Jon Portnoy on creating a Developer's Handbook that will formalize some of the technical details of the development process and assist with training new developers. He is also working on the Developer Relations Ombudsman subproject suggested by Grant Goodyear as an effort to provide a stable and neutral avenue for conflict resolution. More information about the Developer Relations project can be found at its project page. Seemant also assists with Quality Assurance and Public Relations for the management team.

Seemant is a Master's candidate at the Rochester Institute of Technology, currently working on his thesis. He lives in Santa Monica, CA where he spends much of his time working on Gentoo. He runs a black nForce2 box with an Athlon-XP 2100 and a Sun Ultra 1 currently serving as a firewall. He generally has sylpheed-claws and xchat1 running with XFce4 as the Window Manager. He is also fond of rsync, screen and gkrellm. He usually has a coke to hand. He describes Gentoo as "a dream" and is particularly proud of the Gentoo developer community, which he describes as "nothing short of magicians". He made a point of thanking the Gentoo Developers and user base for making it possible to work on such an "awesome distro".

5.  Heard in the Community

Web Forums

Decking Out Your Desktop

Want to know what people are doing with their customized desktops? The original Gentoo Desktops thread, begun over a year ago, has been locked, but in its place we now have Gentoo Desktops Part 2, which has already received 450 replies. If you're particularly proud of your desktop and want to post a screenshot or want to look at others' setups for inspiration, then look no further.

Artwiz fonts coming soon to Gnome2 and KDE3

Forum user aLEczapKA had been hard at work trying to get the Artwiz fonts working under GTK2 and Qt3, when he realized that Alexander Kahl had posted an improved ebuild on Bugzilla mere days ago. In either case, though, it seems Gentoo will be one of the first distributions to have Xft/Freetype-compatible Artwiz fonts.


Clarifying the meaning of x86 and ~x86

Determined to fully understand the difference between ~x86 and x86 keywords, Gentoo User Jonathan Kelly shot an email out to fellow Gentoo Users. They were quick to point out that ~x86 isn't really considered to be "unstable" but rather a "testing" area. Once a package's build process as well as it's overall execution is tested and considered stable, it is released to the masses for consumption under the x86 keyword. Additionally users pointed out that ppc, ~ppc, as well as other architectural keywords exist to suit the same purpose of testing and stable packages. Read it here


A new Itanium box!

Kurt Lieber posted the fantastic news that the Gentoo Linux project now has access to an Itanium box! This is especially great for any developers who wish to test with this in mind.

Downloading binaries.

Whilst this idea might seem a bit out of place in the Gentoo Linux community, Fredrik Danerklint brought up a question about the emerge flag "--usepkg" - used for downloading binaries as opposed to source - to be implemented in our much loved make.conf.

6.  Gentoo International

Gentoo Linux at Chaos Communication Camp 2003

Gentoo Linux will be at the Chaos Communication Camp 2003. This second International Open Air Hacker Gathering will take place on a field nearby Berlin from 7th to 10th August, organized by the German hacker-group Chaos Computer Club. There will be a lot of lectures in English, the world's largest civil open-air network, and, of course, fun. A Gentoo tent will be set up where you'll be able to meet developers, ask them questions about Gentoo, grab the recent LiveCDs, and exchange your experiences with Gentoo.

7.  Portage Watch

Portage Watch is in hiatus this week and will be back next week with two week's worth of updates.

8.  Bugzilla



The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 25 July 2003 and 31 July 2003, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 377 new bugs during this period
  • 201 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 6 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 3467 currently open bugs: 72 are labeled 'blocker', 155 are labeled 'critical', and 281 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.  Tips and Tricks

A Quick and Easy Password Generator

This week's tip shows you how to quickly generate a list of passwords using /dev/urandom, and uuencode.

Code Listing 9.1

% dd if=/dev/urandom count=1 2> /dev/null | uuencode -m - | head -n 2 | tail -n 1 | cut -c-8

The options for the cut command indicate the length of the password generated (in this case, 8 characters). This could easily be expanded to generate a whole list of passwords using the for command.

Code Listing 9.2

% for ((n=0;n<10;n++)); do dd if=/dev/urandom count=1 2> /dev/null | uuencode -m -| head -n 2 \
  | tail -n 1 | cut -c-8; done

To create a longer or shorter list, just change the limit in for (in this case 10).

If you want to generate WEP keys for wireless networking, you can use a similar procedure, replacing uuencode with md5sum:

Code Listing 9.3

% dd if=/dev/urandom count=1 2> /dev/null | md5sum | head -n 2 | tail -n 1 | cut -c-26

10.  Featured Quote/Signature of the Week

This week's featured signature should appeal to Gentoo users who are also fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy; take a look at philocipher's sig:

"Nine megs for the secretaries fair
Seven megs for the hackers scarce
Five megs for the grads in smoky lairs
Three megs for system source

One disk to rule them all
One disk to bind them
One disk to hold the files
And in the darkness grind 'em

11.  Moves, Adds and Changes


The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:

  • none this week


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:

  • Jasmine Chua (jasmine) -- nagios-based monitoring
  • Romans Malinovskis (romans) mailing list archives
  • Don Seiler (rizzo) -- handling new ebuild submissions
  • Max Kalika (max) -- mythtv
  • Brian Jackson (iggy) -- courier
  • Stephen Diener (sediener) -- app-sci
  • Gerald J Normandin Jr. (gerrynjr) -- documentation
  • Jason A. Mobarak (aether) -- java-config, portage


The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux project.

  • none this week

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Page updated 04 August 2003

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of August 4th, 2003.

Yuji Carlos Kosugi

AJ Armstrong

Cal Evans

Chris Gavin

Luke Giuliani

Shawn Jonnet

Michael Kohl

Kurt Lieber

Rafael Cordones Marcos

David Narayan

Gerald J Normandin Jr.

Ulrich Plate

Mathy Vanvoorden
Dutch Translation

Hendrik Eeckhaut
Dutch Translation

Jorn Eilander
Dutch Translation

Bernard Kerckenaere
Dutch Translation

Peter ter Borg
Dutch Translation

Jochen Maes
Dutch Translation

Roderick Goessen
Dutch Translation

Gerard van den Berg
Dutch Translation

Matthieu Montaudouin
French Translation

Martin Prieto
French Translation

Antoine Raillon
French Translation

Sebastien Cevey
French Translation

Jean-Christophe Choisy
French Translation

Steffen Lassahn
German Translation

Matthias F. Brandstetter
German Translation

Thomas Raschbacher
German Translation

Klaus-J. Wolf
German Translation

Marco Mascherpa
Italian Translation

Claudio Merloni
Italian Translation

Christian Apolloni
Italian Translation

Stefano Lucidi
Italian Translation

Yoshiaki Hagihara
Japanese Translation

Katsuyuki Konno
Japanese Translation

Yuji Carlos Kosugi
Japanese Translation

Yasunori Fukudome
Japanese Translation

Takashi Ota
Japanese Translation

Radoslaw Janeczko
Polish Translation

Lukasz Strzygowski
Polish Translation

Michal Drobek
Polish Translation

Adam Lyjak
Polish Translation

Krzysztof Klimonda
Polish Translation

Atila "Jedi" Bohlke Vasconcelos
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Eduardo Belloti
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

João Rafael Moraes Nicola
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Marcelo Gonçalves de Azambuja
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Otavio Rodolfo Piske
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Pablo N. Hess -- NatuNobilis
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Pedro de Medeiros
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Ventura Barbeiro
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Bruno Ferreira
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Gustavo Felisberto
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

José Costa
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Luis Medina
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Ricardo Loureiro
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Sergey Kuleshov
Russian Translator

Dmitry Suzdalev
Russian Translator

Anton Vorovatov
Russian Translator

Spanish Translation

Fernando J. Pereda
Spanish Translation

Lluis Peinado Cifuentes
Spanish Translation

Zephryn Xirdal T
Spanish Translation

Guillermo Juarez
Spanish Translation

Jesús García Crespo
Spanish Translation

Carlos Castillo
Spanish Translation

Julio Castillo
Spanish Translation

Sergio Gómez
Spanish Translation

Aycan Irican
Turkish Translation

Bugra Cakir
Turkish Translation

Cagil Seker
Turkish Translation

Emre Kazdagli
Turkish Translation

Evrim Ulu
Turkish Translation

Gursel Kaynak
Turkish Translation

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