Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: October 27, 2003
Improved support for virtual hosting and web-based applications
In the coming weeks, the Gentoo Linux project will be releasing updates for
Apache and all web-based packages, to make it easier to use Gentoo Linux on
servers that host more than one website at once.
As part of these changes, the default location of the 'htdocs' directory - the
directory where your website goes - will change from /home/httpd to
/var/www/localhost. For servers needing to support more than one website at a time, new tools - webapp-config and vhost-config - and a 'vhosts' USE flag
will be introduced to help with managing and installing web-based
applications and virtual hosts.
The full technical details can be found in GLEP #11. We'll be publishing webserver and virtual-hosting guides in the near future, as well as a new developers document explaining how to write ebuilds for web-based packages."
2.6 kernel LiveCDs available for x86 and amd64
Thanks to Bob Johnson's hard work, we now have LiveCDs available for x86 and amd64 that use the 2.6 kernel. The x86 LiveCDs can be downloaded here, and the amd64 ones are here. The 2.6 LiveCD for amd64 should be preferred over the 2.4 LiveCD because the 2.4 kernel did not provide the necessary hardware/driver support. Enjoy the new CDs!
Open kernel developer positions in the Gentoo Linux Project
The Gentoo Linux Project is seeking additional kernel developers to fill in some holes in the kernel team. Applicants should have a fair amount of experience with the Linux kernel. Send an email to Brian Jackson if you're interested.
GWN seeking additional contributors
The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter is looking for one or more contributors to compile the Gentoo Linux Security section each week. No security expertise is needed because the information is gathered from GLSAs and bug reports; all you need is a solid command of written English. Send us an email if you're interested.
Gentoo Security is on hiatus this week.
Featured Developer of the Week
Michael J. Cohen
Our featured developer for this issue is Michael J. Cohen (mjc), who some users
may recognize as the maintainer of the -mjc kernel tree, is described
on the Gentoo
Developer List as the "Resident Kernel Colonel". His primary
responsibilities have been fixing things for the forthcoming move to the
Linux 2.6 Kernel, QA, user support, and a brief bout with LiveCD
development. Michael is also one of the Linux kernel contributors and has
contributed to userland filesystem utilities like e2fsprogs and
reiserfsprogs. He is proud of his contributions to the kernel,
particularly the opportunity to consult with kernel luminary Rik van Riel about the rmap VM.
Michael is a long-time Linux user, having successfully (after 14
tries) installed RedHat 5.2 from floppies in a bid to move from
FreeBSD. In January of 2001, Michael was approached by Daniel Robbins to take responsibility for
kernel maintenance for the nascent distribution. Michael accepted,
and (after taking time to install it) began working as a Gentoo
developer. He is only 19, having graduated from the McFatter
Technical High School in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA. He is currently
attending the University of Central Florida in Orlando, studying
Computer Science and living on campus. He also works as a system
administrator for an ISP.
Michael is currently using KDE, but claims Gnome as his
favorite DE. He communicates using kmail and xchat-2.
For his favorite apps, he selected k3b ("the first CD burning
application that has worked as well as [he] expected"), the
transcode video processing utilities, and the cscope
source code browser. He also enjoys skateboarding, windsurfing,
mountain-biking and working on his BMW or any Porsches that happen to
be handy. For his favorite quote, Michael reminded us that Linus has
asserted that "we all know Linux is great. It can do infinite
loops in 5 seconds.". He also told us that "Gentoo is fast
becoming the single distribution to offer both bleeding edge software
and ease of use".
Heard in the Community
OpenPIC Problems Resolved on New Gentoo PPC ISO
Gentoo-PPC lead developer pvdabeel made this post sticky when he announced the new LiveCD for Macintosh computers. Among other novelties it fixes the frequent problems Gentoo-on-Mac users had with the OpenPIC interrupt architecture:
Forum Users' Linux Toolshed
On top of the ever-growing GWN collection of David Narayan's tips and tricks, there's a continuously popular thread in the Forum's Documentation section where Gentooists are busy swapping secret bash incantations, script aliases and other useful ideas to make life in Gentoo even easier than it already is:
Choosing Compiler Flags Carefully
Gentoo user Matt noticed something odd when running his C++ program on Gentoo... it was slower than Debian! Being that Gentoo
is highly optimized compared to other distros he was somewhat confused by the results. He asked the gentoo-user mailing list for help,
and what we all got was a very informative thread. Read it
Headers and Tailers.
Here is an interesting post about whether it is possible to insert just the header files from a specific kernel version. Have a look to see the results of the conversation.
Which dev to use?
No we aren't choosing between developers, they're all wonderful! :) However choosing between different /dev file system daemons is a choice for the future of gentoo. The existing one, devfs, has some competition from udev. Have a look here to see the benefits and criticisms of both.
Brazil: Gentoo User Meeting at Free Software Show
The Brazilian Gentoo users are organising a meeting around the CONISLI (Congresso Internacional de Software Livre, the International Free Software Conference) in S?o Paulo, Brazil. The conference will be held on 8 and 9 November 2003 at the University of S?o Paulo (map here). The corresponding Forum thread in the Portuguese section and a GentooBR news thread are being used to coordinate Brazilian Gentooists coming to the CONISLI.
Portage Watch is on hiatus this week.
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track
bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 17 October 2003 and 23 October 2003, activity
on the site has resulted in:
- 461 new bugs during this period
- 344 bugs closed or resolved during this period
- 13 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
Of the 3958 currently open bugs: 89 are labeled 'blocker', 185 are labeled 'critical', and 324 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:
Tips and Tricks
This week's tip is about a couple of utilities to help you deal with
init scripts and runlevels.
Gentoo Linux has four main runlevels: boot, default, nonetwork, single. To
manipulate these, use the /sbin/rc-update command. While
rc-update add and rc-update del are covered in the Gentoo Docs, you may be
wondering how to see the runlevels a service is in. This is done with the
rc-update show command.
Code Listing 8.1: rc-update show
# rc-update show
apache2 | default
atd | default
bootmisc | boot
checkfs | boot
checkroot | boot
...many more lines truncated...
Note: You can also look in /etc/runlevels. Each runlevel is a
separate directory and in those directories are symlinks to the various
services in /etc/init.d.
Another useful tool is rc-status which made its way into baselayout with
It tells you which services are currently running:
Code Listing 8.2: rc-status
apache2 [ started ]
atd [ started ]
cupsd [ started ]
dcron [ started ]
ddclient [ started ]
local [ off ]
...and many more lines...
Finally, sometimes you may want to start all the services in your current
runlevel that aren't running (because you stopped them). Simply type rc
to start al the missing services.
Moves, Adds and Changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux project.
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