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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 27 February 2006


1.  Gentoo news

2006.0 released

The first Gentoo Linux in the 2006 series has been available since 0:00 UTC today, complete with three desktop environments (KDE, GNOME and XFCE), GCC 3.4.4 and a 2.6.15 kernel. This milestone release is the first to include the brand new Gentoo Linux Installer, official support for EM64T, a fully-fledged Gnome environment, and NPTL toolchains in various architectures.

Architectures from Alpha to Sparc have improved significantly over 2005.1, providing more features and options than ever before, and with PPC64 making Gentoo the first Linux distribution to provide optimized packages not only for the G5, but also the POWER5 architecture. More details about this release can be found on the Release Engineering project's announcement page.

Gentoo at FOSDEM 2006

This year's FOSDEM, Europe's most important meeting for open-source development, saw more Gentoo developers and from more countries than ever. Visitors to the Gentoo booth could grab a 2006.0 release on CD for x86, PPC and AMD64 before anyone else, and the presentations at the Gentoo devroom gave a broad overview of activities in the project.

The first CDs of the 2006.0 release were selling faster than the three busy burners could produce them, and T-Shirts were sold out by tea time on the first day. The architectures on display managed to raise more than just a few eyebrows: a Sun Ultra 20 running Solaris 9 complete with Portaris, the Portage port to Sun, Inc.'s operating system, and two generations of Genesi's PowerPC workstations, the Pegasos ODW, were the highlights at the booth.

Figure 1.1: Release media for 2006.0, workstations on display

Fig. 1: Fosdem

Crowds were particularly thick in front of the Gentoo stand, a major attraction among the many projects represented at the conference. Two dozen Gentoo developers took turns manning the booth, supported by freshly roasted coffee from Chicago, courtesy of Mike Doty who probably needed it most, too.

Figure 1.2: Left to right: plate, genone, grobian, patrick, hansmi, SeJo, and kingtaco

Fig. 2: Fosdem

Figure 1.3: Left to right: pvdabeel, usata, ferdy, and wolf31o2

Fig. 3: Fosdem

Even the FOSDEM quantum singularity, a traditional event witnessed every year since the first visit of Daniel Robbins to Brussels in 2003, happened at the Gentoo booth. Logic collapsed in a spectacular way when the only wireless connectivity available to all the open-source projects in the corridors of FOSDEM had to be provided temporarily from Jochen Maes' iBook -- running Mac OS X.

3rd European Gentoo Developer Meeting

Figure 1.4: Gentoo developers meeting at FOSDEM 2006

Fig. 4: Fosdem

Note: Left to right: wolf31o2, kosmikus, kernelsensei, hanno, kloeri, usata, grobian, genone, stefaan, yoswink, SeJo, ferdy, swift, patrick, blubb, plate, hansmi, tigger, kingtaco, genstef, killerfox, tove, lcars, dams, deathwing00

Embedded between the morning and afternoon presentations for the general public at the FOSDEM devroom, the third edition of the European Gentoo developer community meeting was anything but a luncheon. 25 developers from around the globe had found their way to Brussels and spent two hours discussing the most pressing issues for Gentoo. The very concentrated debate focussed on how the project should represent itself when appearing in public: conference organization, press relations and PR will be reorganized.

Developer relations and recruiting were the second main topic, with Mike Doty promoting the highly successful AMD64 archtesters as a role model for other projects. Archtesters allow for thorough testing of packages until they fail to break under no circumstances, and they typically gain Gentoo developer status much easier because they get a chance to prove their abilities to an entire peer group, not just an individual mentor as in traditional recruiting.

Some of the current organizational deficits in the relationship between the Gentoo Foundation and satellite organizations in Europe and elsewhere will be addressed over the next months, with the purpose of binding local support chapters or associations in various countries into a fully-fledged umbrella structure. The aim is to set up the necessary structure to assign and transfer tasks and duties, make funding available where it's most needed, and protect the licenses and trademarks in an effective manner.

Bugday on 4 March

The Gentoo Documentation Project will be taking part in the upcoming Gentoo Bugday on this coming Saturday, 4 March 2006. There are a number of open bugs that the team wishes to resolve and would like to call upon interested people to join them in #gentoo-bugs and #gentoo-doc and help squash the docs buglist down to zero.


In the GWN of 6 February, the venue for the spring open-source conference in Tokyo came out slightly garbled. The Japan Electronics College where the conference is going to take place is not in Ogikubo as originally published, but in Okubo. We apologize for the mistake.

2.  Gentoo international

Germany: Chemnitzer Linuxtage

Tobias Scherbaum, Jens Blaesche and Gentoo's former developer and MIPS port founder Jan Seidel will represent Gentoo at the Chemnitzer Linuxtage next weekend in East Germany's Saxony region. This year's Gentoo booth once again provides easy-access to merchandising articles including Shirts, Posters and Case badges. Especially for users in this region without the possibility of broadband Internet-access the German NFP "Friends of Gentoo e.V." remastered the 2006.0 release-media and put them together with stages and lots of distfiles on a DVD which will only be sold in Chemnitz.

On Sunday morning, Gentoo Developer Tobias Scherbaum will give a talk about "The Gentoo Metadistribution", an introduction to Gentoos history and evolution, Gentoos special features and technical aspects. Finally we would like to invite Gentoo users to visit our booth and tell us about their first experiences with the last 2006.0 Gentoo release. We are looking forward to meeting you in Chemnitz!

3.  Gentoo developer moves


The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:

  • None this week


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:

  • None this week


The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:

  • None this week

4.  Gentoo Security

OpenSSH, Dropbear: Insecure use of system() call

A flaw in OpenSSH and Dropbear allows local users to elevate their privileges via scp.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

GPdf: heap overflows in included Xpdf code

GPdf includes vulnerable Xpdf code to handle PDF files, making it vulnerable to the execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

GraphicsMagick: Format string vulnerability

A vulnerability in GraphicsMagick allows attackers to crash the application and potentially execute arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

noweb: Insecure temporary file creation

noweb is vulnerable to symlink attacks, potentially allowing a local user to overwrite arbitrary files.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

5.  Bugzilla


The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 19 February 2006 and 26 February 2006, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 785 new bugs during this period
  • 380 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 26 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 9431 currently open bugs: 65 are labeled 'blocker', 156 are labeled 'critical', and 517 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:

6.  GWN feedback

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Page updated February 27, 2006

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 27 February 2006.

Ulrich Plate

Shyam Mani

Tobias Scherbaum

Tim Yamin

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