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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 6 March 2006


1.  Gentoo news

Common Portage error message

For those users who encounter a Portage error similar to the following: "!!! Cannot resolve a virtual package name to an ebuild." during an 'emerge --sync' or an 'emerge --metadata' please do not file a bug about it. The code may instruct you to do so, however the developers have already found a fix and it is already on bugzilla, upgrading Portage will suffice. Bug reports filed for this bug will only be marked as duplicates of bug 114798. Please see that bug report as well as the Portage project's documentation page for details and a fix for this issue. Thanks in advance from the Portage Team.

PPC project meeting 5 March 2006

The PPC project held a meeting on Sunday, 5 March 2006. The turnout for was fairly impressive. It was composed of a large majority of the PPC team members. The items on the agenda included gcc 4.1, the 2006.0 release, leadership, Genesi/Freescale/IBM developer programs, and installer project porting. The meeting lasted about one and a half hours, and included some notes by Mark Loeser for gcc 4.1, and Andrew Gaffney for the installer project. Minutes for the meeting and a full log can be found at the Theaimsgroup Archive.

Download counts for 2006.0 release

Gentoo's central address for release images, the bouncer system, keeps track of the number of downloads. Since the 2006.0 release was available on the mirrors, almost 100,000 images have been downloaded to date.

Gentoo 2006.0 downloads
gentoo-2006.0-livecd 29287
gentoo-2006.0-minimal 40988
gentoo-2006.0-packagecd 3537
gentoo-2006.0-packagecd-32ul 830
gentoo-2006.0-packagecd-64ul 206
gentoo-2006.0-universal 9061

Note: As of Saturday, 4 March 2006. Not included are downloads by those users who choose one of the mirrors directly rather than going through the bouncer system, and the above figures are not broken down by architectures.

Similar statistics exist for the Bittorrent fileshares that are monitored via the Gentoo tracker. During the same one week period since the release of 2006.0, about 5000 LiveCD downloads were completed via the tracker. The complete list of available torrents and their statistics can be viewed on the tracker webpage.

2.  Heard in the community


enable UTF8 per default?

After last week's FOSDEM meeting a few ideas were being discussed - among them enabling UTF-8 in the default profiles. PPC has been doing it for some time, and it would be helpful to the non-English users. So what has kept unicode from being enabled by default? There are few known bugs with unicode, so hopefully it will be enabled per default in the near future.

2006.0 - me having a bad day?

With the new release come new bugs - and this user seems to have hit all roadbumps that he could find while trying to download 2006.0. Some very nice criticism that shows how end-users often get a totally different view on your product - in this case the download pages - and infra member Jeffrey Forman jumps into the discussion and tries to fix all issues reported.

QA Team discussion

The Quality Assurance Team is growing stronger and more active. Until recently its authority wasn't well-defined, and it could only try to convince people to fix issues, but now Mark Loeser in his role as QA lead starts one of the longest threads of the last weeks by offering a policy for the QA team and asking the council to vote on this policy in the next meeting, thus enabling the QA team to officially fix bugs and override developers in the rare cases this may be needed. The proposal as such has already been modified, the discussion is still going on. During one of the next Council Meetings this should be decided.

3.  Gentoo international

USA: Gentoo seminar at Embedded Systems Conference

Sergei Larin, Senior Applications Engineer at Freescale Semiconductor will give his first class on Gentoo on 4 April at the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose (3 to 7 April at the McEnery Convention Center). His joint presentation with Gentoo developer Pieter Van den Abeele explores the possibilities of reducing the time to market for PowerPC-based devices using open-source software. Freescale decided to go with Gentoo as the foundation for that approach because of its configurability and the ease of applications in the embedded market. The scope of this Linux design seminar will be how to build a "Home Media Center with Linux on the PowerPC archiecture." Freescale is planning to give similar classes at LinuxWorld in Boston and other events in the future.

UK: Gentoo UK Conference preparations underway

George Prowse and some UK-based Gentoo developers and users have started initial planning for a 2006 Gentoo UK users-and-developers conference, based upon the success of the 2004 and 2005 events.

This year's event will be hosted in London, and the provisional dates are 10th/11th June 2006. The exact location is yet to be decided.

In order to cover costs, we are seeking sponsorship from interested organisations. If you are in contact with an organisation who may be able to help, please email George Prowse with any available information. For those interested in attending, watch this space for updates.

Germany: Call for papers for FrOSCon

FrOSCon is a two-day conference on free software and open source, which takes place on 24th and 25th June 2006 at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, in St. Augustin near Bonn, Germany. One of its organizers is Gentoo developer Sebastian Bergmann. The focus of the conference is a comprehensive range of talks about current topics in free software and open source. Furthermore, space will be provided for developers of free software and open-source projects to organize their own developer meetings or even their own program. FrOSCon is organized for the first time in 2006 by the department of computer science in collaboration with the Linux/Unix User Group Sankt Augustin, the student body and the FrOSCon e.V., and aims to establish itself as the largest event of its kind in Rhineland. The call for papers is still open until 15 March, and developer rooms and booth space are also available to interested projects.

4.  Gentoo in the press

Riverbanks Zoo (4 March 2006)

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden (in Columbia, South Carolina) has ten Gentoo penguins that haven't been named yet. The Zoo's administrators have decided that they are too many to be named by the staff, and call upon the general public to submit suggestions. The "Riverbanks' Penguin Naming Contest" continues to accept entries until 15 March, with the winners to be announced on 20 March.

SageTV (March 2006)

SageTV has released a "Linux OEM edition" of their media center -- based on Gentoo Linux: "The installation medium is a customised Gentoo install CD, you can modify it for the needs of your company if you plan to build many identical systems," says the SageTV website. They are looking for hardware manufacturers who would be interested in including the Gentoo-driven personal video recorder software in their offerings.

Techgage (1 March 2006)

Pars pro toto: Rob Williams, an author for Techgage, has written a very enthusiastic review of Gentoo 2006.0, with a close look at the new graphical installer.

Heise (2 March 2006, in German)

This week Germany's most important computer magazine carried a sneak preview on an article that will be officially published in the "Open-source yearbook" that will be published later this month. Bill Hilf, Platform Technology Strategy Director at Microsoft and responsible for the Linux and open-source lab there, gives some interesting insights to what the "open-source bubble in a Microsoft sea" does, how it's equipped etc. The article isn't entirely up-to-date (it still mentions Daniel Robbins as a prominent member of the team), but it identifies Gentoo and Portage as fields of research and explains what Microsoft's "shared source" project is about.

5.  Gentoo developer moves


The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:

  • Brian Harring


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:

  • Boris Fersing (kernelsensei) - Forums staffer


The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:

  • None this week

6.  Gentoo Security

WordPress: SQL injection vulnerability

WordPress is vulnerable to an SQL injection vulnerability.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

teTeX, pTeX, CSTeX: Multiple overflows in included XPdf code

CSTeTeX, pTeX, and teTeX include vulnerable XPdf code to handle PDF files, making them vulnerable to the execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

MPlayer: Multiple integer overflows

MPlayer is vulnerable to integer overflows in FFmpeg and ASF decoding that could potentially result in the execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

7.  Bugzilla


The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 26 February 2006 and 05 March 2006, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 908 new bugs during this period
  • 405 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 20 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 9549 currently open bugs: 66 are labeled 'blocker', 152 are labeled 'critical', and 518 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:

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Page updated March 6, 2006

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 6 March 2006.

Ulrich Plate

Sebastian Bergmann

Patrick Lauer

George Prowse

Alec Warner

Chris White

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