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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 1 May 2006


1.  Gentoo news

Gentoo participation in Google "Summer of Code"

The "Summer of Code" program sponsored by Google has accepted Gentoo as a mentoring organization. From today until early September, around 90 open-source projects will be working with students to implement project-specific features. Participants are offered a financial reward for their work. All interested students should refer to Google's Student FAQ to check whether they are eligible to participate in the Summer of Code with Gentoo.

If you wish to contribute feel free to contact us, either through email or IRC (#gentoo-soc on Freenode). Some project ideas can be found on our website, but we are also open for student proposals -- if in doubt just ask us!

How to obtain meaningful backtraces

Diego Pettenò has released a new Howto that explains in great detail how to generate useful debugging info with backtraces. The Howto describes the needed steps with changing compiler flags and stripping with the new splitdebug feature. A short intro to gdb, the GNU Debugger, and coredumps as a post-mortem debugging tool give the interested reader all tools to start their own work to either debug themselves or report meaningful backtraces to developers.

User feedback helps brushing up ebuilds

Two months ago, the qmail herd asked for comments on the current state of their ebuilds and usage. While they have not yet taken advantage of all of the suggestions that came from the discussions, the qmail herd has already made some progress. They started by creating a new, cleaner ebuild for netqmail, a version of qmail. netqmail has additional bug fixes and patches to help with compilation on modern systems. The ebuild removes extraneous patches. The remaining patches can be controlled by the user via USE flags. This change addresses the main criticism of the old ebuild. The qmail herd looks forward to any of your comments, ideas, or suggestions on their new netqmail ebuild.

2.  Heard in the community


Gentoo: State of the Union

As it happens every now and then another thread discussing perceived and real problems in Gentoo got started. In this thread topics like recruitment, policies, why cvs is bad and some others are discussed.

SHA256 digest issues

A bug in pycrypto caused a lot of digest and Manifest files to be created with bogus SHA256 hashes. The source of the problem has been fixed, users of portage 2.1 may still run into occasional digest failures. Upgrading to pycrypto 2.0.1-r5 is highly recommended.

3.  Gentoo in the press

Computer Partner (26 April 2006, in German)

"Netcleanse" is the name of an anti-spam and anti-virus product by a German company. The announcement of its new version 2.0 scheduled to start shipping on 2 May claims it's based on "a hardened version of Gentoo". Maybe somebody would like to check the 30-day-trial and find out what's under the hood?

4.  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

5.  Gentoo Security

xine-ui: Format string vulnerabilities

Format string vulnerabilities in xine-ui may lead to the execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

xine-lib: Buffer overflow vulnerability

xine-lib contains a buffer overflow vulnerability which may lead to the execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Ethereal: Multiple vulnerabilities in protocol dissectors

Ethereal is vulnerable to numerous vulnerabilities, potentially resulting in the execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Mozilla Suite: Multiple vulnerabilities

Several vulnerabilities in Mozilla Suite allow attacks ranging from script execution with elevated privileges to information leaks.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

6.  Bugzilla


The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 23 April 2006 and 30 April 2006, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 819 new bugs during this period
  • 338 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 38 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 9907 currently open bugs: 61 are labeled 'blocker', 142 are labeled 'critical', and 524 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:

7.  GWN feedback

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8.  GWN subscription information

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9.  Other languages

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Page updated May 1, 2006

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 1 May 2006.

Ulrich Plate

Michael Hanselmann

Patrick Lauer

Mark Loeser

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