Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 21 August 2006
Linux World Conference and Expo - San Francisco
The Gentoo Foundation was
represented at this year's Linux World
Conference and Expo in San Francisco. The booth was located in the famous
'.Org Pavilion' between the K Desktop Environment and the GNOME Foundation,
and directly across from the Slashdot Lounge. Several of Gentoo's
architectures were on showcase thanks to Mike
Frysinger, Daniel Ostrow, and
Ilya Volynets, including a 64-bit
quad-core PowerPC, an Athlon64 X2, a SuperH-powered LanTank, an ARM-powered
NetWinder, and an AlphaServer DS10.
Several developers turned out for the event, as well as countless Gentoo users
and other interested members of the open source community. In attendance,
aside from the previously mentioned developers, were Josh Nichols, Chris Gianelloni, Nicholas Wolfwood, and William Thomson. The people that came by the
booth were interested in a wide array of things concerning Gentoo, from LVM
support in the Installer, to the Embedded and Hardened projects.
Figure 1.1: Five of the eight Gentoo developers
From left to right: wltjr, vapier, nichoj, dostrow, wolf31o2
Gentoo also participated in a key signing with fellow .Org Pavilion
inhabitants, the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Professional Institute.
Slovak translators needed
The Slovak translation for the GWN is
looking for more translators to assist in the translation efforts. The team is
just starting, so help with English to Slovak translations are needed. If you
are interested in contributing back to Gentoo, are fluent in written English
and Slovak, and have some free time each week, please contact the GWN staff for more information.
Greek translators needed
A translation has started for translating the GWN into Greek. Help is needed
for this translation effort. As with the Slovak translation, being fluent in
both written English and Greek are required. Contact the GWN staff for more information.
GCC 4.1.1 and glibc 2.4 going stable
As you can guess by the title, the Gentoo base
project has announced that sys-devel/gcc-4.1.1 and
sys-libs/glibc-2.4-r3 will be going stable on both amd64 and
x86 this week because of their use in the upcoming 2006.1 release.
The ppc architecture has already switched, when using the 2006.1
profile. Other architectures are working on support and will switch over at a
later date. This is a major milestone for Gentoo as it marks a transition from
the previously deprecated LinuxThreads to
POSIX Thread Library (NPTL) for glibc. Support for the older versions of
glibc with LinuxThreads will remain for x86 in a limited fashion. However,
upstream glibc will no longer support LinuxThreads, so bug and security fixes
are unlikely. The white paper (PDF)
has more information on the design of NPTL. There is a well-written comparison
of LinuxThreads and NPTL on IBM DeveloperWorks.
Users on x86 wishing to continue using LinuxThreads are asked to switch to
using the "no-nptl" profile for default-linux, or to switch to using a hardened
The hardened profiles are much more minimalistic than the default-linux
profiles that you may be accustomed to using. Switching to a hardened profile
will likely require enabling many more USE flags in make.conf to retain
the same functionality.
Code Listing 1.1: Switching to the no-nptl profile
# cd /etc
# rm -f make.profile
# ln -sf ../usr/portage/profiles/default-linux/x86/no-nptl make.profile
There is also a 2.4 sub-profile, which uses the 2.4 kernel and headers.
This also marks a major upgrade of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) to version
4.1.1 on Gentoo. This upgrade requires the user to perform certain tasks outlined in the GCC Upgrading Guide,
which has recently been updated with information on GCC 4.1.1 for Gentoo users.
Users who do not wish to upgrade to GCC 4.1.1 will require a few more steps to
ensure their systems are not upgraded.
Code Listing 1.2: Masking GCC 4.1.1
# mkdir -p /etc/portage
# echo ">=sys-devel/gcc-4.0" >> /etc/portage/package.mask
Developer of the week
"If you make something simple enough for an idiot to use, only an idiot
will want to use it."
Figure 2.1: Thomas Cort (tcort)
Thomas Cort was born in Burlington, Vermont and grew up in South Barre,
Vermont. If you are ever in the area, he strongly recommends a visit to the
Hubbard Park tower in Montpelier, VT, for the excellent view. At 22, he has
recently become engaged, so congratulations to both Thomas Cort and Bridget
Brimacombe. He has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in
Mathematical Contexts from Bishop's University.
Thomas claims a rather unusual hobby: unicycling! While attending Bishop's
University, he was Vice President of the unicycle club. As for his taste in
music, his favorite artist is John Mayer, whom he actually met in Montreal
once. But he professes to listen to everything from jazz to rock to classical.
Thomas heard about Gentoo from a friend, chutzpah, in 2003. He was maintaining
a Sun Ultra I that was in need of a reload for the computer science club at
Bishop's University and naturally put Gentoo (1.4) on it. It worked well so he
eventually installed Gentoo on his own computer.
Though he was interested in becoming a developer by 2004, school came first.
With the encouragement of friends on the path to devhood themselves, Thomas
began contributing to the Alpha team by the end of 2005. In April of this year,
with mentorship from metalgod, he joined the sound and Alpha teams.
Tcort is the Adopt a Developer project lead. This
is a relatively new project aimed at getting resource donations to the right
developers. Thomas is also a member of the Alpha and AMD64 architecture teams,
the dotnet and sound teams, and reviews ebuilds for the sunrise project. He
also finds time to maintain a variety of other packages.
Thomas also maintains some unofficial community websites, a Gentoo link directory and a Gentoo news site as well as wrote and
(a library for reading /proc/cpuinfo files), and works on the Alpha port
Thomas has a wide array of personal computers, including an AMD64 Acer laptop,
several Alphas (API Networks CS20, PWS 433au, PWS 500au, AlphaServer 1000
4/233, AlphaStation 500), an Apple G3, a Compaq Presario S6000NX , and an
assortment of SPARC stations. His first computer was an Apple IIGS.
Gentoo Summer Camp Germany 2006
It is time again for the annual Gentoo Summer Camp in Germany. The event is a
non-technical gathering of members of the Gentoo community. This year, the
event will be held from 26 August to 27 August at "Grosses Meer" in Lower
Saxony. More information can be found on the official forums for the event. There is
even an international forum for the non-German speaking.
Gentoo Summer Camp Russia 2006
Following the success of last year's GSC in Germany, a group of Russians from
the community has organized their own Gentoo Summer Camp in Russia. The event
will take place near Bologoe, between Moscow and St. Petersburg on 26 August
to 27 August, just like the German outing. For more information, please see
the official announcement (in
Gentoo in the press
LXer.com (18 Aug 2006)
LXer.com has published an article,
entitled 'grep 'Reboot The User'
FOSSBiz'. The article is an interview with Reboot The User's owner.
Reboot The User is a shop which sells Linux systems and support. The most
requested and used distribution for the shop is Gentoo Linux.
Gentoo developer moves
The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:
- William Thomson (wltjr) Java
The following developers recently changed roles within the
Ruby on Rails: Several vulnerabilities
Ruby on Rails has some weaknesses potentially allowing a Denial of Service
and maybe the remote execution of arbitrary Ruby scripts.
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track
bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the
development team. Between 13 August 2006
and 20 August 2006, activity on the site has resulted in:
- 748 new bugs during this period
- 347 bugs closed or resolved during this period
- 29 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
Of the 10982 currently open bugs: 47 are labeled 'blocker', 141 are labeled
'critical', and 530 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
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