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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 28 August 2006


1.  Gentoo news

Gentoo Linux 2006.1 released

The Gentoo Release Engineering project is proud to announce the release of Gentoo Linux 2006.1, aptly code named "Project Mayhem." After months of living in an existence similar to that of many secret societies, with code words and secret hand shakes, the releng team's adherence to eight simple rules, the first two being "You do not talk about 2006.1," has paid off.

It has been a hard road of blood, sweat, and tears. The team has been stressed to their limits of patience (and sometimes beyond), but they've learned that with enough perseverence and enough soap, that they can blow up the world! For the team, it is time to celebrate as the work is over. For you, the fun is just getting started! This release brings a host of improvements to the flexible and powerful community-based Linux distribution.

Some highlights from the release include the AMD64, HPPA, x86, PowerPC, and 64-bit PowerPC with a 32-bit userland releases being built with version 4.1 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). AMD64, PowerPC, and x86 also feature version 2.4 of the GNU C library (glibc), while all architectures use baselayout 1.12.1, which features many improved startup scripts.

Alpha, x86 and AMD64 feature a new profile layout. These architecture profiles now have 'desktop' and 'server' varieties, allowing for quicker and easier customization as fewer desktop-specific options are enabled by default.

For more information on the release, please visit the release page, as well as the press release. To get your copy of Gentoo Linux 2006.1, use our bouncer system or get it via BitTorrent at our tracker.

GCC 4.1.1 and glibc 2.4 stable

Initially reported last week, the x86 and AMD64 architectures have marked sys-devel/gcc-4.1.1 and sys-libs/glibc-2.4-r3 stable to coincide with the 2006.1 release. The new GCC and GNU C library (glibc) versions mark a transition in Gentoo's supported configurations. Starting with glibc 2.4, the LinuxThreads threading library is no longer supported in the default configuration. LinuxThreads is replaced with NPTL, or the Native POSIX Thread Library. Support for the older versions of glibc with LinuxThreads will remain for x86 in a limited fashion for an undetermined time. This is primarily due to a shift in support from the upstream glibc developers.

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 profile.

Warning: 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

Note: 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

Gentoo Summer Camps in Germany and Russia

Figure 1.1: Some of the activities from the German Gentoo Summer Camp

Fig. 1: activities

Two Gentoo Summer Camps were held last weekend, one in the northern part of Germany and the other one in Russia. After the huge success of last year's Summer Camp, about 10 people from all over Germany and a visitor from Greece attended this year. Some of the attendees had already arrived some days before the "official" camp started and combined this event with their vacations. During the week, everyone visited a wind energy plant, did a boat-tour on a little river nearby, and walked through watt, a narrow strip of coastal land which is dry at low tide.

Figure 1.2: German Summer Camp participants at the watt

Fig. 2: watt

Gentoo user "gd", hailing from Greece, took the chance to visit the camp crew during his holiday journey across Germany. Though the weather wasn't warm and sunny as expected, it was possible to fire up the barbeque in the evening to recover from a long, hard day (and even longer nights). Thanks to one of the members of the organization team, Hilefoks, there was a local distfiles and rsync mirror, which gave everyone the opportunity to exhaustly "evaluate" games-* packages, all night long.

A little review and some pictures should show up on the GSC 2006 webpage within the next few days. All participants are looking forward to meet again in 2007, possibly in the southern part of Germany.

Gentoo overlays project provides social workspaces

The Gentoo Overlays project, together with other projects including Infrastructure and User Relations, has officially announced the overlays service to provide a single source for development overlays for Gentoo. Stuart Herbert, the founder of the project, hopes to see the Overlays project used to create a more intimate and positive collaboration between developers and other members of the Gentoo community.

These overlays are individual collections of additional packages for Gentoo that are maintained and distributed separately from the main package tree. This allows for non-developers to be given commit access and builds a stronger relationship between the developers and members of the community by encouraging them to work closer together. Users interested in joining the volunteer-driven Gentoo project gain experience working in an open source project and doing development in a real-world setting.

For more information on the Gentoo Overlays project, visit the project page, and also the Overlay project home page.

2.  Heard in the community

Gentoo treecleaners status

Steve Dibb posted a status of the treecleaners project, which is right now in the development phase. A tool (GPNL) helping to figure out which packages needs some loving and which are unmaintained is to be written. Also former Gentoo Developer Daniel Ahlberg provided the script he used to create a website showing the current state of packages.

The future of SELinux (or how we are going to take over the world)

Joshua Brindle wrote an article on the future of SELinux, on things he'd like to happen, and steps that need to be taken to get SELinux to become a part of the system, not an add-on.

3.  Gentoo in the press

Linux Journal (25 Aug)

Linux Journal is running an article, entitled "Do-It-Yourself Robots with Linux". The article describes Michael Surran's Robotics class as Greater Houlton Christian Academy in Houlton, Maine. The robots on are based on regular PC components running Gentoo Linux, of course. In the article, Michael describes three different robots that his class has built, and goes into some detail on how they accomplished the task. Aside from the robots, the school itself has switched to running Gentoo Linux.

4.  Gentoo developer moves


The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:

  • none this week


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:

  • Jorge Vicetto (jmbsvicetto) forums


The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:

  • none this week

5.  Gentoo security

Heimdal: Multiple local privilege escalation vulnerabilities

Certain Heimdal components, ftpd and rcp, are vulnerable to a local privilege escalation.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

fbida: Arbitrary command execution

The fbgs script provided by fbida allows the execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Heartbeat: Denial of Service

Heartbeat is vulnerable to a Denial of Service which can be triggered by a remote attacker without authentication.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

AlsaPlayer: Multiple buffer overflows

AlsaPlayer is vulnerable to multiple buffer overflows which could lead to the execution of arbitrary code.

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 21 August 2006 and 28 August 2006, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 714 new bugs during this period
  • 358 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 16 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 11012 currently open bugs: 42 are labeled 'blocker', 129 are labeled 'critical', and 526 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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Page updated August 28, 2006

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 28 August 2006.

Ulrich Plate

Tobias Scherbaum

Christel Dahlskjaer

Chris Gianelloni

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