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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: 5 February 2007


1.  Gentoo News

KDE team needs your help

Due to inactivity and other responsibilities within Gentoo's KDE team, they are currently seeking out new recruits from the community. Interested parties who are currently developers can add themselves to the herd and start squashing bugs. Interested members of the community can also help. If you want to help out, contact the KDE team for more information.

Upcoming removal of mail-mta/qmail

The Gentoo qmail team would like to announce the removal of mail-mta/qmail. It has been superseded by mail-mta/netqmail which is stable on the same architectures as the older mail-mta/qmail. The new ebuild, mail-mta/netqmail, consists of only upstream provided patches. One of the reasons for the switch is the massive cleanup efforts that have made the newer ebuild. Users wanting custom patches can use the QMAIL_PATCH_DIR variable in make.conf, specifying a directory containing patches to be applied before compilation. Be aware that the qmail team will not support installations using custom patches.

The mail-mta/qmail package will be removed on or around April 15, 2007, after being masked on or around March 15, 2007. Please migrate to the new package before this date.

2.  Developer of the week

Matthias Schwarzott, aka zzam

Figure 2.1: Matthias Schwarzott, aka zzam

Fig. 1: zzam

Matthias Schwarzott is a 25 year old developer. He lives in Erlangen, Germany with his girlfriend Charlotte. Matthias studies technomathematics, which is basically an expensive word for mathematics and technology, at the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. There he studies Java programming, working with algorithms, programming computer graphics in C++, and Electrical Engineering.

Matthias has worked at Siemens, where he was a C/C++ programmer, and currently works part-time as a Systems Administrator for a company that operates web games. When Matthias is done with his studies, he hopes to be able to start working as a programmer.

Though he's pretty busy with school, work, and Gentoo, Matthias still finds some free time for his hobbies. He enjoys classic dancing (e.g. cha-cha/waltz/etc.), cooking, and exercising. Matthias’ interest in dancing developed at school, where he took dance classes, and was rekindled when he and his girlfriend started taking classes together. His favorite recipes include streusel cake and pizza.

Matthias started using Linux in the summer of '97 after growing tired of Windows 3.11. He read about SUSE 5.0 and decided to give it a try, later moving on to Debian, and finally settling on Gentoo in the 1.4 days. After buying a DVB card to setup a VDR box, he started to gain interest in becoming a Gentoo developer. He used to compile programs by hand, then tried using ebuilds, and started sending his own contributions to Stefan Schweizer. After his recruitment process, zzam became the VDR project lead. He reflects back upon the substantial growth the VDR project has enjoyed and is anxious for what the future may bring. He is looking for active contributors to implement patches and help maintain the existing patch sets. He attributes his developer drive to the simple fact that he enjoys helping users.

3.  Heard in the community

More fancy desktops: Metisse

Figure 3.1: Metisse X-Server screenshot

Fig. 1: Metisse

Hanno Boeck recently added Metisse to his subversion overlay. Metisse is the answer from Mandriva to compiz and the whole 3D-desktop craze. Metisse has some features that give it the ability to transform the shape of windows, including rotating, scaling, and zooming. It is even possible to make a parallelogram from a window! Mettisse runs on its own X server, which is luminocity/Xgl-like and a modified variant of fvwm.

Currently, Metisse only works on x86, but upstream is working on support for amd64 and other architectures. A new version should be released soon to resolve some of the known bugs. For more information on where to get the sources, and how to start the environment, please read Hanno's original blog post.


deleted ._cfg files

Kamen TOMOV was worried because he had deleted his ._cfg files from a recent update. The answer was the use of the --noconfmem option to emerge. With --noconfmem, portage will "forget" that it has already made a ._cfg file for a CONFIG_PROTECT file, thus causing portage to reinstall the ._cfg file needed for updating.

Migrating gentoo to a new machine

Seo Boon had happily used Gentoo on his old notebook for some time and over time had developed a set of packages installed that he very much liked. However, he recently got a shiny new notebook and on that notebook he wanted the exact same package set he had on the old notebook since it had served him so well. He soon figured out though that a simple copy of /var/lib/portage/world from the old machine to the new one did not work. The list eventually settled on taking the old world file and running the following on the new machine.

Code Listing 3.1: Duplicating world

# emerge -va --noreplace $(cat old_world_file)

This command will install all of the files in the old_world_file while also adding them to the world of the new machine. The --noreplace was added in case some packages had already been installed, in order to avoid repeating one's self.


[RFC] Maintainer Timeout

Timothy Redaelli opened a discussion about perhaps adding some official "Maintainer Timeout" in which there would be an official amount of time that a maintainer of a package would have to respond to a bug report before any developer would be able to jump in and fix the bug themselves. While an interesting idea, consensus seemed to center around a post by Grant Goodyear describing the proper application of common sense. Many devs agreed that they have mixed feeling on the ownership of ebuilds, and that if a developer can fix a problem and know they can do so within the realm of using their common sense to not make a problem worse, that they should go ahead and fix the problem.

4.  Gentoo in the press

IBM DeveloperWorks (31 Jan 2007)

Martyn Honeyford writes about how to accurately measure the amount of memory in use on a Linux system, as well as giving practical advice on how to reduce your memory requirements. In the article, Gentoo is recommended for the ability to recompile applications with user-specified CFLAGS to reduce memory usage, and for USE flags that can greatly reduce the size of needed libraries.

5.  Gentoo developer moves


The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:

  • none this week


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:

  • Dean Stephens (desultory) forums
  • Martin Jackson (mjolnir) netmon team
  • Samuli Suominen (drac) Xfce team
  • Sebastien Fabbro (bicatali) Scientific applications


The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:

  • none this week

6.  Gentoo Security

KSirc: Denial of Service vulnerability

KSirc is vulnerable to a Denial of Service attack.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

ELinks: Arbitrary Samba command execution

ELinks does not properly validate "smb://" URLs, making it vulnerable to the execution of arbitrary Samba commands.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

thttpd: Unauthenticated remote file access

The default configuration of the Gentoo thttpd package potentially allows unauthenticated access to system files when used with newer versions of baselayout.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

7.  Gentoo package moves

This section lists packages that have either been moved or added to the tree and packages that have had their "last rites" announcement given to be removed in the future. The package removals come from many locations, including the Treecleaners and various developers. Most packages which are listed under the Last Rites section are in need of some love and care and can remain in the tree if proper maintainership is established.


Package: Removal date: Contact:
net-www/gplflash 31 Jan 2007 Raúl Porcel
media-video/dxr2-driver 01 Feb 2007 Steve Dibb
net-analyzer/zodiac 01 Feb 2007 Markus Ullmann
games-fps/doomlegacy 02 Feb 2007 Tristan Heaven
net-p2p/gnome-btdownload 02 Feb 2007 Raúl Porcel
games-kids/matritsa 03 Feb 2007 Tristan Heaven
app-misc/nomad-tool 03 Feb 2007 George Shapovalov
dev-ada/adaopengl 03 Feb 2007 George Shapovalov
dev-ada/adabindx 03 Feb 2007 George Shapovalov
x11-misc/gtk2mp 04 Feb 2007 Andrej Kacian
net-mail/base64 04 Feb 2007 Andrej Kacian
net-misc/tulip-devel 04 Feb 2007 Rajiv Aaron Manglani
media-radio/ax25-tools 04 Feb 2007 Charlie Shepherd


Package: Addition date: Contact:
dev-php5/xcache 29 Jan 2007 Markus Ullmann
dev-perl/Cisco-IPPhone 30 Jan 2007 Tony Vroon
media-libs/libdjconsole 30 Jan 2007 Alexis Ballier
xfce-extra/thunar-volman 31 Jan 2007 Peter Weller
games-fps/ut2004-hamsterbash 31 Jan 2007 Chris Gianelloni
games-fps/ut2004-ultraduel 31 Jan 2007 Chris Gianelloni
dev-games/wfmath 01 Feb 2007 Alfredo Tupone
dev-games/mercator 01 Feb 2007 Alfredo Tupone
games-server/cyphesis 01 Feb 2007 Alfredo Tupone
dev-python/pysnmp-mibs 02 Feb 2007 Martin Jackson
dev-python/pysnmp-apps 02 Feb 2007 Martin Jackson
app-emacs/org-mode 02 Feb 2007 Christian Faulhammer
games-arcade/jardinains 02 Feb 2007 Gustavo Felisberto
dev-lang/interprolog 02 Feb 2007 Keri Harris
app-text/tesseract 02 Feb 2007 Patrick McLean
sys-apps/chname 03 Feb 2007 Michael Marineau
dev-python/pyinotify 03 Feb 2007 Bryan Østergaard
www-servers/mongrel_cluster 03 Feb 2007 Nguyen Thai Ngoc Duy
net-analyzer/ifstatus 03 Feb 2007 Martin Jackson
dev-libs/libmcs 03 Feb 2007 Tony Vroon
net-analyzer/ipband 03 Feb 2007 Martin Jackson
dev-ruby/wirble 04 Feb 2007 Nguyen Thai Ngoc Duy
dev-ruby/ruby-inline 04 Feb 2007 Nguyen Thai Ngoc Duy
dev-ruby/radius 04 Feb 2007 Nguyen Thai Ngoc Duy
dev-ruby/radiant 04 Feb 2007 Nguyen Thai Ngoc Duy
dev-ruby/hpricot 04 Feb 2007 Nguyen Thai Ngoc Duy
dev-python/sexy-python 04 Feb 2007 Samuli Suominen
media-sound/exaile 04 Feb 2007 Samuli Suominen
x11-apps/amlc 04 Feb 2007 Samuli Suominen
xfce-extra/xfce4-eyes 04 Feb 2007 Samuli Suominen

Last Rites:

Package: Removal date: Contact:
sys-cluster/gomd 17 Feb 2007 Daniel Drake
sys-cluster/openmosix-3dmon 17 Feb 2007 Daniel Drake
dev-embedded/gpsim-led 01 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
dev-embedded/gpsim-logic 01 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
net-analyzer/prelude-nids 01 Mar 2007 Markus Ullmann
net-analyzer/prelude-nagios 02 Mar 2007 Markus Ullmann
media-sound/choad 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
media-sound/gradio 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
media-sound/liteamp 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
media-sound/pd-cyclone 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
media-sound/mpio 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
media-sound/psmix 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
media-sound/sulu 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
media-video/ks3switch 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
sys-apps/s3switch 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
media-sound/yserver 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
app-admin/kcmgrunlevel 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
dev-ruby/ruby-gtk 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
dev-ruby/ruby-gconf 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
dev-ruby/ruby-gdkimlib 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
dev-ruby/ruby-gdkpixbuf 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
dev-ruby/ruby-libart 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
www-client/ci 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
www-client/gorua 03 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
app-portage/kentoo 04 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
www-client/khttrack 04 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò
dev-ada/garlic 04 Mar 2007 Diego Pettenò

8.  Bugzilla



The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 28 January 2007 and 04 February 2007, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 702 new bugs during this period
  • 537 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 33 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
  • 238 closed as NEEDINFO/WONTFIX/CANTFIX/INVALID/UPSTREAM during this period
  • 118 bugs marked as duplicates during this period

Of the 10485 currently open bugs: 18 are labeled 'blocker', 112 are labeled 'critical', and 441 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:

9.  GWN feedback

The GWN is staffed by volunteers and members of the community who submit ideas and articles. If you are interested in writing for the GWN, have feedback on an article that we have posted, or just have an idea or article that you would like to submit to the GWN, please send us your feedback and help make the GWN better.

10.  GWN subscription information

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11.  Other languages

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Page updated February 5, 2007

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 5 February 2007.

Chris Gianelloni

Dimitry Bradt

Kyle Bishop

Michael Hanselmann

Josh Saddler

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