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Fedora Weekly News Issue 174

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 174[1] for the week ending May 3rd, 2009.

This week Announcements suggests reading the release notes for "Fedora 11 (Leonidas)". PlanetFedora highlights some choice posts from Fedora blogs including one on the relevance of PPC as a primary architecture. Ambassadors reports that "Fedora stars at Flisol Caracas". QualityAssurance is packed with information on "Test Days" for SSSD and Virtualization. Developments warns of a "Presto No Go" and shares some "Ext4 fallocate() Happiness". Translation reflects a huge amount of activity including "Documentation Decisions for Fedora 12". Artwork wonders if there will be a Plymouth plugin for Fedora 11 Leonidas. The Weekly Webcomic peeks and pokes at some color preferences! Virtualization includes a look at a new libguestfs release and other salient developments.

If you are interested in contributing to Fedora Weekly News, please see our 'join' page[2]. We welcome reader feedback:

FWN Editorial Team: Pascal Calarco, Oisin Feeley, Huzaifa Sidhpurwala


In this section, we cover announcements from the Fedora Project.

Contributing Writer: Max Spevack

Fedora 11 (Leonidas)

The Fedora 11 Preview was released[1] on April 28th. Be sure to read the release notes[2], and make sure you report any bugs[3] that you find. The final release is just around the corner.

Download the Fedora 11 Preview here[4].

FUDCons and FADs

This section previews upcoming Fedora Users & Developers Conferences, as well as upcoming Fedora Activity Days.

Fedora Activity Day Malaysia

Planning is underway for a Fedora Activity Day[1] in Malaysia at the end of May, contingent upon gathering together sufficient Fedora contributors to make such an event worthwhile. If you are in the area and are interested in attending or have some ideas on projects that could be worked on, see the wiki page[2] for more information.

FUDCon Porto Alegre 2009

FUDCon Porto Alegre[1] will take place June 24-27 in Brazil. About 30 people have signed up so far, and we're hopeful for an attendance of over 100.

If you would like more information, and to sign up, please visit the wiki page.

FUDCon Berlin 2009

FUDCon Berlin[1] will be held from June 26-28, and we're getting close to crossing the 100-person-preregistered mark.

Don't forget to pre-register[2] for the event, and also to sign up for lodging[3] if you need it.

Upcoming Events

Consider attending or volunteering at an event near you!

May 2: Introduction to FOSS, Fedora workshop in Pradesh, India.

May 4-8: VI Foro Mundial de Conocimiento Libre[1] in Mérida, Venezuela.

May 9-10: FossComm2[2] in Larissa, Greece.

May 10: Akihabara Fedora 10 Distribution[3] in Tokyo, Japan.

May 15: Fedora Venezuela Anniversary[4] in Caracas, Venezuela.

May 15-16: VCNSL[5] in Caracas, Venezuela.

May 22-23: eLiberatica[6] in Bucharest, Romania.

May 29-30: III ENSL e IV FSLBA[7] in Salvador, Brazil.

Planet Fedora

In this section, we cover the highlights of Planet Fedora - an aggregation of blogs from Fedora contributors worldwide.

Contributing Writer: Adam Batkin


Daniel Walsh described[1] some recent changes to the way SELinux deals with unconfined domains and users.

Tom Callaway explained[2] a few intricacies relating to trademarks. He also explained how he worked with a Fedora rebuild to ensure that Fedora's trademarks were protected.

Adam Williamson summarized[3] "The Great Mixer Debate" (see also FWN173) together with nice screenshots. Without going into too many details, the volume control systems in Fedora 11 have been changed and a great debate ensued.

Harish Pillay attended[4] a Microsoft Interoperability event in which the topic of software patents was discussed.

Heherson Pagcaliwagan showed off[5] some photos from a Geek Camp[6] in Batangas City, Philippines.

Richard W.M. Jones wrote[7] a tutorial explaining how to extend libguestfs.

James Antill found[8] an interesting way of searching for all "the BugZilla tickets which I've looked at 'recently'" (other than archiving all of the bugzilla mails into a giant folder).

Jeremy Katz questioned[9] the relevance of PPC as a primary architecture for Fedora.

Lubomir Rintel released[10] shortrpm, a tool to allow rpmbuild to short-circuit already completed parts of a build, instead of starting from scratch every time.

Luis Villa shared[11] his thoughts on the pending lawsuit between RealNetworks and the MPAA regarding the legality of Real's RealDVD software.

In a later (unrelated) post, Luis Villa posted[12] a response to a recent controversy resulting from potentially offensive slides being presented at a conference.

John Poelstra described[13] Test Days, their usefulness and recent successes in the run up to Fedora 11.

John Palmier reached out[14] for donations to the GNOME Foundation in order to continue developments and retain their new Executive Director.


In this section, we cover the activities of the QA team[1].

Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson

Test Days

This week's Test Day[1] was on SSSD[2], which provide a set of daemons to manage access to remote directories and authentication mechanisms. A good group of interested people turned out to help test the system, and several bug reports were filed.

Next week's Test Day[3] will be on virtualization[4], with a particular emphasis on some of the new features in Fedora 11, mainly to do with KVM. The Test Day page already includes a list of test areas, with estimated test times and the number of testers needed for each area, so you can sign yourself up in the list in preparation for the test day. You will need an installed system fully updated to latest Rawhide (you can start by installing the Fedora 11 Preview release). If you're a virtualization enthusiast, please come along and help test! The Test Day will be held on 2009-05-07 (Thursday) in IRC #fedora-qa.

Weekly Meetings

The QA group weekly meeting[1] was held on 2009-04-29. The full log is available[2]. Adam Williamson reported on his request for feedback on PulseAudio in Fedora 11 from the forum community. He said the response had been quite small and had not reported any major problems, a good indication that things are quite solid. Will Woods mentioned that the known problems with some Intel chipsets and PA's glitch-free audio feature had now been mostly resolved.

James Laska noted that there were several reports indicating the new hard disk failure detection system may be reporting false positives. The group agreed it should keep an eye on this situation and try to determine for certain whether there were bugs in the detection.

Will Woods reported on autoqa progress. A trac installation for autoqa is now available[3], but there has been no progress in the code since next week. James Laska suggested setting a goal of finishing the previously agreed-upon to-do list by the time of Fedora 11's release, and Will agreed that this was a sensible target.

Will also reported on a planned new version of preupgrade, the tool for helping do smooth in-place upgrades of Fedora systems. It now attempts to find updated versions of all repositories, including third-party ones, and rejects /boot on mdraid.

The group then discussed the state of the Fedora 11 blocker bug list, with reference to the impending Fedora 11 RC cycle. They agreed that 2009-05-11 and 2009-05-12 would be set aside for review of the list, divided by component, with each team member working on components with which they are familiar.

The group then discussed upgrade methods, with regard to a bug[4] noted by Seth Vidal which would essentially prevent an in-place upgrade using yum from working correctly. Will Woods reiterated that yum-based upgrading is intentionally undocumented and unsupported (i.e. yum's developer does not consider that it should be expected to work, FESco does not expect package maintainers to build their packages such that it works, and QA does not accept responsibility for ensuring it works). The intended method for doing such upgrades is to use the preupgrade tool.

James Laska mentioned that he was looking for volunteers to help organize test cases for the upcoming virtualization Test Day[5]. Please contact James if you're interested in helping out with this.

The Bugzappers group weekly meeting[6] was held on 2009-04-28. The full log is available[7]. John Poelstra noted that, as the Fedora 11 release nears, it is time for the group to request the regularly scheduled Bugzilla changes that accompany a new release. John then selflessly volunteered to take care of this, with the help of Niels Haase.

In the absence of Brennan Ashton, Adam Williamson reported on the progress of the triage metrics project, having met with Brennan the previous weekend. He reported that the code for the project was essentially complete and hosting via the Infrastructure group had already been provisioned, but the code relied on Python 2.5-specific features, while Infrastructure's servers all run Python 2.4. Thus the project was waiting on Brennan, or someone else, to port the Python 2.5-specific code to Python 2.4 before it could be operational.

Adam also reported on the status of the Bugzilla priority/severity proposal, and noted he was nearly ready to send the proposal to the development group.

John Poelstra reported that the maintainers of the Red Hat Bugzilla installation were interested in feedback from the Bugzappers group on what proposed new features and fixes for Bugzilla would be of most interest to them. He promised to send relevant URLs to the mailing list.

The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-05-06 at 1600 UTC in #fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-05-05 at 1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.

Special Triage Procedure Requests from Developers

The Bugzappers group continued its discussion of how to handle special triage procedure requests from maintainers (which was started[1] the previous week by Adam Williamson). Adam continued to maintain that all special requests from maintainers should be respected if at all possible, as the triage process exists almost entirely to aid maintainers in their work. John Poelstra worried[2] that it may be impossible to accurately track all the different special requests that maintainers might make, a position backed up[3] by John Summerfield. Christopher Beland felt[4] that special requests have a cost in terms of recruiting triagers and performing system-wide tasks. Kevin Kofler suggested[5] an alternative system that might work without varying the standard triage process for the particular special request that had started the discussion, and pointed out that in the current process, the NEW, ASSIGNED and ON_DEV statuses are essentially being abused. No final agreement was reached on the various topics brooched as of yet, and it seems the issue might feed back into the problem of shared bug workflow between Fedora and RHEL.

Priority/Severity Proposal Draft

Adam Williamson submitted[1] a revised proposed draft of the email to the development list on the use of the priority and severity fields in Bugzilla, addressing the concerns raised since the previous draft, and including Matej Cepl's alternative proposal.


In this section the people, personalities and debates on the @fedora-devel mailing list are summarized.

Contributing Writer: Oisin Feeley

Fedora 11 Preview Xorg "Lock-up"

DrDiesel reported[1] an Xorg lockup with a fully updated Fedora 11 Preview on 2009-04-28 whenever he visited a particular webpage. Subsequent confirmation from other testers led[2] to a bugzilla report. It intially appeared to be a soft lock according to some comments on the bug which reported the ability to move the mouse cursor and play music.

Some very helpful contributions from Adam Jackson suggested[3] that the problem was due to a ridiculously large blit[4] exposing mis-handling of video memory mapping by the kernel. Adam laid[5] the blame squarely on the mis-coding of the web-page. He added that this was not actually a lock-up, just agonizingly slow rendering. RichardKörber requested further help in debugging this and similar problems and that request led[6] to a nice, succinct recipe for generating gdb backtraces.

Presto No Go

Unfortunately it appears that Presto, the near miraculous bandwidth saving YUM plugin[1], will not be an official part of Fedora 11 due to infrastructure issues cited[2] by Paul W. Frields. This is contrary to what we reported[3] in FWN#172.

Fedora 12 Changes to GConf and intltool

Matthias Clasen requested[1] feedback on changes in the way schema translations were handled in GConf and intltool: "previously, translations were merged by intltool from .po files into schemas files and then copied by gconftool from the schemas file into the database. Now, translations are kept in .po files, and intltool only copies the gettext domain into the schemas, and further into the GConf database. The only tool that ever uses these translations, gconf-editor, knows how to get them from the message catalogs. The big advantage of this change is that schemas shrink radically, which should help a lot with the 'slow updates due to GConf' problem. It also reduces the redundancy of storing the schema translations in three places, which should help with live cd size."

It seemed[2] that all GConf-using applications will be rebuilt before Fedora 12 ships but that there is no immediate rush to do so.

Ext4 fallocate() Happiness

Eric Sandeen suggested[1] that it would be useful to speed the adoption of the preallocation features of the ext4 filesystem. (See FWN#170[2] for previous coverage.) Eric provided a concise, informative description of what preallocation is and how it can be used: "One big feature that has already been brought up on the list[1] is file preallocation, which allows an application to pre-allocate blocks it knows that it will eventually write into, thereby making sure it won't run out of space, and also generally getting a more efficient/contiguous file layout. Only a few applications are taking advantage of this so far, in part because it's new.[2] The transmission bittorrent client is using it, but only if you tweak a configfile in (IMHO) non-obvious ways."

A list of possible starting points to get more applications using preallocation was also provided.

In response to some skepticism from Tom Lane further explanation of which sorts of applications might benefit from preallocation was shared[3] by Eric: "You wouldn't want to use it for every little file you write, either. But for some cases it can be a big win. Torrent downloading? This is sort of the quintessential case where it can help. Databases? yes. Rsyncing large files? yep. Creating virtual images? yep. Helping samba cope with weird windows client behavior? yep Basically anything that is filled in over time, or filled in sparsely, could potentially benefit." Further questioning by Michael Cronenworth on the value of using ext4 as opposed to xfs yielded[4] further interesting details.

It seemed[5] that the libvirt developers had already jumped at the opportunity thanks to a patch provided[6] by Amit Shah.

NetworkManager in Fedora 11 Preview

MarkBidewell wondered[1] why his sole network interface was inactivated automatically following a fresh install of Fedora 11 Preview.

DanWilliams explained[2] that this was a logical result of anaconda writing either


if the install was not over a network or else


if the install was over a network. Dan explained that this was in part a security policy decision. Later Dan suggested[3] using nm-connection-editor to correctly


for both wired and wireless connections.

Moblin2 Mostly Fedora-derived ?

Matthew Garrett picked up[1] on an older discussion about the extent to which Moblin2 could be considered a derivative of Fedora. Matthew's conclusion was that most of the packages were "[...] identical to the Fedora package or is a simple mechanical transformation of a Fedora package[.]" A significant number of the patches were mostly derived from Fedora or SuSE also.

Fedora 12: How to use DBUS for Terminal Sessions ?

Dan Walsh asked[1] for help in running a dbus session upon login to terminals so that he could run restorecond as a system service rather than a user service: "I want to run it under the Users UID and under with the users context. Then I can have it watch for creation of files in the users home directory and be the equivalent of running restorecon ~/ by the user."

Steve Grubb was[2] worried that this would disrupt the audit trail and suggested a PAM session module instead. Bruno Wolff III also was disturbed[3] by the idea: "This seems to increase the risk of hostile apps being able to get executables relabelled to something they couldn't do directly."

PulseAudio Flamewar Continues

The fallout from last week's thermonuclear flamewar continued[1] to splatter downwards. Among the hotspots were: a thread in which Jóhann B. Guðmundsson suggested[2] some way in which there would be no privileged default desktop spin;

Bill Nottingham argued[3] that slamming the PulseAudio team for closing bugs WONTFIX was inaccurate.

It seems that perhaps pavucontrol may be one way to change the relative volume of individual applications (as per a question posed my Matthew Woehlke and echoed[4] by Paul W. Frields. Lennart Poettering stated[5], however, that pavucontrol should be removed.


This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) Project.

Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee

Document Colophon

Domingo Becker[1] and TianShixiong[2] made a request to add the names of all the past/present translators of Fedora Installation Guide in the books. Considering the vast number of languages and translators, PaulFrields had initially suggested adding the names of the writers and translators into individual wiki pages which could be linked to the Document's Colophon section, since the list of names could potentially run into quite a few pages.

Alternatively, Domingo Becker suggested[3] restricting the names of translators for only a particular language in the translated version of the document for that language.

Missing sections from the F11 Release Notes

DomingoBecker reported about three missing sections in the .po files for the Release Notes[1]. These 3 sections are currently not available for translation.

Fedora 11 Countdown Banner

The countdown banner for the Fedora 11 Release is available for translation[1]. For correct display the mgopen-fonts package may be required to be installed. The .svg files with the singluar/plural versions of the countdown message are to be sent to Paolo Leoni [2].

Fedora Security Guide Now Available on

Translations for the Fedora Security Guide can now be submitted via[1]. Eric Christensen requested for the book to be added to[2].

Additionally, Diego Búrigo Zacarão pointed out[3] that the translations for this book do not need to be submitted to the target 'po/lang.po'. Unlike other modules there is no 'po' directory for this book and the file has to be uploaded to the target 'lang.po', where 'lang' is the language code of the file being uploaded.

FLP Meeting Scheduled

The next meeting of the Fedora Localization Project is scheduled for 5th May 2009, Tuesday at 1900UTC on #fedora-meeting channel[1].

Freeze break in comps module

Bill Nottingham requested[1] a freeze break for the comps module to include the names for languages for which support has been added in the upcoming release of Fedora. The changes were committed after an aye from the FLP team[2].

Transifex Translation Request

The .po files for Transifex User Interface translation has been included in by Dimitris Glezos and Piotr Drag[1]. Both the development release and the current stable (0.6.x) release are available for translation.

It is to be noted, that after the release of Fedora 11 and the lifting of the Fedora Infrastructure freeze, would be upgraded to Transifex v.0.6[2]

Documentation Decisions for Fedora 12

In an effort to review the process of documenting the Release notes for Fedora 12, John J. McDonough has put together a wiki page[1] and started a discussion[2] with the Fedora-docs and Fedora-trans team.

New Members/Co-ordinators in FLP

Adib Rastegarniya [1] joined the Persian translation team last week.


In this section, we cover the Fedora Artwork Project.

Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei

FUDCon T-shirts

Max Spevack asked[1] on @fedora-art about a T-shirt design for the upcoming FUDCon "we're simply adopting the FUDCon Boston design, with the following changes: s/Boston/Berlin" and in reply Charlie Brej pointed[2] at the program he made to dynamically generate the needed images "the program is available [1] and is easy to modify".

Closing to the Release

With the Fedora 11 closing, Clint Savage checked[1] the status of the CD/DVD sleeves, "so with that, I'd like to get the conversation started and see what we want to do for the sleeves, design wise" for which Paul W. Frields expressed[2] his preference for including a lion "since it won't generate any usability problems, I'd like to request that the lion appear on the sleeve. :-)". Paul also asked[3] about a Fedora 11 specific Plymouth plugin "Was there a Plymouth plugin being created or reviewed for F11? I seem to recall Charlie producing something but wasn't sure about the status", which according to Ray Strode[4], the main Plymouth developer, is still under work and its availability is not certain "I've been working on coming up with something the last couple of days, but it may be too late for F11 at this point, so we may end up with spinfinity. We'll have to see how it goes down."

Fedora Weekly Webcomic

Nicu Buculei's weekly[1] take on the world of Fedora.



In this section, we cover discussion of Fedora virtualization technologies on the @fedora-virt list.

Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley

Fedora Virtualization List

This section contains the discussion happening on the fedora-virt list.

Virtualization Test Day

Mark McLoughlin announced[1] that Fedora 11 "Test Day"[2] for virtualization is this week on Thursday May 7th. "On the day, you'll have the opportunity to work closely with other Fedora developers and contributors to make a real impact on the quality of Fedora's virtualization features."

"The wiki page[3] contains a first cut at listing test areas which we will cover on the day. Each test area will have a set of test cases. We plan to flesh out these test cases as part of the test day, but if people could dive in now and start writing some test cases, that would make a huge difference."

New Release libguestfs 1.0.15

Richard Jones announced[1] "version 1.0.15 of Package-x-generic-16.pnglibguestfs, the library for accessing and modifying virtual machine filesystems."

New Features:

  • New virt-inspector[2] tool.
This can tell you at a high level what is on a virtual machine, such as how its filesystems are mounted, what OS and version it is running, what kernel, drivers and apps are installed.
  • New 'lvremove', 'vgremove', 'pvremove' commands.
  • Add really working support for NTFS and FAT.
  • Add really working support for CD-ROMs and DVDs.
  • Add --ro option for read-only mounts in guestfish.
  • New 'set-e2uuid', 'get-e2uuid', 'set-e2label', 'get-e2label' commands for setting ext2/3/4 UUIDs and labels.
  • New 'debug' command for debugging daemon internals.
  • Guestfish recipes.
  • Many bugs fixed (note: including a data corruptor that affected FileOut transfers, so upgrading is recommended).

Version 1.0.10 was announced just last week (FWN#173[3]). Also see Richard's many blog posts[4] on libguestfs.

Install Grub Bootloader on Converted Virtual Images

Dennis J. was "experimenting[1] with converting a physical system to a virtual one" and "was able to transfer the system to a volume group in an image file. My problem is that I don't know how to install grub on that image file."

Richard Jones asked "Why not just copy across the whole block device? This is essentially what virt-p2v[2] does, although virt-p2v is doing nothing more than automating what you could do by hand." Richard then quickly added a grub-install feature to libguestfs[3],and demonstrated[4] how to use it.

Richard noted[5] the minimum target is Fedora 11. "There's no chance of libguestfs for Fedora 10, because the qemu maintainers aren't interested in pulling back vmchannel support into that old qemu 0.9 package in F-10."

Virt-Manage an Existing Guest

Tom London asked[1] about importing an existing guest for management by Package-x-generic-16.pngvirt-manager. One option is to use virt-install to create a similar guest, then export and modify the XML definition of that guest, and finally 'virsh define' it.

Another option was by posted[2] by Daniel Berrange. It's a perl script that can be used to create an XML definition from the set of qemu-kvm command line arguments used to create the guest.


In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project.

Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero

Fedora stars at Flisol Caracas

As reported by event organizer Maria Leandro, Flisol Caracas was held recently, with an estimated attendance of 1,700 people, including 100 installers, 15 protocol and 15 sponsors. The Fedora team had a hard day with eight conferences and 12 workshops; as well as the first National tournament of UrbanTerror (a freeware game) and a gpg key sign fest. At the closing, players had the StarWars Club (Darth Vader and one StormTrooper) hovering around with the guys.

Fedora Venezuela installed a lot of machines and gave out 300 LiveDVDs, 50 bubble stickers and 50 vinyl stickers; and the users were really happy with this. Pablo Hernandez (paceh) gave a workshop about Fedora-USB installations and I gave a Conference about the Fedora Community in Venezuela, and found a lot of new users.

Maria also want to say that we had two major interviews, one on national radio and another on national TV (Globovision) and in both of them, Fedora was the center of attention.

Next year Maria will be the National Organizer and she hopes to set up the first Fedora Venezuela General Meeting with all the Fedora users in the country. In the mean time, the Fedoristas have some workshops at several universities, some stands at national conferences (3 stands) and a special "B-day" for our community.

These are some of the photos... but I'm still waiting for more, and the video of the TV appearance:

Got Ambassador News?

Any Ambassador news tips from around the Fedora community can be submitted to me by e-mailing lcafiero-AT-fedoraproject-DOT-org and I'd be glad to put it in this weekly report.