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Fedora Weekly News Issue 182

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 182[1] for the week ending June 28, 2009.

Here are a few highlights from this week's issue. Announcements starts us off with updates on recent Fedora elections. Hot on the heels of the release of Fedora 11, the codename for Fedora 12 has already been chosen -- read inside for details. From the Fedora Planet, lots of great updates from the recent FUDCon in Berlin, as well as many updates from Fedora contributors. In Ambassador news, details from the recent Fedora 11 launch party from the NaLUG (Napoli GNU/Linux Users Group). In Quality Assurance news, many updates on Fedora 12 development, including discussion of improving debugging procedure pages, rawhide acceptance plan, bugzapper updates, and much more. Much interesting discussion in the Design beat this week on thinking around themes for Fedora 12 based on the release name. In Security Advisories, we're brought up to date with this week's software patches for Fedora 9, 10 and 11. This week's issue rounds out with updates from virtualization activities, with detail work on a libguestfs 'Super-minimized Appliance', VMWare ESX driver status, and much more! Enjoy!

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, Adam Williamson


In this section, we cover announcements from the Fedora Project[1] [2] [3].

Contributing Writer: Max Spevack

Fedora Elections

Tom Callaway, Mike McGrath, and Dennis Gilmore were elected to the Fedora Board[1].

Bill Nottingham, Seth Vidal, Kevin Fenzi, Kevin Kofler, and Dennis Gilmore were elected[2] to the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee.

Fedora 12 (Constantine)

The code name for Fedora 12 is "Constantine"[1].

Upcoming Events

Consider attending or volunteering at an event near you!

  • North America (NA)[1]
  • Central & South America (LATAM)[2]
  • Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)[3]
  • India, Asia, Australia (India/APJ)[4]

Planet Fedora

In this section, we cover the highlights of Planet Fedora[1] - an aggregation of blogs from Fedora contributors worldwide.

Contributing Writer: Adam Batkin


Joseph Smidt requested[1] that all Linux distributions report bugs upstream: "Now, assuming each major Linux distribution has hundreds of bugs where the bug triager knows it is an issue with upstream but fails to report it, if all these bugs would get reported I am sure an extra 100 bugs will get fixed over the next six months because of simple things like this."

Mel Chua packaged[2] his first RPM, making notes along the way of where documentation was lacking: "I’m actually quite impressed by how simple the process is, and how helpful the resources are - however, my baseline for “easy process!” is “it’s better than several weeks of blindly trying to install Linux for the first time via stacks of floppies in 2001!” so just because it’s “good enough” doesn’t mean it’s as good as it could be.

How can we improve this experience?"

Jeff Sheltren was interviewed[3] for the FLOSS Weekly podcast.

Dan Williams showed off[4] how easy it is to connect to a mobile broadband connection using NetworkManager. In a later post, he described[5] the differences between NetworkManager and ConnMan.

John Palmier attended[6] the Open Video Conference[7]. "The web was built and exploded around the concept of open technology. Let’s continue to make sure this is the case going forward. The last thing we want is the web to become the domain of a few, with creativity being stifled by restrictions in the non-open parts of the stack."

Adam Jackson explained[8] how computers (try to) identify the capabilities (resolutions, refresh rates, etc...) of monitors by following the EDID standard. And a new partially-compatible standard, DisplayID that is set to replace EDID.

Jack Aboutboul announced[9] Project FooBar. While still in the early stages, there are 5 main goals: "Centralization of Content, well scheduled, recurring and prepared content, design which is consistent with the philosophy of the Design team, standardized "official" feeds for distribution of different forms of content, mechanisms for localization and sharing the media with press or on social news sites."

Matthew Garrett complained[10] about the lack of openness at Intel. While some parts of the company seem committed to Linux and Open Source, other parts (notably EFI and Poulsbo) don't always integrate as nicely with Linux as some might prefer.

Adrian Reber analyzed[11] the Fedora mirror server traffic, for the few days following the Leonidas release. Pretty graphs ensued.

Aaron S. Hawley compared[12] cars to software (though he is certainly not the first to do so) by quoting a post that described the ability to take apart, modify and maintain one's own car, despite the fact that when it comes to software, often that ability is missing.

Aaron also posted[13] a piece about "How the [IT] culture is hostile to women". See also: FUDCon Attendee Photo[14].

Dave Malcolm wondered[15] where the word "codebase" came from.

Joshua Wulf wrote[16] about the challenges involved with "Neologisms and Localization". Is "Parameterized" a word?

James Morris described[17] some of the upcoming changes to the security subsystem in kernel 2.6.30.


Here are a few randomly selected posts (that mostly contain nice photos) from FUDCon/LinuxTag in Berlin:


In this section, we cover Fedora Ambassadors Project[1].

Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero

Release event in Naples

Gianluca Varisco reports on a Fedora 11 release event in Naples, Italy, recently. NaLUG (Napoli GNU/Linux Users Group) organized, in collaboration with UDU Parthenope (Unione degli Universitari), the Fedora 11 Release Party. The location was simply perfect: a building property of Parthenope’s University, located in the hearth of Naples.

For more on the event, visit

Get the word out about your F11 event

Fedora 11 was released on Tuesday, June 9, and with it a variety of activities around the release will be forthcoming. As such, with the upcoming release of Fedora 11, this is a reminder that posting your event on Fedora Weekly News can help get the word out. Contact FWN Ambassador correspondent Larry Cafiero at lcafiero-AT-fedoraproject-DOT-org with announcements of upcoming events -- and don't forget to e-mail reports after the events as well.


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

Contributing Writer: Adam Williamson

Test Days

There was no Test Day last week.

Currently, no Test Day is scheduled for next week - it is still very early in the Fedora 12 cycle. If you would like to propose a test day which could result in changes for post-release updates for Fedora 11, or an early test day for Fedora 12, please contact the QA team via email or IRC, or file a ticket in QA Trac[1].

Weekly meetings

The QA group weekly meeting[1] was held on 2009-06-24. The full log is available[2]. James Laska reported that he had not yet been able to update the QA Goals page[3], due to lack of time.

Will Woods provided an update on the Rawhide acceptance test plan. The plan is now available on the Wiki[4], with ten suggested test cases. Tickets have been filed to track the creation of each test case. He asked for anyone who was interested in this project to help write or review the test cases. Jóhann Guðmundsson suggested adding a test case for basic network functionality, and the others present agreed with this suggestion.

James Laska reviewed the new schedule for Fedora 12 QA events which has been submitted by John Poelstra[5]. He pointed out several changes he felt were positive. The group discussed whether Test Day dates should be added to the main QA schedule, but in the end decided they should not be.

Will Woods gave a quick further update on the status of AutoQA (which includes the rawhide acceptance testing discussed earlier). He explained that, once the test plans were written, it should be relatively easy to automate them via autotest, and automation of some tests should be complete in one or two weeks. James Laska noted that Jesse Keating had sent a link to a presentation he would be giving on AutoQA[6].

James Laska reported in place of Adam Williamson (who was absent) on his proposal to introduce an SOP for running a Test Day. He referred to Adam's mailing list post[7], and asked for feedback to be sent to the list.

Finally, Jóhann Guðmundsson proposed a project to improve the quality and quantity of information contained in bug reports[8]. Will Woods noted that abrt[9], the automated bug reporting tool, will allow the use of plugins to configure what files or other information should be attached to reports from particular components.

The Bugzappers group weekly meeting[10] was held on 2009-06-23. The full log is available[11].

The meeting was dominated by a discussion of the status of the project to integrate anaconda triage better into the BugZappers process, and to introduce kernel triage. Andy Lindeberg and Peter Jones provided valuable information on the anaconda process. After much discussion, it was broadly agreed that there was no broad incompatibility between the anaconda bug process and the BugZappers process, and with a small amount of work, the two could be integrated: a good list of required information for anaconda bug reports should be created, it should be made clear that anaconda reports must be assigned to a specific anaconda maintainer and this assignment confirmed in person via IRC or email before being made, and volunteers to triage anaconda should already be well versed in its workings, or receive some training before beginning to triage actively.

The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-06-31 at 1600 UTC in #fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-06-30 at 1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.

Test Day shepherding SOP draft

Adam Williamson announced[1] a draft SOP for the process of running a Test Day[2], with the intent of making it easier for more people to run Test Day events.

Improvement of debugging procedure pages

The recap mail for the QA meeting provoked a thread[1]about the best way to improve the quality of information contained in bug reports. Eventually, several members of the group decided to improve existing pages explaining how to accurately identify and categorize bugs, and what information to include when reporting them, for various components. Work started with the page on[2]. François Cami made some initial improvements[3], Christopher Beland followed these up with some further tweaks and suggestions[4], and Adam Williamson contributed some further additions and addressed Christopher's suggestions.


In this section, we cover the Fedora Design Team[1].

Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei

Theming Constantine

From FUDCon, after the announcement of the release name for Fedora 12 Nicu Buculei launchedref[1] the talks about the graphic theme of the next release "I am sure you are all already aware, the announcement is official since yesterday when Paul delivered in in front of the FUDCon audience, the release name for Fedora 12 was voted Constantine". He also proposed a possible approach: Byzantine mosaics "When I think about it, I had in my mind Byzantine culture (Roman emperor Constantine the Great) and I think a graphic in the style of a Byzantine mosaic can be an effective approach. The major trick is to leave out any religious implications and stay only with cultural references."

Joost Elfering invited[2] everyone to think at the big picture "I think we need to take a step back before coming up with results and examples. i suggest we first take a look at the associations with Constantine. these associations will be the bases for out new style. so no examples, just conceptual works" and showed concerns about the religious implications "this theme is really heavily based on religion on it's own. We will probably have some angry faces just because of the name. keeping out religion on this one will be really hard!", concerns shared[3] also by Konstantinos Antonakoglou "You can't expect any work of art without a religious reference" who proposed a simple take on that "So, to keep it simple I sense that we should say: 'Hey! Byzantine art used the mosaic art! Let's use it too.'"

Henrik Heigl chimed-in[4] with his own concerns about aggressiveness "The Lion has a bit of an aggressive meaning, Constantine is en emperor (also a bit aggressive) do we want the same way or make something smoother?" and added another couple of ideas to the brainstorming "I also had the Logo of my old University" and "Also I had the the "Lion" we had in Fedora11 in my head and now maybe another animal", with the animal idea ruled-out[5] quickly by Nicu "We can't go with another animal (no, not even a panda :D), that would be to close to the previous release."

Security Advisories

In this section, we cover Security Advisories from fedora-package-announce.

Contributing Writer: David Nalley

Fedora 11 Security Advisories

Fedora 10 Security Advisories

Fedora 9 Security Advisories

Fedora 9 is nearing EOL
Per FESCo support for Fedora 9 will be discontinued on July 10th 2009


In this section, we cover discussion of Fedora virtualization technologies on the @et-mgmnt-tools-list, @fedora-xen-list, @libvirt-list and @ovirt-devel-list lists.

Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley

Enterprise Management Tools List

This section contains the discussion happening on the et-mgmt-tools list

Remote virt-manager VM Wizard

Craig Miskell was[1] "running Package-x-generic-16.pngvirt-manager 0.7.0 on Ubuntu, connecting using SSH to [a remote] Package-x-generic-16.pnglibvirt running on Debian Lenny Xen-3.2.1", and when attempting to create a new guest found "no install options are available because:"

  • "Network install" is not available unless the connection is local, and
  • Local install media and Network boot (PXE) are not available because of the following line in (around line 340):
is_pv = (self.capsguest.os_type == "xen")

Cole Robinson pointed out the latter has been fixed upstream, and explained the former fails "Because a network install has to fetch a boot kernel and initrd from the URL, and we have no way to tell the remote machine to fetch these locations."

Fedora Virtualization List

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

F12 Feature: Host Information

Richard Jones posted[1] an RFC for a feature[2] he's working on for Fedora 12. The feature will "Allow a virtual machine to see information and statistics from the host operating system."

For example, it will "Allow a virtual machine to look at host information (such as number of physical, not just virtual CPUs), and statistics like the load on the host."

Daniel Berrange noted[3] that "a core goal of this hostinfo service is to avoid any use of networking. We don't want to presume that a guest has a NIC, nor that the host has a configured NIC on the same LAN as the guest." So this feature will make use of serial ports to pass queries and responses between the guest and the host.

libguestfs Super-minimized Appliance

Richard Jones created[1] a set of "very experimental" patches to Package-x-generic-16.pnglibguestfs "which allow you to build a so-called 'supermin (super-minimized) appliance'."

Within libguestfs, "The normal appliance is a self-contained Linux operating system, based on the Fedora/RHEL/CentOS Linux distro. So it contains a complete copy of all the libraries and programs needed, like kernel, libc, bash, coreutils etc etc."

"The supermin appliance removes the kernel and all the executable libraries and programs from the appliance. That just leaves a skeleton of config files and some data files, which is obviously massively smaller than the normal appliance. At runtime we rebuild the appliance on-the-fly from the libraries and programs on the host (eg. pulling in the real /lib/, the real /bin/bash etc.)"

"The new appliance is a mere 500K, so libguestfs RPMs will be a lot smaller. Of course that just means they will have many more dependencies, so the amount pulled down will be the same or greater."

A guest fish in the pipes

Richard Jones patched[1] Package-x-generic-16.pngguestfish. "This patch adds support for pipes to guestfish, so you can pipe output from a guestfish command through a command on the host. The canonical example is:

><fs> hexdump /bin/ls | less

Another example, looking for root backdoors in the password file:

><fs> cat /etc/passwd | awk -F: '$3 == 0 { print }' | grep -v ^root:

Anything right of the first pipe symbol gets passed to the local shell, thus expansion, redirection and so on work on that."

Libvirt List

This section contains the discussion happening on the libvir-list.

Safe PCI Device Passthrough

Mirko Raasch asked[1] "How can i start my guest with three pci devices passed through and Package-x-generic-16.pnglibvirt?" Starting qemu by hand appeared to work. But virsh start produced an error:

 libvirtd: 15:44:55.459: warning : pciTrySecondaryBusReset:483 : Other
devices on bus with 0000:05:01.0, not doing bus reset

Daniel Berrange recalled[2] "what libvirt is complaining about is that there are other devices in the PCI bus which are not associated with this guest, and thus there is no way to safely reset the device you are trying to assign, without endangering the host OS or other guest OS."

Adding "when you launch QEMU manually there is no checking for whether the PCI devices are in use by other guests, or by the host OS. So while it may launch QEMU, it is not running safely, and eg, if your guest OS does a PCI bus reset it could kill/harm your host OS."

PCI device passthrough is a new feature[3] in Fedora 11.

VMware ESX driver status update

Matthias Bolte continued[1] work (FWN #177[2]) to create a VMware ESX driver for libvirt.

Matthias is currently "working on the VMX config to domain XML mapping for dump/create XML" using the VMware Infrastructure API[3].