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Fedora Weekly News Issue 185

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 185[1] for the week ending July 19, 2009.

Highlights from this week's issue include an overview of feature details for Fedora 12 (Constantine) in our Announcements beat, followed by news from all over the Fedora Planet, including instructions on how to install Chromium (the open source version of Google's Chrome browser) on Fedora, thoughts on the Association for Competitive Technology's recent accusations against the European Commission "of having a bias in favor of open source", and a review of Hannah Montana Linux, along with much more. This week's Ambassadors beat features an event report from Tripura, India and highlights the worldwide Fedora Ambassador map -- find your closest Ambassadors! The Quality Assurance beat features details on the second upcoming Fit and Finish Test Day, to focus on power management and suspend/resume in Fedora with opportunities to participate in the testing. Also a review of this past week's meetings, Fedora 12 bug blocker review and Fedora 11 bug triage. The Art beat this week features details on the Fedora 12 design schedule and also more detail on wallpaper development that FWN has reported on in recent weeks. This week's issue rounds out with much Fedora virtualization news goodness, including details on transition from the Enterprise Management Tools lists, some very helpful Fedora virtual machine disk setup tips, and details of new versions of libguestfs and virt-v2v. This is but a sampling of this week's content and we hope you enjoy this week's issue!

If you are interested in contributing to Fedora Weekly News, please see our 'join' page[2]. We welcome reader feedback: The Fedora News team is collaborating with Marketing and Docs to come up with a new exciting platform for disseminating news and views on Fedora, tentatively called Fedora Insight. If you are interested, please join the list and let us know how you would like to assist with this effort.

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 12 (Constantine)

The main topic on the announcement lists this past week was Fedora 12's feature process. John Poelstra[1] sent out several emails about features.

An initial note[2] was sent on July 14th listing feature pages that were in need of an update, and that list included 15 features.

On July 16th, a second email was sent, requesting that the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee drop the features[3] that had not been updated. The list of 15 had by this point been narrowed down to only 5, meaning that 2/3 of the features were updated as requested. By July 17th, all but 3 of the 15 features had been updated[4].

As FWN goes to press, the feature freeze is scheduled for July 28th[5]. Please make sure that your Fedora 12 features[6] are in the proper status and ready for FESCo[7].

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


James Morris mentioned[1] how Red Hat has handled a recent 2.6.30 kernel null pointer vulnerability, and who it affects (probably no RHEL customers).

Luca Foppiano described[2] how to configure Twinkle, the QT VoIP client, to work with Fedora Talk.

Peter Hutterer continued[3] the XI2 Recipes series with "the common input events and the data they include". Peter also explained[4][5] some additional details about new XLib APIs to handle cookies and associated data.

Paul W. Frields wrote[6] about configuring and optimizing postfix for remote/disconnected operation.

Kevin Higgins posted[7] photos from the Vancouver Fedora 11 Release Party.

Michael Tiemann questioned[8] the Association for Competitive Technology's recent accusations against the European Commission "of having a bias in favor of open source."

Greg DeKoenigsberg suggested[9] that "creating a strong 'patch culture'" for Spacewalk (and by extension, open source projects in general) can be accomplished by setting a strong example. "People behave as they see others behave."

Luke Macken posted[10] some pretty pictures of Fedora 9 package update metrics.

Seth Vidal came up with[11] a list of "critical path" packages "that require special care when updating in rawhide and releases". For more information, see the Critical Path Packages Proposal.

Daniel Walsh added[12] another SELinux how-to, to the ongoing series, this time fixing a "denial message about vpnc_t trying to read a file labeled user_home_t."

Matthew Garrett chimed in[13] about RMS' recent comments regarding the "cult of the virgin of emacs".

Máirín Duffy displayed[14] mockups of a net system-config-selinux dialog mockup.

Marc Ferguson instructed[15] how to install Chromium (the Open Source project version of Google's Chrome web browser) on Fedora 11.

James Laska called out[16] for anyone interested in joining the Fedora QA efforts, and pointed out some exemplary guides on the Fedora Wiki to assist in debugging particular projects.

Karsten Wade explained[17] some background around the Fedora Infrastructure team's implementation of Zikula, a new content management system that will be used for various Fedora teams.

Andrew Vermilya Jamison reviewed[18] KDE4 on Fedora, from the perspective of a Gnome user.

Julian Aloofi reviewed[19] Hannah Montana Linux. Scary.


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

Contributing Writer: Larry Cafiero

Event in Tripura, India

Shakthi Kannan conducted a Fedora workshop ("GNUtsav") at National Institute of Technology (NIT), Agartala, Tripura, India on July 18-19, 2009.

Shakthi says, "I would like to thank the Fedora project for sponsoring the event. Special thanks to the student volunteers who worked hard in organizing the event. Mention must be made for the support of the faculty, Prof. Swapan Debbarma, Prof. Anupam Jamatia ("ajnr" on freenode), and Prof. Dwijen Rudrapal."

Shakthi's presentation sessions included:

  • i-want-2-do-project. tell-me-wat-2-do-fedora.
  • Badam Halwa of Embedded Systems
  • di-git-ally managing love letters
  • Fedora Electronic Lab (demo)
  • Packaging RPM -- Red hot, Paneer (butter) Masala

The presentations are available from:

As customary, here are few photos that Shakthi took during the trip:

Get on the map

Want to find the nearest ambassador? How about one in Romania? Now you can.

Susmit Shannigrahi reports that finding out the nearest ambassadors, which was once a tedious task, is now as simple as viewing a map. The map is at and instructions on how to place yourself on the map can be found at

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 recent 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.

No Test Day is scheduled on the main track next week. However, the new Fit and Finish[1] Test Day track will be holding its second event[2], on power management and suspend/resume. The Test Day page already includes several test scenarios, and a live CD for testing will soon be available. The Fit and Finish project is a great effort to improve the details of the Fedora project, so please show up to support this event! The Test Day will be held on 2009-07-21 (Tuesday) in IRC #fedora-fit-and-finish (note this is not the same channel where main track Test Days take place).

If you would like to propose a main track Test Day for the Fedora 12 cycle, please contact the QA team via email or IRC, or file a ticket in QA Trac[3].

Weekly meetings

The QA group weekly meeting[1] was held on 2009-07-15. The full log is available[2]. James Laska reported that he had filed tickets to track the creation of the three Debugging pages identified as desirable by Christopher Beland, and would mail the list to try and attract volunteers to work on the pages.

James also noted he is still working on the Goals page[3], using a personal space draft[4], but was not yet ready to go into production with it.

James and Jesse Keating reported on the revisions to the Fedora 12 schedule in terms of QA and release engineering. The latest revised schedules are available: QA[5] and release engineering[6].

James reminded the group about the then-forthcoming Alpha Blocker Bug Day, which would be held on 2009-07-17. Adam Williamson suggested reviewing F12Blocker bugs (which block only the final release) to see if they should be promoted to blocking the Alpha release also. James brought up the question of the criteria for Alpha blocker bugs. After some discussion, there was general agreement to work on the basis of considering only high-severity bugs in critical path components (as defined by the Critical Path Packages Proposal[7]) as Alpha blockers.

James mentioned that the Fedora 12 Test Day schedule is still currently lightly populated, but he and Adam have several events planned which have not yet been set down to specific dates.

Will Woods reported on the progress of the AutoQA project. He has now completed writing the test cases for the Rawhide Acceptance Test Plan[8]. He is now starting to work on writing automated tests for these cases, using autotest. He pointed out that progress information can also be found in AutoQA trac[9].

Finally, the group discussed changing the meeting day and/or time. Adam suggested creating a matrix of possible times and having each interested member fill out the times at which they are available, as has been done by other groups in the past. James offered to create the matrix and notify the mailing list so that people could fill it in once it was ready.

Jóhann Guðmundsson pointed out that the QA group could potentially be affected by the ongoing question about the use of Fedora trademarks in non-official spins, as it frequently generates non-official spins for use in Test Days. The group agreed to monitor this on an ongoing basis.

The Bugzappers group weekly meeting[10] was held on 2009-07-14. The full log is available[11]. Richard June apologized for not having asked Brennan Ashton for an update on the triage metrics project.

The group reviewed Niels Haase's proposed expanded list of priority triage components[12]. Edward Kirk thought that some of the components were not truly critical. The list was tabled for review when Niels could be present at a meeting.

The group discussed the latest version of Matej Cepl's greasemonkey script. It seems to have been deployed by several triagers with no problems so far.

Other topics were tabled due to the absence of several group members for various reasons.

The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-07-22 at 1600 UTC in #fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-07-21 at 1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.

F12 Alpha blocker bug review meeting

John Poelstra announced[1] the first blocker bug review meeting for Fedora 12, to be held on 2009-07-17, mainly to review blocker bug status for the upcoming Alpha release. Later, Adam Williamson posted a recap of the meeting[2], recording that it had been well attended and had been able to review the whole F12 Alpha and main blocker lists, remove some from the lists, promote some to block the Alpha release, and check on the development status of several bugs.

Updated list of components for priority triage

Niels Haase announced[1] that he had updated his proposed expansion of the list of priority components for the Bugzappers group to focus on triaging[2], based on the Critical Path Packages Proposal, as previously approved at Bugzappers meetings.

Xfce spin testing

Adam Miller announced[1] that, he would be building a test live image with the Xfce desktop roughly each week, and would appreciate testing and reporting of problems. He also included a link to the first build.

What to do with Fedora 11 target bugs

John Poelstra pointed out[1] that the F11Target bug[2] was still open (and depending on 321 bugs), and asked what people thought should be done about it. Niels Haase suggested[3] moving all that had been triaged to F12Target. Mark McLoughlin suggested[4] having F11Target block F12Target, effectively moving the bugs to F12Target wholesale. Matthias Clasen opined that "I don't think it makes sense to accumulate hundreds of bugs on the target tracker, if they only end up getting pushed from release to release"[5]. Adam Williamson agreed, and suggested[6] just closing the tracker bug, as had been done for Fedora 9 and Fedora 10. No final decision was yet reached.

QA meeting time/date adjustment

As discussed at the weekly meeting, James Laska announced[1] that he had created a matrix to track possible new times and days for the QA group weekly meeting, and asked everyone interested in attending the meetings to fill out the matrix with the days and times when they are available.

Anaconda triage project progress

Adam Williamson reported[1] on the progress of the ongoing project to integrate anaconda triage into the Bugzappers group and workflow. He thanked Andy Lindeberg for her efforts in joining the mailing list, weekly meetings and IRC channel, and in working to codify the current workflow used to triage anaconda bugs. He recorded that meeting and email discussions had revealed little in the way of fundamental conflicts between the official Bugzappers workflow[2] and the Anaconda workflow[3]. He had therefore modified the components and triagers page[4] to list the Anaconda workflow page as the special instructions for triaging anaconda, and note that additional triagers are now welcome for anaconda if someone has a burning desire to work on it, although Andy is currently covering the area very effectively.

Bugzilla semantics debate

Adam Williamson asked the list[1] about a question he had been discussing with Andy Lindeberg, regarding the semantics of the NEW and ASSIGNED states in Bugzilla. He proposed the use of a keyword (instead of the ASSIGNED state) to indicate a bug has been triaged, and either removing the ASSIGNED state entirely, or noting in the workflow page that it has no real function and is effectively equivalent to NEW. This led to an enthusiastic debate, with many other proposals made, although all seemed to agree that the current state of ASSIGNED meaning that a bug has been triaged is not optimal. No final consensus was yet reached on what changes, if any, to propose to the configuration of Bugzilla and/or the official workflow.


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

Contributing Writer: Nicu Buculei

Schedule for Fedora 12

After an IRC conference with the Design Team leader Máirín Duffy and Paul Frields, John Poelstra posted[1] on the mailing list a schedule[2] for Fedora 12 "Some of the key ideas for the planning and schedule for this release are to focus on the importance of the wallpaper and iteratively improve it.... making sure it is in the alpha and then releasing updated packaged versions in rawhide each week."

The debate heated a bit when William Jon McCann arrogantly repeated[3] for a number of items "Not relevant to the desktop spin", prompting a reply[4] from Máirín "This schedule is for the design team, not for the desktop spin. The KDE spin does need this splash, so we help produce it for them. We work on designs for all of Fedora, all spins including KDE and Electronics Lab and EDU, as well as the main website and various web applications."


Following an IRC session with Máirín Duffy and Nicu Buculei, María Leandro posted[1] a set of *very cute* design proposals for the Education/Kids wallpaper. She also blogged[2] about the designs.

María also advanced[3] a photo-manipulation concept based on the 'Constantine' theme. After a round of inquiries[4] she cleared[5] the license of the source photos. However, as Máirín Duffy observed[6], a photomanipulation is not preferred as default "We would much prefer a vector-based graphic as the default wallpaper. As María said, her XCF was 69 MB. This would make it very difficult for others to work on the file."


In this section, we cover discussion of Fedora virtualization technologies on the @et-mgmnt-tools-list, @fedora-virt, @fedora-xen-list, @libguestfs, @libvirt-list, @virt-tools-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

Good Bye to ET-Mgmt-Tools List

Daniel Berrange announced[1] the end of life for the et-mgmt-tools list and the birth of the @virt-tools-list. "In retrospect this was a really bad choice of names for a mailing list and causes endless confusion for people wrt what to discuss where. Most of the emerging technology projects have lists of their own (Package-x-generic-16.pngcobbler[2][3], Package-x-generic-16.pngaugeas[4], Package-x-generic-16.pnglibguestfs[5], Package-x-generic-16.pnglibvirt[6]) and it is about time that Package-x-generic-16.pngvirt-manager and friends joined them."

"To that end we have created a new mailing list 'virt-tools-list'[7]. This will be the new home for all developer & user discussions relating to the following applications:"

  • virt-manager
  • virt-viewer
  • virt-install
  • virt-clone
  • virt-image
  • virt-convert

Fedora Virtualization List

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

Virtual Machine Disk Setup Tips

Rich Mahn recognized[1] "that the best performance for virtual disks is with the backing storage on the host being a parititon or LV. Since I want some flexibility I will use LVs, with virtio disks on most of the VMs." But Rich had several questions (paraphrased below) about how best to configure the backing stores for virtual machines and the disks within them. Daniel Berrange provided some answers (also paraphrased below).

  • Q: If each VM needs three file systems: /boot, root, and swap. "Is it better to create three LVs (each) on the hosts, and treat it as three separate disks on the VMs?"
A: "There's no point separating /boot & root onto separate virtual disks." "The only separation I'd do is for the OS system disks, vs application data disks..." This makes it easier to provision a new VM with the latest disto and reassign the data disk to the new guest.
  • Q: "Do I get better performance/stability by NOT using lvm on the VMs?"
A: "LVM makes is easier to resize guest FS. eg add a second disk to the guest, format it as a LVM PV and add it to your VG. That's pretty much only wayto add more capacity on a running guest."
  • Q: "Do I get the best performance/stability by creating an LV for each disk I need, and then NOT partitioning it on the VM, but using the whole disk for a file system?"
A: "Anaconda will refuse to install onto a raw disk, it mandates partitioning. Second point is that not using a partition table can cause unexpected problems..."
  • Q: "Are these issues too miniscule in their effects that I probably shouldn't even be worrying about" trying to avoid using partitions and LVM?
A: "That's certainly my opinion. Sure you get some performance but you loose the great administrative flexibility of LVM."

Libguestfs List

This section contains the discussion happening on the libguestfs list.

New Release libguestfs 1.0.59

Richard Jones announced[1] the release of Package-x-generic-16.pnglibguestfs 1.0.59.

New Features:

  • Support for Linux extended attributes.
  • Allow guestfish to be controlled remotely, so you can use one guestfish instance in a long-running shell script.
  • Support for reiserfs.
  • New function 'guestfs_zfile' -- 'file' inside compressed files.
  • New guestfish command 'reopen' -- reopen guestfish connection.
  • guestfish -x option (echo commands).
  • New function 'guestfs_version' to get the library version.

See previous release announcement for 1.0.57 in FWN#184[2] and be sure to see the project homepage[3] for extensive usage examples.

New Hypervisor Migration Tool virt-v2v

Matthew Booth posted[1] his "initial thoughts on the design for the v2v tool". This tool will be used to implement the planned Fedora 12 feature "Xen to KVM Migration"[2].

Libvirt List

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

Split RPC Dispatching from Remote API Handlers

Daniel Berrange posted[1] a set of 9 patches. "The current libvirtd remote protocol dispatch code is written in such a way that assumes the only incoming messages from clients are method calls. This makes it very hard to support data streams. This patch series does an incrmental refactoring of alot of code to allow data streams to be easily wired in."

Allow QEMU VMs to be Run Unprivileged

Daniel Berrange submitted[1] a patch which "makes it such that the" privileged "libvirtd daemon can run unprivileged QEMU guests. The default remains unchanged with QEMU running as root:root, but the package maintainer can request an alternative default user at build time, and the sysadmin can also override this at install time with /etc/libvirt/qemu.conf."

This patch is in support of the planned Fedora 12 feature "VirtPrivileges"[2].

cgroups Support in QEMU Driver

Daniel Berrange added[1] "cgroups[2] support to the QEMU driver."

Experimental Tunnelled Migration

Chris Lalancette posted[1] "the current version of the tunnelled migration patch, based upon Daniel Berrange's generic datastream work. In order to use this work, you must first grab danpb's data-streams git branch[2]". Chris's work on secure guest migration was covered in FWN #168[3].