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Fedora Weekly News Issue 203

Welcome to Fedora Weekly News Issue 203[1] for the week ending November 22, 2009. What follows are some highlights from this issue.

Fedora 12 "Constantine" was released this past week, and we kick off this week's issue with a sampling of reviews from around the globe. Also in announcements, details on a change in Fedora 12's PackageKit permissions. In news from the Fedora Planet, some details on what's involved with providing delta RPMs, a new feature in Fedora 12, a site visit to the new Red Hat Computing Lab at Carnegie Mellon, and much more from Fedora contributors. Quality Assurance brings us up to date with the recent weekly meetings of the QA team which have focused on F12, with lots of interesting detail behind the scenes! In Translation news, details on updates and errata for Fedora 12 release notes, and a couple translation requests from SSSD and Midnight Commander. Security Advisories keeps us current with security patches for Fedora 10, 11, and 12. In news from the world of Fedora virtualization, coverage of a recent interview with virtualization luminaries, a status report on Fedora virtualization and details on the latest version of libvirt. Enjoy FWN 203!

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, including general announcements[1], development announcements[2] and Events[3].

Contributing Writer: Pascal Calarco

Fedora 12 Reviews: A Sampling

Fedora 12, "Constantine", was released last week to widespread acclaim. A few sample reviews:

  • Linux Magazine (USA) "Fedora, still pushing the envelope"[1]
  • ZDNet UK "Saving the "Best" for Last - Fedora 12 (Constantine)"[2]
  • The Register (UK) "Fedora 12 - Its a horse, not a camel"[3]
  • (USA) "Major improvements with Fedora 12"[4]
  • IT Pro (UK) "Fedora 12 tweaks virtualisation, video"[5]
  • TechWorld (Australia) "Fedora Linux 12 arrives, ups multimedia support"[6]
  • TechSpot (USA) "Fedora 12 released, brings multi-touch support, more"[7]
  • Datamation "Building On-Ramps on the Fedora 12 Highway"[8]


F12 PackageKit root permission change

Fedora Project leader Paul W. Frields, announced a change in for Fedora 12's PackageKit, which had allowed non-root users to install updates and new packages. Frields wrote[1],

"The Fedora 12 release contained changes in the default PackageKit behavior that allow installation of packages by users in cases where:

  • the user is logged in on the local console, and
  • is installing packages signed with a previously trusted key, and
  • is using a previously configured and trusted repository

After more discussion and thought, though, the package maintainers have posted to the fedora-devel-list mailing list agreeing to provide an update to Fedora 12's PackageKit. The update will require local console users to enter the root password to install new software packages. Details on the changes are found here[2]."


Fedora events are the source of marketing, learning and meeting all the fellow community people around you. So, please mark your agenda with the following events to consider attending or volunteering near you!

Upcoming Events

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

Past Events

Archive of Past Fedora Events[1]

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


Jonathan Dieter described[1] some of the challenges that were involved in the development of deltarpms.

Richard W.M. Jones shared[2] a couple shell tricks for using and modifying the shell's history in order to save time and work more efficiently.

Greg DeKoenigsberg visited[3] Pittsburgh for the opening of the new Red Hat Computing Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. Among the treats was a look at OpenISR[4], the Internet Suspend/Resume project. Sound cool? It is.

Devan Goodwin has "been doing some work recently on cobbler4j, a small Java library for interacting with Cobbler over XMLRPC based on the work done to integrate Cobbler into Spacewalk." [5]

Luke Macken announced[6] that TurboGears 2 is now available in Fedora and EPEL.

Máirín Duffy says: On Tuesday, November 24 there will be a Fedora Interaction Design Hackfest[7]. Anyone interested in learning about Interaction Design or improving the Fedora user experience should join in on IRC.

A number of folks chimed in with thoughts on some recent changes to the PackageKit default permissions in Fedora 12. Seth Vidal explained[8]: "In f12 the default policy for polkit for package kit is to allow users at the desktop to install signed pkgs from repositories enabled on the system." However, shortly thereafter it was announced that the default would change in an updated package. Ankur Sinha linked to the announcement[9] on fedora-devel.

Steven Pritchard shared[10] some further thoughts in a provocatively titled post "Why developers suck as admins".

Greg DeKoenigsberg used the opportunity to discuss[11] "the difference between transparency and communication" in relation to the recent PackageKit changes.

John Poelstra looked[12] at Fedora's Release Criteria now that a Target Audience has been discussed and agreed upon.

Dave Malcolm introduced[13] 2to3c, "a tool to help people port their C python extensions from Python 2 to Python 3."

Fedora 12 Roundup

Paul W. Frields[1] and Kulbir Saini[2] answered some of the more common questions to do with the new release.

Máirín Duffy announced[3] that the new Fedora Spins site has gone live[4].

Eric Christensen outlined[5] twelve different types of documentation available with Fedora 12, from Release Notes to Security and Virtualization guides.


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, and no Test Day is currently planned for this week. If you would like to propose a main track Test Day for the Fedora 13 cycle, 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 2009-11-16. The full log is available[2]. Adam Williamson reported that Milos Jakubicek had still not yet followed up on his idea regarding an event to work on FTBFS problems, and the group agreed to table the proposal until he came back with further ideas.

James Laska reported that he had asked Rui He to improve the existing preupgrade test cases to make sure they more accurately reflected real-world use and would hence catch the disk space issues experienced with Fedora 12.

Adam Williamson started a discussion of preparation for the release of Fedora 12, which was to happen the day after the meeting. He highlighted the common bugs page[3], and James Laska provided a link to a list[4] of issues which were awaiting addition to that page. James and Adam agreed to work on updating the page. Adam also noted that the Fedora 12 blocker bug should be cleaned up. After some discussion, James and Adam noticed that blocker bugs fell under the remit of the BugZappers group, and agreed to let the following day's BugZappers meeting handle the issue.

James Laska gave a heads-up on his planning for a post-Fedora 12 release retrospective. He was planning to send an email to the mailing list asking for people to identify potential areas for improvement from the Fedora 12 QA cycle, and then sum up the resulting feedback in a wiki page.

Will Woods and Kamil Paral reported on the progress of the AutoQA project. Will had been trying to complete the post-koji-build hook which would allow tests to be triggered by the completion of a build in Koji. He had also talked with the release engineering group about how to create AutoQA tests to help prevent broken dependencies in update repositories, and this had identified the need for a post-bodhi-update hook which would allow tests to be run when Bodhi is used to request a package be added to updates-testing or updates repositories. Will asked Luke Macken what resources Bodhi currently provides that would allow AutoQA to notice when an update is requested, and Luke said at present only RSS feeds are available. Will said he would write a hook that monitored the RSS feeds. Will and Kamil also outlined the current plan for rpmguard integration. Kamil had posted a proposal[5] on making test development easier, and James Laska had derived an AutoQA use cases page[6] from it. James also noted that the updated autotest packages had been tested and seemed to be working well.

The Bugzappers group weekly meeting[7] was held on 2009-11-17. The full log is available[8]. Edward Kirk announced that the long-planned semantics change would now be going into effect, as Rawhide had separated from Fedora 12 and was driving towards Fedora 13 development. As previously agreed, all bugs filed for Rawhide should be marked as having been triaged by the addition of the Triaged keyword, rather than setting the ASSIGNED status. Steven Parrish volunteered to send an email to the development list announcing the change. Steven also pointed out that the GreaseMonkey script used by most triagers would need updating for the change. Chris Campbell volunteered to follow up with Matej Cepl about updating the script. Adam Williamson volunteered to update the text in the bug workflow page[9] to reflect the change, and Edward volunteered to change the image.

Edward Kirk introduced the topic of housekeeping updates. He noted that the first release day tasks[10] - including creating the Fedora 14 blocker bugs, and closing off the Fedora 12 blockers - needed to be done, and said he would take care of that.

The group helped Joerg Stephan with choosing some components to begin his triage work.

Matej Cepl asked for some input on the design of the Greasemonkey script with regards to the new triaging procedure. The group agreed that a single 'smart' button which made the appropriate changes depending on the distribution version for which the bug in question was reported would be better than separate buttons for pre-Fedora 13 and Fedora 13-and-later bugs would be a better design.

The next QA weekly meeting will be held on 2009-11-23 at 1600 UTC in #fedora-meeting, and the next Bugzappers weekly meeting on 2009-11-24 at 1500 UTC in #fedora-meeting.

Improving the release criteria

John Poelstra submitted a proposal[1] for improving the release criteria[2] for future releases. The new proposed criteria [3] splits the old single page into an introductory / outline page and separate pages for each public release in the upcoming cycle. Adam Williamson[4] and James Laska[5] both replied to welcome to idea and post some suggestions for refinement. John plans to further refine the proposal and then have a session to discuss it at the upcoming FUDCon Toronto.


This section covers the news surrounding the Fedora Translation (L10n) Project[1].

Contributing Writer: Runa Bhattacharjee

Release Notes Translations Updated for Polish, Portuguese and Simplified Chinese

Translations for Polish, Portuguese and Simplified Chinese have been rebuilt and updated in by Ruediger Landmann[1].

Errors in Release Notes for Chinese and German

John J. McDonough reported tag related errors for Traditional & Simplified Chinese[1] and German[2] translations of the Fedora 12 Release Notes. These errors were identified during the nightlt builds of the documents. The German translation error was fixed by Jens Maucher, while the tag errors in the Chinese translations were fixed temporarily by Ruediger Landmann.

Additionaly, John J. McDonough also mentioned that some sections of the translated versions of the Release Notes do not display the translated content in the built documents, inspite of the translations being present in the .po file. Rudi clarified that this is a known issue and often occurs when translated .po files are split and merged with the individual component files as required by Publican[3].

Error in Package Name in the Fedora 12 Release Notes

The name of the multimedia-menus package was transcribed as 'multimedia menus' in the original english version of the Fedora 12 Release Notes that was handed to the Fedora Translation teams. As a result, this was translated into many languages. The maintainer of 'multimedia-menus' Orcan Ogetbill brought forward this issue[1].

SSSD and MC Translation Request

Translation requests have been made to the Fedora Localization Project by the maintainers of System Security Services Daemon (SSSD)[1] and Midnight Commander (MC)[2]. The former is hosted at to accept translations, since the upstream project requires all patches (inlcuding translations) to be reviewed by the repository validators. SSSD would be string frozen on the 23rd of November 2009.

Midnight Commander currently uses some parts of the Gnome Infrastruture, but uses its own git repository. Suggestions to allow easier translation submissions, include that the project be listed at under 'various'[3], hosted on[4] or be moved to[5].

New Members in FLP

Peter V. Khaninyov (Russian)[1], Nikolai Husung (Germany)[2], and Tomasz Szczeszak (Polish)[3] joined the Fedora Localization Project last week.

Security Advisories

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

Contributing Writer: Pascal Calarco

Fedora 12 Security Advisories

Fedora 11 Security Advisories

Fedora 10 Security Advisories


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

Contributing Writer: Dale Bewley


Mel Chua recently interviewed[1] 3 Fedora virtualization luminaries: Richard Jones, David Lutterkort, and Mark McLoughlin. Topics included:

  • Richard Jones on guestfish and friends (libguestds and libvirt)
  • Mark McLoughlin on virtual upgrades to your virtual machine
  • David Lutterkort on "Network scripts: complex no more!"
  • How to try out virtualization
  • From etherboot to gPXE
  • qcow2: now with better performance!
  • Virtualization in Fedora: a historical retrospective
  • What's Next? Virtualization in F13 and beyond
  • When they're not hacking...

Fedora Virtualization List

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

Fedora Virtualization Status Report

The latest virt status report[1] from Mark McLoughlin details the status of the latest virtualization related bugs, and relayes behind the scenes drama of "a couple of fire-drills with last-minute serious blocker bugs" as Fedora 12 was about to go out the door.

Rawvirt Rawhide Virtualization for Fedora 12

Justin Forbes announced[1] "As was done for Fedora 11 users, the tradition continues, only the locations have changed.

We've set up a repository for people running Fedora 12 who would like to test the rawhide/F13 virt packages. To use it, do e.g."

  $> cat > /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-virt-preview.repo << EOF
  name=Virtualization Rawhide for Fedora 12
  $> yum update

The Virtualization Preview Repository[2] is for people who would like to test the very latest virtualization related packages. This repository is intended primarily as an aid to testing / early experimentation. It is not intended for 'production' deployment.

Libvirt List

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

New Release libvirt 0.7.4

Daniel Veillard announced[1] a new Package-x-generic-16.pnglibvirt release, version 0.7.4. "The rate of changes doesn't seems to slow down, though this release is more about incremental improvements, bug fixes and cleanups than major new features"

New features:

  • Implement a node device backend using libudev (David Allan)[2]
  • New APIs for checking some object properties (Daniel P. Berrange)
  • Fully asynchronous monitor I/O processing (Daniel P. Berrange)
  • add MAC address based port filtering to qemu (Gerhard Stenzel)
  • Support for IPv6 / multiple addresses per interfaces (Laine Stump)


  • Far too many to list here.

Read the full list of changes in the release announcement.[3]