Gentoo Archives: gentoo-gwn

From: Ulrich Plate <plate@g.o>
To: gentoo-gwn@××××××××××××.org
Subject: [gentoo-gwn] Gentoo Weekly Newsletter 28 February 2005
Date: Tue, 01 Mar 2005 00:52:59
Gentoo Weekly Newsletter
This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 28 February 2005.
1. Gentoo News
First European Gentoo developer meeting
Twentythree Gentoo developers from the European Union, Norway, Switzerland 
and the U.S.attended the first official Gentoo developer meeting organized 
in Brussels, borrowing the location and the occasion from the FOSDEM event 
held last weekend. For two hours on Sunday morning, the Gentoo DevRoom in 
one of the historic buildings of Université Libre de Bruxelles was 
reserved for the internal meeting that for the first time brought together 
people who have been working as a team for months or years, but had never 
met in person. After a short round of introductions, the discussion 
quickly centered on structural issues of Gentoo development. When 
infrastructure provisioning and development was done by just a handful of 
key persons, it was usually sufficient to holler requests into their 
general direction, and they'd get the job done. Today, with a headcount of 
over 350 developers and a great diversity of needs and ambitions, the 
Brussel meeting unanimously suggested renovating the project's internal 
structure, to reflect changes in its scope, to make active developers feel 
better represented, and to prepare the ground for future scalability. The 
result of the discussion will be drafted as a proposal to submit to 
Gentoo's project managers and developers at large. 
Figure 1.1: First Pan-European Gentoo developer meeting
Note:  Standing, from left to right: cryos, foser, tantive, pYrania, ian, 
jaevorsz, koon, SeJo, pvdabeel, hansmi, lu_zero. Sitting in front: beejay, 
luckyduck, plate, Pylon, zypher, Ferdy, BaSS, karltk, tove, bonsaikitten, 
Kugelfang, KingTaco. Invisibly present (helping out at the booth): stkn. 
FOSDEM 2005 expo and conference
Gentoo's presence at the biggest open-source developer meeting in Europe 
for the third year in a row was an outstanding experience for everyone who 
attended. At an estimated 3500 participants, FOSDEM has outgrown its old 
target audience of just developers from Benelux countries, and an 
impressive line-up of presenters attracts open-source developers from all 
over Europe and beyond to come to Brussels each year. Learning from 
previous experience prevented the toilets from overflowing and sandwiches 
from being sold out before everyone was fed, and with speakers like Alan 
Cox and Richard Stallman in the main track and dozens of projects -- 
including Gentoo -- organizing their own developer rooms, the three 
buildings entirely occupied by FOSDEM 2005 were buzzing with activity for 
both days of the conference. 
The DevRoom booked for the duration of the entire conference was densely 
packed with Gentoo users and others interested in the twelve presentations 
held by the Gentoo developers. Attendance fluctuated between a few dozen 
and 80 people sitting and standing around the room, and the range of 
topics covered general descriptions of the Gentoo project as well as 
highly technical papers on specific development. Portage and Java 
development were at the center of the attention, but even more exotic 
presentations like the GNAP work of Thierry Carrez[1] in the embedded 
space attracted highly focussed crowds. Most DevRoom presentations are 
available for download from a central repository[2]. Outside of the 
DevRoom, Damien Krotkine[3] held a "lightning talk" about his libconf 
project[4] (the base for Gentoo's USE flag editor GUI profuse, among other 
things), and last but not least, Marius Mauch[5] had the honour of 
addressing the larger main track audience with his presentation of 
Gentoo's Portage system. 
 1. koon@g.o
 3. dams@g.o
 5. genone@g.o
Figure 1.1: Jochen Maes giving the keynote speech at the Gentoo DevRoom
Detached from the DevRoom in a separate building, Gentoo had a 
double-sized booth in the hallway, located between the Mozilla table 
celebrating the first anniversary of Firefox, and a project for converting 
inexpensive Korean Gameboy clones ("Gamepark"[6]) into fully-fledged 
Linux-PDAs. On display at the Gentoo stand were four of Genesi's 
PegasosPPC Open Desktop Workstations (two of them demoing the new Cube 
LiveCD for PPC[7]), several x86 and PPC notebooks, and TGL's exotic 
Kuro-Box[8] running as an MP3 streaming server. Visitors were jostling 
through the narrow hallway, stopping for a chat with the Gentooists on 
duty, grabbing stickers or sweets (from a box labeled "/dev/snack"), or to 
buy T-shirts and other Gentoo paraphernalia. 
Figure 1.2: Busy hours at the Gentoo booth
The inofficial, yet popular "Fizzlewizzle" releases collated by Tobias 
Scherbaum[9], were completely sold out within a few hours. Special FOSDEM 
editions of Gentoo Linux CDs have become a tradition of their own, but 
this year's "Fizzlewizzle" was available for the first time on both LiveCD 
and -DVDs. The ISOs had been updated with the latest Portage snapshot just 
three days before FOSDEM opened its gates, spin in a default English 
environment as opposed to earlier German localizations, and contain a full 
KDE 3.3 installation that can be run directly from the media, without 
installing on harddisk first. The DVD encompasses 2.2GB worth of sources 
on top of the usual CD image contents, and both images continue to be 
available via bittorrent[10], for x86 or PPC, along with the Cube LiveCD 
for PPC. 
 9. dertobi123@g.o
Figure 1.3: Brussels landmark monument, the Atomium, on Gentoo's FOSDEM 
edition LiveDVD cover
Note: Artwork by Christian Hartmann, download the full-size cover art for 
printing DVD and CD labels, for PPC and x86.
FOSDEM's famous quantum singularity, first spotted by Daniel Robbins 
during his visit to the 2003 conference and rediscovered on the floor of 
Brussel's youth hostel last year, had migrated to one of Europe's most 
famous techno clubs, Fuse, where a group of Gentoo developers claims to 
have seen it hovering over the dance floor on Saturday night. 
Apache unmasked
The Gentoo Apache Team has unmasked package updates that have been in the 
works for a while. Thanks to additional help from developers who joined 
the team over the past few months, the announcement many Apache users have 
been waiting for could finally be made last Sunday. Some of the major 
changes include:
 * New configuration and configuration locations to more closely match 
upstream and reduce confusion for users coming from other distributions.  
 * Modules now use a centralized eclass that builds, installs, and 
displays standard information on enabling the module. This allows easier 
maintenance of existing modules, and allows us to more rapidly develop 
ebuilds for modules that are not yet in the tree.  
 * Expanded USE flags to customize your apache installation now let you 
choose multiple MPMs to build and make it easy to switch between them.  
 * A new gentoo-webroot that will eventually provide a gentoo-themed 
icon-set, error documents, and default website. This has been put in its 
own package, and includes a USE-flag to not install the gentoo-webroot 
into /var/www/localhost - useful if you put your own website there.  
 * And much more, including many bug fixes.  
When upgrading Apache, necessary steps will include merging customizations 
in /etc/apache2/httpd.conf and updating all currently used modules to 
revisions that support the new eclass. Detailed documentation[11] is 
available, and if you have any questions or problems during migration, 
talk to the Apache team on #gentoo-apache at or via the 
mailing list, gentoo-web-user@g.o. 
New Gentoo/FreeBSD documentation available
Since our recent article[12] about the Gentoo/FreeBSD project in the GWN's 
Future Zone, Gentoo developer Michael Kohl[13] has taken over maintenance 
of the related documentation. The new document[14] is based on Aaron 
Walker's original installation instructions, and contains lots of 
contributions by Gentoo/FreeBSD project lead Otavio R. Piske[15]. 
 13. citizen428@g.o
 15. angusyoung@g.o
2. Gentoo security
PuTTY: Remote code execution
PuTTY was found to contain vulnerabilities that can allow a malicious SFTP 
server to execute arbitrary code on unsuspecting PSCP and PSFTP clients. 
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[16] 
Cyrus IMAP Server: Multiple overflow vulnerabilities
The Cyrus IMAP Server is affected by several overflow vulnerabilities 
which could potentially lead to the remote execution of arbitrary code. 
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[17] 
cmd5checkpw: Local password leak vulnerability
cmd5checkpw contains a flaw allowing local users to access other users 
cmd5checkpw passwords. 
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[18] 
uim: Privilege escalation vulnerability
Under certain conditions, applications linked against uim suffer from a 
privilege escalation vulnerability. 
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[19] 
UnAce: Buffer overflow and directory traversal vulnerabilities
UnAce is vulnerable to several buffer overflow and directory traversal 
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[20] 
3. Heard in the community
Catalyst vs Knoppix Confusion
This week a user asked if Catalyst can be used to build a Knoppix-like 
LiveCD based on Gentoo Linux. General consensus was that the tool isn't 
really there yet, but improvements are under way to enhance its 
functionality into this direction. Robert Paskowitz[21] pointed out a 
Catalyst-made LiveCD, Caster[22], that provides a good example of what's 
already possible today. 
 21. rpaskowitz@×××××××××.ca
Note: Until popular mailing list archives like Gmane pick up the 
gentoo-catalyst mailing list, Michael Kohl keeps a regularly updated 
archive in a temporary home at his developer webspace.
 * Catalyst vs Knoppix Confusion[23]  
4. Gentoo in the press
eWeek (28 February 2005)
ZiffDavis analyst Jason Brooks summarizes eWeek Lab's evaluation[24] of 
Gentoo Linux for enterprise use. The article opens stating that "Gentoo 
Linux has quickly grown into one of the world's most popular Linux 
distributions", and "the system's source code-based software installation 
mechanism makes (it) a good fit for testing the latest versions of key 
open-source software components." However, "its reputation as a 
bleeding-edge distribution (...) has so far dimmed its prospects for 
enterprise adoption." and Brooks therefore "hesitates to recommend" Gentoo 
for wide adoption in production environments. The article walks through 
some basic pros and cons of source-based distributions, and finds a few 
potential problems in all-free Linux distributions as opposed to 
commercial vendors, but when testing the installation of VMWare as an 
example for non-free software packages, the author readily acknowledges 
that "Gentoo makes the process of obtaining the software more elegant than 
any other Linux distribution we've tested." 
 24.,1759,1770228,00.asp (22 February 2005)
O'Reilly's online magazine on operating systems finds unusually harsh 
words for Linux distributor RedHat's attitude of the past. In the article 
titled "Best of Linux World Coverage: The Redhat Mistake"[25], Gentoo is 
mentioned as stepping in "where they messed up" by "abandoning their 
'freebie' Redhat version two years ago to focus exclusively on their 
enterprise 'pay up big time' version," a move that was "not exactly the 
wisest thing to do," says's managing editor Steve Mallett. 
ZDNet (18 February 2005)
In a similar article[26] about RedHat's "misstep in its relations with 
technology enthusiasts" and the plan to "rectify the situation with a more 
aggressive Fedora project," CNET author Stephen Shankland observes that 
"Red Hat has ample competition. Projects such as Gentoo lure hard-core 
Linux programmers, while Sun Microsystems is trying to build its own 
community of programmers around its OpenSolaris project." 
5. Bugzilla
 * Statistics 
 * Closed bug ranking 
 * New bug rankings 
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ([27]) to record and 
track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the 
development team. Between 20 February 2005 and 27 February 2005, activity 
on the site has resulted in: 
 * 789 new bugs during this period 
 * 443 bugs closed or resolved during this period 
 * 33 previously closed bugs were reopened this period 
Of the 8054 currently open bugs: 100 are labeled 'blocker', 233 are 
labeled 'critical', and 595 are labeled 'major'. 
Closed bug rankings
The developers and teams who have closed the most bugs during this period 
 * AMD64 Porting Team[28], with 49 closed bugs[29]  
 * Gentoo Games[30], with 24 closed bugs[31]  
 * Mozilla Gentoo Team[32], with 17 closed bugs[33]  
 * Gentoo Web Proxy Developers[34], with 15 closed bugs[35]  
 * PAM Gentoo Team[36], with 15 closed bugs[37]  
 * so[38], with 14 closed bugs[39]  
 * Netmon Herd[40], with 14 closed bugs[41]  
 * Gentoo KDE team[42], with 13 closed bugs[43]  
 28. amd64@g.o
 30. games@g.o
 32. mozilla@g.o
 34. www-proxy@g.o
 36. pam-bugs@g.o
 38. so@g.o
 40. netmon@g.o
 42. kde@g.o
New bug rankings
The developers and teams who have been assigned the most new bugs during 
this period are: 
 * Gentoo Sound Team[44], with 36 new bugs[45]  
 * AMD64 Porting Team[46], with 21 new bugs[47]  
 * Gentoo Science Related Packages[48], with 16 new bugs[49]  
 * Gentoo Linux Gnome Desktop Team[50], with 16 new bugs[51]  
 * Gentoo X-windows packagers[52], with 14 new bugs[53]  
 * Gentoo's Team for Core System packages[54], with 14 new bugs[55]  
 * Gentoo Games[56], with 13 new bugs[57]  
 * PHP Bugs[58], with 12 new bugs[59]  
 44. sound@g.o
 46. amd64@g.o
 48. sci@g.o
 50. gnome@g.o
 52. x11@g.o
 54. base-system@g.o
 56. games@g.o
 58. php-bugs@g.o
6. Moves, adds, and changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team: 
 * None this week  
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team: 
 * Alex Howells (Astinus) - AMD64 
 * Elfyn McBratney (beu) - Apache  
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux 
 * Lance Albertson (ramereth) - New operational lead for the 
infrastructure project  
7. Contribute to GWN
Interested in contributing to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter? Send us an 
 60. gwn-feedback@g.o
8. GWN feedback
Please send us your feedback[61] and help make the GWN better.
 61. gwn-feedback@g.o
9. GWN subscription information
To subscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank email to 
To unsubscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank email to 
gentoo-gwn-unsubscribe@g.o from the email address you are 
subscribed under. 
10. Other languages
The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter is also available in the following languages:
 * Danish[62]  
 * Dutch[63]  
 * English[64]  
 * German[65]  
 * french[66]  
 * japanese[67]  
 * italian[68]  
 * polish[69]  
 * portuguese (brazil)[70]  
 * portuguese (portugal)[71]  
 * russian[72]  
 * spanish[73]  
 * turkish[74]  
Ulrich Plate <plate@g.o> - Editor
Michael Kohl <citizen428@g.o> - Author
Michael Stewart <vericgar@g.o> - Author

gentoo-gwn@g.o mailing list