Gentoo Archives: gentoo-gwn

From: Lars Weiler <pylon@g.o>
To: gentoo-gwn@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-gwn] Gentoo Weekly Newsletter 14 November 2005
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 01:15:58
Gentoo Weekly Newsletter
This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 14 November 2005.

1. Gentoo news

Switched to stage3 as the default installation method

During the last week the Gentoo Documentation Project[1] changed the
Gentoo Handbook[2] in a way, that the installation of a stage3 will be
default. Prior to this change the Release Engineering team[3] asked for
the change, as the number of users increased, who messed up their
base-system due to unrecommended changes during a stage1 or stage2 install
or not following the handbook completely.


The adviced method now is to do a stage3 installation and optionally
recompile the system after the installation. That will create an optimized
system as well. How to proceed a real stage1 or stage2 installation is
still described in the FAQ[4].


For further reading you can have a look at the full discussion[5] about
the change on the gentoo-doc mailing list, see the real changes[6] in our
viewcvs or read bug #105809[7].


2. User stories

Interview with Douglas Robertson from Zymeta Corporation

Figure 2.1: The Zymeta Video Jukebox in action

A few words about you. Who are you, where do you work?

My name is Douglas Robertson and I'm the Director of Technology at Zymeta


What is your "product"?

Zymeta is an entertainment systems company. We have developed an on demand
touch screen media delivery platform for public venues complete with a
backend system for updating and managing the platform. And we can manage
the platform as a whole or make changes for a single location. Our first
very successful product is a music video entertainment system called the
"Video Jukebox" which is typically installed in pubs and bars. The venues
patrons are able to choose their music selections using a touchscreen and
then watch the music videos on the bars televisions and advertisers can
pin point their promotions to specific locations or groups of locations.
The service is completely licensed by the music industry. It's flashy,
it's interactive and it's built on top of Gentoo Linux.

If anyone wants to see the jukebox in action, our corporate video[9] also
has a lot of cool shots.


How does Gentoo fit in there? Why did you decide to use it?

As far as technology is concerned, Zymeta is a Gentoo-driven company. The
development team all run Gentoo on their desktops, our servers are all
running Gentoo and, most importantly, our jukeboxes all run Gentoo. I
brought Gentoo into Zymeta and mandated it be the distro used; trying to
support multiple distributions is too much hassle. I chose Gentoo because
of it's flexibility; it's a source-based distro with a great packaging
system and a great user-base.

We update the jukebox client software over the Internet but we haven't
been updating the Operating System on the jukeboxes. We haven't updated
the OS because Gentoo has been so stable and as such there's been no real
need to change anything. We looked at setting up our own portage tree but
decided that the best route to any major updates would be to build a new
tarball of the OS and use that to update the jukeboxes. In the future we
may look at doing minor updates of individual packages using a portage
tree. This would allow us to keep the jukeboxes up to date in case of any
security flaws found.

That said, we recently upgraded the software so that it works flawlessly
on the 2.6 kernel and I have spent the last two days setting up a CD that
boots the jukebox, mounts the hard drive and then updates the OS files.
The Gentoo community was very helpful with this, and as I mentioned, there
is a tonne of documentation, which make it simple for me to modify the
Gentoo 2005.1 LiveCD so that it is Zymeta branded and does the required

What did Gentoo replace?

Prior to Gentoo, Zymeta was running Red Hat for servers and Debian on the

Any experiences with other distributions? How do they compare?

I initially tried Gentoo in 2003 at my previous job because a co-worker
decided to try it and then complained about how much trouble it was to set
up and how it took him two days to get it working. To prove him wrong I
tried it and had a working Gentoo, complete with KDE, on my Dell laptop
within the day. It was love at first sight with Gentoo so I never went
back to my old Red Hat install.

A lot of people had issues with Red Hat's RPM system, but I loved it. At
least until I started needing the latest packages of various things (such
as PostgreSQL and some networking tools) and the RPM wouldn't work because
it was built on a different version of Red Hat. Or it would require
updating three other packages, which in turn had their own dependencies.
Gentoo's package system is the real shining star as far as I'm concerned,
and while updates take longer since packages are compiled, it's well worth

What are the big advantages? Where does it shine?

Gentoo offers flexibility. Don't need IPv6 support is your packages? Just
change your USE flags. No ebuild for a package you need? Just create your
own ebuild and add it into your Portage overlay. How sweet is that for

What do you see as problematic? Where could things be improved?

My only complaint is that sometimes it takes a long time to stabilize
packages. I like that the maintainers ensure that packages compile and
work properly before marking a package as stable, especially given that we
run Gentoo on production/enterprise systems, but sometimes it seems to
take a bit too long. But we get around that using Portage's flexibility
(ie. USE flags and Portage overlays).

There are many projects like the installer, Gentoo/Alt (BSD,...). What do
you think of this expansion into new fields? How about different

I think that the more people using Gentoo the better. Part of the reason
I'm excited about this interview is that I want to help spread the word
that Gentoo can be used in any environment, whether it's on a desktop or
on an enterprise server running a mission-critical database. Stability is
key in most environments but I don't think that you necessarily need to
use six month old packages to get that stability.

How do you see the community? What is the general perception of Gentoo in
your company?

I love the Gentoo community. There's a lot of support available and tonnes
of documentation. And because at this stage it seems like the majority of
Gentoo users have a fairly technical background, there's a different feel
to the Gentoo forums as compared to say the old Red Hat forums.

As for Zymeta, everyone in the company knows Zymeta's product is built on
top of Gentoo. And since our switch to Gentoo, the stability of our
product has increased. Part of that is due to Gentoo and part of that is
due to an updated kernel. But the end result is that the Zymeta team and
our customers associate Gentoo with stability.

How can you be contacted? And what can we expect in the near future?

If anyone wants to talk to me about deploying Gentoo in the enterprise,
they can contact me at dr@××××××.com. Also, I believe that Gentoo
developer Corey Shields wants to create a Gentoo case study out of Zymeta
so people should look soon for that.

Oh, and there's a Gentoo easter egg in an upcoming version of the Zymeta
Jukebox client so if anyone wants to know how to do that, they can email
me about that too.

Thanks for the interview!

3. Heard in the community


GLEP 43: GLEP file hosting

Ciaran McCreesh[10] publicized a new GLEP[11] this week to allow (future)
GLEPs to have attached code in a subdirectory instead of inlined or placed
externally. This should allow for better GLEP readability and easier

 10. ciaranm@g.o

 * GLEP 43: GLEP file hosting [12]

Creation and handling of virtual/tar

Diego 'Flameeyes' Pettenò[13] tells us about the creation of virtual/tar
which at the moment can be satisfied by GNU tar and bsdtar. Creating this
virtual will mostly help Gentoo/Alt[14] at the moment.

 13. flameeyes@g.o

 * virtual/tar [15]

4. Gentoo international

Germany: LWE and DevCon in the Frankfurt/Main area

This week the area around Frankfurt/Main will be the events-location for
Gentoo. First there is the Linux World Conference & Expo[16] in Hall 4 of
Frankfurt's Fairground. From Tuesday, November 15, until Thurdsday,
November 17, you have the ability to meet Gentoo Developers at their booth
in the .org-Pavilion (G06). A little highlight will be the lecture about
Gentoo[17] at Wednesday evening.


Right after the three days on the Fairground, Gentoo Weekly Newsletter
Editor Ulrich Plate[18] invited to the European Gentoo developer
meeting[19] at his residence Kransberg Castle, 40km north of Frankfurt.
More than 20 developers and some users declared their attendance. Some
lectures and workshops round up by nice catering and a get-together will
fill the day.

 18. plate@g.o

If you are interested in attending the conference, please use the online
registration form[20].


5. Gentoo developer moves


The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:

 * Jesper Brodersen (broeman) - danish translations
 * Arne Mejholm (aaby) - danish translations


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:

 * Michael Schönbeck (thoand) - video disc recorder


The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:

 * None this week

6. Gentoo Security

PHP: Multiple vulnerabilities

PHP suffers from multiple issues, resulting in security functions bypass,
local Denial of service, cross-site scripting or PHP variables overwrite.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[21]


Lynx: Arbitrary command execution

Lynx is vulnerable to an issue which allows the remote execution of
arbitrary commands.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[22]


RAR: Format string and buffer overflow vulnerabilities

RAR contains a format string error and a buffer overflow vulnerability
that may be used to execute arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[23]


linux-ftpd-ssl: Remote buffer overflow

A buffer overflow vulnerability has been found, allowing a remote attacker
to execute arbitrary code with escalated privileges on the local system.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[24]


7. Bugzilla


The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ([25]) to record and
track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the
development team. Between 06 November 2005 and 13 November 2005, activity
on the site has resulted in:


 * 711 new bugs during this period
 * 315 bugs closed or resolved during this period
 * 31 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 8960 currently open bugs: 107 are labeled 'blocker', 195 are
labeled 'critical', and 558 are labeled 'major'.

Closed bug rankings

The developers and teams who have closed the most bugs during this period

 * Docs Team[26], with 21 closed bugs[27]
 * Gentoo's Team for Core System packages[28], with 20 closed bugs[29]
 * Gentoo KDE team[30], with 10 closed bugs[31]
 * Gentoo Security[32], with 9 closed bugs[33]
 * Alexey Chumakov[34], with 9 closed bugs[35]
 * Sergey Kuleshov[36], with 8 closed bugs[37]
 * Perl Devs @ Gentoo[38], with 8 closed bugs[39]
 * Gentoo for Mac OS X[40], with 6 closed bugs[41]
 26. docs-team@g.o
 28. base-system@g.o
 30. kde@g.o
 32. security@g.o
 34. achumakov@g.o
 36. svyatogor@g.o
 38. perl@g.o
 40. ppc-macos@g.o

New bug rankings

The developers and teams who have been assigned the most new bugs during
this period are:

 * Default Assignee for New Packages[42], with 56 new bugs[43]
 * Default Assignee for Orphaned Packages[44], with 49 new bugs[45]
 * Perl Devs @ Gentoo[46], with 42 new bugs[47]
 * AMD64 Testing Team[48], with 10 new bugs[49]
 * Gentoo Linux Gnome Desktop Team[50], with 9 new bugs[51]
 * Gentoo's Team for Core System packages[52], with 9 new bugs[53]
 * Mozilla Gentoo Team[54], with 7 new bugs[55]
 * Gentoo Sound Team[56], with 6 new bugs[57]
 42. maintainer-wanted@g.o
 44. maintainer-needed@g.o
 46. perl@g.o
 48. amd64-test@g.o
 50. gnome@g.o
 52. base-system@g.o
 54. mozilla@g.o
 56. sound@g.o

8. GWN feedback

Please send us your feedback[58] and help make the GWN better.

 58. 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
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10. Other languages

The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter is also available in the following languages:

 * Danish[59]
 * Dutch[60]
 * English[61]
 * German[62]
 * French[63]
 * Korean[64]
 * Japanese[65]
 * Italian[66]
 * Polish[67]
 * Portuguese (Brazil)[68]
 * Portuguese (Portugal)[69]
 * Russian[70]
 * Spanish[71]
 * Turkish[72]

Ulrich Plate <plate@g.o> - Editor
Patrick Lauer <patrick@g.o> - Author
Lars Weiler <pylon@g.o> - Author

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