Gentoo Archives: gentoo-gwn

From: Kurt Lieber <klieber@g.o>
To: gentoo-gwn@g.o
Subject: [gentoo-gwn] Gentoo Weekly Newsletter -- Volume 2, Issue 19
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 05:35:44
Gentoo Weekly Newsletter
This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of May 12th, 2003.
1. Gentoo News
 * Gentoo Linux to make major announcement at E3 
 * Gentoo Technologies to partner with Super Computer, Inc. to bring 
   Gentoo Linux to the Opteron and other enterprise platforms 
Gentoo Linux to make major announcement at E3
Gentoo Linux will be present at the upcoming Electronics Entertainment 
Exposition[1] in Los Angeles. E3, as it is more commonly known as, focuses 
on items related to electronic entertainment, including game consoles, 
computer video games, entertainment and edutainment software and other 
entertainment-related technologies and industries. Considered as the 
premier event for its industry, E3 brings all of the major players 
together under one roof. 

In addition to building brand awareness and educating people about the 
benefits of Gentoo Linux, Gentoo Technologies will be making a significant
announcement on May 14th that will be covered in detail in next week's GWN.

Gentoo Technologies to partner with Super Computer, Inc. to bring Gentoo 
Linux to the Opteron and other enterprise platforms
We're pleased to announce that Super Computer, Inc.[2] (SCI) will be helping
the Gentoo Linux development team to create a 64-bit version of Gentoo Linux
for the AMD Opteron processor. SCI will initiate this relationship by
providing the Gentoo Linux development team with a dual Opteron workstation as
well as any other assistance required to officially support for the AMD
Opteron platform.

In cooperation with RackSaver, SCI will arrange for early access to future
enterprise-class hardware. RackSaver has joined SCI in its efforts to support
the continued development of Gentoo Linux into an enterprise-level operating
2. Gentoo Security
 * GLSAs 
 * New Security Bug Reports 
There were no GLSAs issued during the week prior to this summary's 
New Security Bug Reports
There were no new security bugs reported this week.  
3. User stories
Starting with the current issue, the GWN will feature this brand-new 
section. Here you'll be given the chance to share your story with the 
Gentoo community! 
So did you just switch an entire serverfarm to Gentoo? Have you convinced 
your grandma not to make steaks out of Larry the Cow? Or did you build a 
gigantic space station running Gentoo Linux, to take over the world? Tell 
us! Anything interesting, funny or plain unbelievable you discovered while 
installing, using or modifying Gentoo Linux is welcome! Just send your 
story to user-stories@g.o and enjoy your 15 minutes of fame! ;)

Due to the sheer volume of responses that we expect, please don't be 
offended if your submission doesn't make it into the GWN. There are 
thousands upon thousands of Gentoo users, but only one issue of the GWN 
each week. 

Enough talking, let's get the ball rolling and take a look what our first 
featured user has to tell us:
Kai-Uwe Kriewald and
Kai is currently 35 years old and living in Hannover, Germany. There he's 
working at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts[3] where he and his 
3 colleagues are trying to keep the University's IT infrastructure up and 
running. This is not always an easy job when you have to cope with about 
6000 students, 100 workstations (Windows) and 15 servers 
(Novell/Windows/Linux). Despite his job his hobbies include everything 
regarding computers, as well as movies/going to the cinema, riding his 
bike and reading (especially dramas and Science Fiction).

Why Gentoo Linux?
Kai discovered Linux when the Kernel was still at version 0.9x and using 
it involved a lot of DIY. After a while he switched to SuSE Linux which he 
effectively run for several years. Like Larry the Cow he became frustrated 
with all the bloat and graphical wizards featured in most of the latest 
distros and started to look for an optimzed server OS which gives full 
control over every detail of the configuration to the admin. At the end of 
2002 he finally discovered Gentoo Linux which seemed to fit his needs just 
Running the mirrors
Actually Kai found out that he liked Gentoo so much, that he decided to 
set up a rsync ( and distfiles mirror. He did this 
out of two reasons: first he wanted fast access to all the distfiles in 
the initial phase of trying out and setting up Gento Linux. On the other 
hand he says he wanted to support Gentoo Linux and give something back to 
the community which made and still makes this great distribution possible. 
This is an excellent example of how open source/free software should work!
Currently a Celeron 1.3GHz, with 256MB of RAM, a 100GB HDD and a 100MBit 
connections is used for mirroring. This is soon to be replaced by a P4 
2.6GHz, with 1GB RAM, a 250GB HDD and a 1GBit connection. But Kai has 
bigger plans for the future: he wants to set up a High Availability 
cluster using two of the latter systems.
Conclusion and future prospects
Thanks to years of experience in running mirrors (in his "Windows days" 
Kai used to run the primary Tucows mirror for Germany), good advice by 
Kurt Lieber[4] and the nice people on the mirror-admin mailing list, he 
dind't run into any major problems yet (except for using compressed rsync 
which he deactivated). The mirror is offering distfiles to the users in 3 
different ways: rsync, WWW (Apache[5]) and FTP (PureFTPd[6]). All these 
packages are well tested and documented, so running them shouldn't give 
you too much headaches.

 4. klieber@g.o
With ongoing hardware upgrades Kai and his team continue to replace SuSE 
installations with Gentoo Linux and plan to also use it as firewall,proxy, 
database and CMS server. Sadly they couldn't get Gentoo to run Informix 
9.3 (Kai thinks this is due to too new libraries in Gentoo Linux), which 
is now run on SuSE 8.1.
If you have questions regarding setting up and running mirrors for Gentoo 
Linux you can contact Kai by mail[7].

 7. Kai-Uwe.Kriewald@××××××××××××××××.DE
4. Featured Developer of the Week
Jack Morgan
Jack Morgan[8] is one of the Gentoo-SPARC project co-leads, and as such 
makes sure that releases get ready, new developers get recruited, bugs get 
fixed, ISOs get made, and more. A Gentoo-SPARC developer since July 2002, 
just after the SPARC port began, Jack has met about half of Gentoo's 
developers at Linux World Expo, FOSDEM, and in Oregon, where he lives, and 
his goal is to meet over 80%. 

 8. jmorgan@g.o
Jack's favorite applications include Mutt and exim, not to mention Tux 
Racer. He has a SPARCStation 5 on which to do testing, an Ultra 30, his 
main development box, as well as two Athlon XP boxen: a fileserver and a 
workstation; he uses SCSI disks whenever possible. He usually doesn't run 
XFree, but uses fluxbox when he does, as well as irssi, mutt, and many 
other console apps. Jack recently moved to Eugene, Oregon from Japan, 
where he lived for eight and a half years and met his wife. He spends most 
of his free time with his three kids, but also runs marathons and likes to 
play Japanese board games like Shogi and Go. 
5. Heard In The Community
Web Forums
Alleviating the Pressure on rsync Servers
Last week's GWN reminded Gentooists that synching the portage tree should 
be reigned by sanity, as opposed to abusing the system by issuing an 
'emerge rsync' every other hour or so. A few of the usual suspects in the 
Forums, always true to form, quickly picked this up and started offering 
their own clever solutions, including checks of the CVS changelogs and 
only synching if anything of interest to somebody's own configuration has 
been updated.

 * rsync etiquette guideline[9] 

Lotus Domino in Gentoo
Running applications only available in binary form may be tricky in a 
source-based distribution. In a nice example of help yourself, help 
others, steveb[10]has documented his init scripts to get a Lotus Domino 
server up and running:

 * IBM Lotus Domino R6/(R5) gentoo init scripts[11] 

Binary Packages in Gentoo, Portage in Other Distributions?
Source distribution evangelists are hardly ever tempted by pre-compiled 
applications, and even if they were, serving all USE flag permutations via 
the Gentoo Reference Platform just doesn't look feasible, does it now... 
Contrary to popular belief, there are rather nice binary package 
management systems out there, like Arch's Pacman or Crux' cvsup-based 
ports system, but would they make sense as tools in Gentoo? Have a look at 
the latest thread about binary vs. source distro virtues:
 * Superduo?[12] 
 * Installing Portage on Other Distros[13] 



gentoo-user as a newsgroup
Let's face it, we can all use some extra time during the day. If you're 
like the many who suffer through several high traffic mailing lists per 
day, a little time organizing could save you hours! No, we're not going to 
sell you a pocket organizer or even encourage you to buy a rolodex. What's 
at hand here is a sound discussion on how to best sort through the 
gentoo-user list. Apparently, using gmane[14] as a newsgroup reader and/or 
gnus[15] to sort through threads is a popular solution. Martin Gramatke 
pointed out[16] how to subscribe to the gentoo-user list as post only and 
use gmane to read the list. 

 * gentoo-user as a newsgroup[17] 

 14. nntp://

why rsync?
It appears that some members of the gentoo-user community, namely Rev. 
Jeffrey Paul, question[18] the use of rsync in Gentoo's package managment 
system. His complaint is simple; "rsync requires special server and client 
software, increases loads on the servers, and significantly limits the 
number of mirrors (by not being http/ftp compatible)." Others think a 
change to the system is not necessary at the moment, as Paul de Vrieze 
best describes[19]. While others want to see rsync further tweaked[20] ala 
Mandrake's Troels bandwith saving system. Whatever the case, this is an 
enlightening thread covering an interesting issue. 
 * life, the universe, and everything (why rsync?!)[21] 


More Portage Sync Etiquette
Sticking to the topic of bandwith saving and rsync, Louis Candell began a 
long discussion[22] on the proper methods of updating multiple Gentoo 
machines on a LAN. NFS[23] (Network File System) was the agreed upon 
solution. Rex Young let us know that "It[NFS] just works, and it's just 
easy.  If you export /usr/portage to all of the machines on the network, 
syncing from any one of them leaves all of them synced.  It really saves 
bandwidth, and can be used to ease some of the administration on the 
machines." If you plan on implementing NFS to share a common /usr/portage 
tree, reading Marius Mauch's approach[24] may help, and be sure all GIDs 
and UIDs match on all machines and that you read Lee Fickenscher's 
 * GWN's Portage Sync Etiquette[26] 


This week there is alot of renewed focus on the init system. Suggestions 
to add functionality or even entirely replace the current system based on 
shell scripts with one written entirely in Python.
New service dependency
The idea came up to add a means of communicating when a script has started 
successfully, in between init and the service scripts. So the service can 
rely on another being up and functional before starting up itself.Read 
about[27] how this would work.

Init replacement
An interesting proposal was brought up about writing the Gentoo init 
scripts in Python. Read about[28] the pros and cons

Also, Jeff Jeter has been working on adapting Portage to run on FreeBSD. 
Here is how far he is with his project.[29] Interested people should 
contact Jeff with their feedback and input.

XFree 4.3.0
And finally, we are now well into the second release of XFree 4.3.0. Take 
a look at the latest[30] discussion.

6. Gentoo International
Regional German Gentoo User Meeting in Cologne, not Bonn!
Correcting the mistake made in last week's GWN, the meeting of Gentooists 
in and around Kࣆln/Bonn will indeed take place this Wednesday, 14 May 
2003, but Hellers Brauhaus[31] is of course located on Roonstrasse in 
Köln, not Bonn as previously reported. Be there from 18:00, tell the 
others you're coming right here[32]. 

German Gentoo User Map
It's merely a fallout from a more ambitious project to get German Gentoo 
users to register for a future all-German meeting, but it's rather nice in 
itself: [33] holds an interactive map where Gentooists in Germany can mark 
their current whereabouts based on GPS data. 

7. Portage Watch
The following packages were updated since the last issue:
We have started to use a different method to provide the information we 
present in this section so, please, report any errors or inconsistencies 
you may find. Thanks!!
 * app-office/abiword: Fully featured yet light and fast cross platform 
   word processor.[34] 
 * dev-haskell/happy: A yacc-like parser generator for Haskell[35] 
 * dev-haskell/hdoc: A documentation generator for Haskell[36] 
 * dev-haskell/hmake: a make tool for Haskell programs[37] 
 * dev-java/ant: Java-based build tool similar to 'make' that uses XML 
   configuration files.[38] 
 * dev-python/4Suite: Python tools for XML processing and 
 * dev-tcltk/Tk_Theme: Theming library for TCL/TK.[40] 
 * kde-base/arts: KDE 3.x Sound Server[41] 
 * kde-base/kde: KDE 3.1 - merge this to pull in all non-developer 
   kde-base/* packages[42] 
 * media-libs/SoGtk: A Gtk Interface for coin[43] 
 * media-video/DFBSee: DFBSee is image viewer and video player based on 
 * net-dialup/capi4k-utils: Capi4Linux Utils[45] 
 * net-dns/bind: BIND - Berkeley Internet Name Domain - Name Server[46] 
 * net-firewall/dynfw: Dynamic Firewall Tools for netfilter-based 
 * net-p2p/bittorrent: BitTorrent is a tool for distributing files via a 
   distributed network of nodes[48] 
 * sys-kernel/gentoo-sources: Full sources for the Gentoo Linux kernel[49] 

Total number of categories available: 82
Total number of packages available: 4167
8. Bugzilla
 * Statistics 
 * Closed Bug Ranking 
 * New Bug Rankings 
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ([50]) to record and 
track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the 
development team. In the last 7 days, activity on the site has resulted 

 * 229 new bugs this week 
 * 423 bugs closed or resolved this week 
 * 5 previously closed bugs were reopened this week. 
 * 2523 total bugs currently marked 'new' 
 * 345 total bugs currently assigned to developers 
There are currently 2914 bugs open in bugzilla. Of these: 48 are labeled 
'blocker', 104 are labeled 'critical', and 228 are labeled 'major'. 
Closed Bug Rankings
The developers and teams who have closed the most bugs this week are: 
 * Martin Holzer[51], with 20 closed bugs[52] 
 * The x86 Kernel Team[53], with 19 closed bugs[54] 
 * Robert Coie[55], with 18 closed bugs[56] 
 * Daniel Ahlberg[57], with 15 closed bugs[58] 

 51. mholzer@g.o
 53. x86-kernel@g.o
 55. rac@g.o
 57. aliz@g.o

New Bug Rankings
The developers and teams who have been assigned the most new bugs this 
week are: 
 * Robert Coie[59], with 19 new bugs[60] 
 * Sven Vermeulen[61], with 12 new bugs[62] 
 * Robin Johnson[63], with 11 new bugs[64] 
 * Martin Schlemmer[65], with 9 new bugs[66] 
 59. rac@g.o
 61. swift@g.o
 63. robbat2@g.o
 65. azarah@g.o
9. Tips and Tricks
Using Fluxbox Autogrouping
If you use the Fluxbox window manager, autogrouping and tabs allows you to 
view programs as a grouped window instead of separate windows. This week's 
tips demonstrates this feature using Eterm as an example. 
First, you have to edit your ~/.fluxbox/init file. Make sure the group 
file is defined. 
| Code Listing 9.1: ~/.fluxbox/init                                       |
|                                                                         |
|Add the following line                                                   |
|session.groupFile:    ~/.fluxbox/groups                                  |
|                                                                         |

Make sure there are no tabs or extra spaces at the end of the line or it 
won't work correctly.  

The next file to edit is the ~/.fluxbox/groups file. This file specifies 
program that automatically open inside a tabbed group. Simply add one 
program per line. 
| Code Listing 9.2: ~/.fluxbox/groups                                     |
|                                                                         |
|Using our Eterm example, add this line                                   |
|Eterm                                                                    |
|                                                                         |

To find out the exact name of the command to put in the file, use the 
command xprop | grep '^WM_CLASS' and paste the name into the file.  
Now when you open Eterms, they will open as a group. If you want other 
programs to do the same thing, just add them to your ~/.fluxbox/groups 
10. Quote/Signature of the week
Starting this week, every issue of the GWN will feature a funny or 
interesting signature or quote seen in the Gentoo community (forums, IRC, 
mailing lists).
Gentoo Developer Sven Vermeulen[67] uses the following signature for his 

"Thanks to DRM, you know that something has been built in environment of
unspecified degree of security, from source you cannot check, written by
programmers you don't know, released after passing QA of unknown quality and
which is released under a license which disclaims any responsibility..."

Something we should all think about... 

 67. swift@g.o
11. Moves, Adds and Changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team: 
 * Rodney Rees (manson) 
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:
 * none this week 
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux 
 * none this week 
12. Contribute to GWN
Interested in contributing to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter? Send us an 

 68. gwn-feedback@g.o
13. GWN Feedback
Please send us your feedback[69] and help make GWN better.

 69. gwn-feedback@g.o
14. 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.
15. Other Languages
The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter is also available in the following languages:
 * Dutch[70] 
 * English[71] 
 * German[72] 
 * French[73] 
 * Japanese[74] 
 * Italian[75] 
 * Portuguese (Brazil)[76] 
 * Portuguese (Portugal)[77] 
 * Russian[78] 
 * Spanish[79] 
 * Turkish[80] 
Kurt Lieber <klieber@g.o> - Editor
AJ Armstrong <aja@×××××××××××××.com> - Contributor
Brice Burgess <nesta@×××××××.net> - Contributor
Michael Kohl <citizen428@g.o> - Contributor
Yuji Carlos Kosugi <carlos@g.o> - Contributor
Rafael Cordones Marcos <rcm@×××××××.net> - Contributor
David Narayan <david@×××××××.net> - Contributor
Ulrich Plate <plate@g.o> - Contributor
Peter Sharp <mail@××××××××××××××.net> - Contributor
Kim Tingkaer <kim@×××××××.dk> - Contributor
Mathy Vanvoorden <matje@×××××××.be> - Dutch Translation
Tom Van Laerhoven <tom.vanlaerhoven@××××××.be> - Dutch Translation
Peter Dijkstra <phj.dijkstra@××××.nl> - Dutch Translation
Bernard Bernieke <bernieke@××××××××.com> - Dutch Translation
Vincent Verleye <zu@×××××××.be> - Dutch Translation
Jochen Maes <linux@××××.be> - Dutch Translation
Ben De Groot <yngwin@××××××.nl> - Dutch Translation
Jelmer Jaarsma <j.jaarsma@××××××××××××××××××.nl> - Dutch Translation
Matthieu Montaudouin <mat@××××××××.com> - French Translation
Martin Prieto <riverdale@×××××××××.org> - French Translation
Steffen Lassahn <madeagle@g.o> - German Translation
Matthias F. Brandstetter <haim@g.o> - German Translation
Thomas Raschbacher <lordvan@g.o> - German Translation
Klaus-J. Wolf <yanestra@g.o> - German Translation
Marco Mascherpa <mush@××××××.net> - Italian Translation
Claudio Merloni <paper@×××××××.it> - Italian Translation
Christian Apolloni <bsolar@×××××××.ch> - Italian Translation
Daniel Ketel <kage-chan@g.o> - Japanese Translation
Yoshiaki Hagihara <hagi@×××.com> - Japanese Translation
Andy Hunne <andy@×××××××××.com> - Japanese Translation
Yuji Carlos Kosugi <carlos@g.o> - Japanese Translation
Yasunori Fukudome <yasunori@××××××××××××××××.uk> - Japanese Translation
Takashi Ota <088@××××××××××.jp> - Japanese Translation
Ventura Barbeiro <venturasbarbeiro@××××××.br> - Portuguese (Brazil) 
Bruno Ferreira <blueroom@××××××××××××.net> - Portuguese (Portugal) 
Gustavo Felisberto <gustavo@××××××××××.net> - Portuguese (Portugal) 
Ricardo Jorge Louro <rjlouro@×××××××.org> - Portuguese (Portugal) 
Ricardo Nogueira <R.Nogueira@××××××××××××××××.au> - Portuguese (Brazil) 
Sergey Kuleshov <infapx@××××××.ru> - Russian Translation
Dmitry Suzdalev <dimsuz@××××.ru> - Russian Translation
Lanark <lanark@××××××××××.ar> - Spanish Translation
Rafael Cordones Marcos <rcm@×××××××.net> - Spanish Translation
Julio Castillo <julio@×××××××××××××.com> - Spanish Translation
Sergio Gómez <s3r@××××××××××××.ar> - Spanish Translation
Pablo Pita Leira <pablo.leira@×××××××××.com> - Spanish Translation
Carlos Castillo <carlos@×××××××××××××.com> - Spanish Translation
Tirant <tirant@×××××.net> - Spanish Translation
Jaime Freire <jfreire@××.com> - Spanish Translation
Lucas Sallovitz <krusty_ar@×××××.com> - Spanish Translation
Cagil Seker <cagils@××××××××××.tr> - Turkish Translation
Aycan Irican <aycan@××××××××.tr> - Turkish Translation
Emre Kazdagli <emre@××××××××.tr> - Turkish Translation
Gursel Kaynak <gurcell@×××××××.com> - Turkish Translation
Bugra Cakir <19913500@××××××××××××××××.tr> - Turkish Translation