Issue #17 March 2006

Fedora™ status report, March 2006

The Fedora Report is an edited version of recent issues of Fedora Weekly News at fedoranews.org. The fedoranews site is edited by Thomas Chung and accepts contributions from anyone in the Fedora community. Articles are reprinted here with their permission. New contributors are always welcome.

In this issue:

Fedora Project Wiki Policy Change Update

Patrick Barnes announces in his list message:

We have completed the shift to our new wiki policy. The Contributor License Agreement is now required for wiki editing privileges.

The EditGroup is no longer frozen. EditGroup members who have already completed the CLA do not need to do anything. They should be able to continue editing normally. All former EditGroup members who have not completed the CLA have been moved to the new UnlicensedGroup page. They will be unable to edit the wiki until they have completed the CLA and have removed themselves from the UnlicensedGroup. Once they have done so, they can contact someone currently on the EditGroup to get themselves added again.

More details about these changes can be found on the WikiLicenseTalk page. As always, wiki editing details can be found on the WikiEditing page.

OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) Base Software

Christopher Blizzard reports in his blog:

I'm a firm believer in the "release early, release often" mantra. And in that capacity, I would like to share some of the work that Red Hat has done on some of the base software for the OLPC hardware platform. We've been focused on a couple of things so far:

  • Building an emulator so that people can have a playpen for testing and feel some of the experience;
  • Building tools to generate system images from existing Fedora packages.

On a related note, Daniel Berrange has posted a document for OLPC: Software Development Kit and a video for QEMU Admin which is a tool for setting up virtual machines graphically.

Tools to roll your own distribution - Kadischi

Rahul Sundaram points out to LWN.net's article on Kadischi. In the article:

Fedora fans now have the Kadischi Fedora Live CD Project, which has recently created Fedora Core 5 Test 2 live CDs.

Kadischi is an application for Fedora-based LiveCD generation. It is still in the early stage of development, but has basic functionality and can be run successfully.

Must-have Firefox and Thunderbird extensions

Here is an interesting article found from NewsForge. In the article:

By now, you've probably installed the latest versions of Firefox and Thunderbird. The most recent releases include a lot of new and interesting features, but do they have all the functionality you're looking for? If not, that's where extensions come in. The Mozilla applications have too many extensions to try to write about them all, but I wanted to share some of the extensions that I find most useful for day-to-day browsing and email.

Extensions can add, modify, and remove functionality from Thunderbird and Firefox. Most users are already familiar with extensions, but you might not know just how many useful extensions are out there. The Firefox Add-ons site has an extensive list of available extensions.

Google Windows apps coming to Linux

Here is another interesting article found from DesktopLinux. In the article:

The free Linux Picasa download will include a runtime version of CodeWeavers's modified Wine, so that users can simply download the package from Google and run it on their Linux system. Users will not need to download and install Wine, or to purchase CodeWeavers's commercial version of Wine, CrossOver Office.

New CMS for FedoraNEWS.ORG

In case you haven't noticed, we just rolled out a new CMS for front interface. Here is the announcement earlier this week:

I'm happy to announce that we're launching a new CMS (Content Management System) for FedoraNEWS.ORG based on your feedback.

It is based on Drupal and it has so many new features our readers requested including:

  • Self-registration to submit story
  • RSS Feeds for Stories
  • Calendars for Fedora Events
  • News Aggregator for Fedora Updates and Fedora People
  • Blogging for Registered Users
  • and many more.

Announcing Fedora Core 5 Test 3

Jesse Keating announces in the list:

The Fedora Project announces the third release of the Fedora Core 5 development cycle, available for the i386, x86_64, and PPC/PPC64 architectures. Beware that Test releases are recommended only for Linux experts/enthusiasts or for technology evaluation, as many parts are likely to be broken and the rate of change is rapid.

Notable Features of FC5 Test 3:

  • Xen, now with x86_64!
  • Package selection within the installer has been reenabled
  • Rebuilt again on later gcc4.1 snapshot for performance and security
  • Hibernate should be functional on a wide variety of hardware again (use pm-hibernate to test)
  • PPC Install CDs are bootable once again
  • Unified SRPM set instead of one per arch
  • Lots of bugfixes from Test 2 release testing
  • 1600+ Extras packages conveniently available via yum

Latest version of release notes are available from here.

Please see this page for an updated list of important notes for FC5test3 in order to avoid common problems and troubleshoot problems that you may see.

He also notes in his blog:

The biggest thing for me was the new layout of the distribution. No more arch specific sources. Of course, given that this is a test release, something is supposed to be wrong, and I did fulfill that. The source ISOs didn't contain any source RPMS. Whoops.

Attention: Proprietary video driver users

Warren Togami points out in his email an important message by Mike A. Harris on devel-list:

There have been a number of bugs reported in Red Hat bugzilla against X which have recently been tracked down to 3rd party video drivers being the culprit behind the problem the user was experienced. In many of the cases however, it wasn't obvious that the 3rd party drivers were at fault because the user was actually using the Red Hat supplied drivers, and not using the 3rd party driver that they had previously installed.

...

Both ATI and Nvidia's proprietary video driver installation utilities replace the Red Hat supplied libGL library with their own libGL. Nvidia's driver installs a replacement libglx.a X server module, removing the Red Hat supplied X.Org module in the process. ATI's driver may or may not replace libglx.a with it's own, I haven't checked (but if someone could confirm that, I'd appreciate knowing for certain).

FUDCon Delhi 2006 Report

Rahul Sundaram reports in his participation and experience in FUDCon Delhi 2006 as Fedora Ambassador India. In his report:

FUDCon Delhi 2006 was organized as part of LinuxAsia in Feb 9th 2006. Though it is supposedly a business focused events it has been overwhelmed by students and other developers interested in all sorts of things. Foss.in still seems to do a better focusing on developers and the community if thats where your interests are.

...

The good thing in Fedora is that we get to do it every six months or so and every new release gets a lots of attention in the form of downloads, new users, negative criticisms and praise. Helping the community involved in a more open fashion and communicating both within the project and to the interested users and everyone out there is what we need and what are going to continue doing.

FOSDEM 2006 Report

Thomas Canniot also reports his participation and experience in FOSDEM 2006 as Fedora Ambassador France. In his report:

FOSDEM was held the 25 and 26th of February in Brussels (in Belgium). Even if it is a developer event, many users were there as well asking many questions about free software in general. Photos of the booth and the event in general are available from: http://mrtomlinux.multiply.com/photos/album/5

Fedora Booth is shown in the 9 first photos.

More photos about FOSDEM 2006 (no Fedora booth in them): http://flickr.com/groups/fosdem

On a related note, FOSDEM released FOSDEM 2006 Interviews with various projects.

Nrpms.net ReadMe

According to Nrpms.net ReadMe:

Due to recent and historical changes in Fedora, nrpms.net will not be providing Gnome & Mono rpms for Fedora Core 5 and onwards.

This change has been brought forward by the recent decision of Fedora to include the Mono stack in the next release, and the packagers' desire to further stem the duplication of effort that occurs on nrpms.net; as well as the further synchronisation of the Gnome and Fedora release cycles and the political changes that have happened in Fedora.

As such, the nrpms team will focus on providing packages into Core and Extras directly and the use of nrpms.net rpm packages for all Fedora Core versions will be deprecated once FC5 is released.

Review: Fedora Core 5 Benchmarks

Phoronix.com released a review, Fedora Core 5 Benchmarks. In the review:

Since the inception of the Fedora Core Project, thanks in part to Red Hat, Fedora has been largely leading the way for other distributions to be based upon it as well as setting the bar for future Linux distributions.

...

One of the areas improved with Fedora Core 5 thanks to GNOME v2.13/2.14 is speed improvements throughout the desktop. The font rendering has been improved as well as a new memory allocater dubbed GSlice in GNOME v2.14, which is also scheduled for a release on March 15.

Red Hat offers Linux eye candy alternative

CNET News released an article - Red Hat offers Linux eye candy alternative. In the article:

The next version of Red Hat's Fedora Linux will include software to give the operating system some of the eye candy of a rival Novell project-- but it will use a less intrusive mechanism, advocates say.

Novell's project is called Xgl, and Red Hat's alternative is AIGLX, short for Accelerated Indirect GL X. X refers to the Xorg software that handles graphics in most Unix and Linux computers, and GL to the OpenGL standard for 3D graphics.

BTW, It's Fedora Core from Fedora Project, not Fedora Linux from Red Hat. See Fedora Project FAQ.

Banshee: Among Linux music players...

Linux.com released an article - Among Linux music players, Banshee really wails. In the article:

Over the last few years, the number of Linux music players has mushroomed, providing a variety of applications to suit different people. I've tried several Linux music players since I started using the operating system, but none of them were perfect for my requirements. I recently tried out an increasingly popular music player, Banshee, and have found a new personal favourite.

On a related note, Christopher Aillon mentioned iPod with Banshee in his blog.

LUKS: There is no security on this earth...

David Zeuthen demonstrates LUKS which is a hard disk encryption tool for Linux in his blog. According to his blog:

I've been hacking on and off with W. Michael Petullo on integrating LUKS into the GNOME desktop via HAL and patches are now upstream.. I think it rocks.

...

Hopefully we can get these bits into FC5; the patches themselves are pretty simple but you also need HAL and gnome-mount from CVS. I'll do releases of the latter two later this week.

Announcing fedora-security-list

Josh Bressers announces in fedora-security-list:

There has been a fair amount of talk regarding how to handle security updates in Fedora Extras. Current handling of these updates is up to the package maintainer. The fedora-security-list has been created for just such discussions, with the hope of the community to devise a solution to deal with Extras security issues.

To subscribe, please visit fedora-security-list.

Running OLPC within VMWare Player

Daniel Berrange points out in his blog:

Those of you running on Windows, or those for whom QEMU is too slow, might like to try out running the OLPC firmware images within VMWare Player. There's two steps required to try this out, converting the disk image to VMWare format, and creating a machine configuration file.

Updated QEMU-Admin tool with network bridging

Daniel Berrange also points out in his blog:

I quietly pushed out an update to the QEMU admin tool (being used for the OLPC SDK) which allows QEMU virtual machines to be connected up to the host network stack.

...

For further info on setting up the network bridge, I've written a short set of instructions.

Accelerated X flame wars!-Maybe not

According to freesoftwaremagazine.com:

Going back to the XGL vs AIGLX confrontation, the news is there really isn't one. Both complement each other and help each other; and not just in the extensive code sharing the developers are involved in. They share far more similarities than there are differences. XGL is easier to implement for hardware vendors who want to exercise minimal development effort in GNU/Linux solutions, and AIGLX is good for those who wish to take the desktop experience to new heights.

I am looking forward to witnessing GNU/Linux being taken to new places by both projects.

XGL To Adopt AIGLX Changes

According to osnews.com:

The cooperation between the XGL and AIGLX projects to bring better interfaces for the Linux desktop continues as David Reveman (Novell) of XGL has agreed to adopt many changes from the AIGLX project sent in by Kristian Hogsberg (Red Hat).

Rocky Mountain high for open source

According to news.com:

News.com: Do you use commercial or community Linux distributions?

Morrison: We use a blend of the two. We run systems such as our backup applications on Fedora (Red Hat's community distribution) but decided to buy Red Hat Enterprise for our mission-critical server. Red Hat Enterprise is not an inexpensive product, but we can call the company when we want to and get immediate answers. Although, when we have problems with our less mission-critical servers, it's amazing how quickly we can find an answer by searching on the Internet.

Fedora Core 4 Updates

From February 13 - March 5, Fedora Project released 27 Fedora Core 4 Updates including 3 Security Advisories.

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