News and Editorials2008.0 release marked its first since more than a year ago, despite its attempts to release twice a year. Fortunately, Gentoo releases don't mean much because it's already a live distribution rather than a snapshot in time with occasional updates. A release provides a new kernel with the accompanying driver support, occasionally a flashy new bootsplash, and the usual bugfixes to the GUI installer, which is not universally loved. But what happened to make this release come so long after the last one? First, 2007.1 was canceled, largely because so many security vulnerabilities came out that it was impossible to keep up with release rebuilds. 2008.0 was scheduled to come out in March, so it slipped 4 months.
Tobias Klausmann described the problems well. Here are a couple of them:
People have lives. This is one that bit us this time: life struck at a very bad point (not that the event had been any better post-release). This occupied the time of a dev for a prolonged time. It made painfully obvious that in some spots, stand-in personnel wasn't there.
In addition, Tobias cited three other problems:
The main problem delaying 2008.0 was real life interfering with a critical developer. This is being addressed by creating new processes and backup people who can take over when others aren't around. As for the other problems, it's unclear how to fix them. Suggestions would be appreciated.
The 145 voters approach the highest number ever in a council election—here's how it compares with previous years:
This is the highest turnout since the first year the council existed, showing a significant increase in interest by the developer community in who their leadership was compared to the intervening years. To understand exactly who they voted for, these histograms show how highly each candidate was ranked, in order of result. The left side indicates that a candidate was highly ranked, and the right side shows that a candidate was poorly ranked.
Of particular interest is the position of "astinus," a developer who retired during the election but was still voted above three other people. Since these three people all favor ignorance of any social issues from someone with good technical contributions, this really shows how strongly the Gentoo development community supports the the creation of a friendlier environment.
Notably, of the previous council, every single one of the five members who ran for the new council was re-elected. This shows that the community didn't care about the mistakes that resulted in the new election. It also shows that the community supported the existing council's actions and believed in what its members were saying about the need for social change within Gentoo.
With its new release and its accompanying publicity, Gentoo has renewed interest from many users and has shown that it remains a distribution under active development. Having a new council in place for the next year puts Gentoo in position to rebuild its development community and keep development thriving so the publicity and new users gained by the release don't fade away.
New ReleasesLinux-libre, a project to make a branch of the Linux kernel with non-free software removed, has flourished. This is the first "major" release of BLAG to include this kernel by default. Upstream (read: Linus) is now making moves to make it easier so everyone can have a truly free kernel. They're not there yet, but they are advancing and will hopefully make this separate kernel unnecessary real-soon-now. But until they do, we'll have linux-libre." This alpha introduces several significant changes, most obviously the inclusion of KDE 4 - 4.1 beta 2, specifically - as the default version of KDE, and the latest development version of GNOME, 2.23.4. The kernel has also been updated to release 2.6.26rc7." Alpha 2 includes a number of software updates that are ready for large-scale testing. Please refer to http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/intrepid/alpha2 for information on changes in Ubuntu." This release is also available in Kubuntu, Ubuntu Education Edition, and Xubuntu flavors.
Debian GNU/LinuxEmdebian has been developing nicely over the last few months and the time has come to produce a general status report because we are close to having a reproducible set of working root filesystems for embedded ARM devices to run Emdebian using prebuilt packages. Kernels and kernel modules need to be arranged separately and the installation method will need to be customised to the particular device at this stage. (I am hoping to build the root filesystem tarball into the Debian Installer at some stage.) Only ARM is supported at this time (ARM as in the current Debian ARM port, not armel)."
FedoraAny Fedora Account System (FAS) account holder who has completed the CLA, and has an addition account (like ambassadors, art, cvs*, fedorabugs, l10n-commits, web, etc.) in the FAS is eligible to vote. Voting is open until Monday, July 21st, 2008 23:59 UTC. Election results will be announced shortly afterward."
SUSE Linux and openSUSEpackage management vulnerabilities which were recently disclosed. "[S]tarting with version 10.3 openSUSE uses a central download redirector that directly serves the meta data. Stale mirrors are therefore detected immediately. To avoid sending clients to mirrors that do not have certain files (yet), the download redirector also continuously monitors it's mirrors. It only redirects to servers that are known to have the file in question."
Ubuntu familyHarvest is a package aimed at improving Ubuntu's packages. "What can I do with Harvest? Harvest helps to identify both bugs that may be easy to address, and other package changes that are not yet bugs, but could improve the package. Please take a look at the available opportunities when updating a package." We are broadly looking at enhancing the awareness and contribution to QA around Ubuntu as well as helping people interested in serious QA work find a common, collaborative, and open environment." See the team wiki page for more information.
Other distributionslooks at the security of CentOS Mirrors. "First, let me explain the CentOS mirror system. CentOS directly controls about 30 mirror servers from which we serve updates via yum and rsync to other public mirrors and to users directly. These mirrors are members of the CentOS.org domain and are totally controlled by the CentOS project. These mirrors can be totally trusted because only CentOS Project personel have login or update access to these machines."
Distribution NewslettersDistroWatch Weekly for July 14, 2008 is out. "It's been a slow distro week, but not completely dead. We've had a few releases, several developmental releases, and a bit of news. We also have a guest writer with us this morning, Maurice Lawles. You might know Maurice from his TechieMoe website and hard-hitting distro reviews. Today he shares some of his thoughts on the KDE 4 situation." Fedora Weekly News for July 12, 2008 looks at the New RPM version in Rawhide, Bugzilla upgrade, Rawhide Orphanarium Purge and much more. Issue 30 of the openSUSE Weekly News has been published. "In this week's issue: * openSUSE Build Service 1.0 Released * Announcing openSUSE Day at LinuxWorld Expo * People of openSUSE: Joe Brockmeier * openSUSE Build Service Trust concept * John Anderson: Get build dependencies with zypper * Michal Zugec: Network Documentation". html format, or download the full color PDF format.
Newsletters and articles of interestsets up a server with openSUSE 11. "This is a detailed description about how to set up an OpenSUSE 11 server that offers all services needed by ISPs and hosters: Apache web server (SSL-capable), Postfix mail server with SMTP-AUTH and TLS, BIND DNS server, Proftpd FTP server, MySQL server, Dovecot POP3/IMAP, Quota, Firewall, etc. This tutorial is written for the 32-bit version of OpenSUSE 11, but should apply to the 64-bit version with very little modifications as well."
Distribution reviewscompares some desktop distributions including Ubuntu 8.04, OpenSuse 11.0, SLED 10 SP2, Fedora 9, and Sabayon 3.4f. "Desktop Linux has come a long way since my first outings back in 1999, and all 5 distros look amazing, all 5 have a choice of i386 or 64 bit variants, which both seem to work pretty well, the strong thing about Linux is its choice of distros, you will find something you like, its just a matter of patience and trying, and level of IT awareness."
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