Gentoo Weekly Newsletter 26 June 2006

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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter 26 June 2006

Lars Weiler
Gentoo Weekly Newsletter
This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 26 June 2006.

1. Gentoo news

Release testers wanted

The Gentoo Release Engineering[1] project is looking for experienced users
and developers to assist with the testing of the upcoming 2006.1 release.
They are looking to have a wide array of hardware to test. All applicants
will need to be available for testing, as well as have access to broadband
Internet access, and a CD/DVD burner, since there will be a large volume
of ISO images to test and new images will be released quite often.
Interested parties should contact Roger Miliker[2] with the following

 2. mailto:[hidden email]

 * CPU type (i686, PPC, AMD64, etc.)
 * Amount of system memory
 * Type of disks (IDE, SCSI, SATA, etc.)
 * Type of optical reader (IDE, SCSI, SATA, etc.)
 * Type of video card (for AMD64/x86 only)
 * Type of optical recorder (CD, DVD, etc.)

They will select users whose hardware will give them the greatest coverage
of testing capabilities, as well as users with a strong background in
providing good information to developers for resolving issues.

Gentoo x86 arch testers and developers wanted

The x86 architecture team is looking for more ambitious members of the
community who would like to help out by joining the team as Arch Testers.
If you would like to give back to Gentoo, but don't know how, then this
may be a good way for you to start. You would be helping by testing
applications to be marked stable and assisting in general x86-specific
bugs. Please take a look at the x86 AT documentation[3], and if you have
questions about anything, please either email Homer Parker[4] or Joshua
Jackson[5]. They are also looking for more developers to join the team and
help out in resolving bug reports, keywording requests, and security bugs.
Interested developers need only have a stable system or chroot, and be
willing to work on bugs assigned to the x86 team. Please send an email to
the x86 team[6] alias, if you are interested in helping out.

 4. [hidden email]
 5. [hidden email]
 6. [hidden email]

Important ALSA information

Diego "Flameeyes" Pettenò has updated the ALSA packages to 1.0.12rc1 for
compatibility with kernel 2.6.17's release. There have been some changes
to the packages. The media-plugins/alsa-jack package has been deprecated
and its functionality has been added to the media-plugins/alsa-plugins
package. PowerPC users will be interested to know that snd-aoa has been
merged into media-sound/alsa-driver for 1.0.12rc1, which is currently in
package.mask, is in need of testing by users with the appropriate hardware
before it can be unmasked.


The Java team pleased to announce that the new Java system has finally hit
the tree. It's currently in package.mask, but the Java team expects to
unmask it in the next few days.

To begin using it, you will need to add the appropriate entries to
/etc/portage/package.unmask, and then follow the upgrade guide[7].


| Code Listing 1.1:                                                       |
|/etc/portage/package.unmask                                              |
|                                                                         |
|# Masked for testing changes to Java                                     |
|>=dev-java/java-config-1.3                                               |
|dev-java/java-config-wrapper                                             |
|>dev-java/javatoolkit-0.1.0                                              |
|>=dev-java/ant-core-1.6.5-r13                                            |
|>=dev-java/ant-tasks-1.6.5-r2                                            |
|>=dev-java/jikes-1.22-r12                                                |
|>=dev-java/eclipse-ecj-3.1-r13                                           |
|=dev-java/blackdown-jdk-1.3.1-r23                                        |
|=dev-java/blackdown-jdk-1.4.1-r12                                        |
|=dev-java/blackdown-jdk-                                     |
|=dev-java/blackdown-jre-1.3.1-r20                                        |
|=dev-java/blackdown-jre-1.4.1-r12                                        |
|=dev-java/blackdown-jre-                                     |
|=dev-java/ibm-jdk-bin-                                       |
|=dev-java/ibm-jdk-bin-1.5.0-r11                                          |
|=dev-java/ibm-jre-bin-                                           |
|=dev-java/jrockit-jdk-bin-                                       |
|=dev-java/jrockit-jdk-bin-                                       |
|=dev-java/kaffe-1.1.7                                                    |
|=dev-java/sun-jdk-                                               |
|=dev-java/sun-jdk-                                               |
|=dev-java/sun-jre-bin-                                           |
|=dev-java/sun-jre-bin-                                           |
|                                                                         |

For those not familar with that this means, here are some highlights:

 * Ability to switch the current VM on the fly
 * Changes to the user and system VM take effect immediately, and no
longer are tied to the shell environment, which means you no longer have
to run env-update followed by source /etc/profile when you switch the
system VM
 * Now has the concept of a "build VM", which is used to emerge packages,
and is configured independently of the system VM
 * For each version of Java, ie 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, etc, the build VM can be
configured as to which vendor and version of a VM to use
 * The VM at emerge time will be switched on the fly according to its
configuration, as well as the dependency of the package. For example, some
packages won't compile with 1.5. In these cases, a 1.4 VM will be used at
build time
 * Java packages which build with ant will have their build.xml rewritten
at build time in order to ensure that the correct version of Java bytecode
is compiled
 * Will be able to unmask Java 1.5 soon and be able to handle Java 1.6
when it comes out this fall

2. Heard in the community


Larry the Cow - Lame?

Some forum users have expressed a dislike of Larry. They feel that he has
no purpose, is not relevant to Gentoo and is 'lame'. Others, however, seem
to love the quirkiness of our Cow. Is Larry a useful mascot, a valuable
part of Gentoo's history, or just an archaic character with no purpose?

 * The cow thing is LAME[8]

Gentoo/Alpha FAQ updated

The Gentoo/Alpha FAQ has been updated with a patch by Thomas Cort and now
includes additional answers about hardware maintenance, .dotnet support
and the Alpha bootloader aboot.

 *  Gentoo/Alpha FAQ updated[9]

grep vs bash regex

Roy Marples did some tests replacing grep with internal bash functions and
the results were impressive, with the internal bash functions being faster. His
testing happened only on small files and assumes that grep may perform
better on larger files as grep returns once a match is found whereas bash
has to read the entire file.

 * grep vs bash regex[10]

3. Gentoo in the press
====================== (22 June 2006)

Author Hans Kwint has written an interesting article on his usage of
Gentoo Linux on the desktop. Entitled A Gentoo diary: Intro"[11], it is
the first in a series of articles on Gentoo usage in daily life.


Linux Link Tech Show (21 June 2006)

The Linux Link Tech Show has a pretty long interview with four Gentoo
developers, Mike Frysinger[12], Michael Cummings[13], Grant Goodyear[14],
and Seemant Kulleen[15]. It can be downloaded in either OGG Vorbis[16] or
MP3[17] format. The interview starts at about 24 1/2 minutes.

 12. [hidden email]
 13. [hidden email]
 14. [hidden email]
 15. [hidden email]

AnandTech (7 June 2006)

AnandTech recently did a  shoot-out[18] of several different processors,
including the Sun UltraSparc T1. For the article, they chose Gentoo Linux
as the platform for the machines. Check out the article to see how the new
Sun CPU fares against Intel's Wood crest and AMD's Opteron.


4. Tips and Tricks

Play some games: ScummVM

While most of today's games won't run on Linux systems easily, there is
still a wealth of options in yesterday's catalog that work great with an
emulator. If you can hunt down an original copy of the games, ScummVM[19]
will run some classic point-and-click adventure games such as "Full
Throttle", "Day of the Tentacle" and "The Secret of Monkey Island."


The project first started out as a way to run old games that used
LucasArt's SCUMM game engine, but now supports other games as well. See
the  compatability list[20] for all the games it can run.


If you're not up to the task of hunting down computer games from the 1980s
though, you're still in luck. One such game has been released for free
distribution -- Flight of the Amazon Queen, and it's available in portage.

To get up and running, first emerge scummvm on your system, which is
already been marked stable on four architectures -- amd64, ppc, sparc, and
x86. ScummVM itself runs on many other platforms: Microsoft Windows, Mac
OS X, PocketPC, PalmOS, OS/2 and more. Depending on your architecture,
Flight of the Amazon Queen might be marked testing, so adjust your
package.keywords file as necessary.

| Code Listing 4.1:                                                       |
|Installing queen                                                         |
|                                                                         |
|# emerge scummvm -va                                                     |
|# echo "games-rpg/queen" >> /etc/portage/package.keywords"               |
|# emerge queen                                                           |
|                                                                         |

After that, add your user to the 'games' group if you haven't already.

| Code Listing 4.2:                                                       |
|Adding user to games group                                               |
|                                                                         |
|# groups larry                                                           |
|# gpasswd -a larry games                                                 |
|                                                                         |

If you are adding your user to the group, remember that you must log out
and back in before the changes will take effect. Fire up scummvm, and it
will open a graphical window where you can add your games. By default,
FOTAQ won't be displayed in the list, but you can add it by clicking 'Add
Game'. The directory with game data is /usr/share/games/queen. Once you
navigate to that directory, simply click the 'Choose' button. After that,
you should be good to go! You can also simply run 'queen' to start the
game directly.

5. Gentoo developer moves


The following developers recently left the Gentoo project:

 * none this week


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project:

 * Raphael Marichez (Falco) Security


The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo project:

 * none this week

6. Gentoo security

PAM-MySQL: Multiple vulnerabilities

Vulnerabilities in PAM-MySQL can lead to a Denial of Service, making it
impossible to log into a machine.

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


Sendmail: Denial of Service

Faulty multipart MIME messages can cause forked Sendmail processes to

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


Typespeed: Remote execution of arbitrary code

A buffer overflow in the network code of Typespeed can lead to the
execution of arbitrary code.

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


Mozilla Thunderbird: Multiple vulnerabilities

Several vulnerabilities in Mozilla Thunderbird allow cross site scripting,
JavaScript privilege escalation and possibly execution of arbitrary code.

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


aRts: Privilege escalation

The artswrapper part of aRts allows local users to execute arbitrary code
with elevated privileges.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[25]


KDM: Symlink vulnerability

KDM is vulnerable to a symlink vulnerability that can lead to disclosure
of information.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[26]


wv2: Integer overflow

An integer overflow could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[27]


7. Bugzilla


 * Statistics
 * Closed bug ranking
 * New bug rankings


The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ([28]) to record and
track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the
development team. Between 18 June 2006 and 25 June 2006, activity on the
site has resulted in:


 * 759 new bugs during this period
 * 364 bugs closed or resolved during this period
 * 24 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 10343 currently open bugs: 53 are labeled 'blocker', 140 are
labeled 'critical', and 544 are labeled 'major'.

Closed bug rankings

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

 * Gentoo Games[29], with 22 closed bugs[30]
 * Gentoo's Team for Core System packages[31], with 22 closed bugs[32]
 * Gentoo Security[33], with 18 closed bugs[34]
 * Portage Utilities Team[35], with 14 closed bugs[36]
 * media-video herd[37], with 14 closed bugs[38]
 * Gentoo Genkernel Maintainers[39], with 12 closed bugs[40]
 * Gentoo X-windows packagers[41], with 9 closed bugs[42]
 * Default Assignee for Orphaned Packages[43], with 9 closed bugs[44]
 29. [hidden email]
 31. [hidden email]
 33. [hidden email]
 35. [hidden email]
 37. [hidden email]
 39. [hidden email]
 41. [hidden email]
 43. [hidden email]

New bug rankings

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

 * Default Assignee for New Packages[45], with 37 new bugs[46]
 * Gentoo TreeCleaner Project[47], with 14 new bugs[48]
 * X11 External Driver Maintainers[49], with 9 new bugs[50]
 * Gentoo Sound Team[51], with 9 new bugs[52]
 * Gentoo Toolchain Maintainers[53], with 8 new bugs[54]
 * Default Assignee for Orphaned Packages[55], with 8 new bugs[56]
 * Java team[57], with 7 new bugs[58]
 * Gentoo Games[59], with 7 new bugs[60]
 45. [hidden email]
 47. [hidden email]
 49. [hidden email]
 51. [hidden email]
 53. [hidden email]
 55. [hidden email]
 57. [hidden email]
 59. [hidden email]

8. GWN feedback

Please send us your feedback[61] and help make the GWN better.

 61. [hidden email]

9. GWN subscription information

To subscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank e-mail to
[hidden email].

To unsubscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank e-mail to
[hidden email] from the e-mail 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]
 * Korean[67]
 * Japanese[68]
 * Italian[69]
 * Polish[70]
 * Portuguese (Brazil)[71]
 * Portuguese (Portugal)[72]
 * Russian[73]
 * Spanish[74]
 * Turkish[75]

Ulrich Plate <[hidden email]> - Editor
Chris Gianelloni <[hidden email]> - Author
Tobias Scherbaum <[hidden email]> - Author
Mark Kowarsky <[hidden email]> - Author
Steve Dibb <[hidden email]> - Author
Josh Nichols <[hidden email]> - Author

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