Fedora News Updates #7
by Colin Charles
For the week of: Thursday, March 04 2004
Available at: http://fedoranews.org/colin/fnu/issue7.shtml
Welcome to the seventh issue of Fedora News Updates, the weekly (or
bi-weekly) newsletter for the Fedora community. The issue has taken on
a two-week release cycle, but this will probably change in due course
(when connectivity issues disappear).
Fedora Core 2 test2 slips
The release schedule
for Fedora Core 2 is slipping a wee bit. This has
to do further with SELinux integration as it needs as much exposure as
possible. SELinux will be in enforcing mode in test2! The current
projection is that a development freeze will be on March 12, while it
will only be available come March 22.
The Jargon Buster
It's on the Web. Reading the lists, maybe browsing some of the websites
(or even reading this!) might introduce some new jargon that confuses
people not directly involved with The Fedora Project. This is what the Jargon Buster
is for. A big thanks to Dave Pawson and Tammy Fox for this.
In addition to this, the docs project (headed by Tammy Fox) has had a
few updates: the beginnings of a FAQ for
the Docs Project
, and an update to the current Documentation
. There is also a list
of current volunteers and topics
Next-generation input method
The Fedora Project will be adopting a revolutionary new input method
system in Fedora Core 2. In particular, we would greatly encourage East
Asian language users to try out the Intranet/Internet Input Method
Framework (IIIMF). IIIMF works differently by loading Language Engines
(LE) dynamically at runtime as requested by clients. For LEs are
- iiimf-le-inpinyin for Simplified Chinese (zh_CN.UTF-8)
- iiimf-le-xcin for Traditional Chinese (zh_TW.UTF-8)
- iiimf-le-canna for Japanese (ja_JP.UTF-8)
- iiimf-le-hangul for Korean (ko_KR.UTF-8)
Online resources include the full invitation letter
, and the testing
. If you need further information on IIIMF, the OpenI18n
site has a rather useful article
Leon Ho points that yum repositories are now available at http://iiimf.fedora.us/
If you're interested in the i18n testing with Fedora, the i18n project page
is a good resource. For regular chat the #fedora-i18n channel on
Freenode is also available. Thanks to Lawrence Lim & Jens Petersen
for submitting this news item.
Fedora on lower-end machines
This is always an issue - the specifications for a modern desktop will
tax the hardware more. However, people still have lower-end hardware
lying around; Fedora can be optimized to work for older/lower-end
machines. David Norris did some
with regards to how much RAM is required (the minimum) to
get anaconda, the Fedora installer, working.
uses icewm as a
window manager (http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2004-February/msg03791.html
There are many light-weight window managers, like twm, and even
WindowMaker, so low-end machines are still usable! Rodolfo Paiz
continues with his "fedora-minimal"
From the Fedora Legacy team
Jesse Keating is encouraging those using the Fedora Legacy project to
use the mirrors at http://www.fedoralegacy.org/download/fedoralegacy-mirrors.php
He clocked 1.1TB of bandwidth, and its affecting his other customers'.
An introduction to Linux in ten commands
While this isn't exactly Fedora-specific, for newbies to the command
line, the "Amazing powers of observation" has posted a rather useful
MiniLesson available at http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2004-February/msg04343.html
Mitch Wiedemann has a little guide that shows us how to get good OCR
results under Fedora. Read more at http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2004-February/msg04697.html
Pawel Szopinski has a little guide on how to use the HP Photosmart 120
on Fedora Core 1 at http://thehostedbox.com/~pawel/hpps120_on_fc.html
David Norris makes a
to the guide.
So, are there interesting easter eggs out there with Fedora? Matt
wanted to know, and Keith Robertson pointed out an
. Any more?
Eric Raymond wants Aunt Tillie to have
(via Apple's zeroconf).
There are mixed reactions on the
list, while some mentioned possible patent issues. Tim Waugh has read
some of ESR's complaints, and wants to get working
on system-config-printer immediately
Elsewhere, a configuration tool for the vsftpd server is in the works,
and a mock-up is available at http://www.tuxwantsgames.org/sysfc1/index.html
Fedora Core 2 test1 notes
Keeping in mind this is a test release, and these notes are for
testers, and not end-users of the general Fedora Core 1 product. The fedora-test-list
has been brimming with questions and answers, so like always, look into
- Fedora Core 2 test1 already has XFS enabled, just like the
upstream 2.6 branch of kernels.
- Want to help with SELinux? Russell Coker has mentioned the
#selinux IRC channel on the Freenode IRC network. where there is almost
one Red Hat employee present 24/7, while there are other knowledgeable
people with general SELinux knowledge, on other distributions. This is
for quick interaction, rather than 100K long AVC messages of "what went
wrong", where e-mail would be a lot better. Sopwith came up with a
guide, while there are some useful
links that Stephen Smalley points to.
- Arguing that SELinux code should be disabled because it was
developed by the NSA and can have hidden items, is more of an urban
legend rather than fact. SELinux is in Kernel 2.6, and it has been
scrutinized along the way - so stop
- Rick Johnson e-mailed to state that a couple more FC2 test1
issues niggle users: PCMCIA slots don't work unless people manually
load yenta_socket, and then restart pcmcia (modprobe yenta_socket
then service pcmcia restart - this works till the next
reboot); and for
laptop users, there's an error with the clock-speed during start-up -
fixes for this are in the archives of fedora-test-list.
- Keep in mind that packages in Rawhide are not GPG-signed, so apt
(and others) will complain. Running it with the "-o
rpm::gpg-check=false" option will temporarily disable the action of
wanting GPG signed packages.
- ide-scsi has been disabled in the 2.6 line, so if your CD burner
is an IDE device, specifying cdrecord with options such as
"--dev=/dev/hdc" for example would be necessary (otherwise, edit the
cdrecord.conf file). Arjan's 2.6 notes
come in quite handy.
If you're testing Core 2 test1, and think something was missed, please
do not hesitate to e-mail me
In Issue #6
, we talked about hard disk
surface checks. Craig Ringer decided to bring us to the attention of smartmontools
. These tools
allow you to use SMART for disk diagnostics, and work wonderfully on
modern disk drives. He writes:
Using SMART you can do things like
tell your disk to perform self-tests,
track the rate at which your disk remaps bad sectors, monitor your
temperature, and examine a large number of other vital statistics.
can also set smartd to periodically ask your disk whether it thinks
might fail soon - and send an email alert if it ever reports it's
to be in a pre-fail state.
smartmontools works on IDE/ATA/SATA disks, SCSI disks, and even some
tape drives. I personally use it to monitor SATA disks attached via
3ware SATA RAID controller with a SCSI-layer driver - it's pretty
A thought on using Bonnie++ to thrash the disk has also been mentioned.
A major update to apt has been made in fedora.us stable - reading Panu
are significantly important.
While Fedora doesn't come with elm as a mail reader (as mutt is
preferred), Bill Pemberton has uploaded RPMs, and they're available for
Fedora Core 1 at ftp://ftp.virginia.edu/pub/elm/RPMS
Debian users will be familiar with this, as it allows the building of
ISOs on the fly. Charles Anderson points us to http://bugzilla.fedora.us/show_bug.cgi?id=1252
where Jigdo can be QA'ed.
A wealth of information is available at http://www.tech-edv.co.at/lunix/UTILlinks.html
while Gerardo recommends VariCAD
Finally Doug Lane points us to a larger list of software in the CAD
market at http://www.upfrontezine.com/Linux/?CADINFONETreferral
Wanting to run Quake on Fedora Core? Ben Stringer recommends sdlquake,
while Marc Deslauriers recommends QuakeForge
(but encourages the CVS version, otherwise saved games will not work),
and Donald Correll points that Quake 3 was ported by Loki Software, and
trying sites like eBay might render you lucky.
FreeS/WAN (IPsec) support for 2.4 kernels
Dag has another kernel-module package available for FreeS/WAN support,
with more information at http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2004-February/msg04298.html
RPMs for the Cyrus IMAP daemon are provided by Simon Matter at http://www.invoca.ch/pub/packages/cyrus-imapd/
The Globe Trotter points us to R
which is similar to Splus
Know of other useful packages?
Thank you for reading this issue
of Fedora News Updates. Think there's some news snippet you'd like to
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This issue of Fedora News Updates brought to you by Colin Charles