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Fedora News Updates #13

by Colin Charles

For the week of: Friday, June 11 2004

Available at: http://fedoranews.org/colin/fnu/issue13.shtml

Welcome to issue number thirteen of the Fedora News Updates. Yes, we're on the three week schedule now (and moved to Friday, as staying up late till Saturday morning works out a lot better for me), so this is probably getting more jam packed with news. Here's a call to contributors - if you read this regularly and use it as a resource (and from stats, I know you read this!), if you think somethings newsworthy, consider finding the appropriate post in the archives, and send me the URL - always reachable at colin@fedoranews.org. fedora-list can give me up to 70 posts an hour, and that means I go thru a ridiculous sum of e-mail at any given time. Thanks.

'Wombat' has been released

The first Fedora Core 2 based tree of AURORA Sparc Linux is now available, Spot announced. It's not "installable" as in there are no ISO images, but its useful for a baseline upgrade.

Having the best of both Cores

So you want to dual-boot Fedora Core 1 and Fedora Core 2, so that they run on the same disk? Alexander mentions that performing an install rather than an upgrade will solve this for you, and Jim Cornette has a step-by-step guide, to get this done.

FedoraTracker and the perfect yum.conf

Brad Smith has updated the Fedora Tracker: http://www.fedoratracker.org/. This brings the many apt/yum repositories together, and has an excellent search tool. If you know of a repository out there that isn't listed, the administrators are welcome to e-mail Brad. Its ability to generate apt/yum config files is useful for newbies, and Rory Gleeson started a thread on the perfect yum.conf file.

However, when mixing repositories and using whatever is available out there, be warned! Alexander Dalloz points out that you should fine-tune your repository list, while Michael Schwendt tells us a bit about package conflicts (and how install refusals occur). An example of this is the recent Firefox/Mozilla confusion, which is a result of repository mixing.

Fedora Legacy updates

LiveCD with Fedora Core 2

Dirk Westfal has released version 1.3 of the Basilisk workstation Live CD, and its now available for testing. The website (http://www.linux4all.de/livecd/basilisk/1.3) has the announcement, as well as how its download-able and so on. This is based on Fedora Core 2, and includes a 2.6 kernel (with a 2.4 fallback), and testing is required (as when Dirk tested, it worked on 15/20 systems). Happy testing!

RULE Project is back again

Marco Fioretti has announced that the RULE Project has revamped its website, and while the installer isn't ready for FC2 yet, the goals of the project are hopefully a lot clearer. The RULE Project can be reached at http://www.rule-project.org/.

On a similar issue, the "minimal install" question with regards to Fedora always pops up. Jef Spaleta puts it rather nicely, mentioning that its an itch for someone to scratch, and points out what needs to be done, while David Hollis has some interesting pointers gained through experience.

Performance tuning Fedora II

It's all about performance these days, and there have been several discussions with regards to this, in addition to the last time we covered it. Somehow, I think this topic is going to be touched on rather regularly in the future as well.

Vladimir wanted to know why OProfile was not working in terms of profiling the kernel. Will Cohen mentions that its because the debug information (symbols) get stripped out, as this reduces the size of the RPMS. However, getting the debuginfo packages, help.

A recent news article took a stab at gnome-terminal, stating its performance was lacking; ironically, work was being done on profiling the entire system, and Will Cohen goes thru relevant data to measure the performance of desktop utilities (in this case, xterm). Using /usr/bin/time rather than the shell built-in time, allows information about page faults to show itself. A little script, cattest, that might be useful for others to play around with. Further information, to be more gnome-terminal specific, as well as a little modification to the test methodology.

Desktop application start-up indicators was a thread started by Will on measuring the startup time for various desktop applications. Havoc links to some code for profiling the application directly, while Mark points to a post on the GNOME lists. As always, Will then posts a summary of his findings.

Thinking of blaming applications that cause desktop RAM usage to increase (memory profiling)? The use of pmap is mentioned, and Soeren explains his methodology.

While not directly performance related, giving users a good out-of-the-box experience is very important, so Havoc Pennington managed to hash out some of his thoughts. And the significance placed on improving end-user experience is getting to a high standard (where the Linux desktop is very usable) - Seth Nickell writes about improving Abby's experience.

Round-up of some usual/common FC2 issues

Some Fedora documentation

Feel like running a 2.4 line of kernels on Fedora Core 2? Erik Sjölund shows you how to do it: http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2004-June/msg01118.html. These are his experiences, and no one else has responded to the thread.

Chua Wen Kiat has a Fedora Core 2 Guide for Newbies located at http://www.kitech.com.my/fedoraguide/. It's very centered around package listings (?), and having a well-configured yum configuration will prove that this isn't too useful.

The Fedora Core 3 outlook

Now's the time to think about Fedora Core 3... Warren Togami suggests that now is a good time to go thru Rawhide and upgrade relevant packages - provided you've tested them, its probably a good time to request if there's a newer upstream version. Keep in mind that if an upstream developer is interested in packaging and dealing with bug reports, newer package inclusions will be much easier - so participation is key.

Ankit Malik started a Fedora Core 3 Wishlist thread, which grew relatively large. Jason Dravet had a few more requests. Bryan Smith came up with a summary discussing "Core" changes, at http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2004-June/msg00295.html.

Dave Jones mentions that there should not be any major changes in the FC3 kernel, and things will be kept as close to mainline as possible. Currently, there are only about fourty odd patches, if not lower. It's also become clear that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 will be based on Fedora Core 3 - http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2004-May/msg08081.html.

Interesting statistics

Scot Harris has posted mailing list (fedora-list) statistics for the months of March 2004, April 2004, and May 2004. Keep them coming!

Gareth Russell has also announced that FedoraForum.org has over 3,500 registered members.


anaconda moved to anonymous CVS

Jeremy Katz has moved anaconda to public CVS; if you do a current checkout, you'll see what's to be in FC3's anaconda. More at http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2004-May/msg00906.html.


Jack Aboutboul has posted how to solve RealPlayer issues, which will solve many users' multimedia woes: http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2004-May/msg04929.html.

Flash Plugin

The Macromedia Flash plugin has been updated to version 7, and the usual repository has it: http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2004-May/msg07798.html.


Thinking of using that iPod with a good GUI tool? Casper Pedersen has written an article about using GtkPod. There is also an RPM package available.


Having issues configuring cyrus-imapd? Florin Andrei found a solution (and made a submission for a news bit! Thanks) and its available at http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2004-June/msg02049.html. Reading the rest of the thread is handy as well, and Florin welcomes responses.

Terminal services prototype

Caolan and Mark have been working on a VNC terminal services prototype, and if it meets your needs, do give it a spin. More information at http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-desktop-list/2004-June/msg00007.html.

Thank you for reading this issue of Fedora News Updates. Think there's some news snippet you'd like to contribute to Fedora News Updates? Send e-mail to colin@fedoranews.org.

This issue of Fedora News Updates brought to you by Colin Charles.