Systemd Test Day on Tuesday 2010/09/07

September 6, 2010 by

Adam Williamson writes:

It’s test day time again, folks, and this one’s a biggie! You may have read about the brand new initialization system, systemd, written by Lennart Poettering. At the moment, we’re planning to use it as the default initialization system for Fedora 14. Obviously, this is a bold step with a fairly new piece of code.

This week’s Test Day, which will take place on Tuesday 2010/09/07 rather than the more usual Thursday, is on systemd, so it’s a very important one! It will also serve at least two functions: as usual, the testing will help us to improve the code so that if it does go into the final Fedora 14 release it will work as well as possible, but the Fedora steering committee will also be using the results of the Test Day to help inform their final decision as to whether to go ahead with systemd for the Beta and final release, or whether to revert to upstart. So there’s a lot riding on this Test Day. As usual, the Test Day will run in #fedora-test-day on Freenode IRC – see this page if you’re not sure how to use IRC.

As usual, we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible to participate. There’s full testing instructions on the Test Day wiki page, and you can contribute some helpful testing just by running a nightly live image and making sure it boots correctly. Of course, the more testing you can contribute the better, and there are lots of tests documented on the page for those who have the time and the ability to install a copy of Fedora 14 for testing. We also welcome freeform testing of systemd during the Test Day – it will be very helpful for people simply to configure a test Fedora 14 installation with the configuration you’d typically use, and make sure systemd handles starting the system properly.

Lennart and myself will be around as much as we can during the Test Day to help out and follow up on your results. We’re both in European time zones at present. Lennart’s IRC nick is ‘mezcalero’, and I’m adamw. Please do come along and help us test out this important new component – it’s really important that we get as much testing done as possible. Thanks!

Graphics Test Week coming up: April 13th to 15th

April 12, 2010 by

Adam Williamson writes:

As racing has the Monaco GP, tennis has Wimbledon, and soccer has the World Cup, so the Test Day schedule has its crowning event: yes, it’s Graphics Test Week again!

As with Fedora 12, we’re smooshing all the graphics card Test Days into one week to save space on the schedule and make everything feel that much more momentous. So, Tuesday April 13th will be NVIDIA (nouveau) Test Day, Wednesday April 14th will be ATI/AMD (radeon) Test Day, and Thursday April 15th will be Intel graphics Test Day. As always, we need your feedback to know where we’re at for the Fedora 13 cycle and fix as many critical bugs ahead of release as we can. Again as always, it’s not a disaster if you miss the day – you can do the testing before or after the day, and we’ll still be able to use your results; the day is just when you can be sure someone will be around on IRC to help with the testing and discuss the results. And finally, again as always, there’s no need to have an unstable Fedora installation to do the testing: you can use a live CD if you don’t want to install Fedora 13 or Rawhide.

Significant changes to graphics support for Fedora 13 include very experimental 3D support for NVIDIA cards, and improvements to the still-experimental 3D support for recent AMD/ATI cards. Please do come out and help us with the testing this week! You can do all the testing just by following the Wiki instructions, but there will also be QA team members or developers present in #fedora-test-day on Freenode IRC throughout the day to help with the testing and discuss the results (and possibly even fix some of the bugs in real time). If you’re not sure how to use IRC, read this page.

FUDCon North America 2011.

April 5, 2010 by

This blog entry has a double purpose:

  1. To help announce the opening of bids for FUDCon North America 2011 to be held this coming winter.
  2. To describe how this process was adopted, and where to get more information.

The Fedora Project holds a number of global Fedora Users and Developers Conference (FUDCon) events each year. Typically the Community Architecture team’s budget supports one of these large events each Red Hat fiscal quarter (with the fiscal year starting on March 1). This year we have the Latin American event, FUDCon Santiago in Chile, in Q2; the event for EMEA, FUDCon Zurich in Switzerland, in Q3; and a North American FUDCon event in Q4.

In each case, typically the event will happen sometime in the first two months of the quarter, so that we can ensure all bills are paid by Red Hat’s financial deadlines. That deadline usually comes a couple weeks before the end of quarter, so the first two months are the ideal time to actually stage an event. So the North American FUDCon event will happen in either December 2010 or January 2011. The bidders will work with the Community Architecture team to resolve the exact timing.

In the past we’ve often heard from community members that they’d love to have an event in a warmer clime during the chilly winter months. We couldn’t agree more, and now we have a way to empower our community to make that happen. FUDCon Honolulu? Maybe not, but we’re open to other possibilities! We want to find a place for the next North American event that includes:

  • Reasonable travel, room and board costs
  • Availability of inexpensive or free event space
  • A little warmer than Boston (we hope!)
  • Active FOSS/other interested communities that might like to attend
  • Consideration of academic schedules for students who want to attend
  • Consideration of holidays for people in North America
  • One or more organizing Fedora community members with the time and energy to help prepare

We now have a bid process that lets interested community members propose FUDCon in their region, or even backyard. Nothing Olympic style — simply a way for excited Fedora folks in the locale to help secure event space, lodging, and other logistical details. We’ve already kicked this process off for FUDCon Zurich 2010, and are looking to start this cycle for North America as well. In the summer, after FUDCon Santiago concludes, we will kick the same process off for Latin America again for a 2011 conference.

So here’s what you need to do to get the ball rolling:

The bid process will be open for a period of approximately 2 weeks. At that point the FPL and Community Architecture teams, as major stakeholders in the event, will go through the bids and make a decision on where we’ll locate FUDCon North America.

So why have this bid process anyway?

At the Events FAD in February, we convened a crew of people interested in extending how our premier Fedora events work. For a while now, we’ve had two kinds of these events — FADs (Fedora Activity Days) and FUDCons. While FADs are quick-hit gatherings of a few people to achieve a specific, targeted purpose, FUDCon is a much larger event that can have hundreds of attendees and spans many different topics, experience levels, and goals.

Another important distinction previously separated the two. While FADs are put together by interested community members, FUDCons were typically planned by just one or two Red Hat employees — typically the Fedora project leader, sometimes with help from a member of Red Hat’s Community Architecture team. Because of a variety of financial and logistical constraints, this meant that FUDCon over the years has often ended up in one of a couple places. Most often this was Boston due to the proximity of the core of Red Hat Engineering people nearby who could provide support for the event. However, we did manage several times to move to other locations, such as Raleigh in January 2008 and Toronto in December 2009.

For the Toronto event, however, we tried a slightly different model — while Mel Chua and I provided funding and some organizational support, much of the logistical work was done by superstar (and current Fedora Board member) Chris Tyler and a crew of wonderful people on the fudcon-planning list. The event was incredibly successful in terms of number of attendees, the discussions that were had, the quality of sessions and hackfests, and costs involved.

We knew going into this event that it would be a proving ground for a new model of having the community empowered to make FUDCon even better than it can be with just one person handling all the planning. By moving to an open, transparent process, our community members got a better appreciation for the amount of work that goes into a FUDCon, and could easily participate in that work. The results were as expected — with the load spread wider, the event ran more smoothly and with less stress per person involved.

So we went forward with an events planning FAD, with the specific goal of identifying how we could make this process repeatable and scalable. That way FUDCon events could be held anywhere there was an appropriate budget and people willing to make the events happen.

Although we knew the first couple of events following this process — EMEA and North America — wouldn’t have the full preparation time we wanted to provide, we also knew both of them had far more than the six months it typically takes one or two people to plan the event. And our community members being the awesome people they are, they’ve of course proved us right again. As we go forward, the rolling nature of the schedule should be sustainable. At the conclusion of one regional event, we can start bidding for the next one. So over time these wrinkles will naturally be smoothed.

Thanks for reading, and your fellow community members are looking forward to seeing bids for FUDCon North America 2011!

A Rockin’ New Slogan for Fedora 13

March 9, 2010 by

Robyn Bergeron writes:

The countdown to liftoff for the Fedora 13 Alpha release is on. This means a flurry of fun marketing activities are going on, not the least of which is the selection of the F13 slogan.

Like everything else we do, the process for picking the the slogan is completely open, and anyone can join in with a proposal.  As some of you may already know, the release name for Fedora 13 is “Goddard,” named for Robert H. Goddard, one of the pioneers of modern rocketry. (If you’re interested in reading about how Fedora chooses a release name, you can check it out here.)

One of the great things about the “Goddard” name is that it opens Fedora up to a universe of awesome slogan and theme possibilities – space, rockets, science fiction, you name it. The call was put out to the Fedora community to propose slogan names, and the field of creative and amazing entries was narrowed down to one final slogan: “Rock It!”

The slogan, of course, says so much on its own; when you combine it with the pun on the word “rocket,” it gets even cooler.

Speaking of rockets… Fedora 13 Alpha launches very, very soon. (In fact, I believe it may have reached liftoff while I’ve been writing this entry.) Stay tuned!

Tagged: awesome, F13, Fedora, marketing

Fedora 13 Alpha!

March 9, 2010 by

Our first major test release for this cycle, Fedora 13 Alpha, is now available! You can read all about it in the release announcement on the wiki.

I’m running it here and would encourage contributors and early adopters to try it out. We could really use your help in finding remaining bugs so we can squash them before the Beta release near the end of this month. You can find a list of common bugs on the wiki as well.

Test events coming up: Fedora 13 Alpha test compose

February 12, 2010 by

It seems early as always, but we’re just about to start up the Fedora 13 Testing Machine, which will roll on right up to the final release in May. The Alpha release is due early next month, and this week we start off by testing the first Alpha ‘test compose’, which will arrive on Thursday 2010-02-11. We have some changes to the validation testing we’ll be doing for all pre-releases and pre-release candidates this time around.

The installation validation testing hasn’t changed greatly, but the test cases have been slightly reorganized to reflect the new release criteria, and also general changes in the Fedora world since the list was drawn up. A few have been removed and the test priorities have been reorganized to be based on the release for which the test must pass (Alpha, Beta or Final).

A bigger change is the introduction of desktop validation testing. As part of the new release criteria, we added some criteria which are not based on installation but on the functioning of the installed system. We’ve gathered up most of these into desktop validation testing, which will take place alongside installation validation testing. So alongside the installation validation testing results page for the test compose, there’s now a desktop validation testing results page. You can see the list of tests that will be performed there, and there will be a similar page created for each testing stage before the final release of Fedora 13. Columns are included for all major desktops, but only the default desktop results (GNOME) are able to block the releases, for now.

For more information on Fedora QA in general, see the QA page and the Joining QA page. If you have any questions about this testing, please contact the QA mailing list.

We are hoping this testing goes well and helps us ensure that future releases have a desktop that works on a basic level out of the box. Please do pitch in and contribute tests to fill out the results page! We’d especially love to see results from all the non-default desktops in the matrix, KDE / Xfce / LXDE folks ;)

Constantine unites!

November 17, 2009 by

The big day is here — Fedora 12 is released, uniting freedom, technology, and community. You can download the all-natural goodness at and read some of the highlights of the release. The official announcement text is here, and on the wiki as well.

I’m a big fan of the new Abrt tool which can produce and file detailed information for developers in a Bugzilla bug with just a few clicks, and also the improvements to the SELinux Troubleshooter, which do essentially the same thing. Thanks to Fedora’s strong stance on freedom, this release features some of the best free video drivers yet. On all three of my home machines that use NVidia and ATI cards, kernel mode setting, the enhanced graphical boot display, and on-the-fly display setting work like gangbusters — no more proprietary drivers causing problems we can’t debug or fix. (Thanks Nouveau and Radeon guys.)

The latest GNOME and KDE sparkle, Bluetooth tethering and audio are no-brainers, mobile broadband is dead-simple, PulseAudio happily converses and integrates with everything including your PlayStation3 and probably even your kitchen sink, PackageKit can install missing commands at the shell… Oh, and did I mention the virtualization features? It’s sheer heaven for sysadmins and techie types who love to try different distros; just install them in Fedora’s built-in KVM and go to town!

And of course there’s plenty for developers, including the latest Eclipse and NetBeans IDEs, and an updated SystemTap that helps trace and locate opportunities to optimize code. And of course you can get compilers and tools galore, and all the frameworks, libraries, and modules you need to build powerful applications in any language you prefer, including cross-compiler support for building Windows executables on Fedora.

Fedora 12 also features a nice helping of fit and finish on the Desktop, with fresh theming, easier to navigate panels and menus, tooltips that give you useful information while intelligently staying out of your way, and more useful notifications that are also reduced in frequency to keep the most important information in front of you at all times.

In short, it’s our best release ever, and you should download it and give it a try today!

Documenting Fedora 12 (or what the Docs Project has been upto all summer)

November 17, 2009 by

Eric Christensen writes:

Wow it’s been a busy Summer and Fall here at the Fedora Docs Project.  Lots of words going down in bits and bytes and new tools getting tested and we’ve come to the day we’ve been waiting for: Fedora 12 Final Release!


So what can you expect to see?  Well at current count we have twelve guides ready for consumption.  They are all posted on our website and can be viewed in various formats (html, html-single, and PDF) and various languages (as made available by the great Fedora Translators).  A few guides are still in draft, like the Accessibility Guide, but updates should be often in the upcoming weeks.

We’ve also completely moved all of our document source over to Docbook XML and use Publican for our publishing needs.  The great strides that went into Publican 1.x has made publishing guides quite easy and fast.

So here is the list of the guides that can be readily viewed:

  1. Release Notes – An overview of major changes implemented for Fedora 12.
  2. Installation Guide – This
    guide covers installation of Fedora, a Linux distribution built on free
    and open source software. This manual helps you install Fedora on
    desktops, laptops, and servers.
  3. Installation Quick Start Guide – This
    guide explains how to get and install Fedora 12 as simply as possible.
    Although these instructions work on most desktop and laptop computers,
    they are not a full description of the installation process.
  4. Deployment Guide – The Fedora Deployment Guide contains information on how to customize
    your Fedora system to fit your needs. If you are looking for a
    comprehensive, task-oriented guide for configuring and customizing your
    system, this is the manual for you.
  5. User Guide – The Fedora User Guide is focused on the end-user looking to accomplish
    standard desktop computer user tasks, such as browsing the web, reading
    and sending email, and doing office productivity work.
  6. SELinux User Guide – The SELinux User Guide covers the management and use of
    Security-Enhanced Linux for those with minimal or no experience with
    the framework, mainly from a user’s perspective. It serves as an
    introduction to SELinux and explains the terms and concepts in use.
  7. SELinux Managing Confined Services Guide – The SELinux Managing Confined Services Guide is designed to assist
    advanced users and administrators when using and configuring SELinux.
    It describes the components of SELinux as they relate to services an
    advanced user or administrator might need to configure, and includes
    examples of configuring them.
  8. Security Guide – The Fedora Security Guide is designed to assist users of Linux, specifically Fedora, in
    learning the processes and practices of securing workstations and
    servers against local and remote intrusion, exploitation, and malicious
  9. Virtualization Guide – The Fedora Virtualization Guide contains information on installation,
    configuring, administering, tips, tricks and troubleshooting
    virtualization technologies used in Fedora.
  10. Accessibility Guide – This document describes some of the hardware devices, applications and
    utilities available to assist people with visual, hearing, or mobility
    impairments use a computer with the Fedora operating system.
  11. Live Images – This article describes how to use a Fedora live image to “test-drive” the Fedora operating system on your own familiar hardware.
  12. Making Fedora Discs – This article describes how to turn downloadable ISO images into CD and DVD media using a variety of platforms and applications.

We hope you’ll enjoy all the written bits that we’ve worked hard to get onto your screen.  Please feel free to drop us a ticket if you find something out of sorts.  We’ll try to get it repaired as soon as possible.


florida linux show

October 30, 2009 by

Max Spevack writes:

The Fedora presence at any given event can vary greatly, depending on the rationale for attending the event.

At one end of the spectrum is something like a FUDCon or a FAD — an event that is entirely Fedora-focused, and that will usually have a significant getting-stuff-done theme, whether it is development, design, documentation, packaging, or testing.

In the middle of the specturm are the events that we target in different regions of the world that have a pretty signficant Fedora presence. Events like FOSDEM, FISL, Southeast Linux Fest, or Utah Open Source Conference — we typically have a Fedora booth, a bunch of Ambassadors organizing the event, and a number of other contributors who are speaking, participating in a hackfest, etc. The conference serves a dual purpose of spreading the Fedora message and allowing Fedora contributors to have valuable face time.

The opposite end of the spectrum is an event that is something of a target of opportunity, or for which the Fedora presence is one specific thing. My attendance at the Florida Linux Show last weekend was an example of this kind of an event. I wore my Fedora Ambassador shirt, and I discussed Fedora 12, and the general rules and operations of the larger Fedora Project, but my reason for being at the event was in direct service to Red Hat’s sales folks in the region, as opposed to an event that was organized through the Ambassadors processes.

Red Hat was the title sponsor of the show, and several of our consultants and solutions architects were on hand giving pretty technical talks about specific product offerings. However, the Red Hat organizers also wanted a community-focused talk, capable of sharing the bigger picture of Red Hat’s presence within the open source ecosystem, as well as the Fedora->RHEL relationship, and how the Fedora Project is a source of innovation that is available to all. This is exactly the sort of talk that the Community Architecture team gives all the time, and my talk was well received by both the crowd, and the Red Hat sales folks who happened to be listening.

The crowd at the Florida Linux Show wasn’t huge, but it was definitely passionate. There were probably 150 people at the closing keynote, which is actually a pretty good number. There were a lot of interesting sessions going on all day, and while the general conference hall with booths was pretty small, the sessions were well attended. For me, this is a great thing, because my reasons for attending a conference are to speak to an audience much more than to stand at a booth.

The conference hall was an interesting mix of corporate tables — the sales folks who organized the Red Hat presence were happy with the number of conversations and potential leads that they got — and there were a few interesting projects like Qimo and OnlyProfile, showing people software that was built on Linux, or a very customized version of Linux, more than the “every distro has its own table” kind of an event.

All in all, a nice one-day show. The organizers were really nice, and definitely had their act together. From the business perspective, the event was an excellent example of the revenue-generating side of Red Hat recognizing the value in sharing the community portion of Red Hat’s larger value chain and value proposition, and wanting to share that message.


October 29, 2009 by

Greg DeKoenigsberg writes:

Did you know? There’s a URL that points to all of the bugs in Fedora that are considered easy to fix.

Looking for a way to help Fedora? See how many of these easyfix bugs you can knock out over the weekend — and then tell us if it was easy or not, and why.


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