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F21 on Track, FESCo Membership Change, More DNF vs. Yum, Reading VM Logs, and Wiki Infoboxes (5tFTW 2014-06-17)

5tFTW
Fedora is a big project, and it’s hard to follow it all. This series highlights interesting happenings in five different areas every week. It isn’t comprehensive news coverage — just quick summaries with links to each. Here are the five things for June 17th, 2014:

Fedora 21 Is Not Delayed

It might seem a bit funny to report on something that’s not happening, but this got picked up by some of the tech press so I thought it best to clarify the actual situation. Short version: we’re not currently planning any delay from the established target of October 14th, 2014.

Longer version: the Fedora Server Working Group is writing new code which will provide a programmatic interface (an API) for provisioning servers with certain Server Roles. This doesn’t compete with existing config management tools like Puppet, Chef, or Ansible — it provides a framework that they (or the new Cockpit web GUI) can talk to. That’s taking a little bit longer than planned, especially because new input from the CentOS Simple Linux Server SIG was incorporated. However, at last week’s meeting, FESCo (the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee, which manages the overall schedule) decided to allow just this Server Role Deployment Framework to land a little late in the Fedora Alpha schedule, but with no delay to the rest of the project or change to the overall F21 schedule.

Bill Nottingham Steps Down From FESCo; Kyle McMartin Steps Up

Long-time and almost omnipresent Fedora contributor Bill Nottingham has started a new day job at open source config-management company Ansible, and resigned his Fedora Engineering Steering Committee seat in order to be able to focus on that. Our election policy states that open seats are offered to previous runners-up, which means Kyle McMartin is our newest FESCo member (although not, by any means new to Fedora). Thank you Bill for years of work on Fedora in FESCo and elsewhere, and welcome Kyle!

P.S. We use Ansible quite heavily in Fedora Infrastructure. Also: Former Fedora Project Leader Greg DeKoenigsberg is also joining Ansible, which already boasts quite the slate of former Red Hatters and Fedora contributors. I’m looking forward to further collaboration across our open source projects.

DNF as Yum Replacement, Continued

Last week, I wrote about a proposal to replace Fedora’s Yum package manager with DNF. That proposal — targeting next year’s Fedora 22, not Fedora 21 this fall — is now officially on the table for discussion. That discussion continues on the Fedora devel mailing list. Although there are several long threads, it looks like people are generally open to the idea and advantages of the new code, but there are differing opinions on whether DNF should keep that name or become “Yum 4″ — or even take a new generic name like package. Feel free to join in, although please remember to be constructive and to follow the Fedora Project Code of Conduct (which, basically, boils down to “be excellent to each other”.

Coming Soon to libguestfs: Smart Log Reading

The systemd journal brings a lot of useful features, including structured log formats and reliable connection of messages to the services they came from. But, its binary log format can be less convenient when you’re not working on the system where the logs reside.

This is often the case when using libguestfs, an almost-magically-powerful tool for working with virtual machine disk images. Developer Richard W.M. Jones blogs about a new feature: virt-log. This command automatically does the right thing with several different guest system log possibilities, including understanding the journald format, knowing that Debian-based systems use /var/log/syslog instead of our /var/log/messages, and in the future will even read the Microsoft Windows Event Log.

Add an Infobox to Your Fedora Wiki User Page

Our wiki serves many purposes (maybe too many!), but one of the the most useful is providing simple autobiographical and contact information for contributors. A neat little thing I stumbled across this week is the Infobox template, defined and documented at https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Template:Infobox_user. Follow these instructions and add the template to your page for a clean, consistent presentation of your Fedora-relevant details.

As a bonus, display your Fedora Badges with {{ #fedorabadges: fasname }}

mattdm's badges

5 Comments

  1. Rich

    libguestfs has supported the journal format for quite a while. In fact, looking back I see that we added it about a year ago.

    The recent enhancement with virt-log is that I noticed one of our users was having trouble using virt-cat to read out log files from Fedora disk images. It worked for him when the guest was Fedora < 20 but for more recent Fedora (or other distros) using the systemd journal getting /var/log/messages didn’t work. What was needed was a tool which knew a bit about the internals of the guest and could decide what file to download or to use the existing libguestfs API to read the log. Hence virt-log is born.

    Also this week I added Windows Event Log support so virt-log also works for Windows (≥ Vista) guests. Unfortunately this does require a new python-evtx package to be added to Fedora.

  2. That user libguestfs user was /me :-) I was duking around, writing a libguestfs python script to access the systemd journal of a guest. Rich comes out in a minute with a neat tool. Thanks again!

  3. I’ve noticed a lot of people have added infoboxes to their wiki page now. I tried to add one to mine, but I can’t figure out how to display IRC nick (my IRC nick != my FAS id.) I tried to wikipedia docs but the IRC field (and a bunch of others) doesn’t work on our wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:User_infobox

    • By the way, wouldn’t it be better if the IRC nick and other information would be obtained automatically from the FAS database?

      • That would be cool. I’ll pass on the suggestion to one of our web infrastructure developers.

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