May 31st, 2007


linux tag, day 2.0

1:30 AM on May 31st in Raleigh
7:30 AM on MAy 31st in Berlin

Not much sleep last night, but more than than Jeroen got. He and Jonathan Steffan are the lead programmers of Revisor. I want to show Revisor off at my speech this morning, and there were still a few bugs being worked out. Jeroen was up until about 2 hours ago hacking, but he's got a new RPM ready to roll.

Someone is giving a talk on Friday or Saturday entitled "The Red Hat Business Model -- Combining Commerce and Community". No one has any idea who the person giving this talk is, but we are all very excited to learn about the Red Hat Business model. I *REALLY* hope that it's a Red Hat person giving this talk. I guess we'll find out in about 24 hours.

linux tag, day 2.1

1:35 AM on May 31st in Raleigh
7:35 AM on May 31st in Berlin

En route to LinuxTag, day 2. Today is the Fedora 7 release, and we are holding a FUDCon at LinuxTag. We have a big conference hall all to ourselves today, and every speech in it (6 or 7 total) is related to Fedora.

Jens Kuehnel is giving the opening talk at 10:00 AM -- a Fedora 7 overview in German. I'm giving the "keynote" speech at 11:00 AM, and I'll be talking all about Fedora 7, and how it fits into (and is the
culmination) of a variety of Fedora's goals over the past couple of years.

We've got a local mirror of Fedora 7 set up here at LinuxTag. You can only access it if you are at LinuxTag, but it will give the folks who are listening to the Fedora talks today a chance to get their hands on the release relatively easily. We've even struck a deal with the Berlin LUG to burn CDs for folks (given a small donation to their LUG).

It's going to be a very full day here, so I may not have another blog update until late tonight, or even tomorrow.

I'm working on a note for fedora-announce-list that will go into more detail about Fedora 7. But until then, congrats to everyone on the release today. And I hope that at least for those of you who work for
Red Hat, you take a bit of vacation next week!

my personal take on fedora 7

3:55 AM on May 31st in Raleigh.
9:55 AM on May 31st in Berlin.

I already posted this to fedora-announce-list, but I figured why not toss it up on my blog as well. We only release about twice a year, after all. After I hit post, I'm off to find a quiet corner somewhere to practice my speech, since I give it for real in an hour.


In a few hours (about 10:00 AM EDT/2:00 PM GMT), Fedora 7 will go live to the world.

It's the middle of the night in the main Red Hat offices in Raleigh and Westford, but I am in Berlin this week for LinuxTag, which is the largest Linux conference in Europe (10,000 visitors over 4 days).

We have a great looking Fedora booth, and we are holding a FUDCon (Fedora Users and Developers Conference) here today during which we have a conference hall that probably seats 150 people all to ourselves. We are giving speeches and talks about Fedora all day long, both in German and in English. I've already had several people come by asking when Alan Cox will be arriving. Answer: Real Soon Now.

We have several activities ongoing at the Fedora booth, including an install-fest, and a troubleshooting contest with prizes that include free books and free Red Hat training classes. We have all variety of Fedora swag as well. It's quite an impressive setup here at LinuxTag, and worth noting that the entire organizational force behind the event was driven by our Fedora Ambassador community of volunteers.

This email is my "personal" Fedora 7 release announcement, and also touches on some of the topics that I will mention during my speech at FUDCon today.

Before I talk about Fedora 7, it's useful to look at recent history. One of the Fedora Project's mottos is "the rapid progress of free and open source software." With Fedora Core 5 in March of 2006, Fedora Core 6 in October of 2006, and Fedora 7 today, that's about 7 months per release. And with several million Fedora Core 6 installs, everyone who works on Fedora should feel very proud that not only is the software being released often, but it's also high quality, and in high use around the world.


Fedora 7 represents the culmination of several goals that Fedora has spent the last few releases (spanning the course of at least 2 years) working to achieve.

I've written previously on this list about the aspects of Fedora 7 that I think are the most important ( From my perspective, it is the fundamental infrastructure changes that Fedora 7 represents that are the biggest achievement.

The entire Fedora toolchain has been freed. Every step in the distribution-building process is completely open.

Code checked into an external CVS. Packages built on a completely external build system. Distros and LiveCDs built on completely open compose tools.

All of this functionality is available via the command line or via a graphical tool that is built on the APIs that we provide.

For folks who hack on free software, I hope that this is a compelling development environment in which to work. For folks who are end users of free software, we believe that the Fedora toolchain allows people to remix Fedora, and customize it in ways that will provide a much wider variety of Fedora-based spins than we could ever offer if "Fedora Release Engineering" had to build them all directly.

There is plenty more, but this email isn't meant to be an exhaustive list of Fedora 7 release features.


Additionally, I'd like to mention a few other new things that Fedora has completed in time for Fedora 7:

Our home page, has a new look. We've added a series of static HTML pages that sit on top of our wiki, and I think it makes the initial experience of much simpler, and much more useful. The organized chaos of the wiki is all still just one click away, but we didn't want first-time visitors to fp.o overwhelmed with the wiki from the first instant.

Our documentation pages have also been given some new organization, living at

The lifespan of a Fedora release has been increased to "two releases plus one month". This means that Fedora Core 6 will continue to be updated until one month after Fedora 8 is released, and Fedora 7 will be updated until one month after Fedora 9 is released.

We've put into production new mirror management software.

The EPEL project, which aims to make packages from the Fedora repository available for Enterprise Linux customers, has been making tremendous progress.

The Fedora News team, which already had been doing a fantastic job, has expanded the coverage that they provide the Fedora Project, and their Fedora Weekly News reports offer people a fantastic summary of all the interesting things that are happening in the Fedora Project.

And more.


Finally, a few words of thanks. I debated for a while listing specific names here, but the number of people who deserve credit for Fedora 7 and all of the work that has happened around Fedora 7 cannot be enumerated without accidentally forgetting someone. So instead I will simply say that every item discussed in this email has happened as a result of tremendous work by Fedora contributors both inside and outside of Red Hat. And it is the partnership of Red Hat and the Fedora community that allows both groups to be successful.

And I speak for everyone at Red Hat when I say that it is an honor to be a part of something like Fedora.

Congratulations to everyone on today's release.

linux tag, day 2.5

9:00 AM on May 31st in Raleigh.
3:00 PM on May 31st in Berlin.

We're an hour away from release time, and there's a lot of buzz in the sysadmin channels on Fedora IRC. Poor Mike is supposed to give a talk about Fedora Mirroring that begins one hour after release time. I suggested to him that he put his laptop on the projector and just give a stream of consciousness of "here's what being a Fedora sysadmin is like 1 hour after a release".

My talk went well this morning. Here's the bottom line: everyone loves Revisor. I talk about the path Fedora has taken the last few years. People nod. I talk about custom spins, koji, pungi, livecd-creator. Everyone nods a bit more and clearly "gets the point". I do a walkthrough of Revisor on the big projector, and Jeroen gets swamped with a pile of enhancement and feature requests from people who are ready to become their own little cottage industry Fedora release engineers.

I have yet to talk to anyone -- excluding one reporter who started off the interview by explaining that she's a Windows user -- who wasn't excited about Fedora 7 after taking the time to understand what it's all about. That's always a pretty nice feeling.

I've had the pleasure of reading the "whimsical" release announcement that will hit fedora-announce-list at around 10:00. It's superb. Let's get through the day keeping the website up, and then y'all go have yourselves some moonshine. Here in Berlin, we'll mix it with some sort of schnitzel.

how i learned to stop worrying and love the 404

Come sit by my me, boys and girls, and let me spin you a yarn.


Zod took down everything. It was a week before the websites were back up and functioning like they should.

And in the back offices of Red Hat, many questions were asked to your Fearless Leader.

"Fearless Leader, how did Fedora's traffic manage to crash"

"Fearless Leader, do you know how much money Red Hat loses if people cannot get to the store to buy subscriptions?"

"Fearless Leader, do you realize that some parts of Red Hat have service level agreements that do not contain an 'Zod melted the server' clause?"

"Fearless Leader, are you trying to put Red Hat out of business?"

"Fearless Leader, surely this will never happen again, right?"

Well, as it turns out, no, it didn't happen again.

Zod has stepped aside, or been distracted by a nice big jug of Moonshine, and here we are 7 hours after the release, and everything is still humming.

Red Hat, Fedora, Fedora Wiki, Fedora Docs, Fedora Planet, torrents, etc. Everything is still up, and (at least as far as I can tell) as fast as always. And the even better part is, that there was almost zero downtime along the way.

Credit for this falls completely into the hands of our very dedicated, and very skilled Fedora Infrastructure team.

Did you know that almost all of the people on that team are volunteers? Did you know that the volunteer group that we have is so geographically diversified that we almost have 24x7 sysadmin coverage of Fedora infrastructure machines?

Were you in #fedora-admin today? Did you see the nonstop work that these guys put in for several hours, tweaking firewall rules to help with connection throttling, managing Xen instances in order to take down build boxes (we're not compiling anything on release day) and using that infrastructure instead to bring up additional proxy servers to better manage the web load?

Did you know that the Fedora Infrastrucutre team has been working for months on the problems that we faced at the FC6 release in order to prevent anything like that from happening today? A new mirroring system, the death of, more flexibile infrastructure as our Xen usage has been built out.

Do you know that Fedora Infrastructure is not only a world class example of how to manage a global system administration project, but that they are also one of the best examples of "eating our own dog food" based on the amount of Fedora and Xen that they use in their infrastructure?

Did you hug your sysadmin today?