Linux New Media to ship thousands of Fedora DVDs

F15 Multiboot DVD
F15 Multiboot DVD with GNOME and KDE

As some of you might know I started writing for the German Linux Magazin in April. I am now in the lucky position to know quite a few people at Linux New Media and one of them asked me if I had an idea for the DVD they ship with their magazine. Of course I had: A Fedora Multiboot DVD.

First the editors were a little skeptic: Fedora is not that popular in Germany and many people still think it’s too bleeding edge, so Linux Magazin usually ships with save bets like Ubuntu or OpenSUSE. But when I told them about the new amazing features of our Multiboot media such as automatic detection of the CPU architecture and offered them to do a custom German spin, they agreed. So I made a prototype and it has taken a shine to them. 3 days later they asked for an English version, so it now ships not only with the German Linux Magazin but also with the English Admin Magazine. Look out for it in

  • Germany: Linux Magazin is in stores as of today.
  • UK and other European countries: Admin Magazine 04/2011 to be released on July 17th.
  • North America: Admin Magazine to be released on August 12th.
  • Australia and New Zealand: Admin Magazine to be released on September 12th.

I was told not to mention the exact number of media but trust me, it’s huge. It’s more media than the ambassadors produced for the last 3 or 4 Fedora releases worldwide.

And yes, I am fully aware that this media violates several guidelines and policies.

  • It is a re-spin with updates included. We usually don’t to this but to conform to legal requirements, I uploaded the list of source packages to the correcponding-source git repo.
  • It is a custom spin because the package selection is slightly different from the usual GNOME and KDE spins: It includes LibreOffice and for space reasons I had to leave all games out.
  • The isolinux background is the Fedora 15 one but branded with the logo of Linux/Admin Magazine. However this only affects the DVD but not installed systems.
  • I dared to call GNOME “GNOME” instead of “Desktop” in the boot menu. I guess I should just have called it “Desktop” and tell confused people to mail advisory board list to complain.
  • I didn’t ask the Spins SIG but as the Spins Wrangler I ‘approved’ it myself. There really was no time for discussions, the images had to be ready and shipped to Munich in less than 36 hours.
  • I didn’t ask the board either. I know how discussions on a board level tend to become and there really was no time.

Speak up if you think I have done harm to the Fedora Project!

FUDCon Tempe day 1

It’s already the second day of FUDCon and I am writing about yesterday. I was just too busy to blog.

We have way more sessions than we have slots, so many talks were merged. Yesterday I attended

  1. Fedora on ARM / Paul Whalen — Fedora on OLPC / M Langhoff: A very interesting talk. ARM will definitely become more important in the near future, not only for OLPC but also for Fedora. Just think of all the tablets out now.
  2. Future Fedora and Reducing Bureaucracy / Max Spevack and the Fedora Board: A productive session, we identified a lot of problems, but unfortunately we did not come to solutions how to reduce red tape.
  3. What have you done for me lately? / Pam Chestek, Richard Fontana: A talk on Red hat legal. I was really interested in this one because when I think of Red Hat legal, there are not many things coming to my mind that they have done for us lately – except helping to destroy Fedora EMEA e.V. and presenting us with an unacceptable Trademark License Agreement. Best quote in this talk was from Pam: “I am not allowed to answer that one”. Not the answer and the level of transparency I do expect in a free software community project, but as Richard explained we need to keep in mind that a lawyer has to serve his clients and the client of Red Hat Legal is not Fedora. Sad but true. On the positive side I’d like to mention that both Pam and Richard have already adjusted some parts of the TLA and are very open to more changes.
  4. The Future of Spins / Jared Smith: For me as maintainer of two spins, this one was important, especially now that there is a proposal to switch to  a full anaconda environment for the default installation. The scope of this proposal is still not quite clear, but it will impact the the spins in some way. And even with this proposal there are enough problems with the spins at the moment. Most problems can be addressed on a technical level, say in anaconda, but others are problems in governance and we will have to look into our spins process and give the spins SIG a more powerful mandate.

My preliminary schedule for today  looks like this:

  1. AppStream and 10ish Things You Didn’t Know about Yum / Florian Festi and James Antill
  2. Writing SELinux Policy / Dan Walsh
  3. The Next Big Fedora Engineering Project / spot

After lunch we will start our hackfests. Looking forward to start because there is plenty of work for Xfce 4.8 in Fedora 15.

Spins suck!

Life is hard when you are maintaining a Fedora spin. Why? Because spins suck, at least that’s what I was told. Instead of focusing on the spins, we should rather work on the installer and have a everything in there:

If I want KDE or LXDE, it should be part of the installer.

Actually Xfce and LXDE are already part of the installer, they are just not on the install media. But when you suggest to include them in the DVD, then the same person tells you that:

You’re only thinking about you and your images aren’t you? What happens when we put your stuff on the DVD?

As a spin maintainer, you can’t do right. :(