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- 2020 in retrospect & happy new year 2021!
Happy New Year 2021! Due to the COVID pandemic, 2020 was a year unlike any other, and this has also impacted many open source projects. Nevertheless, at Gentoo we have made some great strides forward.While we now start into 2021 with fresh energy (and maybe soon antibodies), let’s also take a look back. We’re happy to share with our community the most exciting news of the past 12 months – including numbers on Gentoo activity, ournew developers, and featured changes and improvements!
Gentoo in numbers
2020 has featured a major increase in commits to the ::gentoorepository, and especially commits from non-developers. The overall number of commits has grown from 73400 to 104500 (by 42%), while the number of commits made by non-developers has grown from 5700(8% of total) to 11000 (10.5% of total). The latter group has featured 333 unique authors in 2019, and 391 in 2020.
The ::guru repositoryhas thrived in 2020. While 2019 left it with merely 7 contributorsand a total of 86 commits, 2020 has featured 55 differentcontributors and 2725 commits. GURU is a user-curated repository witha trusted user model. Come join us!
There was also a major increase in Bugzilla activity. 2020 featuredalmost 25500 bugs reported, compared to 15000 in 2019. This is probablylargely thanks to Agostino Sarubbo’s new tinderboxing effort. The totalnumber of bugs closed in 2020 was 23500, compared to 15000 in 2019.
We’ve finished 2020 with three significant additions to the Gentoofamily (in chronological order):
Max Magorsch (arzano)
Max joined us in February to help out with Gentoo Infrastructure. Sincethen, he already did tons of work. Just to list a few things, he hasredesigned and modernized the Gentoo websites and rewrittenpackages.gentoo.orginto the super cool form we have today.
Sam James (sam)
Sam joined us in July, and has contributed to a lot of differentprojects since. He is known as an active member of the Security teamand multiple arch teams, as well as someone who fixes lots of bugsin different packages.
Stephan Hartmann (sultan)
Stephan joined us in September, and immediately started working on ourChromium-related packages. He has pushed commitsto upstream Chromium; hopefully he’ll deal with all the specific problemsthat come up in Gentoo here. Thanks to him we also have finally caught up with Windows, offering our users a packaged version of Microsoft Edge.
The following major changes and improvements have happened in 2020:
Distribution Kernels:Gentoo now supports building and installing kernels entirelyvia the package manager. The new kernel packages also come with an (optional)stock configuration based on well-tested Fedora kernels, to easethe entry barrier and maintenance effort of Gentoo systems.
Wayland:Wayland support in Gentoo has progressed greatly, making itpossible to run an Xorg-free desktop. Wayland is supportedwith large desktop environments such as KDE Plasma and GNOME, as wellas with lightweight alternatives such as Sway and Wayfire. The lattermakes it also possible to use Wayland to a large extent withoutresorting to XWayland.
Lua:A new framework has been created that permits multiple versionsof Lua to be installed side-by-side. The vast majority of ~archpackages have already been migrated to this framework. This way, we havefinally been able to unmask new (slotted!) Lua versions.
Python:We have managed to almost withdraw Python 2.7 from Gentoo,and upgrade the default to Python 3.8.Python 2.7 is still available as a build-time dependency for a fewpackages. We have additionally patched all the vulnerabilitiesknown from later versions of Python.
ARM64:ARM64 (AArch64) support has been elevated to stable status and is no longer experimental.The ARM64 project now provides automatically generated stage3 files,and is usually one of the fastest arch teams to test packages. Wehave worked to bring more packages to ARM64 and make it morefeasible to run a full desktop!
PPC64:KDE Plasma is now available on PPC64, thanks to extensive testing and keywordingefforts by Georgy Yakovlev.
RISC-V:Work on RISC-V support has started, with particular focuson the riscv64 architecture. The RISC-V project provides stage3 files and stable profilesfor the soft-float (rv64imac/lp64) and hard-float (rv64gc/lp64d) ABIs, in both systemd and OpenRC variants. The arch team hasmanaged to run Xorg already!
Prefix:Gentoo Prefix is once again capable of bootstrapping on the latestmacOS releases, and work is underway to modernise prefix-specificebuilds and merge them back into the main tree - this way ensuring thatusers get the latest software and that maintenance burden is reduced.
Android:The Gentoo Android project has released a new 64bit Android prefix tarball, featuring gcc-10.1.0, binutils-2.34 and glibc-2.31 in your pocket!
packages.gentoo.org:The packages website has received many improvements towards beinga central source of information on Gentoo packages. It now showsthe results of QA checks, bugs, pull requests referencinga package, and a maintainer dashboard indicating stabilizationcandidates and outdated versions (according to Repology).Additionally, the display can be configuredfor your personal preferences!
Bugzilla:The Infrastructure team has implemented a major improvement to GentooBugzilla performance. The database has been migrated to a newerdatabase cluster, and the backend has been switched to mod_perl.
CI / Tinderbox:A second active tinderboxing (build testing) effort has been started, resulting in more bugs being detected and fixed early. This also includes running a variety of QA checks, as well as minimal environment builds that arehelpful in detecting missing dependencies.
Other news HPC adoption: The Prefix Projecthas published a conference proceeding on a casestudy of Gentoo in high energy physics. Gentoo also sees wider adoption in the HPC communitysuch as Compute Canada and EESSI.Discontinued projects
While Gentoo would like to support as much as our users wish for,we could not manage to continue all of the projects we’ve startedin the past. With limited resources, we had to divert our timeand effort from projects showing little promise and activity. The most importantprojects discontinued in 2020 were:
Architectures: Alpha and IA64 keywords were reduced to ~arch (i.e. unstable/testing only).HPPA stable keywords were limited to the most importantpackages only. SH (SuperH) was removed entirely. With very small numberof users of these architectures, our arch teams decided thatthe effort in maintaining them is too great. In case of SuperH,our last available hardware died.
LibreSSL:By the end of 2020, we have decided to discontinue supportfor LibreSSL. With little to no support from various upstream projects,the effort necessary to maintain package compatibility exceededthe gain, especially given that OpenSSL has made a lot of progresssince the forking point.
We can here describe only a few major items, and these cover by far not all that is going on.We would like to thank all Gentoo developers for their relentless everyday Gentoowork. While they are often not recognized for this work, Gentoo could not exist without them.Cheers, and let’s make 2021 even more productive!
- Portage 3.0 stabilized
We have good news! Gentoo’s Portage project has recently stabilized version 3.0 of the package manager.
What’s new? Well, this third version of Portage removes support for Python 2.7, which has been an ongoing effort across the main Gentoo repository by Gentoo’s Python project during the 2020 year (see this blog post).
In addition, due to a user provided patch, updating to the latest version of Portage can vastly speed up dependency calculations by around 50-60%. We love to see our community engaging in our software! For more details, see this Reddit post from the community member who provided the patch. Stay healthy and keep cooking with Gentoo!
- 200th Gentoo Council meeting
Way back in 2005, the reorganization of Gentoo led to the formation of the Gentoo Council,a steering body elected annually by the Gentoo developers. Forward 15 years, and today wehad our 200th meeting! (No earth shaking decisions were taken today though.) The logs andsummaries of all meetings can be read online on the archive page.
- Reviving Gentoo Bugday
Reviving an old tradition, the next Gentoo Bugday will take place on Saturday 2020-06-06. Let’s contribute to Gentoo and fix bugs!We will focus on two topics in particular:
Adding or improving documentation on the Gentoo wiki Fixing packages that fail with -fno-common (bug #705764)
Join us on channel #gentoo-bugday, freenode IRC, for real-time help. See you on 2020-06-06!
- AArch64 (arm64) profiles are now stable!
The ARM64 project is pleased to announce that all ARM64 profiles are now stable.
While our developers and users have contributed significantly in thisaccomplishment, we must also thank our Packet sponsorfor their contribution. Providing the Gentoo developer community with access tobare metal hardware has accelerated progress in achieving the stabilization ofthe ARM64 profiles.
This access has been kindly provided to Gentoo by bare metal cloud Packet viatheir Works on Arm project. Learn more about their commitment to supporting opensource here.
Gentoo Linux is a free, source-based, rollingrelease meta distribution that features a high degree of flexibility and highperformance. It empowers you to make your computer work for you, and offers avariety of choices at all levels of system configuration.
As a community, Gentoo consists of approximately two hundred developers andover fifty thousand users globally.