This edition of DWN covers LDAP and Infrastructure Updates, FOSDEM Schedule finalised, Restructuring Parts of the Debian Website and much, much more.
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News – February 13th, 2007
Welcome to this year's 3rd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the
Debian community. In light of recent attacks on SHA-1, the
National Institute of Standards and Technology is preparing for a
competition to augment and revise the current Secure Hash
Standard. Rick Lehrbaum reported that the installation of Debian
etch on an old ThinkPad notebook went pretty well and added a number
Supporting Package Downgrade? Justin Pryzby listed a couple of
reasons for not supporting package downgrades. They often work
nevertheless, except when package replacements and maintainer scripts
are involved. He wondered if there are any other reasons. Damyan
Ivanov recommended the excellent documentation of maintainer
scripts written by Margarita Manterola on the Debian Women Wiki.
LDAP and Infrastructure Updates. Ryan Murray announced new fields
in the Debian LDAP schema: Date of birth (developer-only visible),
Gender (world visible), and several fields to allow the developer to
disable their @debian.org email address, specify a white-list, enable
greylisting and sender verification callouts or specify RBL and RHSBL
lists to be checked at SMTP time. Jörg Jaspert added some
important points about fields available via the mail gateway and
fields available only via the web interface. He also mentioned how
developers could help with userdir-ldap.
FOSDEM Schedule finalised. Wouter Verhelst announced the schedule
for talks in the Debian developers room at the this years'
FOSDEM taking place from February, 24th to 25th in Brussels,
Belgium. Debian developers will also maintain a booth. Interested
supporters should contact Wouter Verhelst by mail.
Debian powers New Zealand's Electoral Enrolment. Rodney Gedda Sydney
reported that New Zealands electronic election enrolment
system is powered by Debian GNU/Linux. The system consists of two
clusters of PostgreSQL databases in different locations that replace
the former system of decentralised Oracle databases with Visual Basic
front-ends. The new system also increases voting participation by
automatically informing eligible voters about ongoing votes.
Restructuring Parts of the Debian Website. Frans Pop suggested to
split the overview of untranslated pages into three categories to
help translators. Manoj Srivastava noticed that the navigation bar
for vote pages grows longer and would like to create a history
page. Martin Schulze proposed to alter the menu even more.
Debian-Installer Release Candidate 2. Frans Pop, leader of the
debian-installer team announced that the release candidate 2
of the debian-installer is imminent. Nearly all prerequisites for
the last release candidate and probably final version of the etch
installer are met. This candidate introduces Linux 2.6.18,
incorporates translation updates and improves the graphical
Debian GNU/Linux Support from Hewlett-Packard. Hewlett-Packard
announced to support customers running Debian GNU/Linux on their
business line products ranging from HP t5725 Thin Clients to ProLiant
and BladeSystem file and application servers. Debian is also available
pre-installed and configured on several product series.
Call for Project Leader Nominations. Manoj Srivastava, secretary of
the Debian project, called for nominations for the upcoming
Debian Project Leader election. Prospective candidates are asked
to send in their platforms and letters of application to the project
secretary in time, so they can be published on the voting page.
The term of the new Debian Project Leader will start in April 2007.
Debian Live Autobuilder. Daniel Baumann announced that he has
set-up an autobuilder for the Debian Live system. This is a live
version of Debian GNU/Linux that doesn't need to be installed on a
hard disk. The system is available with different desktop environments
like GNOME, KDE and Xfce. Builds based on testing are
created every week and the ones based on unstable are build daily.
First Test Report on Multiarch DVD. Giuseppe Sacco reported his
impressions about the use of multiarch DVD. He wondered what should be
done in order to start the amd64 kernel instead of i386, Steve
McIntyre explained that i386 is default and prepending “amd64-”
would do the trick. Giuseppe also commented about a few documentation
mistakes, Frans Pop confirmed that they are already fixed.
Automatic Installation and Removal Tests. Lucas Nussbaum sent in
the results of piuparts tests against the whole Debian archive.
The first run only tested the package installation process and the
second run checked installation and removal of packages. Lucas
proposed to find common sense before filling bugs with respect to the
log files. For easier processing Stefano Sacchiroli asked for
a list sorted by maintainer, which Loic Minner provided.
Archive Signing Key for 2007. Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña asked
for the new archive signing key for 2007 which should be properly
announced. Anthony Towns responded that a special Debian GNU/Linux
4.0 signing key is used instead and expected to be valid until
some time after upcoming stable release.
Updates for Debian Sarge. Martin Zobel-Helas announced the
preparations done for the next stable update, 3.1r5. It will
include updated versions for Glibc, kernel 2.4 and 2.6, Mozilla,
OpenOffice.org and XFree86 among others. Most other packages are
updated to incorporate the security corrections that have accumulated.
Debian Conference 2008 in Argentina. Margarita Manterola announced
that the annual Debian Conference for 2008 will take place in the city
of Mar del Plata, Argentina. The conference will probably held
during the second and third weeks of August, 2008, which means that
this will be the first DebConf to take place in winter.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* DSA 1255: libgtop2 — Arbitrary code execution.
* DSA 1256: gtk+2.0 — Denial of service.
* DSA 1257: samba — Several vulnerabilities.
* DSA 1258: Mozilla Firefox — Several vulnerabilities.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* alltray — Dock any program into the system tray.
* brandy — BBC BASIC V interpreter.
* buxon — SIOC forums browser.
* cd5 — Compute checksum of individual track on CD-ROMS.
* fbxkb — X11 keyboard indicator and switcher.
* jd — GTK+ based 2ch browser for Linux.
* keepassx — Cross Platform Password Manager.
* ldtp — GNU/Linux Desktop Testing Project (GNU/LDTP).
* mirage — Fast and simple GTK+ Image Viewer.
* model-builder — graphical ODE simulator.
* pilot — Simple file browser from Alpine, a text-based email
* sibsim4 — Align expressed RNA sequences on a DNA template.
* sshm — Command-line tool to manage your SSH servers.
* viewvc — View CVS/SVN repositories via HTTP.
* wfo — Offline editing tool for Wiki pages and blogs.
* xmds — eXtensible multi-dimensional Simulator.
* yui — Yahoo User Interface Library.
Orphaned Packages. 8 packages were orphaned since our last issue and
require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 364 orphaned packages.
Many thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the WNPP pages for the full list,
and please add a note to the bug report and retitle it to ITA: if you
plan to take over a package. To find out which orphaned packages are
installed on your system the wnpp-alert program from devscripts may be
* bbppp — PPP tool for the blackbox window manager.
* bbsload — System load tool for the blackbox window manager.
* canna-shion — Supporting dictionaries for Canna.
* glunarclock — GNOME Lunar Clock Applet. (Bug#409322)
* iacd — IRC Server. (Bug#410708)
* vrweb — VRML browser and editor. (Bug#410621)
* windowlab — Small and simple Amiga-like window manager.
* wlassistant — KDE frontend for wireless network connection.
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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Felipe Augusto van
de Wiel, Sebastian Feltel, Frédéric Bothamy, Margarita Manterola and
Martin 'Joey' Schulze.