Some of the topics covered in this issue: Call for new New Maintainer Application Managers, Backports.org keyring package?, Debian powers Max Planck Institute 32.8 TFlops supercomputer … and much more.
Debian Project News
Debian Project News – June 23rd, 2008
Welcome to this year's 4th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
Some of the topics covered in this issue:
* Call for new New Maintainer Application Managers
* Backports.org keyring package?
* Debian powers Max Planck Institute 32.8 TFlops supercomputer
* … and much more.
Call for new New Maintainer Application Managers
Marc Brockschmidt, member of the New Maintainer Frontdesk, sent a
call for Application Managers taking care of New Maintainers.
Application Managers should have a broad experience in sponsoring and
mentoring of prospective developers, a firm knowledge of the Debian
Policy and Developer's Reference and at least a rough understanding of
the current New Maintainer process.
Interested Developers, who have above all that a few hours of time each
week, should send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Backports.org keyring package?
Robert Milan stated his intention to package the keyring of the
unofficial Backports.org service. This would ease the usage of this
service, since the current approach to establish a trust path for the
package management system is quite complicated, especially for
inexperienced users. Concerns were raised because Backports.org is an
unofficial service. Robert argued in favour of the inclusion, since it
is often recommended to users to use the Backport service when they are
in need of newer packages.
How to write proper get-orig-source targets
David Paleino wondered how to deal with the get-orig-source target
for debian/rules files. According to policy, this target should create
the latest upstream tarball, which might mean to export a version from
a version control system. During this process timestamps of files are
included, causing different checksums, even if the files haven't
changed. Calling gzip with the -n switch didn't solve the problem
entirely, but pristine-tar seems to be the solution to the problem.
Usefulness of Debian Release Goalsi?
Peter Eisentraut wondered about the so called “Release Goals”
(global goals which should be implemented with the next release, but
won't block a release if not completed). While they are good to improve
the overall quality of the packages, most won't be noticed by users and
most should rather become part of the policy. He also added that
searching for bugs concerning release goals isn't very easy and
proposed to seti up an SQL database. Marc Brockschmidt added that such
a database is part of a project in Google's Summer of Code.
William Pitcock asked for opinions about the removal of the boot
loader lilo. Since lilo has a grave bug, that is not trivial to fix
and grub is pretty stable, he wondered if lilo is still needed at all.
Frans Pop, member of the team developing the Debian installation
system, disagreed. They would regularly receive installation
reports having lilo installed. Since it needs several steps from the
default installation routine to install lilo, he concludes that there's
still demand for lilo packages.
Report of the BSP in Utrecht
On the weekend of 14-15 June a Bug Squashing party was held in Utrecht.
Thijs Kinkhorst summarised the results, which included testing of
the debian installer on various platforms, resolving various release
critical bugs and moving forums.debian.net to an official Debian
server, improving reliability and responsiveness of this popular
Debian powers Max Planck Institute 32.8 TFlops supercomputer
The Observational Relativity and Cosmology Research Group at the Max
Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics has created Germany's 4th
largest supercomputer using Debian GNU/Linux. By using Debian GNU /
Linux on its clusters, the Observational Relativity and Cosmology
Research Group reduced the amount of work needed on the hardware and
software infrastructure, compared to other scientific clusters running
on other distributions, allowing them to focus on their objective of
detecting gravitational waves. Dr. Aulbert, one of the cluster
designers said: “Thomas Lange's FAI package is extremely useful for
automatic deployment of Debian. For example, without much tweaking and
using only two hosts, we were able to reinstall the cluster in about
2.5 hours and were only limited by those two servers' network
A more detailed report is available on Debian Times.
Brice Goglin sent a report from the X strike force concerning the
upcoming stable release. Since Xorg 7.4 and Xserver 1.5 which were
scheduled for this yeari's February are late, they won't make it into
the upcoming stable release, which will be shipped with Xorg 7.3 and
Luca Capello wrote a report about Debian's presence at LinuxDays
2008. Members of the project presented Debian at a small booth and got
asked different kinds of questions, ranging from technical ones to
Debian weather, an unofficial service intended as a quick overview
on the state of the archive of a specific architecture, is back
Obey Arthur Liu gave a small impression on his GTK frontend for
Peter Samuelson uploaded the recently released version 1.5.0 of
Subversion, a popular version control system, to the experimental
archive. He asks for aggressive testing so Debian might be able to
ship the upcoming release for Subversion 1.5.0.
Important Debian Security Advisories
Debian's Security Team released among others advisories for the
packages xorg-server and typo3. Please read them carefully and
take the proper measures.
Please note, that those are only the most important security advisories
of the last two weeks. If you would like to be always up to date
regarding security advisories released by the Debian Security Team,
please subscribe to the our mailing list for security
Currently 453 packages are orphaned and 111 packages are up for
adoption. Please take a look at the recent report if there are
packages you are interested in or view the complete archive of packages
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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Stefano Zacchiroli,
Ana Guerrero, Thomas Lange, Andre Felipe Machado, Meike Reichle and