Some of the topics covered in this issue include: First release candidate of Debian Installer for Lenny, Debian screenshot service started and “Open Use Logo” relicensed
Debian Project News
Debian Project News – November 19th, 2008
Welcome to this year's 15th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
Some of the topics covered in this issue include:
* First release candidate of Debian Installer for Lenny
* Debian screenshot service started
* “Open Use Logo” relicensed
First Release Candidate for the new Debian Installer
Otavio Salvador announced the first release candidate for the
installer to be shipped with Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 “Lenny”.
Improvements since the last beta release include:
* Improved support for Live-CD installation media (much faster and
more reliable than earlier releases);
* Support for some NAS devices based on Marvell's ARM-compatible
Orion chip (QNAP TS-109/TS-209 and TS-409, HP Media Vault mv2120,
Buffalo Kurobox Pro);
* Installer images for Netwinder have been added again;
* Installer images for i386 Xen guests;
* Support for hardware speech synthesis (speakup) has been added;
* Upgrade of packages early in pkgsel, for example to get available
security updates for base system packages;
* Support for loading firmware from (removable) media during the
* i386/amd64: support for installing to and loading firmware from
* New translations: Welsh, Irish, Northern Sami, Serbian (Amharic and
Marathi were added in beta releases).
Images are available for testing at the Debian Installer website
which also contains an errata list. After testing the installer
please send a report about the installation as explained in the
Debian Installer manual.
Debian screenshot service started
Christoph Haas announced a new screenshots.debian.net web site
that serves as a public repository of screenshots of applications
contained in the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. It was created to help
users get an impression of what a given piece of software will look
like on their desktops before they install it. Anybody can take
screenshots and upload them; the site admin team will review the
contributions before they become publicly visible. Support for
screenshots has already been built into the synaptic package
manager, while integration in specialised package browsers like
goplay and the general web interface are being discussed.
“Open Use Logo” relicensed
On the occasion of the production of a custom Debian quilt
Francesco Poli noted that the license for the “Open Use Logo”
(also known as the “swirl”) has been changed from a license considered
to be non-free to an MIT style license granting more rights to
everyone. This fixes a long standing bug.
The new license grants everyone the right to use, copy, modify, merge,
publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the logo while
the logo with the trademarked text “Debian” may still only be used to
refer to the Debian project.
Tracking GCC 4.4 related build errors
Martin Michlmayr announced the results from an archive rebuild with
a snapshot of the upcoming GCC 4.4. About 220 bugs were filed as part
of the archive rebuild and a small number of build failures still need
to be analyzed. The majority of GCC 4.4 related build failures are
trivial, and are often caused because of improved preprocessor
checks in GCC 4.4 or missing #include statements.
Call for Help: Debian 5.0 release notes
Martin Borgert asked for help for the release notes of the upcoming
release of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 “Lenny”. Some noteworthy problems have
not yet been documented, so he asks for volunteers who understand some
of these issues to write about them.
His mail contains a list of open issues as well as instructions for how
texts should be submitted.
Custom Debian Distributions renamed to Debian Pure Blends and new
Andreas Tille announced that the Custom Debian Distributions (more
or less, package sets for specific needs maintained inside Debian)
should now be referred to as “Debian Pure Blends”. The name has been
changed, since the old one was misleading. Many people thought Custom
Debian Distributions were something maintained outside of Debian and
which added new features. After some discussion members of all these
teams agreed on the new name, hoping it would clarify their status
(though this was not universally seen as a success).
He also announced two web services for quality assurance: one can be
used to list bugs reported against packages of Debian Pure Blends,
while the second one lists packages of interest for them. URLs for the
services for each of the Pure Blends are given in his mail.
Lenny Release Critical Bugs Ordered by Popularity
Enrico Zini developed a new script that shows Lenny release
critical bugs ordered by popularity. For those who are looking to
squash the bugs that are causing the most pain, this script lays out
exactly where to look. Anyone interested in running the script will
need access to people.debian.org where the script can be found at
Survey about the Debian Wiki
Anne Goldenberg, a PhD student in communication and sociology, who is
currently studying the Debian Wiki, announced a survey aimed at
gaining a better understanding of the uses and conceptions of the
Debian Wiki within the Debian community. The results will be put online
under a free license and announced via the mailing-lists.
A Debian Wiki page describing the survey is also available.
3 applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainers since the
previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Giuseppe
Iuculano, Thorsten Glaser and Franck Joncourt to our project!
Florian Weimer noted that the names of source packages should not
be reused, even if the name has not been used for a while. Some parts
of Debian's infrastructure (including the package tracking system
and the security tracker don't handle this very well.
Vincent Bernat wondered how to name system accounts used for
installed services. Referring to a wiki page he asked to
standardise the naming scheme. Some packages use a prefix debian-,
while there is also some support for the way OpenBSD handles it by
prefixing system accounts with an underscore.
Holger Levsen announced a web service showing how far DebianEdu
(the Debian pure blend taking care of the needs of teachers and
schools) is away from Debian itself.
Important Debian Security Advisories
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): mysql, net-snmp and libxml2. Please read
them carefully and take the proper measures.
Please note that these are a selection of the more important security
advisories of the last two weeks. If you need to be kept up to date
about security advisories released by the Debian Security Team, please
subscribe to the security mailing list for announcements.
New and noteworthy packages
The following packages were recently added to the unstable Debian
archive (among others):
* grhino-data — othello/reversi boardgame – data-files
* libc-client2007d — c-client library for mail protocols -
* mseide-msegui — FreePascal-based GUI development library and
Debian Package of the Day featured the packages remind (a text
based agenda and todolist manager) and apt-P2P (peer-to-peer
downloading for Debian packages).
Currently 489 packages are orphaned and 118 packages are up for
adoption. Please take a look at the recent reports to see if
there are packages you are interested in or view the complete list of
packages which need your help.
Want to continue reading DPN?
Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteer
writers to watch the Debian community and report about what is going
on. Please see the contributing page to find out how to help. We're
looking forward to receiving your mail at
This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Jon Evans, Justin Rye,
Andre Felipe Machado, Martin Michlmayr, Christoph Haas, Jeff Richards,
Meike Reichle and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.