Welcome to this year's 1st issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
community. This issue is dedicated to Thiemo Seufer, who died on 26 December 2008 in a tragic car accident.
Debian Project News
Debian Project News – January 12th, 2009
Welcome to this year's 1st issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
community. This issue is dedicated to Thiemo Seufer, who died on 26
December 2008 in a tragic car accident.
Topics covered in this issue include:
* Bits from the Debian CD team
* Bits from the Debian Installer team
* Results from the “Lenny release GR”
Bits from the Debian CD team
Frans Pop sent Bits from the Debian CD team, summarizing various
changes affecting the installation media for the upcoming release of
Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 “Lenny”.
The most notable change is the replacement of the Xfce installation
disc with a “light desktop” installation disc for installing Xfce or
LXDE. Furthermore, all four major desktop environments (GNOME, KDE,
Xfce and LXDE) are directly installable from the first DVD image; the
desktop environment to be installed can now be chosen via the boot
The Debian CD team still plans to create the following images:
* Architecture-specific images:
+ businesscard CD
+ network install (netinst) CD
+ full CD (650 MB) images – users can now choose between:
o standard CD set, which will by default install GNOME
o special KDE CD
o special light desktop environments CD (LXDE + Xfce)
+ DVD set
+ Blu-ray image (only as jigdo files for i386, amd64 and source)
* Multi-architecture images:
+ alpha/hppa/ia64 network install CD
+ i386/amd64/powerpc network install CD
+ i386/amd64 DVD; also includes source packages
Bits from the Debian Installer team
Christian Perrier sent bits from the Debian Installer team. With
the upcoming release of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 “Lenny” in mind, he
summarized the improvements made during this release cycle, including
(but not limited to) support for loading firmware during installation,
SATA RAID support, early upgrade of packages for security fixes,
support for “volatile”, a new boot menu for i386/amd64, and support for
installation from Windows through win32-loader.
He also mentioned that the next release candidate version is intended
to be the version used in the Lenny official release. This version will
fix a few bugs discovered in Release Candidate 1 (RC1) and a few more
which were listed in RC1 errata. The team intends to begin the final
release process of Debian Installer RC2 in the very early days of
He also stresses the need for new blood to join the Debian Installer
team after Lenny has been released, since out of the 180 people with
commit access only three have been active in the coordination list and
IRC channel during the last three months.
Results from the “Lenny release GR”
Bdale Garbee posted the results of the ”Lenny release GR”, a
general resolution about the handling of firmware issues and similar
bugs affecting Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 “Lenny”.
From all the proposed options, the one titled “Assume blobs comply with
GPL unless proven otherwise” won. With this outcome, the Debian project
now assumes that “source less” firmware (rather small programs that
internally control various electronic devices, see Wikipedias Page
about Firmware) has been created the way it is (without a source in a
higher level programming language) and therefore fullfils the
requirements of the GNU General Public License.
New maintainer for search.debian.org needed
Thomas Viehmann is seeking a new maintainer for
search.debian.org. The search engine is a slightly patched
xapian-omega instance. You should be a Debian Developer or be willing
to be part of a team for access to the installation. Some more
improvements to the language support are desirable, which involve some
C++, but Thomas would try to help out there.
Security support for next testing (Squeeze)
The Testing Security Team announced that security support for the
next Debian testing (codenamed “Squeeze”) will not begin immediately
after the release of Lenny as stable. Users of Debian testing who need
security support should stay with Lenny until the beginning of security
support for Squeeze is announced.
Internationalization support for planet.debian.org
Jörg Jaspert announced that planet.debian.org, a service
collecting the personal blogs of various Debian Developers, Maintainers
and other Debian-associated people, is now capable of hosting web pages
and RSS/Atom-feeds in different languages, as demonstrated by the
Spanish Planet Debian.
Adding a new language is quite simple but requires at least ten feeds
to be added for the newly created language.
Personnel change of the Debian Secretary
Due to criticism while conducting the recent “Lenny release GR” vote,
Manoj Srivastava, long term secretary of the Debian Project, decided to
resign from this position. Following his resignation many
developers have thanked him for his work.
Debian Project Leader Steve McIntyre is now searching for
volunteers for this position, while Bdale Garbee, current Chairman of
the Technical Committee, is now serving as Acting Secretary.
Personnel changes in Debian's Technical Committee
After being member of Debian's Technical Committee for three years,
Anthony Towns resigned from that position to get fresh blood into
the committee. We would like to thank Anthony for the work he has done
over the past years.
Bdale Garbee, current chair of the Technical Committee, announced
that Russ Allbery and Don Armstrong have been added to the technical
committee. Please join us in congratulating them on achieving this
level of recognition and trust within our community.
Personnel changes in the New Maintainer front desk
Christoph Berg announced some personnel changes in the New
Maintainer front desk, handling applications of people interested in
becoming Debian Developers. Marc Brockschmidt, who has been a member
since 2005, has resigned from this position, while Bernd Zeimetz has
joined the team.
We would like to thank Marc for his long term dedication.
The 12th issue of the miscellaneous news for developers has been
released and covers the following topics:
* Bdale Garbee as Acting Secretary
* New proposal to track maintenance status of all packages
* Packages-arch-specific maintenance changes
* Githubredir available
* Babelbox updated for Lenny
Holger Levsen called for help to record the sessions to be held in
Debian's Developer Room at the upcoming Free and Open Source Developer
Europe Meeting (FOSDEM).
Simon McVittie wrote a small HOWTO about “converting Debian
packaging from bzr to git”.
Nagarjuna G. launched a service drawing graphs representing
dependency information for Debian packages, such as python and
Ana Beatriz Guerrero Lopez proposed looking at bug reports you
reported and updating their status as a new year's resolution, and gave
a brief explanation on how to do so. She also proposed helping the
maintainers of your favourite package with their bugs.
Luk Claes and Ralf Treinen are looking for some help with GPG Key
Signing Coordination, a service primarily aimed at prospective
contributors, finding existing Debian developers who can sign their key
for the ID part of the NM maintainer process. It's not much work; a
description of the tasks can be found in their Subversion
Daniel Burrows created some diagrams about the APT system and
applications using it.
New Developers and Maintainer
Three applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers and one
applicant has been accepted as Debian Maintainer since the previous
issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Michael Casadevall,
Arthur Loiret, Jelmer Vernooij and Tiago Bortoletto Vaz into our
Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
According to the unofficial RC-bugs count, the upcoming release
Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 “Lenny” is currently affected by 99 release
critical bugs. 26 of them have already been fixed in Debian's
“unstable” branch. Of the remaining 73 release critical bugs, 15
already have a patch (which might need testing) and 12 are marked as
Ignoring these bugs as well as release critical bugs for packages in
contrib or non-free, 49 release critical bugs remain to be solved for
the release to happen.
Important Debian Security Advisories
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): courier-authlib, proftpd-dfsg, avahi,
moodle, phppgadmin, xterm, ruby1.8 and ruby1.9,
icedove, iceape and gforge. 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 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 added to the unstable Debian archive
recently (among others):
* freespeak — GNOME frontend to online translator engines
* giplet — GNOME IP display applet
* hunspell-gl-es — Galician dictionary for hunspell
* iaxclient-tcl — Tcl interface to the iax2 client lib
* iceweasel-downthemall — iceweasel extension with advanced
* igal2 — online image gallery generator
* imvirt — detects several virtualizations
* kdm-gdmcompat — Provide basic gdm functionality to systems
* kio-ftps — an ftps KIO slave for KDE 4
* kism3d — 802.11 visualizer for s3d
* libapache-mod-security — Tighten web applications security for
* libapache2-mod-authn-sasl — SASL authentication backend
provider for Apache
* libcherokee-mod-admin — Cherokee web server – Administrative
* libcherokee-mod-ldap — Cherokee web server – LDAP user
* libcherokee-mod-libssl — Cherokee web server – SSL crypto
* libcherokee-mod-mysql — Cherokee web server – MySQL user
* libcherokee-mod-server-info — Cherokee web server – Server
* libgoogle-collections-java — suite of collections and related
goodies for Java 5.0
* mandos — a server giving encrypted passwords to Mandos clients
* mandos-client — do unattended reboots with an encrypted root
* minisapserver — Mini SAP Server
* performous — karaoke game that allows user supplied songs
* php5-svn — PHP Bindings for the Subversion Revision control
* pushover — Fun puzzle game with dominos
* qprint — encoder and decoder for quoted-printable encoding
* rtpg-www — web based front end for rTorrent
* s3d — 3d network display server
* subdownloader — automatically downloads/uploads subtitles for
* trac-authopenid — OpenID authentication plugin for Trac
* tstools — set of tools for reporting on and manipulating MPEG
* urlwatch — tool for monitoring webpages for updates
* whohas — query multiple distributions' package archives
* yagtd — utility to help organize your to-do lists
* xdemorse — GTK+ Morse Code Decoding Software
Debian Package of the Day featured the packages procps (watch:
Execute a program at regular intervals and show the output), atool
(handling archives without headaches) and tellico (a collection
manager for books, videos, music and a whole lot more).
Currently 482 packages are orphaned and 107 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.
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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Thomas Viehmann,
Paul Wise and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.