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Bits from the Debian Installer Team

It has been a long time since we sent the last bits from the Debian
Installer Team. Since then Debian 6.0 ‘Squeeze’ was released and a lot has changed inside the team and in the installer itself. We intend to use this e-mail to summarise it and communicate better with people interested on helping with the development of d-i.

Infrastructure changes

Debian Installer has moved from Subversion to GIT[??REF] – thanks to
Joey Hess. This was planned a long time ago but just happened
recently. This is a major step towards making contributing easier for
the involved people and porters.

The daily builds have been moved to buildd machines to address some
unavailability of some architectures and allowing for faster action
when something goes wrong. Sparc still needs to be addressed.

New contributors

The Debian Installer team are looking for more people to help. The
installer development is a huge but quite pleasant task and nowadays
it is centered on a small number of people.

The right time to start contributing is “Right Now(TM)” as we’re
starting a new development cycle and many new and exciting features
are being developed. Come and join us!

Installation Guide

Maintenance of the installation guide clearly suffered from the loss
of Frans Pop. The current team members will do their best to keep it
in good shape, but this is definitely an area where help would be

Non-Linux ports

As you may have noticed, Squeeze was released with kfreebsd support,
d-i indeed now has tested support for non-Linux ports, kfreebsd and
hurd notably.


As usual, more localization is always welcomed, but good maintenance
of existing localization is also needed. We have small worries about
the maintenance for the following languages: Albanian, Macedonian,
Tagalog, Kurdish, Wolof, Welsh. If you have skills in one of these
languages, then you can help.

Several translations of D-I are a one-(wo)man effort. Feel free to
join one of the existing teams.

..for Wheezy

Right after the release of Debian Squeeze some new features are being
worked on. In netcfg, we plan to add wireless support for WPA
networks, IPv6, vlan network infrastructure support and link detection
by Matthew Palmer and Robert Edmonds. For accessibility, we plan to
add software speech support.

As well as being a vital component of d-i, Busybox is a core component
for Emdebian and other embedded efforts that use Debian as a base. Two
new contributors have stepped in to help to improve it (Cristian Greco
and Michael Tokarev). It has been updated to the latest stable release
(1.18.3) and had substantial modifications to improve its quality.

Some discussion is being done to make eaiser to add support for new
hardware into d-i and flash-kernel.

We have also had a number of usability discussions, and maybe we can
get new ideas to improve usability and functionality of the installer.

There is also a bug squashing effort in progress, and we need help
with triaging and corrections.

The installer has been updated with a new Linux kernel (2.6.37)
supporting more hardware, such as more storage controllers, network
cards, keyboards and USB 3.0.

Otavio Salvador
on behalf of the Debian Installer Team

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