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Debian Project News – August 15th, 2011

Welcome to this year’s twelfth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

* Debian named “Best Linux Distribution of 2011″ and “Top Production Server Distro”
* Bits from the Release Team
* Recent improvements with Debian GNU/kFreeBSD
* FreedomBox activities at DebConf11
* New website for mentors.debian.net
* Debian s390x port
* Integrating Emdebian Grip into Debian
* Further interviews
* Other news
* New Debian Contributors
* Important Debian Security Advisories
* New and noteworthy packages
* Work-needing packages
* Want to continue reading DPN?

Debian named “Best Linux Distribution of 2011″ and “Top Production Server Distro”
———————————————————————————

TuxRadar [1] recently compared the six most popular Linux distributions
[2] in different categories. It’s our pleasure to announce that Debian
not only won the categories”Customization”, “Community” and
“Performance”, but also won the overall prize of “best Linux distro of
2011″! We are especially pleased to have won in the “community”
category, or to cite TuxRadar: “There’s more to a Linux community than
just numbers.”

1 : http://tuxradar.com
2 : http://www.tuxradar.com/content/best-distro-2011

Similarly, Debian was named the [3] “Top Production Server Distro” by
Carla Schroder at linux.com [4]: “I’ve been spoiled by Debian, which
never needs to be reinstalled but can be upgraded forever, [..] Debian
supports more packages than any other distribution, so it’s rare to not
find whatever you want just an apt-get install away”. Many thanks,
Carla!

3 : http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/479960:the-six-best-linux-community-server-distributions
4 : http://linux.com

Bits from the Release Team
————————–

Neil McGovern sent some Bits from the Release Team [5]. First of all,
Neil explained that the “release goals” are areas of functionality
which developers would like to see as an aim for the next release and
should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely and not
limited in effects to only one set of packages. In addition, each
release goal must have an advocate for tracking progress. A list of
current goals is available on therelated wiki page [6]. Another
interesting topic discussed in the mail is the development of “CUT”
(Constantly Usable Testing) and of a rolling version of Debian: the
Release Team is skeptical on the creation of a new suite as the most
efficient way to improve the release process. Anyway, certain aspects
of the CUT/Rolling proposal are interesting, so the Release Team
invites people who are interested to run the suite. Neil also talked
about improvements to the “experimental” branch of Debian, in order to
avoid the slowing down of new features in “unstable”, as well as
various other interesting topics such as the0-day NMU policy [7],
architecture re-qualification [8] and the packages removal process.
For a general overview of recent Release Team work, you can also watch
the video recording of [9] “Bits from the Release Team”, held during
DebConf11.

5 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/08/msg00000.html
6 : http://wiki.debian.org/ReleaseGoals/
7 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/03/msg00016.html
8 : http://release.debian.org/wheezy/arch_qualify.html
9 : http://ftp.acc.umu.se/pub/debian-meetings/2011/debconf11/high/708_Bits_from_the_Release_Team.ogv

Recent improvements with Debian GNU/kFreeBSD
——————————————–

Robert Milan blogged about recent improvements [10] in the port of
Debian to the FreeBSD kernel. With the release of Debian 6.0 [11]
“Squeeze” in February it was labeled as a “technology preview”,
suggesting some limitations. However, a lot of noteworthy improvements
have been made since then, including support forthe graphical installer
[12], FUSE [13], encrypted disk partitions, and wireless networking. It
is also now possible to use Debian GNU/kFreeBSD in a chroot under
FreeBSD [14].

10 : http://robertmh.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/recent-improvements-with-debian-gnukfreebsd/
11 : http://www.debian.org/News/2011/20110205a
12 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-bsd/2011/06/msg00187.html
13 : http://packages.debian.org/search?keywords=fuse4bsd
14 : http://wiki.debian.org/Debian_GNU/kFreeBSD_FAQ#Q._Can_I_run_Debian_GNU.2BAC8-kFreeBSD_in_a_chroot_under_FreeBSD.3F

In related news, Robert also called for testers of the installation
system’s reworked ZFS support. [15]

15 : http://lists.debian.org/CAOfDtXOZwya6io6LicZ17TAezuToz2bXWMPbRXFYU9BsnHuotw@mail.gmail.com

FreedomBox activities at DebConf11
———————————-

Bdale Garbee blogged about some recent progress in the FreedomBox
project [16]. During DebConf11 in Banja Luka, some FreedomBox
developers worked together, fixing various problems: Bdale developed
“freedom-maker”, a lightweight toolset to build FreedomBox software
images, which is now available on thegit repository of the project
[17]. Jonas Smedegaard continued to work on an alternate packaging
toolset, [18] “boxer”. Thanks to Marvell, who provided the source
code, Bdale packaged two userspace programs necessary for configuring
and monitoring firmware provided for the uAP wireless chip used in the
DreamPlug: they are now available in Debian as uaputl [19] and uapevent
[20]. Still on the topic of DreamPlug, Clint Adams and Jason Cooper
worked on adding support for the DreamPlug to upstream u-boot while
Héctor Orón and Nick Bane analyzed the current state of patches from
Marvell and Globalscale used to support the DreamPlug against both
upstream and current Debian kernel sources. Mirsal Ennaime worked on
the technology for package configuration (using debconf and
Config::Model) and there were interesting discussions about identity
and trust management, summarized on the related wiki page [21]. For
more information about the FreedomBox project, please visit the
official website [22] or watch the recording of Bdale’s [23]
“FreedomBox Progress Report”, delivered at DebConf11.

16 : http://www.gag.com/bdale/blog/posts/FreedomBox_in_Banja_Luka.html
17 : http://anonscm.debian.org/gitweb/?p=freedombox/freedom-maker.git;a=summary
18 : http://git.emdebian.org/?p=upstream/boxer.git;a=summary
19 : http://packages.debian.org/uaputl
20 : http://packages.debian.org/uapevent
21 : http://wiki.debian.org/FreedomBox/IdentityManagement
22 : http://freedomboxfoundation.org/
23 : http://meetings-archive.debian.net/pub/debian-meetings/2011/debconf11/low/704_FreedomBox_progress_report.ogv

New website for mentors.debian.net
———————————-

Asheesh Laroia announced that the new version of mentors.debian.net is
finally available [24]. The new site [25] provides a lot of interesting
features such as the ability to see package quality on the package
page, and support for comments and mail notifications. The site runs
with a more maintainable codebase than the old one, and is also
characterized by a new layout, which is the same as the main Debian
website. Asheesh wants to thank all the people who have worked during
the last year to achieve this result: Jan Dittberner, Christoph Haas,
Johnny Lamb, David Paleino, Andrey Rahmatullin, Kalle Söderman,
Christine Spang, Arno Töll, Wolodja Wentland, Paul Wise and Serafeim
Zanikolas.

24 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/08/msg00214.html
25 : http://mentors.debian.net/

Debian s390x port
—————–

Aurelien Jarno blogged about the birth of a new Debian port: [26]
“s390x”, the 64-bit version of the [27] “s390″ port. “The s390 port
is actually 31-bit from the address point of view (one bit is reserved
for address space extension from 24 to 31 bits), so each process is
limited to 2 GB only”, explains Aurelien. But, as nowadays there are
applications which need more than 2 GB (especially on mainframes), the
new “s390x” can be really useful. Aurelien had already done the
bootstrap of the architecture, so now an autobuilder has been started
and more than [28] “65%” of all packages have been built. The main
issues are currently packages which fail to build from source due to
linker [29], gcc-4.6 [30] and curl [31] changes. For more information
you can take a look at the list of bugs blocking the s390x port [32].

26 : http://blog.aurel32.net/?p=59
27 : http://www.debian.org/ports/s390/
28 : http://buildd.debian-ports.org/stats/graph-week-big.png
29 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/02/msg00011.html
30 : http://packages.qa.debian.org/g/gcc-4.6/news/20110627T163333Z.html
31 : http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=636457
32 : http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?tag=s390x;users=debian-s390@lists.debian.org

Integrating Emdebian Grip into Debian
————————————-

Neil Williams sent an interesting mail regarding the possible
integration of Emdebian Grip into Debian [33]. Emdebian [34] is an
official sub-project of Debian for running Debian on embedded devices;
the aim of the project is to provide minimized Debian packages with the
same sort of consistency that Debian itself offers, to be installed on
various types of devices. One of the Embedian flavours is Emdebian Grip
[35], which can be described as a smaller Debian-compatible distro with
optimized packages. During DebConf11, discussions took place in order
to integrate Emdebian Grip directly into the main Debian archive and
release process. The integration would involve parallel suites
(unstable-grip, testing-grip, stable-grip, etc) with a restricted (and
binary only) package set. There’s also an interesting mail about
Emdebian Grip policy [36]. For more information, please visit the
detailed summary [37] of the discussion.

33 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/08/msg00154.html
34 : http://www.emdebian.org/about/
35 : http://www.emdebian.org/grip/
36 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/08/msg00153.html
37 : http://wiki.debian.org/EmdebianIntegration

Further interviews
——————

There has been one “People behind Debian” interview: withMargarita
Manterola, Debian Women member [38].

38 : http://raphaelhertzog.com/2011/08/07/people-behind-debian-margarita-manterola/

Other news
———-

Kenshi Muto announced an update of the backported debian-installer for
Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 “Squeeze” [39]. Updated images are available on
his images archive page [40]. These images contain kernel version
2.6.39 (bpo.2), updates disk controller drivers such as hpsa (by
updating kernel-wedge) and updates firmware packages (such as bnx2x).
Images are available both for “i386″ and “amd64″ architectures. Please
note that these are unofficial images and you should use them only if
you really need this.

39 : http://kmuto.jp/b.cgi/debian/d-i-2639-squeeze.htm
40 : http://kmuto.jp/debian/d-i/

Dominique Dumont announced that Perl 6 (AKA [41] “rakudo”) is now
available in Debian unstable (and meanwhile has also been accepted in
“testing”). Dominique started the effort of packagingPerl 6 for
Debian [42] after listening to an inspiring talk delivered by Gabor
Szabo at FOSDEM, titled [43] “Using Perl 6 today”.

41 : http://ddumont.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/perl6-aka-rakudo-is-available-on-debian/
42 : http://packages.debian.org/rakudo
43 : http://www.fosdem.org/2011/schedule/event/perl6_today

Alexander Wirt announced that the following new mailing lists are now
available:

* debian-user-slovenian [44]
“debian-user” in Slovenian;
* debian-sprints [45]
Discussion and coordination for sprints;
* debian-dug-by [46]
Discussion list for the Belarusian Debian Community;
* debian-experimental-changes [47]
Notices about uploaded packages for the experimental distribution,
from developers, buildds and “dak” (the Debian Archive Kit).

The results of SPI [48] elections have been declared: Jimmy Kaplowitz,
Clint Adams and Robert Brockway were elected to the SPI board. SPI
(Software in the Public Interest) is a non-profit organization founded
to help organizations develop and distribute open hardware and
software; for more information on what SPI is and what it does, you can
watch the SPI BoF [49], held during the last DebConf.

44 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-user-slovenian/
45 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-sprints/
46 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-dug-by/
47 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-experimental-changes/
48 : http://www.spi-inc.org/
49 : http://meetings-archive.debian.net/pub/debian-meetings/2011/debconf11/high/703_SPI_BOF.ogv

Ansgar Burchardt announced that the Debian archive now supports xz
compression [50] for both source and binary packages. However, packages
in the base system (i.e packages with “Priority: required”) and their
dependencies must use gzip as otherwise debootstrap will be unable to
install a system.

50 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2011/08/msg00001.html

Jaldhar Harshad Vyas sent an update on the status of the Debian
GNU/Minix port [51]. The main news is that dpkg has been successfully
ported, while the initial bootstrapping is quite difficult due to
circular dependencies; nonetheless Jaldhar said that a pre-alpha
version will be distributed in a month.

51 : http://www.braincells.com/debian/index.cgi/search/item=271

Aigars Mahinovs published an interesting picture [52], taken in Banja
Luka at DebConf11, with people wearing official DebConf t-shirts from
DebConf3 up to DebConf11.

52 : http://www.aigarius.com/blog/2011/08/08/debconf-t-shirts/

Thom Holwerda blogged about AmigaOne X1000 being shipped to beta
testers [53], which will be delivered with a “Nemo” motherboard
assembled by Varisys, a UK company. The good news for Debian users is
that Varisys has Debian 6.0 “Squeeze” running on the “Nemo” board.

53 : http://www.osnews.com/story/25041/AmigaOne_X1000_To_Ship_to_Beta_Testers_Next_Week

New Debian Contributors
———————–

2 applicants have been accepted [54] as Debian Developers, 7 applicants
have been accepted [55] as Debian Maintainer, and 34 people have
started to maintain packages [56] since the previous issue of the
Debian Project News. Please welcome Timo Lindfors, Cristian Greco,
Sébastien Villemot, Ruben Molina, Philipp Kaluza, Steve Conklin,
Allison Randal, Miguel Landaeta, John Paul Adrian Glaubit, Mario
Limonciello, Thadeu Lima de Souza Cascardo, Jérôme Sonrier, Sebastian
Krzyszkowiak, Dave Walker, Sebastian Tennant, Julien Vaubourg, Laszlo
Kajan, Peter Bennett, Karol M. Langner, Zhi Li, Nick Bane, Stefan
Denker, Matthias Klumpp, Olaf Dietsche, Wolodja Wentland, Andy Spencer,
Intri Geri, Arno Onken, Harlan Lieberman-Berg, Florian Reitmeir, Ben
Webb, George Gesslein II, Melvin Winstrøm-Møller, Pirmin Kalberer,
Muneeb Shaikh, Godfrey Chung, Olivier Girondel, Martin Ueding, Werner
Jaeger, Julia Palandri, Karolina Kalic, Enas Giovanni, and Michael Wild
into our project!

54 : https://nm.debian.org/nmlist.php#newmaint
55 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2011/08/msg00017.html
56 : http://udd.debian.org/cgi-bin/new-maintainers.cgi

Important Debian Security Advisories
————————————

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): qemu-kvm [57], krb5-appl [58], opensaml2 [59],
mapserver [60], phpmyadmin [61], libpng [62], libsndfile [63],
typo3-src [64], samba [65], squirrelmail [66], isc-dhcp [67], libxfont
[68], and freetype [69]. Please read them carefully and take the
proper measures.

57 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2282
58 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2283
59 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2284
60 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2285
61 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2286
62 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2287
63 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2288
64 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2289
65 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2290
66 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2291
67 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2292
68 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2293
69 : http://www.debian.org/security/2011/dsa-2294

Debian’s Backports Team released advisories for these packages:
libapache2-mod-authnz-external [70], xml-security-c [71], opensaml2
[72]. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

70 : http://lists.debian.org/20110718091230.GQ28896@aenima
71 : http://lists.debian.org/87vcubyx97.fsf@windlord.stanford.edu
72 : http://lists.debian.org/87mxfnyx0l.fsf@windlord.stanford.edu

Debian’s Stable Release Team released an update announcement for the
packages: clamav [73], clive [74]. Please read it carefully and take
the proper measures.

73 : http://lists.debian.org/1312145877.2999.136.camel@hathi.jungle.funky-badger.org
74 : http://lists.debian.org/1312839064.26351.212.camel@hathi.jungle.funky-badger.org

Debian’s Volatile Team released an update announcement for the package:
clamav [75]. Please read it carefully and take the proper measures.

75 : http://lists.debian.org/1312145785.2999.133.camel@hathi.jungle.funky-badger.org

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 [76] (and the separate backports
list [77], and stable updates list [78] or volatile list [79], for
“Lenny”, the oldstable distribution) for announcements.

76 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-security-announce/
77 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-backports-announce/
78 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-stable-announce/
79 : http://lists.debian.org/debian-volatile-announce/

New and noteworthy packages
—————————

780 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among
many others [80] are:

80 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/newpkg

* alice — Web browser (WebKit or Gecko) based IRC client [81]
* collectl — Utility to collect Linux performance data [82]
* getdata — management of external databases [83]
* gnome-split — GNOME Split – File splitter for GNOME desktop [84]
* grml-rescueboot — Integrates ISO-booting into grub [85]
* gtimer — GTK-based X11 task timer [86]
* jscribble — graphical notepad for use with a pen tablet [87]
* kindleclip –User interface for managing Amazon Kindle’s “My Clippings” file [88]
* lame — MP3 encoding library (frontend) [89]
* landell — audio and video streams manager [90]
* lightdm — simple display manager [91]
* spacezero — Real Time Strategy 2D space combat, multiplayer net game. [92]
* thunar-vcs-plugin — VCS plugin for Thunar file manager [93]
* tty-clock — simple terminal clock [94]
* wizznic — Implementation of the arcade classic Puzznic [95]
* xul-ext-autofill-forms — Iceweasel/Firefox add-on that enables you to fill out web forms faster [96]

81 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/alice
82 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/collectl
83 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/getdata
84 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/gnome-split
85 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/grml-rescueboot
86 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/gtimer
87 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/jscribble
88 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/kindleclip
89 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/lame
90 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/landell
91 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/lightdm
92 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/spacezero
93 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/thunar-vcs-plugin
94 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/tty-clock
95 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/wizznic
96 : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/xul-ext-autofill-forms

Work-needing packages
———————

Currently 261 packages are orphaned [97] and 132 packages are up for
adoption [98]: please visit the complete list of packages which need
your help [99].

97 : http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/orphaned
98 : http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/rfa
99 : http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/help_requested

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 [100] to find out how to help.
We’re looking forward to receiving your mail at
debian-publicity@lists.debian.org [101].

100 : http://wiki.debian.org/ProjectNews/HowToContribute
101 : mailto:debian-publicity@lists.debian.org

This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Francesca Ciceri,
Jeremiah C. Foster, David Prévot, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl, Alexander
Reshetov and Justin B Rye [102].

102 : mailto:debian-publicity@lists.debian.org

One Response to “Debian Project News – August 15th, 2011” »

  1. Pingback by Debian Project News – August 15th, 2011 | Debian-News.net – Your … | Linux Blog — August 18, 2011 @ 3:20 am

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