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Debian Project News – February 20th, 2012

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

* Goodbye Lenny!
* Debian GNU/Hurd on the rails
* DPL and legal work
* Multiarch-ready dpkg
* GPL in Debian: a study
* Interviews
* Other news
* Upcoming events
* New Debian Contributors
* Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
* Important Debian Security Advisories
* New and noteworthy packages
* Work-needing packages
* Want to continue reading DPN?

Goodbye Lenny!
– ————–

One year after the release of Debian 6.0 alias “Squeeze”, and nearly three
years after the release of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 alias “Lenny”, security
support for the old “Lenny” release has been terminated [1]. The Debian project
is proud to have been able to support its old distribution for such a long
time, even continuing for a full year after the new version was released.

1 :

Debian GNU/Hurd on the rails
– —————————-

Samuel Thibault sent some bits from Debian GNU/Hurd porters [2] reporting
recent achievements of the team. Among other news items, Samuel confirmed that
Debian GNU/Hurd might be available as a technological preview for the “Wheezy”
release: the percentage of packages built for it has passed 70% and the
installer is available with a graphical interface.

2 :

Samuel wants to thank Richard Braun who provided a new and faster Debian porter
box, immediately accessible to Debian Developers. For more information on
Debian GNU/Hurd, you can visit the Debian wiki [3].

3 :

DPL and legal work
– ——————

Stefano Zacchiroli sent some bits from the DPL [4] which, as usual, reported
his monthly activities. During the last month, Stefano has mostly worked on
patents and legal issues, including helping David Prévot and other webmasters
in their effort to relicense the Debian website, writing a draft for a Debian
trademark policy (with the help of Benjamin Mako Hill and the SPI lawyers),
and writing a patent policy [5] for the Debian archive that has just been
published [6].

4 :
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6 :

Multiarch-ready dpkg
– ——————–

Cyril Brulebois mentioned on his blog that “thanks to the hard work of dpkg
developers and many (generations of) developers”, dpkg with multiarch [7] was
uploaded to experimental. He invites everyone to try and install packages with
a foreign architecture.

7 :

GPL in Debian: a study
– ———————-

Sam Varghese wrote an article analysing John Sullivan’s study on the use of
the GNU General Public Licence (GPL) in the Debian project [8]. John, executive
director at the Free Software Foundation, said during his FOSDEM 2012 talk
titled “Is copyleft being framed?” that 93% of Debian “Squeeze”‘s packages
are released under licences in the GPL family (including the GPL, the Affero
GPL and LGPL), showing a constant and significant increase from the previous
releases. The numbers in the talk were calculated using an existing Debian
tool, but Russ Allbery mentioned that it wasn’t designed to be used this
way [9], so the current figures are only preliminary.

8 :
9 :

– ———-

There has also been one further “People behind Debian” interview: with
Ana Beatriz Guerrero López [10], member of the Debian KDE team.

10 :

Other news
– ———-

The Debian Project is calling for contributors to design graphics for the
next release of the Universal Operating System [11], called “Wheezy”.

11 :

Holger Levsen wrote a report from the DebConf Video Team sprint [12] held
last November in Paris, France. During the meeting the Video Team was able
to work on configurations of software and hardware needed for streaming and
recording various important events such as DebConf and FOSDEM.

Holger ended his mail with a thankyou to IRILL who hosted the meeting and
who provide storage for the hardware when not in use.

12 :

Moray Allan announced the newly appointed members of the DebConf
Committee [13]: Ana Beatriz Guerrero López, Ana Carolina Comandulli, Bdale
Garbee, Christian Perrier and Guido Trotter.

13 :

Ton Roosendaal, creator of Blender [14] and the head of the Blender Institute,
mentioned in an interview [15] that they use Debian for the render farm nodes.

14 :
15 :

Debian has again been chosen as “Server Distribution of the Year” by Members Choice Awards [16] this year. Debian is
also the third desktop distribution [17].

16 :
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The hardware behind “” has recently been replaced [18], with
the help of “Studenten Net Twente (SNT)” and HP.

18 :

Christian Perrier noted that Debian bug #660000 [19] was reported by Beatrice
Torracca. Beatrice is a long-time Italian translator in Debian (and other Free
Software projects such as the Italian Linux Documentation Project and
Translation Project) and she’s now particularly active in the translation of
installation messages for Debian packages (aka debconf templates). Well done

19 :

Upcoming events
– —————

There are several upcoming Debian-related events:

* March 2-4, Cambridge, UK —Bug Squashing Party in Cambridge [20]
* March 2-4, Mönchengladbach, Germany —Bug Squashing Party in Mönchengladbach [21]
* March 10-11, Perth, Australia —Bug Squashing Party in Perth [22]

You can find more information about Debian-related events and talks on the
events section [23] of the Debian web site, or subscribe to one of our events
mailing lists for different regions: Europe [24], Netherlands [25], Hispanic
America [26], North America [27].

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Do you want to organise a Debian booth or a Debian install party? Are you
aware of other upcoming Debian-related events? Have you delivered a Debian
talk that you want to link on our talks page [28]? Send an email to the
Debian Events Team [29].

28 :
29 :

New Debian Contributors
– ———————–

Fourteen people have started to maintain packages [30] since the previous
issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Peter Drysdale, Dominique
Lasserre, Antono Vasiljev, Bastiaan Franciscus van den Dikkenberg, Tomasz
Buchert, Michael van der Kolff, Daniel Hartwig, Nick Moffitt, Carlos
Borroto, Yauhen Kharuzhy, Romain Bignon, Peter Michael Green, Carlos
Vicente, and Daniel Jared Dominguez into our project!

30 :

Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
– ———————————————————

According to the Bugs Search interface of the Ultimate Debian
Database [31], the upcoming release, Debian 7.0 “Wheezy”, is currently
affected by 613 Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily
solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about
410 Release-Critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.

31 :

There are also some hints on how to interpret [32] these numbers.

32 :

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

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): apache2 [33], icedove [34], cvs [35], php5 [36],
devscripts [37] and libpng [38]. Please read them carefully and take the
proper measures.

33 :
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Debian’s Stable Release Team released an update announcement for the
package: eglibc [39]. Please read it carefully and take the proper measures.

39 :

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 [40] (and the separate backports list [41], and stable
updates list [42]) for announcements.

40 :
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42 :

New and noteworthy packages
– —————————

572 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among
many others [43] are:

* burp — simple network backup and restore program [44]
* fake-hwclock — save and restore system clock on machines without working realtime clock [45]
* gnome-shell-extensions — extend functionality of GNOME Shell [46]
* ical2html — create an HTML table from icalendar data [47]
* pchar — characterize the bandwidth, latency and loss on network links [48]
* smartdimmer — change LCD brightness on GeForce cards [49]
* weboob — CLI applications to interact with websites [50]

43 :
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Work-needing packages
– ———————

Currently [51] 409 packages are orphaned [52] and 142 packages are up
for adoption [53]: please visit the complete list of packages which need
your help [54].

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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 [55] to find out how to help. We’re looking forward to
receiving your mail at

55 :

This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Francesca Ciceri, David
Prévot and Justin B Rye.

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