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Debian Project News – December 10th, 2012

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

* Record number of participants for Mini DebConf Paris
* Debian on smartphones: a feasibility analysis
* Official Debian images on Amazon Web Services
* Reports from latest BSPs
* Other news
* 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?

Record number of participants for Mini DebConf Paris

The second Mini DebConf Paris [1], held over the third weekend of
November, registered a record number of participants for a mini DebConf:
more than a hundred people, including Debian Developers, contributors
and enthusiasts from all over Europe. The great success of the event was
also guaranteed by the high number of talks and workshops [2] held
during the two days, most of them recorded by the amazing DebConf Video
team (and soon available on the video website [3]). Josselin Mouette,
one of the founders of the Debian GNOME team, held an interesting talk
titled “Large deployment of GNOME from the administrator’s
perspective [4]”, consisting of an overview of existing mechanisms for
administrating GNOME systems. Stefano Zacchiroli, current Debian Project
Leader, presented the debian-cloud initiative [5] during the “Lightning
Talks”, while Lucas Nussbaum explained how to get involved in Debian in
his five-minute “Get involved – it’s not that hard [6]” talk. Ben
Hutchings and Maximilian Attems presented the work of the Linux kernel
team [7], while Cyril Brulebois explained how the Debian Installer is
created and how it works [8]. Some talks were dedicated to the community
aspects of Debian, such as Roberto Di Cosmo’s “Free software and Debian,
20 years after [9]” and the accurate analysis of social interactions on
Debian mailing lists [10] by Alexandre Delanoë and Bernard Conein.


Debian on smartphones: a feasibility analysis

Paul Wise documented how to install Debian on smartphones [11]: while
this is technically possible, the process is complicated by the fact
that the Linux mainline kernel doesn’t run on many mobile devices and
the Debian Linux kernel maintainers prefer not to include non-mainline
patches. Paul concluded by saying that “the procedures I documented
above are not a great way to support mobile devices at all and could
break at any moment anyway. So everyone, please become a kernel
developer and help merge all of the many many versions of Android Linux
into Linux mainline so that you can have your favourite distribution on
your devices”. The state of the art of support for running Debian on
such devices is documented on the Mobile wiki page [12], while people
interested in helping can join the discussion on the debian-mobile
mailing list [13] or simply join the #debian-mobile channel on


Official Debian images on Amazon Web Services

James Bromberger announced the availability of official Debian images on
Amazon Web Services [14]. Over the last few months, James and others
have been working on the creation of official images to be put on the
AWS Marketplace. After the first contact between Amazon and DPL Stefano
Zacchiroli, “a group of Debian Developers and the wider community formed
to generate a set of AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) using Anders
Ingemann’s ec2debian-build-ami script”, explained James. Those who plan
to use it can find the relevant documentation on the Amazon EC2
Image [15] wiki page, while the ongoing task of creating and supporting
official images is coordinated via the debian-cloud mailing list [16].


Reports from latest BSPs

During the third weekend of November, three simultaneous Debian Bug
Squashing Parties were held in different locations across the world: in
Tokyo, Japan [17], in Munich, Germany [18] and in Essen, Germany [19].
The next episode of the Bug Squashing Marathon for Wheezy [20] will be
on 15-16 December in Mechelen, Belgium [21].


Other news

The Debian Women project finally completed the migration of to the main Debian website [22]. The new version [23]
is already available in Danish and French. In the announcement you can
find instructions and hints on translating it to your language.


Inspired by Nicolas Dandrimont’s talk about “The state of GSoC and beyond [24]”, Lucas Nussbaum noted that
half of the package maintainers in Debian are not Debian Developers or
Debian Maintainers [25].


Zaki Akhmad released Indonesian subtitles [26] for the video recording
of Stefano Zacchiroli’s “Bits from the DPL” talk, held in Managua,
Nicaragua, during DebConf12. If you want to translate the subtitles to
your language, you can fetch the original English subtitles [27] and
follow the tutorial on creating video subtitles [28].


New Debian Contributors

6 people have started to maintain packages [29] since the previous issue
of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Alberto Fernández Martínez,
Dominik George, Mika Pflüger, Wilfried Goesgens, Eric Newberry and
Carsten Schoenert into our project!


Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the Bugs Search interface of the Ultimate Debian
Database [30], the upcoming release, Debian “Wheezy”, is currently
affected by 360 Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily
solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 155
Release-Critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.


There are also more detailed statistics [31] as well as some hints on
how to interpret [32] these numbers.


Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): iceape [33], iceweasel [34], xen [35], mysql-5.1 [36],
libxml2 [37], apache2 [38], rssh [39] and libssh [40]. 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 [41] (and the separate backports
list [42], and stable updates list [43]) for announcements.


New and noteworthy packages

5 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among
many others [44] are:

* dput-ng — next generation Debian package upload tool [45]


Work-needing packages

Currently [46] 502 packages are orphaned [47] and 139 packages are up
for adoption [48]: please visit the complete list of packages which need
your help [49].


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


This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Moray Allan, Cédric
Boutillier, Francesca Ciceri and Justin B Rye.

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