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Debian Project News – March 4th, 2013

Welcome to this year’s fifth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include: * Update for Debian 6.0: 6.0.7 released * Call for projects and mentors for Debian GSoC 2013 * Wheezy release progress * Debian at Open Source Conference 2013 Tokyo/Spring * arm64 image available * 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?

Update for Debian 6.0: 6.0.7 released

The seventh update for Debian 6.0 (codenamed “Squeeze”) [1] has been
released. This update mainly adds corrections of security problems to
the stable release, along with some adjustments for serious problems.


Call for projects and mentors for Debian GSoC 2013

Paul Tagliamonte, newly appointed administrator for Debian participation
in the Google Summer of Code program 2013 [2], asked all Debian
contributors for projects and mentors [3] to help Debian participate in
the initiative this year. “Everyone (member of the Debian project or
not, student or not) is welcome to submit their ideas, and to try and
find people willing to mentor the projects”, explained Paul in his mail.
Information on how to submit proposals is available in the relevant wiki
page [4]. You can also contact Paul and the other GSoC administrators
for Debian on their mailing list [5] or on their IRC channel, #debian-
soc on


Wheezy release progress

Niels Thykier, release team member, noticed that the current pace of RC
bug fixes is slowing down [6], with only 1.1 RC bugs fixed a day since
his last report [7]. About 200 RC bugs are left to be fixed, and if the
pace of RC bug fixes does not pick up, the release team may need to
remove packages along with their reverse dependencies.


Debian at Open Source Conference 2013 Tokyo/Spring

Hideki Yamane reported about Debian participation at Open Source
Conference 2013 Tokyo/Spring [8] at Meisei University, in Tokyo, Japan.
Debian was present with a booth where Hideki and other contributors
talked with users and enthusiasts. Takahide Nojima delivered a talk
titled “Debian Update” focused on the latest Debian achievements.


arm64 image available

Wookey announced the availability of the arm64 image [9]. This is the
culmination of a three year long effort to make Debian bootstrappable,
which has been used for the first time on the port to the 64-bit ARMv8
architecture. Whilst it should be considered alpha-grade for now, it
represents a great achievement: “all these packages were cross-built on
raring, untangling cyclic dependencies with build profiles making this
the first (non x86) self-bootstrapped Debian port ever”, explained
Wookey. “Getting this port working has been “interesting” because it’s
attempting four new things all at once: multiarch (file layouts and
dependencies), crossbuilding (tools and packaging support in a distro
that historically was always natively built), arm64 (aarch64) support in
packages that need it, and build-profiles to linearise the build-order”,
he added. The current status of the bootstrap [10] is online, whilst
more information on the port (and how to build images) is available on
the wiki page of the project [11].


Other news

Paul Wise blogged about a QA tool [12] for finding packages’
inadequacies (broken symlinks, missing copyright files, obsolete
conffiles, etc.) called adequate [13] and developed by Jakub Wilk.
People interested in software quality are invited to participate in
Debian’s QA initiatives [14].


Kurt Roeckx, Debian Project Secretary, announced the timetable for the
DPL election [15].


Hideki Yamane blogged about the series of articles about Debian [16] he
is writing for the Japanese magazine “Software Design”.


Olivier Sallou sent a report from the Debian Med sprint [17] held during
the last weekend of February in Schönberg, Germany. The team worked
mainly on packaging new software as well as updating existing packages.


Upcoming events

There is one upcoming Debian-related event:

* March, 16-17, Chemnitz, Germany — Debian booth at the 15th Chemnitzer Linux-Tage [18]


You can find more information about Debian-related events and talks on
the events section [19] of the Debian web site, or subscribe to one of
our events mailing lists for different regions: Europe [20],
Netherlands [21], Hispanic America [22], North America [23].


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 [24]? Send an email
to the Debian Events Team [25].


New Debian Contributors

Three people have started to maintain packages [26] since the previous
issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Alexandre Dreyer,
Sebastiaan Mathot and Erik Sjolund into our project!


Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the Bugs Search interface of the Ultimate Debian
Database [27], the upcoming release, Debian “Wheezy”, is currently
affected by 174 Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily
solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 69
Release-Critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.


There are also more detailed statistics [28] as well as some hints on
how to interpret [29] these numbers.


Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): nss-pam-ldapd [30], openjpeg [31], postgresql-8.4 [32],
squid3 [33], linux-2.6 [34], fusionforge [35], python-django [36],
cfingerd [37] and xen [38]. 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 [39] (and the separate backports
list [40], and stable updates list [41]) for announcements.


New and noteworthy packages

102 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among
many others [42] are:

* epubcheck — ePub book format validator [43]
* firewalld — dynamically managed firewall with support for network zones [44]
* kbtin — tintin++ style text-based MUD client [45]
* miceamaze — video game with mice in a maze [46]
* opensesame — graphical experiment builder for the social sciences [47]
* powerdebug — tool to display regulator, sensor and clock information [48]
* python-gsw — Python implementation of the Thermodynamic Equation of Seawater [49]


Work-needing packages

Currently [50] 495 packages are orphaned [51] and 143 packages are up
for adoption [52]: please visit the complete list of packages which need
your help [53].


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


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

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