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Debian Project News – March 18th, 2013

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

* Debian Edu Squeeze updated
* DPL election campaign
* A deeper look inside the freeze
* Kali Linux: a new Debian derivative for penetration tests
* 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?

Debian Edu Squeeze updated

Holger Levsen announced the first update of Debian Edu Squeeze since its
initial release [1]. “This update contains all the changes between
Debian 6.0.4 and 6.0.7, as well as Debian Edu specific bugfixes and
enhancements”, explained Holger. The updated installer images [2] are
available for downloading.


DPL election campaign

This year’s DPL election campaign has now officially started. Three
candidates are running for DPL this year: Moray Allan [3], Gergely
Nagy [4] and Lucas Nussbaum [5]. There is already quite an active debate
on the debian-vote mailing list [6], where people can ask the candidates
questions about their platforms. So far, the main topics discussed have
been: questions about recruitment of new contributors [7] and
mentoring [8]; the use of Debian’s money [9] and the possibility of
fundraising campaigns [10] to renew Debian’s core hardware
infrastructure; and possible changes to the constitutional role of the
DPL, including the creation of a DPL board [11] or changing the length
of the term of office [11].
The campaign will end on 30 March, and will be followed by a two-week
voting period. “These early days of the 2013 DPL campaign have been very
intense; as a mere voter I’m struggling to keep up with the debian-vote
backlog. Still, it’s incredibly refreshing to see such a democratic
battle between volunteers eager to offer their free time as DPL.
Volunteerism in free software is in very good health, it seems”, said
Stefano Zacchiroli, who has been DPL for the last three years.


A deeper look inside the freeze

Lisandro Damián Nicanor Pérez Meyer blogged about his experience with
the Debian freeze [12] as a Debian Developer. Lisandro, who is a member
of the Qt/KDE team, intensified his activity during the freeze,
reviewing patches, applying them and testing the fixes. With help from
the other members of the team, Lisandro has done eleven uploads of Qt to
get it ready for the new release. He explains that during the freeze,
communication within and between teams is crucial, as the energies of
all Debian Developers are focused on releasing, and that requires a
great deal of coordination. And the team that is put under the greatest
amount of stress during the freeze is the Release Team. “From the
outside, communicating with the RT was a kind of “special art”, and not
an easy one”, explained Lisandro, who then lists some useful hints for
communicating with the Release Team in an effective way.


Kali Linux: a new Debian derivative for penetration tests

Raphaël Hertzog blogged [13] about the birth of Kali Linux 1.0 [14], a
new Debian derivative developed by Offensive Security to be an advanced
and stable penetration testing distribution.
Mati Aharoni, lead Kali developer, explained that “Debian provides a
reliable base to build a new distribution and yet can easily be
customized to add bleeding edge features, thanks to the unstable and
experimental distributions”. Raphaël, who helped the Kali team in
setting up their technical infrastructure as a Debian derivative, also
added that not only will most Kali applications be integrated into
Debian, but Offensive Security is also willing to dedicate a node of
their armhf cluster for Debian’s own use.


Other news

Lucas Nussbaum published some statistics about changes in Debian
packaging and structure since 2005 [15] gathered by mining data from [16]. The majority of the software in Debian is now
team-maintained through a VCS repository (mostly Git), and packaged
using dh.


Luca Falavigna blogged about his experience in one of Debian’s core
teams [17], the FTP Team [18].


According to the Ultimate Debian Database (UDD) [19], the top 10 RC-bug
closers during March are:

1. Michael Gilbert
2. LaMont Jones
3. Julien Cristau
4. Ludovico Cavedon
5. Raphaël Hertzog
6. Gregor Herrmann
7. Sebastian Ramacher
8. Abou Al Montacir
9. Arno Töll
10. Sébastien Villemot

Well done!

More information on this data is available in this email [20].


Upcoming events

There is one upcoming Debian-related event:

* March, 23, Augsburg, Germany, 12th Augsburger Linux-Infotag [21]


You can find more information about Debian-related events and talks on
the events section [22] of the Debian web site, or subscribe to one of
our events mailing lists for different regions: Europe [23],
Netherlands [24], Hispanic America [25], North America [26].


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 [27]? Send an email
to the Debian Events Team [28].


New Debian Contributors

One applicant has been accepted [29] as a Debian Developer and two
applicants have been accepted [30] as Debian Maintainers since the
previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Balint Reczey,
Alexander Chernyakhovsky and Alexandre Raymond into our project.


Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the Bugs Search interface of the Ultimate Debian
Database [31], the upcoming release, Debian “Wheezy”, is currently
affected by 115 Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily
solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 74
Release-Critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.


There are also more detailed statistics [32] as well as some hints on
how to interpret [33] these numbers.


Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): apache2 [34], openafs [35], php5 [36], zoneminder [37],
perl [38], sudo [39], puppet [40], wireshark [41], inetutils [42],
typo3-src [43], firebird2.1 [44], firebird2.5 [45], lighttpd [46] and
libvirt [47]. 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 [48] (and the separate backports
list [49], and stable updates list [50]) for announcements.


New and noteworthy packages

16 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among
many others [51] are:

* adequate — Debian package quality testing tool [52]
* openms — data management and analysis tools for liquid chromatography and mass spectrography [53]
* seascope — source code navigation tool [54]


Work-needing packages

Currently [55] 496 packages are orphaned [56] and 142 packages are up
for adoption [57]: please visit the complete list of packages which need
your help [58].


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 [59] 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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