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Debian Project News – October 28th, 2013

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

* Bits from the Release Team
* s390 removed from the archive in favour of s390x
* now an official service
* Debian increases its popularity on web servers
* Other news
* Upcoming events
* New Debian Contributors
* Important Debian Security Advisories
* New and noteworthy packages
* Work-needing packages
* Want to continue reading DPN?

Bits from the Release Team

Niels Thykier announced in the bits from the Release Team [1] that
Jessie, the current testing version of Debian, will be frozen next year
on 5 November 2014, at 23:59 UTC. A draft of the freeze policy,
describing the changes that can be considered for inclusion in Jessie
after the freeze, is already available [2]. Niels also summarised the
results of the porter roll-call [3] of architectures in unstable and
testing, and indicated that the architecture qualification page [4] has
been updated to include the names of the current porters. To conclude,
he itemised the list of release goals that have been proposed and that
will be reviewed by the Release Team for possible adoption, and
indicated that Britney, the testing migration script, and build services
are now able to understand and process “pkg:any” multiarch dependency


s390 removed from the archive in favour of s390x

Julien Cristau announced the removal of the s390 architecture from
Jessie [5]. s390 was an official architecture for IBM servers since
Woody and has been replaced by s390x, its 64-bit counterpart, since the
release of Wheezy. The process was completed by the removal of s390 from
Sid [6] as reported by Mark Hymers.

6: now an official service

Thanks to Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña [7] and the Debian System
Administrators Team, the service providing on-line versions of any
manual page available in Debian, previously available from the
unofficial domain, can now be reached at The service is especially useful for users
who need to read manual pages from packages that are not installed.


Debian increases its popularity on web servers

According to a recent W3Techs survey [8], Debian continues to be the
most popular GNU/Linux distribution on web servers, and has increased
its popularity from 29.4% in January 2012 (when it overtook CentOS to
take the lead) to 32.7% in October 2013. Debian’s derivative Ubuntu is
also growing, and the two together have a double lead (58.5% of Linux
web servers use Debian/Ubuntu). The survey is based on the analysis of
the top million web sites according to Alexa, in order to select a
representative sample of established sites, and focused only on the
technologies used for web sites (and not individual web pages or desktop


Other news

The eighth update of the oldstable distribution of Debian (codename
“Squeeze”) was released on October 20 [9].


The Debian Outreach Program for Women matching fund 2013 [10] will still
be running for a bit over two more weeks. For details, and to give a
donation, please see the “Donate now” page [11].


Upcoming events

There is one upcoming Debian-related event:

* November 14-17, Cambridge, United Kingdom — Mini-DebConf in ARM offices [12]


You can find more information about Debian-related events and talks on
the events section [13] of the Debian wiki, or subscribe to one of our
events mailing lists for different regions: Europe [14],
Netherlands [15], Hispanic America [16], North America [17].


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 [18]? Send an email
to the Debian Events Team [19].


New Debian Contributors

Two applicants have been accepted [20] and four people have started
to maintain packages [21] since the previous issue of the Debian
Project News. Please welcome Patty Langasek, Christian Hofstaedtler,
Ross Gammon, James Cowgill, Pall Sigurdsson, and Pierre Blanc into
our project!


Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): drupal6 [22], systemd [23], libapache2-mod-fcgid [24],
libxml2 [25], mysql-5.1 [26], python-crypto [27], polarssl [28],
librack-ruby [29], and xorg-server [30]. Please read them carefully and
take the proper measures.


Debian’s Stable Release Team released an update announcement for the
package: multipath-tools [31]. Please read it 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 [32] (and the separate backports
list [33], and stable updates list [34]) for announcements.


New and noteworthy packages

137 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among
many others [35] are:

* acr — autoconf like tool [36]
* findbugs — static Java code analyzer to find bugs [37]
* gnome-session-flashback — GNOME Flashback session [38]
* ifupdown-multi — multiple default gateway support for ifupdown [39]
* libfaketime — library to report faked system time to programs [40]
* meritous — action-adventure dungeon crawl game [41]
* weston — reference implementation of a Wayland compositor [42]


Work-needing packages

Currently [43] 535 packages are orphaned [44] and 160 packages are up
for adoption [45]: please visit the complete list of packages which need
your help [46].


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


This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Laura Arjona, Cédric
Boutillier, Andrei Popescu, Justin B Rye and Thomas Vincent.

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