Debian Weekly News - January 4th, 1999
Welcome to the first edition of Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the debian developer community, unabashedly imitating Linux Weekly News. This issue is somewhat an experiment, and will be continued based on reader responses and my free time.
RMS is using Debian. He has it installed on his Toshiba laptop and has been active on the lists, making comments and asking questions (he needs help to get PCMCIA working, it seems). RMS is also concerned that Debian may be pushing non-free too hard by making free packages (like tetex) suggest non-free packages (like tetex-nonfree). Several possible solutions have been raised, discussion is on-going. Along with the Debian hurd port, will this spell larger FSF participation in Debian in the future?
I'm sure you know linux 2.2 is nearing completion - the 2.2pre series has begun. Consensus seems to be that kernel 2.2 is too large a change for slink at this point, but all packages should be made to work with it. In related news, new boot-floppies for slink are out and use kernel 2.0.36.
What's new in Debian 2.1? Martin Schulze is looking for submissions to be used on the press release but has gotten little feedback yet.
John Goerzen made a bold suggestion: skip slink, freeze potato, and ship it as 2.1. He feels progress on getting slink releasable is too slow and it is becoming quickly outdated in the meantime. Reaction is very mixed.
Will Debian have a booth at the upcoming linux conventions? LinuxExpo has a $1,200 price tag, LinuxWorld is in the $15,000 range. Contrast to TheBazaar which may provide a free booth, as did the Atlanta Linux Showcase. James LewisMoss (aka Dres) posted to Slashdot asking for help to raise the $1,200 for the LinuxWorld booth, with good results -- we may get a free booth as a non-profit after all, if that fails, many people have offered donations. (This also brings up the question, does Debian still have money in the bank? The answer -- yes, but we don't want to spend it on things like conventions.)
There's been some discussion about making packages log important install-time notes to a file instead of just displaying it on the screen, and the best way to implement that. Several prototype logging tools have been written.
Some news about Debian servers that has come up this week:
- The technical difficulties on non-us.debian.org continue. The incoming directory there is read-only. This has been preventing bug fixes to packages in non-us for a while now.
- The MTA on va.debian.org is soon going to change from qmail to exim. Be sure to change your .qmail files into .forward files beforehand.
Interesting and important package releases this week include:
- In the realm of security, Ben Collins found and fixed a nasty hole that let cfengine overwrite any file on the system.
- There's been some interest lately about the new MTA, postfix (AKA IBM Secure Mailer, AKA vmailer). A package was uploaded, but was rejected because of licensing troubles.
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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joey Hess.