Debian Weekly News - May 22nd, 2001

Hurd F2 ISO Images are now available. Get 'em while they're hot! For those folks who haven't heard of Hurd, Debian GNU/Hurd is an OS based on the GNU Mach microkernel. It's not quite up to production quality, but if the idea of an OS based on a microkernel interests you be sure to check it out.

Bloated /etc. /etc is supposed to be small, since it has to be in /. However, some packages put some big files in there; samba has it's codepages directory taking 2.5MB. Bill Allombert raised the issue, and the general consensus was that this should be fixed by moving some of those files from /etc to /usr/share.

Debian-User Weekly FAQ. This subject pops up from time to time on the Debian-User mailing list, but this time Yotam Rubin popped the question on the Debian-Doc list. The Debian-User mailing list sees quite a bit of traffic, but would a specific FAQ cut it down any? The discussion hasn't come to a specific resolution yet, but you can check out the regular Debian FAQ.

Accessing Secure Sites with Mozilla. Apparently, the Mozilla package currently available in main is outdated, based on Milestone 18, while version 0.9 is now available. It also comes without support for secure Web sites. Tham Kine Seng got a quick response from several kind folks on the list, and summarized instructions to install an "unofficial" Mozilla package with security enabled.

Using Public IP addresses in DMZ. An interesting discussion, with some helpful advice, popped up on the Debian-Firewall discussion list.

Am I insane? A lot of people on the Debian-User mailing list were asking that question when the list suddenly received more than 100 messages in German on Saturday. Apparently, someone had a news to mail gateway misconfigured, but the problem seems to have abated now. Chris Cyll, who's been studying too hard for German exams, was particularly alarmed.

New Packages. Some of this week's most notable packages are agrep, a text search tool with support for approximate patterns, autotrace, a package for converting bitmaps to vector graphics, cowsay, an absolutely vital program for turning text into happy ASCII cows with speech balloons, and junior-programming, programming packages for kids, part of the Debian Jr. project. There's also the HTTP compression module for Apache, libapache-mod-gzip and scalemail a scalable virtual mail domain system built with Postfix and LDAP.

FAI 2.0 Released. Another interesting program is FAI, a program that performs a fully automatic installation of Debian on one or more PCs. Thomas Lange made the announcement on the Debian-Beowulf mailing list.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier, Jean-Christophe Helary and Tollef Fog Heen.