Debian Weekly News - June 11th, 2001 was down several days this week, with hard drive problems. Master hosts the Debian bug tracking system, email addresses, mailing list archives, and other crucial systems, all of which were interrupted by the down-time.

While the Debian Project doesn't have all of its server eggs in one basket these days, a failure of master can still nearly paralyze the project. Even updates to the testing distribution halted since the BTS was not accessible. (And it disrupted preparations for DWN, making this issue late.) Most of master's drives turned out to be ok, and no data was lost from master.

A few messages to addresses, including the BTS, did bounce, and anyone who submitted a bug this week only to get a bounce back is encouraged to resubmit it.

One hundred thousand bugs have passed through the Debian Bug Tracking System now -- bug #100000 was filed on June 7th, 2001. Unfortunately, few marked the occasion with fanfare as planned since the BTS was down at the time. Some developers on IRC celebrated the bug with a special bot by Joey Hess.

Of the 100,000 bugs, fewer than 19 thousand remain open - that's 2 to 3 bugs per package, on average. The oldest open bug, #710, was filed 5 years ago, and the most famous bug may be #6518.

Debian's bug tracking system is more than a catalog of problems, it's a huge body of knowledge that's used for historical reference as well. Especially for things like the testing distribution, and so on.

We're proud of our BTS, nasty bugs and all, and it even plays an important role in our Social Contract. A big thank you is surely deserved by both the developers who fixed those countless thousands of bugs, and the users who took the time to make Debian better by reporting them! If the number of bugs reported continues to be approximately linear with time (as shown in this graph), the already unwieldy bug numbers shouldn't get any bigger until early May, 2028.

MOSIX is in unstable. MOSIX is a scalable, multi-platform, transparent load balancing tool. Very nice, and is now available as Debian packages.

Intent to Rewrite: pwgen. Theodore Ts'o intends to rewrite pwgen, a password generator, because of the license problems with it. This is a very welcome initiative, and multiple suggestions for improvements have already surfaced.

Experimental Python packages have been released, and Gregor Hoffleit has asked for help with auditing the packages that depend on Python.

LinuxTag CD Preview available. The first preview of the CD for LinuxTag in Germany is ready. It consists of potato boot-floppies and packages from woody and sid. It seems to work, but is a preliminary version.

LinuxWorld Expo 2001/Tokyo. We got a report from Junichi Uekawa about Debian's presence on LinuxWorld in Tokyo. Members of the Debian Project were present and showing Debian on Macintosh Classic and PlayStation 2, among others.

Freezing Woody. Policy is more or less frozen and will only be updated if there are important bugfixes or changes, Julian Gilbey announced. Also, Anthony Towns posted an updated progress report basically saying that we are not ready to freeze yet.

New server Ivan Moore announced that there would be a new site for Debian KDE packages with a round of 2.1.x packages for Potato coming soon.

NewbieDoc News:

The NewbieDoc folks sent us this update - thanks guys!

Jesse Goerz has been busy working on automating our build process with custom dsssl stylesheets; Roman Lerallut and Tom Huckstep have been working on automating our build process with shell scripts.

John Eisenstein has been reviewing every document that comes out of the group, paying careful attention to the content and structure of each sentence, and finding ways to deal with an international spread.

You can join our effort and contribute a NewbieDoc or some technical pointers -- join as a member, and send a message to!

Newbie Tip:
Are you a writer? Learn DocBook so you can write ONCE -- and then render your work to PDF, to HTML, to PostScript, to plain text... Just "apt-get install sgmltools-2" to get started, and learn about it at

As always feel free to drop the Debian Weekly News editorial team a note with comments, suggestions or news tips to

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