Debian Weekly News - September 17th, 2001

Another new architecture? Stefan Gybas has requested a new architecture: s390x. He writes: "s390 is used on IBM mainframes up to G6 (generation 6) and is based on 31bit addresses (yes, 31 bits, not 32!). The newer models (G7) use 64bit addresses and the architecture is called s390x. Kernels for s390x also include an 31bit emulation layer, so we can run s390 binaries on s390x." He also told us that a buildd for s390x is already running, all important packages are compiled and the installation will be the same as with s390, so it could even be released with Woody.

Getting isdnlog into Woody. Paul Slootman discovered a severe problem with the isdnutils package. The reason lies in a binary-all package depending on an architecture-dependent package which is not available for all architectures, since it requires supported ISDN hardware for that architecture. Thus the dependency cannot be satisfied for certain architectures which locks the package out of Woody.

Call for lintian patches. Sean 'Shaleh' Perry announced that he's back and asks people who have any beefs or patches to read the bugtracking system and submit them accordingly.

Aptitude broken with HTTP. Daniel Burrows wrote that he broke aptitude and doesn't want people telling him. Well... The HTTP method breaks badly when run from aptitude. It's a known problem which originates in the apt libraries, allegedly. Daniel will upload a workaround soon. Please don't send tons of bug reports about it or he will have to deal with merging bug reports instead of dealing with the workaround.

Alternatives in Build-Dependencies. Bdale Garbee has discovered that the current way the buildd handles alternatives in Build-Depends is somewhat suboptimal. The sbuild which buildd uses will always use the first option. Maintainers who use alternatives in Build-Depends should be aware of this fact when they start using such alternatives. Anthony Towns has added some descriptive scenarios.

Personal Package Builder. Junichi Uekawa has announced pbuilder, a personal builder for Debian packages. It is a convenient program to create a chroot system, and build Debian packages inside of it. Our buildd systems use a component (sbuild) which also build packages. However, sbuild focuses on building a package for buildd, while pbuilder focuses on integrating the process of building a chroot environment (debootstrap) and compiling Debian packages. Version 0.3 has already entered the archive.

Graphing Debian. Edward Betts seems to be deeply in love with xplanet. He has used the program for a set of analysis such as trying to locate the center of Debian, or calculating the distance between developers, or visualizing the keyring. Peter Palfrader has also created some images visualizing the keyring. Be warned, they are huge.

Overclocking Tips. Rajesh Fowkar is looking for advice on overclocking an Asus motherboard and Celeron CPU. Seems that the machine has some issues with compiling a kernel.

FAI 2.2 was released on Sunday. Thomas Lange announced that Fully Automatic Installation 2.2 was ready to go. FAI is a non-interactive system for adding Debian GNU/Linux machines to a cluster.

Yum, new boot-floppies! Adam Di Carlo announced that version 3.0.14 of the boot floppies are available for testing for powerpc and i386. Hammer on them and send reports, comments or praise to

Evils of /usr/share/java/repository. Does the current setup for Java in Debian leave something to be desired? There's a discussion on the Debian-Java mailing list about Java classpaths. Apparently Java Policy is being looked at, so any interested Debian Java users and developers might want to follow this discussion and possibly join in.

New dpkg-deb Feature. Wichert Akkerman has added a showformat feature for dpkg-deb. It's now in CVS for anyone that is interested in getting their hands on it.

New Packages. This a short list of a few of the new and noteworthy packages for Debian this week. Note that this is by no means an all-inclusive list or in any way a snub against any packages not mentioned. Any maintainer who releases a package that they'd like to call attention to should send us a note. Any maintainer that gripes after the fact that his or her package was ignored will be summarily ignored or ridiculed.

Recent Security Advisories. No new security advisories this week.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.