Debian Weekly News - August 6th, 2002

Welcome to this year's 30th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. The former Debian developer zhaoway (赵蔚) wrote a Chinese article about Jigdo for IBM developerWorks/China. Nice to see the word spread. This seemed to be an easy week, many developer were probably enjoying their holidays, but the security team became hyperactive. That also applies to Branden Robinson, apparently, since he announced Debian packages for XFree86 4.2.

Ceasing Security with the DMCA? CNET reports about an incident invoking the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Hewlett Packard has threatened to sue a team of researchers who published a vulnerability in Tru64 Unix. Since HP distributes Debian and two members of the Debian Security Team are U.S. citizens, are they in danger of a similar threat? One week later, HP released a press release saying that they will not use the DMCA to stifle research or impede the flow of information that would benefit their customers and improve their system security.

Backing up a Debian System. Drew Daniels wrote a report that describes methods of backing up a Debian system. This includes uses of the program cruft to find files that are not covered by properly installed packages. The sysadmin guide also includes a chapter about making backups.

There aint no such Thing as a Free Font? Ben Armstrong did some research on truetype fonts included in the Debian distribution. Alarmed by a non-free font in a package he maintains, Ben started looking for a suitable replacement font under a DFSG-free license. However, he was disappointed to find that virtually every so-called 'free' font he found failed the DFSG.

Debian Release Party in Germany. It was recently announced that some German developers plan a Debian Release Party next weekend. The party is meant to be fun after all and only a barbecue and breakfast are planned, despite interesting discussions and probably hacking. The party takes place in Minden, Germany and people should sign up in time.

Packaging Dock Apps. Josselin Mouette started a discussion about packaging WindowMaker dock apps. There are currently 28 such dock apps packaged for Debian and lists even 90 of them. All of these dockapps are likely to be packaged one day or another by DD's using them. Packaging each dock app as single package and packaging all dock apps as one large package seem to be suboptimal, though.

New ping and inetd Packages. Marco d'Itri announced that he plans to replace the version of ping and inetd with programs from OpenBSD. The new inetd is already up for public review. It supports IPv6, built-in libwrap support, binding to specific addresses and socket buffers tuning.

Installing Debian on IBM RS/6000 Workstation. Rolf Brudeseth released a howto document describing how to install Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 on an IBM RS/6000 44P-170 workstation. It should also work for other low-end systems such as the 260, 270 and B80, even though this wasn't exactly tested. Rolf also expects the installation to work similar on the mid- and high-end POWER3 systems.

Sarge CD Images? Anthony Towns requested that CD images for sarge should be automatically generated every week. He explained that don't need to be bootable yet, but should be available as jigdo images. Getting CD images out as soon as possible is important if we're going to get off on the right foot for releasing sarge any time soon.

Debian Woody CD Covers. Robert Dodd announced that he created covers for Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (codename "Woody"). The images are freely available from here. If anyone wants to use it but needs more information on the cover or a different format, Robert Dodd would be happy to fix that.

Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update your systems if you have any of these packages installed.

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the Debian archive recently or contain important updates.

Orphaned Packages. 2 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 97 orphaned packages. Many thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free Software community. Please see the WNPP pages for the full list, and please add a note to the bug report and retitle it to ITA: if you plan to take over a package.

Seen something interesting? Please drop us a note whenever you see something noteworthy that you think is appropriate for inclusion in DWN. We don't notice everything, unfortunately. Of course, we are also thankful for completely written items from volunteer writers. Please see the contributing page. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Yooseong Yang and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.