Debian Weekly News - April 8th, 2003
Welcome to this year's 14th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Since the last issue was released on April 1st, some of you should've been more careful with its content. We knew very well that Gentoo's move to RPM and the additional IPv4 header were just pranks. However, we didn't want to leave you without our own April fools prank, courtesy of Thomas Bliesener and Andreas Schuldei. However, the new law in Germany was real.
SPI Resolutions about Donations. Bdale Garbee reported about the most recent board meeting of Software in the Public Interest, Inc. (SPI). Donations prior to January 2002 for which not enough documentation exist anymore are considered to be earmarked for Debian by 95 %. Donations made later will be credited entirely to the projects for which they were earmarked.
Acquiring Government Support. In an article on NewsForge Alex Perry talks about his ideas about how Free Software developers can get more U.S. government contracts. His idea is to create very specialized CDs containing a base installation, an office suite and a full distribution, which would be sold at rather high prices but including support and training. This would compete better with proprietary vendors' offerings and would support Free Software projects if the contractor would be SPI for example.
Installing Debian Woody. Jonathan Oxer contributed an article to linmagau entitled "The Debian Universe". He admits that the current Debian installer is ugly but also notes that some people believe that a not so easy installer will keep horde of unwashed masses away from Debian who aren't worthy of such a fine OS! In the article Jonathan describes in detail how the installer works and how packages are installed.
Policy compliant init Scripts. Bill Allombert noticed that a lot of init.d scripts fail to implement policy properly. Bill wants all init.d script to behave the same and supposed to standardise on the LSB 1.3 which has an extended description of init.d scripts behaviour.
Debian Usability Research. After the enthusiasm gathered at the Linux Conference Australia, Enrico Zini announced the birth of a new Debian effort. The Debian Usability Research is a volunteer research effort focused on identifying and addressing Debian-specific usability issues, not necessarily tied to the desktop.
First Metadistros Coordination Meeting. Teófilo Ruiz Suárez announced the first project coordination meeting for Metadistros, which tries to simplify the process of building customized Debian-based distributions (whitepaper), for example live CDs. Hispalinux organises this meeting on April 14th and 15th at the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid, Spain.
Revised LaTeX Project Public License. Jeff Licquia posted a new working draft of the LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL). After the debate that took place months ago, Jeff and several members of the LaTeX Project worked off and on towards solving the problems that had been raised before. This version, a near-total rewrite, is the result.
Security Administration with Debian GNU/Linux. José Salvador González Rivera wrote a paper on security administration with Debian GNU/Linux. José concentrates on specific issues and situations not considered frequently, such as the use of limits and files attributes. He hopes that the article can help people get a little bit more interest in GNU/Linux security, and specifically with Debian.
Apt-get for Users. Thomas Petazzoni wondered
if it would be possible to enable normal users to install software in their
home directories with
apt-get on systems where only the
administrator has root access. Chad Walstrom pointed
out several problems with the idea, including binaries with hardcoded
paths. Emile van Bergen thought
these could be overcome, although Corrin Lakeland suggested
that it might only be achieved by using
apt-src instead of
apt-get because so many packages need to be configured at
Installing WINE. The issue of installing
wine was raised this week on the DebianHelp forums. A user discovered
apt-get install wine winesetuptk gave him an installation
without the necessary
wine.conf file and his attempts to run
winesetup were unsuccessful. The problem stemmed from trying to
winesetup as root. After installing
winesetup should be run in normal user mode.
Debconf Template Translation Management. André Luís Lopes planned to provide patches for packages that aren't using po-debconf for managing debconf template translations yet. This, however, requires a build dependency against po-debconf. He wonders if a stronger dependency against debconf would be sufficient. André Luís also has the impression that changing packages to use po-debconf will actually make things worse for backporters who are trying to make packages build correctly on woody.
Familiar Packages for Debian? Russell Coker pondered packaging the Familiar distribution of Linux for Debian. It consists of a boot loader (non-linux binary), an image of the root file system (JFFS2 file system image) which is about 13 MB, a kernel patch for 2.4.19, gcc and binutils for cross-compiling ARM code on an i386 platform and finally a complete tool chain. This is a total of about 130 MB.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
- lpr-ppd -- Local root exploit.
- S/390 kernel -- Local root exploit.
- apcupsd -- Local root exploit.
- sendmail -- DoS and arbitrary code execution.
- metrics -- Insecure temporary file.
- Samba -- Local root exploit.
- moxftp -- Arbitrary code execution.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
- chipcard-tools -- Tools for accessing chip card readers and chip cards.
- datefudge -- Fake the system date.
- fiaif -- Easy to use, yet complex firewall.
- gambit -- Game theory analysis software and tools.
- iisemulator -- Emulation for the IIS web server.
- iperf -- Internet bandwidth measuring tool.
- lmule -- eMule client.
- lufs-utils -- Linux Userland Filesystem - utilities.
- pimd -- PIMv2 multicast routing daemon.
- sork-passwd -- Horde2 module for users to change their password.
- wiliki -- Yet another Wiki clone written in Scheme.
- wy60 -- Curses based emulator for the Wyse 60tm terminal.
Orphaned Packages. 27 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 203 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.
- blatte -- Powerful text markup and transformation language. (Bug#188179)
- cdcd -- Command line or console based CD player. (Bug#188044)
- dia2code -- Dia-UML to C/C++/Java code generator. (Bug#187731)
- exim-tls -- Exim Mailer - with TLS (SSL) support. (Bug#188170)
- filerunner -- X-Based FTP program & file manager. (Bug#188175)
- gnuhtml2latex -- Perl script that converts html files to latex. (Bug#188174)
- greg -- Tool testing framework. (Bug#188103)
- gstar -- GTK front-end for the starchart program. (Bug#188183)
- hdate -- Prints Hijra (Islamic lunar) dates, calendar, Islamic prayer times. (Bug#188178)
- kernel-patch-2.2.18-openwall -- patch to add extra security-related features. (Bug#188172)
- kernel-patch-int -- International patch for the Linux kernel. (Bug#188173)
- latte -- The Language for Transforming Text (currently to html). (Bug#188177)
- libcdaudio -- Library for controlling a CD-ROM when playing audio CDs. (Bug#188104)
- libnids -- IP defragmentation TCP segment reassembly library. (Bug#188171)
- netenv -- Configure your system for different network environments. (Bug#188167)
- quickppp -- PPP configuration tool. (Bug#188176)
- sing -- Fully programmable ping replacement. (Bug#188168)
- stringlist -- StringList - library for handling misc Enlightenment functions. (Bug#188182)
- tardy -- tar(5) post-processor. (Bug#188105)
- udhcp -- Very small DHCP client and server. (Bug#188106)
- webbase -- Crawler/indexer for the Internet. (Bug#187261)
- xcb -- Pigeon holes for your cut and paste selections. (Bug#187732)
- xonix-jahu -- Xonix clone for X11. (Bug#188169)
- xpaste -- Program to display the contents of the primary paste buffer. (Bug#188180)
- zcip -- Autonomously obtain an IP address. (Bug#188107)
- zed -- Powerful, multipurpose, configurable text editor. (Bug#188181)
- zope-worldpilot -- Web based organizer and messenger built on zope. (Bug#187449)
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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Matt Black and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.