Debian Weekly News - July 18th, 2006

Welcome to this year's 29th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Harald Welte announced the availability of a root filesystem based on Debian sarge and a corresponding kernel plus instructions for EZX phones. Raphaël Hertzog has the impression that the Debian project is merely trying to keep packages up-to-date and that the project is not making any significant improvements.

Debian Server restored after Compromise. James Troup reported that was compromised. The machine was taken down for investigation and the system was reinstalled. The intruder got access via a compromised developer account and used a local kernel vulnerability to elevate privileges.

Updated Sarge CD Images with newer Kernel. Kenshi Muto (武藤 健志) announced updated CD images for the i386 architecture for sarge that use a more recent kernel. With Linux 2.6.16-15 from several base utilities such as grub, udev and parted have been updated as well.

Old debian-devel Channel on Freenode. Erich Schubert discovered that the old debian-devel IRC channel on freenode is officially flagged as abandoned. After the alias has been transferred from freenode to OFTC the old channel wasn't used much anymore. The remaining users in the channel are encouraged to switch over to the one on OFTC.

Swap on a logical Volume. David Härdeman wondered whether to change LVM packages so that the swap partition is created as a logical volume rather than a separate partition during the installation. This would allow swap space to be easily enlarged and shrunk using the regular tools when needed.

New Wildcard Behaviour of tar. Bdale Garbee explained that the new version of tar incorporates a new behaviour with respect to wildcards passed to the program. The upstream developers have altered tar in order to make it conform to the UNIX98 specification and compatible with the original version of the utility. The change is documented in detail in a special NEWS.Debian file.

Packages to be removed. Kevin McCarty updated the list of packages that have open release-critical bugs older than one month and only very few users recorded in popcon. 15 out of 52 source packages have been fixed and 8 source packages have received an acknowledgement from the maintainer to be removed.

Support for Intel-based Macs. Junichi Uekawa (上川 純一) announced his effort to foster Debian support for Intel-based Mac computers. Frans Pop added that some work has already been done on the installer. Owners of such machines are welcome to jump in and contact the developers on the debian-boot list.

Debian Packages for Squid 3. Luigi Gangitano announced his intent to package the new version of squid, the Internet object cache, for Debian. It has been rewritten from scratch and provides a number of new features. The squid3 packages may be installed in parallel with the older packages.

Packages Diff Files. Tyler MacDonald wondered if index diff files should be used for local archives at all. They have been invented to avoid the need to download several megabytes of Packages files upon upgrade, especially for machines with low or limited bandwidth. Alec Berryman pointed out how to disable this feature. Mike Hommey additionally reported that after a long time without an update and with decent bandwidth it actually takes more time merging all diff files than downloading the full file.

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 unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.

Orphaned Packages. 12 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 326 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. To find out which orphaned packages are installed on your system the wnpp-alert program from devscripts may be helpful.

Removed Packages. 5 packages have been removed from the Debian archive during the past week:

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Sebastian Feltel and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.