Debian Weekly News - April 24th, 2007

Welcome to this year's 5th issue of DWN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Roland Mas announced that Alioth users can use Mercurial for version control. Robert Millan announced version 0.4.0 of the Debian loader for Windows operating systems including Vista. Joey Schulze reported that security updates are available via IPv6 from official servers as well. The new release of Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 is celebrated all over the world.

Saving Money with Debian GNU/Linux. The leader of the IT department of Germany's Federal Foreign Office, Rolf Schuster, reported that they have seriously cut their IT costs by consequently using Free Software. Driven by the urge to save money on license fees and to escape from update cycles the office started the move in 2002 and has since then connected 230 embassies with the secure intranet gateways. More than 300 laptops of diplomats also run a specialised distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux.

Debian participates in Google's Summer of Code. Steve McIntyre announced that the Debian project has been accepted for this year's Google Summer of Code. During this Google sponsors the creation and future development of Free Software. A Wiki page has been set up to coordinate the participation and to collect ideas and proposals for possible projects. The list of accepted student applications was published on April 9th.

New GNU/kFreeBSD CD Image. Aurelien Jarno announced that a new installation CD image is available for Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. This port is based upon the GNU C library and the FreeBSD kernel. The CD image uses kernel version 6.2 which supports more recent hardware than previous versions and is available for the i386 and amd64 platforms.

Sam Hocevar elected as Debian Project Leader. Manoj Srivastava announced Sam Hocevar as the winner of this years' project leader election whose term starts on April 17th. A total of 482 developers casted their vote. The Debian project would like to wish Sam all the best for his upcoming tasks and decisions. We also want to thank Anthony Towns for his past term as Debian project leader.

Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 updated. Alexander Schmehl announced that sarge, the old stable distribution, has been updated for the sixth time to incorporate security updates and minor corrections. With the release of etch as the new stable distribution sarge has been moved to oldstable. Users who want to stick with sarge have to take special care before upgrading to 3.1r6.

Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 released. The Debian project announced the release of Debian GNU/Linux 4.0, codenamed etch. It includes a new textual and graphical installer that supports 58 languages and encrypted partitions, packages and repository verification, and a lot of new and updated software packages. It is strongly recommended to read the release notes before upgrading. After nearly two years of development, this release marks another milestone in the history of Debian.

Interview with Ian Murdock. Debian founder Ian Murdock was interviewed by LinuxFormat. He said that he is happy how Debian has developed, but that it is a pity that the project failed to release etch on time and how this happened. Ian opposes the democratic structures in Debian because no leader feels empowered to make decisions unless everyone agrees with him and mentioned Ubuntu as a better example. In respect to the latter he expressed his concern about compatibility with Debian.

Debian Conference Reconfirmation. Jörg Jaspert asked all potential attendants of this year's Debian conference to reconfirm their participation until May 3rd. Only confirmed attendants are considered for sponsored accommodation and food if asked for. Guests paying for everything on their own are welcome as well, of course.

From teTeX to TeX Live. Frank Küster announced that teTeX will be replaced with TeX Live. This is the successor of teTeX and uses most of the scripts developed for teTeX. The old teTeX packages will vanish and only continue to exist as transitional packages to give users a sensible choice of TeX stuff.

Debian 4.0 CD Usage. Joey Hess explained that etch consists of 331 CD and DVD images in total but 324 of them are only rarely needed. Of the remaining 7 images the most important one is the multi-architecture DVD that boots on 32 and 64 bit x86 systems as well as on powerpcs. It will detect the architecture and automatically boot the right one. Enough software is included to install a nice desktop even without network access.

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. 42 packages were orphaned since the last issue and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 403 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. 1 package has been removed from the Debian archive since the last issue:

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Thomas Bliesener, Sebastian Feltel, Johannes Wiedersich, Luca Bruno and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.