Debian Project News - September 15th, 2008

Welcome to this year's 11th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community.
Some of the topics covered in this issue include:

Release update

Luk Claes reported on the progress regarding the release of the new stable release Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 Lenny. While there are still a lot of release critical bugs to be fixed, Lenny is in good enough shape to call for upgrade tests and work on the release notes. Regarding the upgrade tests, he especially asks to test the Linux 2.6.26 kernel. Regarding the release notes, he asks that any issues that might be documented should be reported as bugs against the release-notes pseudo-package. Further discussion will happen on the debian-doc mailing list.

Should Security Enhanced Linux be standard?

Martin Michlmayr wondered if the packages needed for security enhanced Linux should still be priority standard or if they should be lowered to optional. Martin noticed, that the installation of these packages takes at least half an hour on popular devices like the Linksys NSLU2. Frans Pop noted that the packages where far from being usable without major tweaks, but were made standard to gain more testing by being installed but not activated by default. Russell Coker reported on the improvements during the last month. Several people argued, that SELinux should either not be installed by default or activated, maybe by offering an option or task during the installation.

Lenny Upgrade advisor

Franklin Piat started to write a script that warns users of potential problems when upgrading their system from Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 Etch to the upcoming version 5.0 Lenny. The intention of his script is to notice potential problems (for instance obsoleted or discontinued package) and point out relevant documentation and solutions. He asked for further ideas, comments and patches. Christian Perrier asked if the messages could be internationalized allowing them to be translated.

Status of translations in the debian-installer

When the development of the current Debian installation system reached a state where changing output strings was discouraged (string freeze), Christian Perrier started coordinated translation efforts and reported daily about the progress. In the two weeks between his first and his latest report, the number of translations ready for inclusion with the next Debian release has been trippeled.

Overall it looks, like the upcoming release of Debian GNU/Linux Lenny will be shipped with at least 60 languages activated in the installation system.

Bits from the Debian GNU/Hurd porters

Michael Banck sent bits from the Debian GNU/Hurd porters. Since the last bits had been posted, a lot of development took place, including the release of several snapshot releases. Michael also reports, that the base packages and the basic toolchain are in pretty good shape and most toolchain packages from Debian's repository can be used without any changes. He also refers to the possibility of testing Debian GNU/Hurd using XEN and ongoing work to make a Debian GNU/Hurd box available to all Debian Developers. He closes with a call for help, since Debian GNU/Hurd still misses an installer.

FAI / Emdebian work session in Extremadura

Holger Levsen wrote a report on the recent work session in Extremadura, Spain. 18 Debian contributors met and worked to get the fully automated install (FAI) in shape for the upcoming release of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 Lenny and to work on the infrastructure for using Debian on embedded architectures. Beside that Holger reports, that 30GB of DebConf7 videos (as ntsc and pal mpeg1 file formats) where uploaded, so that DVDs can be created soon. He closed with thanks to Junta de Extremadura for sponsoring yet another successful work session.

Brazilian government-owned IT enterprise SERPRO selects Debian GNU/Linux for its servers and wishes to collaborate

The Servico Federal de Processamento de Dados (SERPRO), a US$ 1 billion annual revenue Brazilian government-owned IT enterprise, announced during the Debian Day Brasil 2008 in Porto Alegre that it has selected Debian GNU/Linux as the preferred distribution for its hundreds of GNU/Linux development and production servers.

SERPRO has decided to increase supplier independence, flexibility, agility, and participation in technical solutions by direct interaction with the Debian Project community. This is the first time that a federal government institution of this size has reached out to the Debian Project community for a closer relationship.

Other news

The 10th issue of the miscellaneous news for developers has been released and covers the following topics:

Joey Schulze gave an overview about the upcoming Linux and Free Software related events in Europe and asked for volunteers to organize and man booths or give talks.

New Developers

5 applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers since the prior issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Laurent Bigonville, Gregory Colpart, Timo Jyrinki, Adriaan Peeters and Soeren Sonnenburg in our project!

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): freetype and linux-2.6.24. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

If you would like to be kept up to date about the security advisories released by the Debian Security Team, please subscribe to the mailing list for security announcements.

New and noteworthy packages

The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently (among others):

mythtv and mrxvt where presented by Debian Package of the Day.

Work-needing packages

Currently 452 packages are orphaned and 125 packages are up for adoption. Please take a look at the recent reports to see if there are packages you are interested in or view the complete list of packages which need your help.

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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Andre Felipe Machado, Meike Reichle and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.