Debian Project News - March 14th, 2011
Welcome to this year's fourth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
- The Debian project wins awards at CeBIT
- Debian named the most important GNU/Linux distribution
- Report from CeBIT 2011
- Bits from the Debian Project Leader
- Happy birthday, FSFE!
- Upcoming elections for the Debian Project Leader
- Geographical mirror selection as default?
- New version of Cupt coming up
- Bits from ARM and embedded sprint
- More graphs for the Debian Bug Tracking System
This week in Debianinterviews
- Other news
- New Debian Contributors
- Important Debian Security Advisories
- New and noteworthy packages
- Work-needing packages
- Want to continue reading DPN?
The Debian project won the Linux New Media award
in two categories at the recent CeBIT conference in
Hanover, Germany. Not only was Debian named as the
Best Open Source Server
Distribution for its
pioneering work both in the technical
field and in the definition of free software standards and processes, but
it also won the prestigious award for
Outstanding contribution to Open
presented by Karsten Gerloff, president of the Free Software Foundation
Europe, who donned a snazzy Debian tie just for the occasion.
The full text of his speech has been made available, including a short explanation of why this award is so important: the jury consists of over 300 FLOSS community members, developers, journalists, and companies, selected through secret ballot. The award is not awarded by a publisher, but by the representatives of the entire Free Software Community!
IT journalist Bruce Byfield published an
article analyzing in detail the
market share and influence
of the Debian distribution. Gathering various data (e.g. the number of
active Debian derivatives according to DistroWatch; 63% of these are directly or indirectly
based upon Debian) he also lists various specialties of Debian and its
derivatives. His conclusion:
It's not quite true to say
that, if you can think of a specialty, then there is at least one Debian or
Ubuntu derivative is designed for it. However, it is not much of an
exaggeration, either. This was also mentioned on Slashdot under the title
Alexander Reichle-Schmehl sent a report
of this year's CeBIT where he and other Debian Contributors has
represented Debian joining the booth of Univention, a company which bases its
product on Debian. In three days nearly two hundred people had visited the Debian
booth, mostly asking how to help and join the Debian Project or asking
more specific questions regarding, for example, Debian's stance on LibreOffice
or the internal structure of the project and its governance. Many people also
visited the booth simply to express their appreciation for the release of
Squeeze, the new website layout, and the new spacefun theme.
At the booth a Debian GNU/kFreeBSD box was also present, as a technological
preview, which attracted some interest from visitors.
Alexander wants to thank our sponsors Univention and Deutsche Messe AG, as well as the Debian folks who help with the booth.
Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli sent an email describing the aftermath
Squeeze release. One of the important points in his email is
the discussions between Debian and the Free Software Foundation. The
discussions touch on the different areas of focus of the two projects
even though both projects are working to develop Free Software. Stefano
also lists a number of interviews in various places regarding the
release. There are also some links in the email to talks given
and clearly he's been quite busy.
Debian Project Secretary Kurt Roeckx published the time line for this year's Debian project leader elections. The Nomination period has already ended on Friday, March 11. The current Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli will again be a candidate. From Saturday, March 12 until April 1, candidates will campaign and discuss, followed by the actual voting period from Saturday, April 2, 2011 until Friday, April 15 2011.
The topic of using some kind of GeoMirror for new installations has been brought up on the debian-boot mailing list, and later also on the general debian-devel list. Various pros and cons were exchanged including possible problems with DNSSEC and different approaches based upon apt-spy or netselect-apt, or DNS based approaches. APT developer Michael Vogt posted some hints that apt recently had a useful feature added for a similar purpose, allowing general deb mirrors:// lines to be specified as apt sources. Just the server side is missing, but that's already being worked on.
Eugene Lyubimkin blogged about an upcoming release of Cupt, an alternative front-end for the dpkg package manager. The most notable feature: if there's no solution to satisfy the actions requested by a user, Cupt will not only show an error message, but also show why the dependencies couldn't be resolved.
The ARM and embedded Debian teams had the opportunity to meet up at ARM offices in Cambridge for a Debian Sprint. There are lots of things happening on ARM and in embedded land. There is an ongoing effort to build a new Debian port (named armhf) which will provide a more efficient userland, suitable for modern ARM chips (v7), as found in recent netbooks, tablets, nettops, and smartphones.
There have also been great improvements in support for
This will make it possible to cross-install libraries from a foreign
userland, and thus run things like i386 non-free Flash on amd64 systems.
Cross-building support is also being integrated into Debian itself,
so developers should soon be able to easily create applications
on their desktops to run on their ARM devices running Debian.
Inspired by Eben Moglen's vision of a small, cheap, and simple computer that serves freedom in the home, the teams are building a Debian based platform for distributed applications which could help replace centralized services provided by the cloud. FreedomBox is about privacy, control, ease of use, and decentralization.
Mike Hommey added several new features to the graphs of Debian's Bug Tracking System. Besides having per package graphs, it's now also possible to have data for multiple packages consolidated into a single graph, or graphs per maintainer.
Since the last issue of the Debian Project News,
three new issues of the
This week in
Debian podcast have been published: with
Zacchiroli, Debian Project Leader; with
Maddog Hall, about Project Cauã; and with Adnan
Hodzic, about Debconf 2011 in Bosnia.
There has also been
People behind Debian interview: with
Perrier, translation coordinator.
The 26th issue of the miscellaneous news for developers has been released and covers the following topics:
- DebConf news
- Multiarch support
- win32-loader.exe available from the mirrors network
- Team-specific NM questions
- Debian games team meeting
Yves-Alexis Perez gave an update on Xfce 4.8.
The packages for the new upstream release of the desktop environment have
been assembled in Debian's
experimental branch and he's now synchronizing
with the release team over when an upload to Debian's
unstable branch will
Cyril Brulebois published the seventh issue of the
Debian XSF News. He mentions various events concerning Debian's
X.org packages, and closes with an impressive statistic: the number of open
bug reports for X.org-related packages has dropped from 880 in November down to 540
Holger Levsen, Moray Allan, and Gunnar Wolf have been delegated as
DebConf Chairs. While the organization of the yearly Debian
Conference remains unchanged, the three will now act as liaison between the
Debian Project and the DebConf project.
FTP-Master Jörg Jaspert announced an upcoming
meeting of the FTP-Team from the 21st to the 27th of March in
the LinuxHotel in Essen, Germany.
He also announced the current agenda for the meeting (ranging from internal
buildd autosigning up to end-user-oriented services like
Tollef Fog Heen wondered if it would be useful to harmonize the naming of flags to enable and disable services via their configuration snippets in /etc/default. Others added in the thread that there could also be better (UI-)tools to do so, or to customize runlevels. It was also pointed out that the interface has been complicated by the introduction of insserv.
1 applicant has been accepted as a Debian Developer, 5 applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainers, and 4 people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Frédéric-Emmanuel Picca, Stephen Kitt, Higuchi Daisuke, Alberto Garcia, Sergey B Kirpichev, Roland Dreier, Miguel Colonn, Pietro Monteiro, Boris Dušek, and Mahyuddin Susanto into our project!
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): samba, cups, pywebdav, pango1.0, dtc, iceape, subversion, logwatch, nbd, isc-dhcp, proftp-dfsg, iceweasel, icedove, webkit, chromium-browser, and wordpress. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.
Please note that these are a selection of the more important security
advisories of the last weeks. If you need to be kept up to date about
security advisories released by the Debian Security Team, please
subscribe to the security mailing
list (and the separate backports
list, and stable updates
list or volatile
Lenny, the oldstable distribution) for announcements.
The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently (among many others):
- banshee-extension-ampache — Ampache extension for Banshee
- banshee-extension-clutterflow — CoverFlow functionality for Banshee
- banshee-extension-jamendo — Jamendo extension for Banshee
- banshee-extension-lastfmfingerprint — Last.FM fingerprinting extension for Banshee
- banshee-extension-openvp — visualizations extension for Banshee
- banshee-extension-randombylastfm — random by Last.FM extension for Banshee
- banshee-extension-zeitgeistdataprovider — Zeitgeist data provider extension for Banshee
- classads — Condor's classad utilities
- comixcursors-lefthanded — X11 mouse pointer themes with a comic art feeling (LH, translucent)
- comixcursors-lefthanded-opaque — X11 mouse pointer themes with a comic art feeling (LH, opaque)
- comixcursors-righthanded — X11 mouse pointer themes with a comic art feeling (RH, translucent)
- comixcursors-righthanded-opaque — X11 mouse pointer themes with a comic art feeling (RH, opaque)
- cpm — curses based password manager using PGP-encryption
- doxygen-latex — documentation system for C, C++, Java, Python and other languages
- drupal6-mod-views-charts — views_charts modules for Drupal 6
- drupal6-mod-views-groupby — views_groupby modules for Drupal 6
- eq10q — LV2 equalizer
- failmalloc — memory allocation failure crash-test tool
- git-el — fast, scalable, distributed revision control system (Emacs support)
- grub-imageboot — boot ISO and floppy images with GRUB 2 and Syslinux MEMDISK
- gscanbus — scan IEEE1394 (FireWire/i.Link) bus
- ibus-sunpinyin — SunPinyin engine for IBus
- kdesrc-build — tool for building KDE from its source repositories
- live-config-systemd — Debian Live - system configuration scripts (systemd backend)
- live-tools — Debian Live - system support scripts
- miniupnpc — UPnP IGD client lightweight library client
- nagircbot — IRC bot that announces Nagios status
- pd-hcs — Pd library of experiments in UNIX, the Pd GUI, and more
- python2.7 — interactive high-level object-oriented language (version 2.7)
- qt-assistant-compat — Qt Assistant compatibility binary (legacy)
- qt4-qmlviewer — Qt 4 QML viewer
- qtmobility-examples — Qt Mobility examples
- ranger — file manager with an ncurses frontend written in Python
- rgbpaint — simple pixel-based painting program
- rhythmbox-ampache — play audio streams from an Ampache server
- scim-sunpinyin — SunPinyin engine for SCIM
- servicefw — Qt Mobility Service Framework tool
- sunpinyin-utils — simplified Chinese input method from Sun (utilities)
- termit — simple terminal emulator based on VTE library, embedded Lua
- tryton-proteus — Tryton application platform (Proteus)
- xsunpinyin — standalone XIM server for SunPinyin
- xul-ext-firetray — system tray extension for thunderbird/firefox alike apps
- xul-ext-ubiquity — browser interface based on natural language input
Currently 329 packages are orphaned and 144 packages are up for adoption: please visit the complete list of packages which need your help.
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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Hector Oron, Francesca Ciceri, Jeremiah C. Foster and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.