Debian Project News - August 15th, 2011
Welcome to this year's twelfth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
- Debian named
Best Linux Distribution of 2011and
Top Production Server Distro
- Bits from the Release Team
- Recent improvements with Debian GNU/kFreeBSD
- FreedomBox activities at DebConf11
- New website for mentors.debian.net
- Debian s390x port
- Integrating Emdebian Grip into Debian
- Further interviews
- Other news
- New Debian Contributors
- Important Debian Security Advisories
- New and noteworthy packages
- Work-needing packages
- Want to continue reading DPN?
TuxRadar recently compared the six most
popular Linux distributions in different categories. It's our pleasure
to announce that Debian not only won the categories
Performance, but also won the overall
best Linux distro of 2011! We are especially pleased
to have won in the
community category, or to cite TuxRadar:
There's more to a Linux community than just numbers.
Similarly, Debian was named the
Production Server Distro by Carla Schroder at linux.com:
I've been spoiled by Debian, which
never needs to be reinstalled but can be upgraded forever, [..] Debian supports
more packages than any other distribution, so it's rare to not find whatever
you want just an apt-get install away. Many thanks, Carla!
Neil McGovern sent some Bits
from the Release Team.
First of all, Neil explained that the
release goals are areas of
functionality which developers would like to see as an aim for the next
release and should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely
and not limited in effects to only one set of packages. In addition, each release goal
must have an advocate for tracking progress. A list of current goals is
available on the related
wiki page. Another interesting topic discussed in the mail is the
CUT (Constantly Usable Testing) and of a rolling
version of Debian: the Release Team is skeptical on the creation of a new
suite as the most efficient way to improve the release process. Anyway,
certain aspects of the CUT/Rolling proposal are interesting, so the
Release Team invites people who are interested to run the suite.
Neil also talked about improvements to the
of Debian, in order to avoid the slowing down of new features in
unstable, as well as various other interesting topics such as the 0-day NMU
re-qualification and the packages removal process.
For a general overview of recent Release Team work, you can also
watch the video recording of
from the Release Team, held during DebConf11.
Robert Milan blogged about
recent improvements in the port of Debian to the
FreeBSD kernel. With the release of
Squeeze in February it was labeled as a
preview, suggesting some limitations. However, a lot of noteworthy
improvements have been made since then, including support for
encrypted disk partitions, and wireless networking. It is
also now possible to use
Debian GNU/kFreeBSD in a chroot under FreeBSD.
In related news, Robert also called for testers of the installation system's reworked ZFS support.
Bdale Garbee blogged about some recent
progress in the FreedomBox project. During DebConf11 in Banja Luka,
some FreedomBox developers worked together, fixing various
problems: Bdale developed
freedom-maker, a lightweight toolset
to build FreedomBox software images, which is now available on the git
repository of the project. Jonas Smedegaard continued to work on an
alternate packaging toolset,
Thanks to Marvell, who provided the source code, Bdale packaged two userspace programs necessary for
configuring and monitoring firmware provided for the uAP wireless chip
used in the DreamPlug: they are now available in Debian as uaputl and uapevent. Still on the topic of
DreamPlug, Clint Adams and Jason Cooper worked on adding support for the
DreamPlug to upstream u-boot while Héctor Orón and Nick Bane
analyzed the current state of patches from Marvell and Globalscale used
to support the DreamPlug against both upstream and current Debian kernel
sources. Mirsal Ennaime worked on the technology for package
configuration (using debconf and Config::Model) and there were
interesting discussions about identity and trust management, summarized
related wiki page.
For more information about the FreedomBox project, please visit the official website or watch
the recording of Bdale's
Progress Report, delivered at DebConf11.
Asheesh Laroia announced that the new version of mentors.debian.net is finally available. The new site provides a lot of interesting features such as the ability to see package quality on the package page, and support for comments and mail notifications. The site runs with a more maintainable codebase than the old one, and is also characterized by a new layout, which is the same as the main Debian website. Asheesh wants to thank all the people who have worked during the last year to achieve this result: Jan Dittberner, Christoph Haas, Johnny Lamb, David Paleino, Andrey Rahmatullin, Kalle Söderman, Christine Spang, Arno Töll, Wolodja Wentland, Paul Wise and Serafeim Zanikolas.
Aurelien Jarno blogged about the birth of a new Debian port:
s390x, the 64-bit version of the
The s390 port is actually 31-bit from the address point of view
(one bit is reserved for address space extension from 24 to 31 bits),
so each process is limited to 2 GB only, explains Aurelien.
But, as nowadays there are applications which need more than 2 GB
(especially on mainframes), the new
s390x can be really useful.
Aurelien had already done the bootstrap of the architecture, so now an
autobuilder has been started and more than
all packages have been built. The main issues are currently packages which fail
to build from source due to linker,
changes. For more information you can take a look at the list
of bugs blocking the s390x port.
Neil Williams sent an interesting mail regarding the possible integration of Emdebian Grip into Debian. Emdebian is an official sub-project of Debian for running Debian on embedded devices; the aim of the project is to provide minimized Debian packages with the same sort of consistency that Debian itself offers, to be installed on various types of devices. One of the Embedian flavours is Emdebian Grip, which can be described as a smaller Debian-compatible distro with optimized packages. During DebConf11, discussions took place in order to integrate Emdebian Grip directly into the main Debian archive and release process. The integration would involve parallel suites (unstable-grip, testing-grip, stable-grip, etc) with a restricted (and binary only) package set. There's also an interesting mail about Emdebian Grip policy. For more information, please visit the detailed summary of the discussion.
There has been
People behind Debian interview: with
Margarita Manterola, Debian Women member
Kenshi Muto announced an update
of the backported debian-installer for Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 "Squeeze". Updated images are
available on his images archive page. These images
contain kernel version 2.6.39 (bpo.2), updates disk controller drivers such as hpsa
(by updating kernel-wedge) and updates firmware packages (such as bnx2x). Images are
available both for
amd64 architectures. Please note that these are
unofficial images and you should use them only if you really need this.
Dominique Dumont announced that Perl
rakudo) is now available in Debian unstable (and
meanwhile has also been accepted in
started the effort of packaging Perl 6 for
Debian after listening to an
inspiring talk delivered by Gabor Szabo at FOSDEM, titled
Perl 6 today.
Alexander Wirt announced that the following new mailing lists are now available:
- debian-sprints — Discussion and coordination for sprints;
- debian-dug-by — Discussion list for the Belarusian Debian Community;
— Notices about uploaded packages for the experimental
distribution, from developers, buildds and
dak(the Debian Archive Kit).
The results of SPI elections have been declared: Jimmy Kaplowitz, Clint Adams and Robert Brockway were elected to the SPI board. SPI (Software in the Public Interest) is a non-profit organization founded to help organizations develop and distribute open hardware and software; for more information on what SPI is and what it does, you can watch the SPI BoF, held during the last DebConf.
Ansgar Burchardt announced that the
Debian archive now supports xz compression for both source and binary
packages. However, packages in the base system (i.e packages with
Priority: required) and their dependencies must use gzip as
otherwise debootstrap will be unable to install a system.
Jaldhar Harshad Vyas sent an update on the status of the Debian GNU/Minix port. The main news is that dpkg has been successfully ported, while the initial bootstrapping is quite difficult due to circular dependencies; nonetheless Jaldhar said that a pre-alpha version will be distributed in a month.
Aigars Mahinovs published an interesting picture, taken in Banja Luka at DebConf11, with people wearing official DebConf t-shirts from DebConf3 up to DebConf11.
Thom Holwerda blogged about AmigaOne
X1000 being shipped to beta testers, which will be delivered with a
Nemo motherboard assembled by Varisys, a UK company. The good news for Debian
users is that Varisys has Debian 6.0
Squeeze running on the
2 applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers, 7 applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainer, and 34 people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Timo Lindfors, Cristian Greco, Sébastien Villemot, Ruben Molina, Philipp Kaluza, Steve Conklin, Allison Randal, Miguel Landaeta, John Paul Adrian Glaubit, Mario Limonciello, Thadeu Lima de Souza Cascardo, Jérôme Sonrier, Sebastian Krzyszkowiak, Dave Walker, Sebastian Tennant, Julien Vaubourg, Laszlo Kajan, Peter Bennett, Karol M. Langner, Zhi Li, Nick Bane, Stefan Denker, Matthias Klumpp, Olaf Dietsche, Wolodja Wentland, Andy Spencer, Intri Geri, Arno Onken, Harlan Lieberman-Berg, Florian Reitmeir, Ben Webb, George Gesslein II, Melvin Winstrøm-Møller, Pirmin Kalberer, Muneeb Shaikh, Godfrey Chung, Olivier Girondel, Martin Ueding, Werner Jaeger, Julia Palandri, Karolina Kalic, Enas Giovanni, and Michael Wild into our project!
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): qemu-kvm, krb5-appl, opensaml2, mapserver, phpmyadmin, libpng, libsndfile, typo3-src, samba, squirrelmail, isc-dhcp, libxfont, and freetype. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.
Debian's Volatile Team released an update announcement for the package: clamav. Please read it 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.
780 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many others are:
- alice — Web browser (WebKit or Gecko) based IRC client
- collectl — Utility to collect Linux performance data
- getdata — management of external databases
- gnome-split — GNOME Split — File splitter for GNOME desktop
- grml-rescueboot — Integrates ISO-booting into grub
- gtimer — GTK-based X11 task timer
- jscribble — graphical notepad for use with a pen tablet
- kindleclip —User interface for managing Amazon Kindle's "My Clippings" file
- lame — MP3 encoding library (frontend)
- landell — audio and video streams manager
- lightdm — simple display manager
- spacezero — Real Time Strategy 2D space combat, multiplayer net game.
- thunar-vcs-plugin — VCS plugin for Thunar file manager
- tty-clock — simple terminal clock
- wizznic — Implementation of the arcade classic Puzznic
- xul-ext-autofill-forms — Iceweasel/Firefox add-on that enables you to fill out web forms faster
Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteer writers to watch the Debian community and report about what is going on. Please see the contributing page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Francesca Ciceri, Jeremiah C. Foster, David Prévot, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl, Alexander Reshetov and Justin B Rye.