Debian Project News - January 9th, 2012
Welcome to this year's first issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
- Debian Edu/Skolelinux 6.0.3 beta2 released
- Bits from the DPL
- Forthcoming new release of the X server
- Scientific article on Debian in PNAS
- New Debian Infographic
- New interface for Debtags website
- apt-get purge defoma
- Further interviews
- Other news
- Upcoming events
- New Debian Contributors
- Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
- Status of Debian Installer localisation
- Important Debian Security Advisories
- New and noteworthy packages
- Work-needing packages
- Want to continue reading DPN?
Petter Reinholdtsen announced the release
of Debian Edu Squeeze 6.0.3 beta2: download
and installation instructions are
available on the wiki, and in particular a useful
Started chapter in which you can find explanations
of how to log in for the first time.
Feedback and installation reports can be sent to the Debian Edu mailing list.
Debian Edu is a project aiming to make a Debian Pure Blend for educational
purposes, which can be used in schools and other educational
institutions. The Debian Edu project develops and maintains Skolelinux, a complete and free
the box software solution for schools.
For more information about Debian Edu, please visit the
related wiki page.
Stefano Zacchiroli sent some bits from the DPL in which he reported about the work done by Martin Michlmayr as Auditor, in order to reconstruct Debian's expenses and budgets. Stefano also sent a call for help for Wheezy artwork organisation, and announced that Gunnar Wolf has volunteered to monitor the discussion regarding the Creative Commons process for revision 4.0 on behalf of Debian.
Cyril Brulebois blogged about the forthcoming X server release 1.12: one major change is the addition of XI2.2 patches, which are related to multitouch support. Another significant change is the addition of support for Intel's Sandy Bridge New Acceleration in the Debian packages.
If you know other studies about Debian and its software, you can add it to our related wiki page.
Claudio Filho has published a beautiful infographic
about Debian. The main motivation was, as
to "draw" for final users how Debian can be good for
Similar efforts have been made by Stéphane Blondon and Chris Lamb, who created the Debian Timeline website and the related Debian package.
Enrico Zini announced a new interface for the Debtags website. Debtags is a project to
classify Debian packages by adding tags to them:
categories (we call them tags) to packages, creating a new set of useful
structured metadata that can be used to implement more advanced ways of
presenting, searching, maintaining and navigating the package
archive, Enrico said while presenting the project in 2005.
Using the new interface, it is possible to search packages, take a look
at statistics about
Debtags and, obviously, help with the tagging
effort. For more information about Debtags, you can visit the related wiki page.
Paul Wise reported that the
transition from defoma to fontconfig is finally complete. Defoma is
the Debian-specific font manager, long unmaintained, while the
replacement (fontconfig) is cross-distribution and also has wide support
from upstreams. In the past three years the Debian Fonts Task Force
has worked a lot in order to gain this result, thanks especially to the
work of Christian Perrier and Paul Wise. Please note that the transition
is not completely smooth:
Xorg does not yet support fontconfig so for
now programs relying on server-side fonts will only be able to use the
xfonts- packages shipping their fonts in the directories known
by the X server and in addition
there are some issues with Ghostscript and
CJK, Paul said.
Since the last issue of the Debian Project News,
two new issues of the
This week in
Debian podcast have been published: with
about the Northeast GNU/Linux Fest; and with
about the Debian handbook.
There has also been a
People behind Debian interview with
Hutchings, member of the kernel team.
The 27th issue of the miscellaneous news for developers has been released and covers the following topics:
- Planet Debian Derivatives
- win32-loader.exe now eases access to the GNU/Hurd Debian-Installer
- Wiki bugstatus extended to Launchpad bugs
- dh-exec entering unstable
- derivatives patch generation prototype
Uwe Hermann published a useful quick howto on using OpenVPN on Debian GNU/Linux.
Jonas Smedegaard reported that the
Serambi dedicated an article to his
Debian involvement after his presence at a radio talkshow in Aceh,
Indonesia. Jonas was travelling Asia in order to deliver a series of talks
dedicated to Debian Pure Blends.
More information about his trip are available on a related wiki page.
The web team is pleased to announce that all languages have finished their migration to UTF-8, so the Debian website is now available for everyone in UTF-8, thanks to all the translators who worked on this issue.
Asheesh Laroia wrote an interesting article about short key IDs with OpenPGP and GNU Privacy Guard, arguing that using them is fundamentally insecure as it's easy to generate collisions for short key IDs.
The Debian Project was mentioned in an article by Bruce Byfield on
The Year of Linux Disappointments. According to the author, in
fact, while various Open Source projects saw a decline in 2011, the
spent much of 2011 reinventing itself. In the past few
twelve months, it has — among other things — tried to encourage
cooperation among its derivatives, revamped its new member process, and
experimented with IRC training sessions.
Martin Zobel-Helas announced that he has applied the main theme of Debian website to db.debian.org, the internal LDAP directory of Debian Developers. In the previous days, thanks to Cristoph Berg, the Debian Quality Assurance website had also switched to the main theme.
Russ Allbery wrote an interesting blog post about Debian and popularity.
There are several upcoming Debian related events:
- January 18, Ballarat, AU — Freedom, Out of the Box! by Bdale Garbee
- January 18, 's-Hertogenbosch, NL — a workshop on Debian Packaging
- January 20-22, Los Angeles, US — Debian booth at the Tenth Annual Southern California Linux Expo
You can find more information about Debian-related events and talks on the events section of the Debian web site, or subscribe to one of our events mailing lists for different regions: Europe, Netherlands, Hispanic America, North America.
Do you want to organise a Debian booth or a Debian install party? Are you aware of other upcoming Debian-related events? Have you delivered a Debian talk that you want to link on our talks page? Send an email to the Debian Events Team.
Fifteen people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Werner Detter, Fredrik Thulin, Eleanor Chen, Sergiusz Pawlowicz, Brian Thomason, Mike Gabriel, Ko van der Sloot, Paul Boddie, Mark Vejvoda, Patrick Ulbrich, Lucia Prado, Jon Ludlam, Kamil Ignacak, Mike McClurg, and Leo Iannacone into our project!
According to the Bugs Search
interface of the Ultimate Debian Database, the upcoming release,
Wheezy, is currently affected by
797 release-critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved
or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about
532 release-critical bugs remain to be solved for the
release to happen.
In his last report on Debian Installer localisation, Christian Perrier noted that eighteen languages are currently up to date for D-I's core files; ten (Czech, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Kazakh, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian and Slovak) are 100% complete for the moment.
Christian informed us previously
A very important and critical fix to
partman-zfs broke a string in sublevel 4.
That explains why the results are lower than the last time we relayed the
translation status, but translators are quickly working to make
the Debian Installer completely available in many languages.
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): tor, xorg, dtc, mediawiki, asterisk, lighttpd, libsoup2.4, unbound, jasper, heimdal, inetutils, openswan, krb5, krb5-appl, ipmitool, cyrus-imapd-2.2, ffmpeg, krb5, foomatic-filters, squid3, ecryptfs-utils and super. 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.
367 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many others are:
- coccinella — communication tool (XMPP/Jabber) with a built-in whiteboard
- colorhug-client — Tools for the Hughski colorimeter
- eclipse-gef — Eclipse graphical editing framework
- exfat-utils — utilities to create, check, label and dump exFAT filesystem
- gnome-documents — document manager for GNOME
- ho22bus — simple application to memorize words
- jgit-cli — Java implementation of Git version control
- xcp-xapi — Xen Cloud Platform XenAPI server
- zanshin — to-do list manager for KDE
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.
To receive this newsletter in your mailbox, subscribe to the debian-news mailing list.
Back issues of this newsletter are available.
This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Cédric Boutillier, Francesca Ciceri, David Prévot, Justin B Rye and Paul Wise.