Debian Project News - February 6th, 2012
Welcome to this year's third issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
- Update for Debian 6.0: 6.0.4 released
- Bits from the Release Team
- Bits from the piuparts maintainers
- Report from Debian Med sprint
- Setting up a new school with Debian Edu/Squeeze
- Answering Debian users' questions
- Debian/Ubuntu games screenshot party
- GNOME Shell 3.2 in
Wheezy: a retrospective
- Other news
- Upcoming events
- New Debian Contributors
- Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
- Important Debian Security Advisories
- New and noteworthy packages
- Work-needing packages
- Want to continue reading DPN?
The fourth update for
Debian 6.0 (codenamed
Squeeze) has been released. This update
mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release,
along with some adjustments for serious problems.
Niels Thykier sent some bits
from the Release Team where he announced various bits of news:
the addition of armhf and s390x to testing (though these architectures may
be temporarily out of sync with the others), the acceptance of a new
release goal (
security hardening build flags), and the completion of
more than fourteen transitions to testing (including GNOME 3, Perl 5.14,
Python 2.7, etc.). Niels also issued a reminder that the freeze is due in
June, even if an exact freeze date has not been selected.
In addition, Niels announced that Cyril Brulebois joined the Release Team, becoming Release Assistant: congratulations Cyril!
Holger Levsen sent some bits
from the piuparts maintainers announcing that piuparts is again
maintained by a team and they're receiving various patches and other
piuparts is an important tool
for Quality Assurance within Debian as it runs various tests in order to
verify that packages can be installed, upgraded and removed without
problems. Tests results are publicly available on the piuparts website, where they are
updated on a daily basis.
Holger urged maintainers to regularly check their personal status pages
on piuparts in order to fix issues related to their packages.
In addition to their regular tests, since December 2011,
the piuparts maintainers have been testing the upgrade of
individual packages from
packages failed the test (and another 130 failed it due to dependencies)
while 33,708 passed it.
Andreas Tille sent a report
from the Debian Med sprint held in Southport, UK on 27-29 January.
Among other activities, the Debian Med team fixed some bugs, mentored
new members and students (consolidating the effort
made via the
the Month initiative) and packaged new software.
For more information on Debian Med activity, you can check their real time activity page.
Petter Reinholdtsen announced on his blog that
the next version of Debian Edu/Squeeze
will contain a new
tool, called sitesummary2ldapdhcp, which allows all the computers of a school
to be quickly set up with a minimal number of manual steps.
Once the central server is installed, this tool collects data from the network
to generate system objects in the LDAP database. After a few modifications of
the configuration from a GUI, the network of computers is ready to use.
A third beta version of Debian Edu based on
Squeeze and containing this tool has just been released.
Raphaël Hertzog wrote a useful blogpost about how to answer the questions of Debian users and, in general, how to support new users. There are many places for helping users (mailing lists, IRC channels, questions & answers websites, etc.) each with different characteristics, but the golden rule for every support channel is to be respectful and courteous (as stated in the Debian Community Guidelines).
Paul Wise announced a Debian/Ubuntu
games screenshot party to be held on 25 and 26 February and
organised by the Games
Team. The idea is to create screenshots for as many games in
Debian/Ubuntu as possible and upload them to screenshots.debian.net in order
to have them available to goplay (a games package browser).
For more information, you can visit the related wiki page.
Jordi Mallach wrote an article on the transition from GNOME 2 to GNOME 3 in Debian from the Debian GNOME
Team point of view.
When you’re dealing with dozens of GNOME source
packages at the same time, many of which introduce new libraries, or
worse, introduce incompatible APIs that affect many more unrelated
packages, things get hairy, and you need a plan Jordi said. But even
with a plan for a smooth transition, they encountered a lot of
difficulties, such as failures to build from source on various
architectures and incompatibilities with
other packages. Finally GNOME Shell 3.2 has transitioned to Debian's
testing suite and Jordi thanks not only all Debian GNOME Team members,
but also Release Team members Julien Cristau and Cyril Brulebois and
FTP assistant Luca Falavigna, who helped in reaching this goal.
There has been a
People behind Debian interview with
Mouette, founder of the Debian GNOME team.
The 28th issue of the miscellaneous news for developers has been released and covers the following topics:
- Debian Member Portfolio Service
- Release goals bugs displayed in the PTS
- Transitions displayed in the PTS
- dh_linktree helper tool
- Patch Tagging Guidelines: DEP-3 moved to ACCEPTED status
The Debian website is now also optimised for handheld devices.
Didier Raboud announced the birth of a new mailing list dedicated to everyone interested in discussing mobile
inferfaces in Debian. The debian-mobile mailing
list is intended as a place for
discussions around packaging
suitable mobile interfaces for Debian. For more information about
running Debian on mobile devices, you can visit the mobile and smartphone wiki pages.
Micheal Gilbert wrote an article on a recent security flaw (CVE-2012-0064) and how it was handled by distributions. Thanks also to the detailed research by the discoverer of the issue, Debian reacted really fast and the issue was already fixed in Debian unstable less than six hours after the disclosure.
Andrew Pollock wrote some bits from the ISC DHCP Maintainer: during a meeting with upstream, he gave them an overview of his packages on Debian advocating GNU/Hurd patches. A nice example of good distribution maintainer practices.
Ben Hutchings announced that Debian
Wheezy will include Linux 3.2, which is currently in
unstable and will soon enter testing.
Lior Kaplan blogged about the upcoming PHP 5.4.0 release, a pre-release version is already available in the experimental repository. Lior worked in particular on PHP extensions in order to make them compatible with PHP 5.4.
There are several upcoming Debian-related events:
- February 10-12, Oslo, Norway — Skolelinux/Debian Edu developers meeting
- February 10-12, Minsk, Belarus — Debian contributors and enthusiasts will be present at the winter edition of Linux Vacation / Eastern Europe
- February 15, Redwood Shores, CA, USA —
Multiarch and Why You Should Care: Running, Installing and Crossbuilding With Multiple Architecturesby Wookey at Embedded Linux Conference
- February 17-19, Paris, France — Debian Bug Squashing Party
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.
Six applicants have been accepted
as Debian Maintainer, and
nine people have started
to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian
Project News. Please welcome
Neutron Soutmun, Boris Pek, Christian M. Amsüss, Alexandre Mestiashvili,
Kasper Kasprzyk, Aleksey Kravchenko,
Dan Stowell, Adam Michal Ziaja, Sebastian Boehm, Cyril Lavier, Phillip
Susi, Jose Ernesto Davila Pantoja, Peter Drysdale, Dominique Lasserre
and Antono Vasiljev
into our project!
According to the Bugs Search
interface of the Ultimate Debian Database, the upcoming release,
Wheezy, is currently affected by
695 Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved
or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about
482 Release-Critical bugs remain to be solved for the
release to happen.
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): rails (update), cacti (update), openssl, bip, libxml2, wireshark, qemu-kvm, icu, curl, php5, iceweasel, tomcat6, iceape, php5 and xen-qemu-dm-4.0. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.
Debian's Stable Release Team released an update announcement for the package clive. 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.
1008 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many others are:
- clinica — simple medical records manager
- coinst — computes the co-installability kernel of a deb or RPM repository
- espeak-gui — graphical user interface for eSpeak
- instead — simple text adventures/visual novels engine
- pyformex — program to create 3D geometry from Python scripts
- apper — KDE package management tool
- vagrant — tool for building and distributing virtualized development environments
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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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.