Debian Project News - February 20th, 2012

Welcome to this year's fourth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

Goodbye Lenny!

One year after the release of Debian 6.0 alias Squeeze, and nearly three years after the release of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 alias Lenny, security support for the old Lenny release has been terminated. The Debian project is proud to have been able to support its old distribution for such a long time, even continuing for a full year after the new version was released.

Debian GNU/Hurd on the rails

Samuel Thibault sent some bits from Debian GNU/Hurd porters reporting recent achievements of the team. Among other news items, Samuel confirmed that Debian GNU/Hurd might be available as a technological preview for the Wheezy release: the percentage of packages built for it has passed 70% and the installer is available with a graphical interface.

Samuel wants to thank Richard Braun who provided a new and faster Debian porter box, immediately accessible to Debian Developers. For more information on Debian GNU/Hurd, you can visit the Debian wiki.

DPL and legal work

Stefano Zacchiroli sent some bits from the DPL which, as usual, reported his monthly activities. During the last month, Stefano has mostly worked on patents and legal issues, including helping David Prévot and other webmasters in their effort to relicense the Debian website, writing a draft for a Debian trademark policy (with the help of Benjamin Mako Hill and the SPI lawyers), and writing a patent policy for the Debian archive that has just been published.

Multiarch-ready dpkg

Cyril Brulebois mentioned on his blog that thanks to the hard work of dpkg developers and many (generations of) developers, dpkg with multiarch was uploaded to experimental. He invites everyone to try and install packages with a foreign architecture.

GPL in Debian: a study

Sam Varghese wrote an article analysing John Sullivan's study on the use of the GNU General Public Licence (GPL) in the Debian project. John, executive director at the Free Software Foundation, said during his FOSDEM 2012 talk titled Is copyleft being framed? that 93% of Debian Squeeze's packages are released under licences in the GPL family (including the GPL, the Affero GPL and LGPL), showing a constant and significant increase from the previous releases. The numbers in the talk were calculated using an existing Debian tool, but Russ Allbery mentioned that it wasn't designed to be used this way, so the current figures are only preliminary.

Interviews

There has also been one further People behind Debian interview: with Ana Beatriz Guerrero López, member of the Debian KDE team.

Other news

The Debian Project is calling for contributors to design graphics for the next release of the Universal Operating System, called Wheezy.

Holger Levsen wrote a report from the DebConf Video Team sprint held last November in Paris, France. During the meeting the Video Team was able to work on configurations of software and hardware needed for streaming and recording various important events such as DebConf and FOSDEM.
Holger ended his mail with a thankyou to IRILL who hosted the meeting and who provide storage for the hardware when not in use.

Moray Allan announced the newly appointed members of the DebConf Committee: Ana Beatriz Guerrero López, Ana Carolina Comandulli, Bdale Garbee, Christian Perrier and Guido Trotter.

Ton Roosendaal, creator of Blender and the head of the Blender Institute, mentioned in an interview that they use Debian for the render farm nodes.

Debian has again been chosen as Server Distribution of the Year by the LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards this year. Debian is also the third desktop distribution.

The hardware behind ftp.debian.org has recently been replaced, with the help of Studenten Net Twente (SNT) and HP.

Christian Perrier noted that Debian bug #660000 was reported by Beatrice Torracca. Beatrice is a long-time Italian translator in Debian (and other Free Software projects such as the Italian Linux Documentation Project and Translation Project) and she's now particularly active in the translation of installation messages for Debian packages (aka debconf templates). Well done Beatrice!

Upcoming events

There are several upcoming Debian-related events:

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.

New Debian Contributors

Fourteen people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Peter Drysdale, Dominique Lasserre, Antono Vasiljev, Bastiaan Franciscus van den Dikkenberg, Tomasz Buchert, Michael van der Kolff, Daniel Hartwig, Nick Moffitt, Carlos Borroto, Yauhen Kharuzhy, Romain Bignon, Peter Michael Green, Carlos Vicente, and Daniel Jared Dominguez into our project!

Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the Bugs Search interface of the Ultimate Debian Database, the upcoming release, Debian 7.0 Wheezy, is currently affected by 613 Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 410 Release-Critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.

There are also some hints on how to interpret these numbers.

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): apache2, icedove, cvs, php5, devscripts and libpng. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

Debian's Stable Release Team released an update announcement for the package: eglibc. 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) for announcements.

New and noteworthy packages

572 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many others are:

Work-needing packages

Currently 409 packages are orphaned and 142 packages are up for adoption: please visit the complete list of packages which need your help.

Want to continue reading DPN?

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 debian-publicity@lists.debian.org.


To receive this newsletter bi-weekly 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 Francesca Ciceri, David Prévot and Justin B Rye.