Debian Weekly News - May 29th, 2001

New LSB List Created. Mark Johnson announced that a mailing list has been created for discussing the XML/SGML Linux Standard Base spec. This isn't a Debian-specific list, but will be of interest to DocBook users and anyone else making use of SGML/XML on Debian. There's also the official debian-sgml list for Debian-specific discussions.

Debian Installer for Nubus PowerMacs. Stephen Waters mailed us with the following announcement:

With the most Holy Advent of SWIM-3 Floppy Support, work ensues toward a floppy-based Debian installation for Nubus-based PowerMacs. Help, Testing appreciated; especially those with a knack for reverse engineering boot procedures on foreign hardware.

linuxppc-nubus at

Do you ever feel... you are being watched? Want to know if you're being portscanned? Rudy Gevaert asked the debian-security mailing list how to detect portscanners, and got quite a response with many suggestions.

File Globbing Vulnerability in FTP Servers. Andres Herrera pointed out that the version of ProFTPD in stable is vulnerable to the DoS attack which is described in this CERT Advisory. According to the ProFTPD Web site, the candidate version 1.2.2rc2 is not vulnerable to this attack.

Autoconf 2.50 is out. This has prompted quite a bit of discussion on the debian-devel mailing list. Autoconf is a program used to create scripts to configure source code packages. Those scripts check various features of a platform, to aid in compiling, and to ensure that all dependencies are met. Autoconf is mostly used only by developers or for extensive modification of someone else's program. Some breakage of scripts written for Autoconf 2.13 may occur when upgrading, users of Autoconf may want to join the discussion on debian-devel.

What's the proper way to package themes? Ben Burton brings up an interesting point on debian-devel, namely, how should window manager themes be packaged? Should each theme have its own package, or should all themes for a window manager be lumped in together into one great big package? No clear conclusion has been reached yet, but perhaps this should make its way into Debian Policy?

New packages this week include the interestingly-named grunch, a package that merges partial scans of an image into one seamless image. Other notable additions include ipmenu, a ncurses-based program for configuring iptables, iproute2, and QoS setups without working at the command line, which is hairy even for many experienced Linux users, maradns, a simple DNS server focused on security, mpgtx, a tool to manipulate both audio and video MPEG files, and crimson a hex-based tactical war game not unlike Battle Isle(TM).

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier, Jean-Christophe Helary and Tollef Fog Heen.