Debian Weekly News - July 18th, 2001

Correction. In the last issue, we said that IA-64 had been using GCC-3.0 for some time. This isn't true, it's HP PA-RISC which has been using GCC-3.0 and only GCC-3.0. Thanks to Bdale Garbee for the correction.

lcap support? Christian Thäter is proposing to add lcap (capabilities) support by default. This might increase security, since daemons will only be able to exercise the capabilities which are given to them.

Bugs, bugs and more bugs. Adrian Bunk reports that we have an all-time high in the number of RC bugs, just as the freeze started. This is mainly due to recent build failures on ia64 and hppa. Also, gcc-3.0 seems to have some issues, at least on hppa. The most important bugs are the RC bugs against base and we have approximately one more week for fixing them

ASCII art. Joey Hess forwarded a nice piece of ASCII art, the Debian Logo, from met. In the true spirit of debian-devel, people went about creating colorful versions of it. One of them were made by John H. Robinson, IV.

BugSquash! A variant of the "common" bugsquashing parties was held this weekend -- a Debian Architecture BSP. Have a look at the announce and the bug graph

LinuxTag's over! At LinuxTag 2001 about thirty Debian developers and as many users have met at the Debian booth and participated in the first Debian Day. This was a one-day conference organized by Debian developers who gave talks about various issues for other developers and users. The Debian Day was a great success and shall be repeated next year. At the end of the schedule we've had a keysigning session organized in order to improve everybody's web of trust.

Although the Debian booth was even larger than last years booth, it was still overcrowded most of the time. Through sponsors we have had the opportunity to produce special Debian CD-ROMs to give away to visitors who wanted to try out Debian GNU/Linux. In addition to that the LinuxTag-Crew has produced a conference CD with a Linux system, which is running directly from CD-ROM without any installation to the hard disk, based on Debian GNU/Linux. About 17,000 people have visited this years LinuxTag, some 6,000 ended up with a Debian CD in their bag.

During the Debian Day Richard Higson gave a talk about Debian GNU/Linux on IBM S/390 machines. The porting on S/390 is going on well, a lot of packages (some 3000) have been compiled for this architecture, a brute force build daemon is running on a Multiprise 3000 hosted at Millenux. This suddenly lead into a notice of intention by some developers, some people working for IBM and the Stuttgart based company trustsec IT solutions GmbH, who plan to work on getting Debian GNU/Linux officially supported by IBM on the S/390 architecture, alongside with other distributions.

Release of the new unifont announced by David Sterner on debian-i18n: the Unifont is a biwidth (8×16/16×16) bitmap font, designed to provide coverage for all of Unicode. It currently covers a large part of Unicode 3.0. Note that this version of the Unifont only provides a single glyph for each character, making it impossible to handle any language that needs context-dependent character shaping well. It is supplied in the form of a hex file, with a converter to convert it to bdf. See

The first official Debian conference was held during the Libre Software Meeting (LSM) in Bordeaux, France. 40 to 50 Debian developers and about 20 Debian users attended the conference in order to discuss various issues and to socialize. Talks during the day stimulated many discussions which were continued during the evening either while going to the city for food or while hacking in the university computer rooms.

Roland Bauerschmidt and James Bromberger have taken pictures during the conference and Thierry Laronde has organized to take a picture of the whole group. For those who want to read more about the conference and see slides of the talks, Arto Teräs has written an extended travel report with many links to other sites. Although the conference is over, the discussions continue via the Internet and one of the hot topics is currently where Debian Conference 2 is going to be held.

Newbie Tip-of-the-week Are you security-conscious? Good! Here's how you can use apt-get to keep your potato system up-to-date with the latest security patches: in /etc/apt/sources.list include those lines

deb potato/updates main contrib non-free
deb potato/non-US main contrib non-free
deb potato/updates main contrib non-free

Thereafter, a quick apt-get update && apt-get upgrade is all you need to keep the gremlins at bay.

New packages this week

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