Debian Weekly News - February 4th, 2003

Welcome to this year's fifth issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Martin Michlmayr was interviewed (German only) about the Debian project. Jonathan Oxer told us that the Debian Mini-Conf last week was a success with 117 people attending. Internet2 reported that they have improved their previous speed record and transferred two DVD movies at an average speed of more than 923 megabits per second.

The Debian Init Script System. Alexander Wirt wondered why Debian doesn't make different use of the runlevels 3 to 5 and he suggested a scheme including all seven runlevels. Matthew P. McGuire mentioned the LSB, which specifies how the runlevels should be used. Henrique de Moraes Holschuh disagreed that it would be simple to change the init script system and pointed at his paper in which he describes in detail the current system and his proposed changes.

New Debian Archive Key. Anthony Towns announced the archive key for 2003, which is used to sign the Release file for the main, non-US and security archives. This key can be used with apt-check-sigs to protect your use of apt-get from malicious or exploited mirrors. There are other tools based on this that may be of interest, see Google or the debian-security mailing list archives. Colin Walters and a couple of others have been working on integrating this into apt properly.

Improving Games in Debian. Hwei Sheng Teoh offered to help any Debian Developers who look after games to fix common soundserver related problems. For example, the poor sound management of several games can allow soundserver processes to linger after exit, infinitely chewing up CPU power. Steve Kemp has also noticed a recurring problem with games not properly handling environment variables.

User Input into the Project Leader Elections. Manoj Srivastava, the Debian Project Secretary, announced that this year's Project Leader debate on IRC will include user input. A discussion has begun on Debian Planet where people are invited to pose questions or offer opinions. The debate panelists will select some of these questions to ask the candidates in the debate.

Debian Logo on virtual Consoles. Dan McCombs wrote a howto in which he describes how to use the linuxlogo for all virtual consoles in order to display the Debian logo on them. The Mini-Howto is written merely for fun and the only purpose it serves is to make your computer look cool. 1.0.2 for Woody. Adrian Bunk announced that he has backported 1.0.2 to woody (stable) using a backported GCC 3.2.1. However, he warns that the packages are only lightly tested and he would welcome any comments. Version 1.0.2 is officially available for i386, powerpc and s390 in Debian unstable.

Vote on new Members for the SPI Board. Wichert Akkerman called for votes for new members for the board of directors of Software in the Public Interest, Inc.. During the period from January 25 to February 7 (UTC) contributing members can cast their vote online. People who become contributing members during this period are also eligible to vote and all Debian developers who apply will become contributing members automatically.

Debian Use in Nicaragua. Georg Lehner reported that Debian is spreading in Central America. Three universities use Debian for routers and servers. A Debian workshop for system administrators from the biggest university, Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua-Managua, just finished. The national engineering university UNI maintains a Debian mirror (i386) and also recently has joined the LinEX project.

Exim 4.12 for Debian. Sander Smeenk announced that he has created packages for Exim-TLS 4.12. He hesitates to upload them into Debian because of problems that might arise when someone with an insanely difficult exim-tls 3.xx configuration tries to upgrade. Sander asks people to test the packages and report problems and success.

Removing the undocumented.7 Manual Page. Bas Zoetekouw plans to file bug reports against all packages that still contain undocumented.7.gz symlinks. There are currently 693 binary packages in sid that still use them. This manpage is obsolete in the current policy.

Project Leader Candidates. After Manoj Srivastava announced the beginning of the project leader election procedure, two Debian developers have nominated so far. The first one was Moshe Zadka, followed by Bdale Garbee. Branden Robinson has not yet decided if he should run again and is soliciting specific feedback by means of the long questionnaire he attached.

Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update your systems if you have any of these packages installed.

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.

Orphaned Packages. 3 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 161 orphaned packages. Many thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free Software community. Please see the WNPP pages for the full list, and please add a note to the bug report and retitle it to ITA: if you plan to take over a package.

Want to continue reading DWN? Please help us create this newsletter. Several people are submitting items already, but we are still in need of volunteer writers who prepare items. Please see the contributing page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at

To receive this newsletter weekly in your mailbox, subscribe to the debian-news mailing list.

Back issues of this newsletter are available.

This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Thomas Bliesener, Matt Black and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.