Debian Weekly News - September 23rd, 2003

Welcome to this year's 38th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Since Knoppix only uses KDE these days, several GNOME people have created Gnoppix which includes their favourite desktop environment. Matt Zimmerman also discovered horrific new levels of changelog abuse.

New CD Image Server. Mattias Wadenstein announced the new with iso images and an authoritative directory structure. Since many people still don't use Jigdo to download and build the Debian images, they are available as well. He is also looking for sites to mirror the server.

Skolelinux Debian Labs? Martin Michlmayr reported that Skolelinux is very successful in Norway and has gained some funding. Everything Skolelinux does is being integrated into Debian, they are working especially hard on making debian-installer a functional installer. Hence, they could name its foundation with the name "Skolelinux Debian Labs" to reflect their origins and relationship with the Debian project.

Bits from the Project Leader. Martin Michlmayr summarised the time he spent at several conferences. He reported about several Opteron machines that were and are planned to be donated to the project. Xandros has agreed to work with Debian to make sure that sarge will be LSB compliant. He also said that there is a great demand for Debian from governments and educational institutions.

Export Clauses in XFree86 License. Henning Makholm noticed some clauses in XFree86's copyright file which appeared to be non-free. It was generally agreed that these clauses fail the requirements of the Debian Free Software Guidelines. Branden Robinson concurred with that view and resolved to identify which code is affected. He thought it might be easier get the code dual licensed, rather than completely re-licensed. Branden would like assistance with this and offered commit access to the X Strike Force Subversion repository as temptation.

Rpmseek includes Debian Packages. Newsforge reports that has expanded its search facilities to include .deb packages from Debian's distribution, as well as numerous other archives of Debian packages. The site is one of the largest web directories for Linux software in general, although one reader noted that apt-cache search string achieves much the same result for Debian users. And if the default repository choices aren't enough, contains many more suggestions to add to your list of repositories to search.

Skolelinux merging with Debian-Edu. Andreas Schuldei announced that the Skolelinux project and the Debian-Edu sub-project will merge in order to continue the Debian-Edu effort and to avoid the Knoppix effect. The goal is to create a Debian distribution especially geared towards easy and large-scale deployment in schools. The subproject will also create courseware (lessons, homework, exams, solutions to exams) in the future, which are compatible with Debian.

Debian Kernel Packages overly patched? Martin F. Krafft complained about the Debian kernel packages containing too many patches, especially some that make the grsecurity patch not apply anymore. Herbert Xu carefully selected some backports to include such as IPsec.

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. 15 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 209 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.

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