Debian Weekly News - October 5th, 2004

Welcome to this year's 39th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Robert Millan reported that GNOME basically works on kfreebsd-gnu. The AGNULA Team has released version 1.2.0 of DeMuDi using the Debian installer and supporting Custom Debian Distributions. Santiago Garcia Mantinan noticed that current Debian CDs don't provide the required files to start the installer from within DOS.

Debian-Installer Testing Candidate 2. Joey Hess announced the testing candidate 2 alias pre-release-candidate 2 (rc2) of the debian-installer has been released, with lots of fun new features. In only one week, the installer people want to start the release process for rc2 itself. Christian Perrier additionally announced a string freeze on October 6th.

Status of the non-US Archive. Andreas Barth investigated the non-US archive and discovered that it does only contain two valid packages: one for main and one in non-free. While vtun will be uploaded into the main archive, PGP 5i cannot and somebody is willing to maintain it as well.

Dropping real 80386 Support? Andres Salomon reported that the Debian kernel team is considering to drop support for real 80386 machines because the i486 emulation patch is unmaintained and said to be insecure. Current versions of GCC generate i486 code so for a real i386 the kernel emulation is required. Debian sarge cannot be installed on such a machine due to the memory requirements, but older releases can and be upgraded after their installation.

Release Policy Updates? Andreas Barth, who recently became a release assistant, discussed whether recommends to packages out of main are permitted for packages in main. Since some package managers handle recommends similar to dependencies this is bound to break. He noted that packages in sarge have to be buildable in sarge, since otherwise security support won't work. He also asked if it is ok for a package in main to provide binary packages in main and contrib.

DebConf5 Preparations. Lars Wirzenius put together minutes from the recent IRC meeting to prepare the upcoming Debian Conference in Finland, taking place from Friday, July 1 through Monday, July 18, 2005. The first week is meant for working on various issues, the middle weekend for social stuff, and the second week is meant for talks. Andreas Schuldei announced the possibility of sponsorship for the trip.

State of the graphical Installer. Martin 'Joey' Schulze asked about the status of the graphical frontend to the installer, Michael Cardenas once started. Colin Watson listed several issues he is working on and reported that most of his time in Oldenburg was spent doing this. Bart Cornelis added that a Spanish company called Tuxum were in the process of changing their installer (GPL) to be a Qt frontend for the Debian installer.

Debian GNU/Hurd K7 CDs released. Philip Charles announced the seventh iteration of the K-series Debian GNU/Hurd CDs. He said that the main feature of the K7 set is its quality. The main addition over previous CDs packages is XFree86 4.3. The installation instructions for the Debian GNU/Hurd CDs are located here.

Missing Package Conflicts. Frank Lichtenheld reported about 42 packages that lack a conflict definition but contain the same file as a different package without replacing it. This usually renders either package uninstallable when the other one is already installed. Petter Reinholdtsen suggested to use the popularity contest database to decide upon popularity which files should be renamed to resolve such a conflict.

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.

Debian Packages introduced last Week. Every day, a different Debian package is featured from the testing distribution. If you know about an obscure package you think others should also know about, send it to Andrew Sweger. Debian package a day introduced the following packages last week.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Michael Banck and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.