Debian Weekly News - November 9th, 2004

Welcome to this year's 44th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Anibal Monsalve Salazar summarised the latest DebConf5 preparation meeting. Joey Hess reported that he has been able to test the new debian-installer remote via network on different architectures which helps ensure that it will run properly.

Distributable Firmware sought. Theo de Raadt of OpenBSD fame was interviewed in response to OpenBSD's effort to contact Texas Instruments to distribute firmware for their wireless cards under an acceptable license. OpenBSD has similar problems to Debian with binary-only firmware blobs that they cannot legally distribute with their operating system.

Alioth Project Naming Convention. Marcelo E. Magallon noticed that there is a policy for naming projects on Alioth. For package repositories that are used to co-maintain a package with other developers, a "pkg-" prefix in the project name is required. Roland Mas added that this is required to be able to differentiate projects dedicated to Debian packaging from projects where Alioth is the main repository of "upstream" code.

Free Documentation Licenses. Jonathan Corbet reviewed various options for a free documentation license, including the GNU Free Documentation License (FDL), the Open Publication License, and two Creative Commons licenses. He concluded that putting a BSD-like license on a document makes some sense and that the restrictions imposed by the FDL are quite strong, too strong for a book he co-authored.

Installing Debian on a Desktop. Tarun Agnani installed Debian GNU/Linux on a desktop computer and reported that no other distribution comes close to Debian, which is the old grandfather of Linux. He finishes with configuring APT and installing those applications that are common for a Desktop system.

German Conference News. Alexander "CEO" Schmehl reported that the Debian booth during this year's Linuxworld Expo was the most crowded one and that the booth will probably be larger next year. He will help build the entire .Org pavilion next year. For next year's CeBIT exhibition (Mar 9-15) the Debian project has been offered a booth of their own as well.

Installing Debian on RAID 1. Jorrit Waalboer has written instructions for installing Debian GNU/Linux on a RAID 1 pair. He recommended using Knoppix as the installer. From this the RAID is set up and debootstrap is used to install Debian. Norbert Tretkowski also provides instructions on installing Debian via Knoppix.

Improving the Development Processes. Thomas Schorpp proposed applying several quality management techniques known in conventional software development to Debian. Jeroen van Wolffelaar noticed a high level of buzzwords, though, and it is questionable if these techniques and metrics apply to Free Software at all.

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.

Orphaned Packages. 61 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 226 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. We still need more volunteer writers who watch the Debian community and report about what is going on. 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 Andre Lehovich and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.