Debian Weekly News - October 11th, 2005

Welcome to this year's 41st issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. The Georgia Tech Marine Robotics Group has built an underwater vehicle with Debian as the base operating system. Matt LaPlante started a series of articles that describe the setup and configuration of a firewall based on Debian, including DHCP, DNS, proxy services and dynamic DNS.

Debian Security Infrastructure. The Debian project announced that the security network has been improved by splitting off the public frontend to a new host. This was a required step after an advisory recently caused the outgoing bandwidth of the old server to be totally saturated. Two more were added afterward.

Dealing with Wiki Spam. Carlos Parra Camargo noticed that several pages in the old Wiki were defaced by a user and restored to the last revision. Riku Voipio pointed to the instructions on dealing with spam in the Wiki.

Security Updates for Mozilla and Friends. With DSA 810 the security team announced that security problems in Mozilla, Firefox, Galeon and Thunderbird have to be fixed by more or less using the new upstream version but keeping the old version number. Thanks to the work done by Eric Dorland and Alexander Sack this hasn't caused the problems yet that were already anticipated.

Reviving the Debian FAQ. Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña called for help with maintaining the Debian FAQ. Together with Santiago Vila he has cleaned up a lot of sections, but more improvements are required. Osamu Aoki (青木 修) added that the scope of the FAQ should be limited to brief answers and defer to other documents for the details.

Cross-Chroot Account Information. Rob Browning wondered how to configure multiple chroot environments so that the account databases will stay synchronous to the host system. An LDAP backend as well as schroot and bind mounts were mentioned. Daniel Jacobowitz pointed to his shadow etc effort implemented with help of fuse, the filesystem in userspace.

Maintaining local Debian Patches. Sylvain Beucler wondered if there was a mechanism to keep local patches applied to Debian packages even upon an upgrade. Francesco Lovergine pointed him to apt-src that is able to take over part of the job. Paul Hampson explained that using a sane version number will stop apt-get from updating the package from the Debian source.

Hotplug Blacklists obsolete. Marco d'Itri reported that the new hotplug and coldplug subsystem that has been integrated into udev cannot handle the former blacklisting of modules anymore but only its own. He later added that he has implemented support for user-supplied files in /etc/hotplug/blacklist.d/ in modprobe.

Big Endian ARM Port. Lennert Buytenhek announced the intention to work on a big endian ARM port for consumer devices such as the Linksys NSLU2 or Synology DS101. Wouter Verhelst offered his help with maintaining a build daemon within the secondary buildd network.

Linux Documentation Project License. Francesco Poli discussed the freeness of the Linux Documentation Project License version 2. Matthew Garrett responded positively and pointed out that only the so called dissident test is a problem since the person who is making modifications needs to be identified.

Debian Linux Kernel Handbook. Jurij Smakov and others have published the Debian Linux kernel handbook which will help in documenting the internals of the Debian Linux kernel build process. The document is still work in progress with a lot of sections missing, but it's a giant step in the right direction.

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. 8 packages were orphaned this week and require a new maintainer. This makes a total of 199 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.

Removed Packages. 17 packages have been removed from the Debian archive during the past week:

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Marc Haber and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.