Debian Project News - October 8th, 2008
Welcome to this year's 12th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
Some of the topics covered in this issue include:
- Bits from the DPL
- What you can do for Lenny
- 500,000th bug reported
- ... and much more.
Bits from the DPL
Steve McIntyre sent out another
from the DPL mail. His first topic was the recently
finished eighth Debian Conference in Argentina. Even though many developers
and contributors could not travel there he considered it to be a successful
conference. He especially thanked the video team, who
did an amazing job this
year making most of the sessions available via stream as well as forwarding
questions via Internet Relay Chat. Steve is already looking forward to
next year's Debian Conference, which will take place in the region of Extremadura
He then summarized the results of this year's Google Summer of Code, a project in which students work on specific free software projects and get paid by Google. Debian got thirteen project slots. Eleven of these projects were completed successfully (sadly, the rest had to drop out due to unforeseen problems).
Steve closed with a short summary about the upcoming stable release
Lenny. Preparations for a release candidate of the debian-installer are
on their way and the release notes are taking shape. But there are still a lot
of release critical bugs left to be fixed.
What you can do for
Unfortunately, Debian GNU/Linux 5.0
Lenny hasn't been released yet.
Alexander Reichle-Schmehl briefly explained
the problems and listed some open issues which need to resolved
before Lenny can be released. He points out that even a
everyone) can help.
While most release blockers and release goals have been dealt with — including transitions to newer compilers, libraries and other tools — the development has reached its final phase, where the last release critical bugs need to be fixed, upgrade tests need to be performed and the release notes need to be written. Alexander gave a brief overview on how to perform upgrade tests, which he later updated in his blog, and also showed other ways to help such as writing and translating the release notes.
500,000th bug reported
Christian Perrier noted that the 500,000th bug has been reported to Debian's bug tracking system. In it, Nobuhiro Iwamatsu (岩松 信洋) requested a feature for the common debian build system, a tool used to create Debian packages, and even provided a patch.
Lucas Nussbaum graciously provided some statistics. From these 500,000 bugs, nearly 410,000 have already been solved.
Christian also noted that the vitality of the Debian Bug Tracking system is an indicator of the vitality of development in Debian (the current bug report rate is about 60,000 bugs per year for a total of 24,000 packages in the distribution, only 2.5 bugs per year, per package).
Thus, Debian developers are proud that they have had 500,000 occasions to interact with their users. Of course, they are also proud that 410,000 of these bugs are already closed and only 250 of the remaining bugs are release critical for the upcoming Debian lenny release.
Valid-Until field in Release files
While the current archive structure prevents injection of malicious packages
through a digital trust path (e.g. at a
bad mirror), it still has a small
flaw. A potential attacker could use outdated release information to force
people to use an outdated mirror, leaving out the latest security updates. To
address this problem, Jörg Jaspert has added
valid until field to the release information. APT (or another
package manager) can then check if the data available on the mirror is up to
date. Work has already begun to integrate this feature into the apt package
manager and tools based upon it; however,
some questions remain unresolved.
Choosing a language during NAS installations
Martin Michlmayr reported that due to changes of the internal structure of the debian-installer, it is now it is now possible to choose the language (and the resulting system) for installations on NAS machines. Installations on headless NAS devices are typically done remotely via SSH and up until now, the network had been started after the language had already been chosen, thus the ability to choose a language interactively was completely disabled for such devices. Due to changes in the component responsible for choosing the locale, this feature can now be enabled for these kinds of devices.
m68k moved to debian-ports
After missing release criteria for both Etch and Lenny, the m68k port made the switch from using the wanna-build instance on Debian infrastructure to the one on Debian-Ports. This is a necessary step before m68k can be removed from the Debian archive. Buildd.Net still supports the m68k architecture and has already adopted the change. The m68k port was one of two official ports in the first Debian release, Debian 2.0 (the other being i386).
Christian Perrier released the final number of languages which will be supported in the debian-installer of the upcoming release. All-in-all 63 languages will be supported, which is 5 more than in the current release.
A long term goal, the move from documentation in /usr/doc to /usr/share/doc as recommended in the Filesystem hierarchy standard, has finally been completed.
Christian Perrier also noted that the team working on apt, the core package manager of Debian and Debian-based distributions, is lacking manpower and in need of help.
Linux Kongress 2008
From Thursday the 9th of October to Friday the 10th of October, the Debian Project will participate with a booth at the Linux-Kongress 2008 in Hamburg, Germany. Please see the respective events page for further details.
Technical Dutch Open Source Event 2008
From Saturday the 25th of October to Sunday the 26th of October, the Debian Project will participate with a booth at the Technical Dutch Open Source Event (T-DOSE) in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Please see the respective events page for further details.
6 applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers since the prior issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Tobias Grimm, Chris Lamb, Manuel Prinz, Patrick Schoenfeld, Sandro Tosi, Jan Wagner and Barry deFreese in our project!
Important Debian Security Advisories
Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): openssh, twiki, phpmyadmin, horde3, mplayer, lighttpd, squid and php5. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.
Please note that these are a selection of the more important security advisories of the last two weeks. If you need to be kept up to date about security advisories released by the Debian Security Team, please subscribe to the security mailing list for announcements.
New and noteworthy packages
The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently (among others):
- 9mount-dbg -- plan9 filesystem (v9fs) user mount utilities (debug)
- acpitool-dbg -- command line ACPI client (debug)
- amule-emc -- list ed2k links inside emulecollection files
- dosfstools-dbg -- utilities for making and checking MS-DOS FAT filesystems (debug)
- gameclock -- a simple chess clock to track time in real life games
- gnupg-pkcs11-scd-dbg -- GnuPG smart-card daemon with PKCS#11 support (debug)
- jags -- Just Another Gibbs Sampler for Bayesian MCMC simulation
- libfwbuilder8 -- Firewall Builder API library
- libfwbuilder8-dbg -- Firewall Builder API library (debugging version)
- libgammu4 -- Mobile phone management library
- libgammu4-dbg -- Mobile phone management library - debugger symbols
- netdiscover-dbg -- active/passive network address scanner using arp requests (debug)
- poedit-dbg -- gettext catalog editor (debug)
- python-crack -- transitional package from python-crack to python-cracklib
- python-django-registration -- A user-registration application for Django
- qt4-qmake -- Qt 4 qmake Makefile generator tool
- rawstudio-dbg -- open source raw-image converter (debug)
- ttf-linux-libertine -- The Linux Libertine family of free fonts
- twiki-ldapcontrib -- LDAP services for TWiki
- tworld-data -- Chip's Challenge Game Engine Emulation
ddclient (an utility to get access to home servers despite having a dynamic IP), FlameRobin (a GUI to administer Firebird/Interbase SQL servers) and logstalgia (a pong-like apache log viewer) where presented by Debian Package of the Day.
Currently 444 packages are orphaned and 125 packages are up for adoption. Please take a look at the recent reports to see if there are packages you are interested in or view the complete list of packages which need your help.
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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Ari Pollak, Ingo Juergensmann, Christian Perrier and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.