Debian Project News - May 3rd, 2010

Welcome to this year's second issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

New Debian Project Leader

The New Debian Project Leader is named Stefano Zacchiroli (IRC nick zack). Stefano has already posted an email to the Debian Developers Announce mailing list giving out a big thank you, updating his progress in understanding the DPL's job, and letting people know how they can get in touch with him. Stefano hopes to be a 'facilitator' and asks that developers get in touch with him to let him know about 'blockers' that stand in the way of getting work done. We're a very nice do-ocracy, and there is no reason why enthusiastic and capable people willing to work on a specific subject should not be empowered to do so.

While he's on IRC ( Stefano states the preferred way of getting in touch with him is via He finishes his email with; Now let's go and squash some RC bug, Squeeze is getting closer and closer, and I've already wasted enough of your time!

Special funding for DebConf Newbies

If you've never been to a DebConf, but always wanted to go, this is your year. Joey Hess wrote that a special funding for trips to DebConf10 is available for Debian Developers who have either never attended a DebConf before, or who have not been to a DebConf since DebConf6 (in Mexico). DebConf10 will be held in New York from August 1-7, 2010.

To apply for this funding, email Joey Hess. The deadline to apply is May 15th. Please apply as early as possible. In your email, include an estimate of your travel costs, and the amount you are unable to fund yourself. Joey also need to know what dates you plan to arrive and leave. Please indicate if you will also need sponsored food and accommodation, and whether you have already registered for DebConf. Also, tell Joey if you've been to DebConf before. Also, if you work with a Debian Developer in a team, wish they could go to DebConf, and would like to nominate your teammate for funding, send an email with the details of who and why.

Debian welcomes Google Summer of Code students

Obey Arthur Liu welcomed this years Google Summer of code students, who will get their work on a specific topic financed by Google:

We would also thank the involved mentors!

Bits from Debian Groupware Meeting

Guido Günther wrote such a good bits from mail that I just cut and pasted it into this issue of DPN, here it is:

Like last year the Debian Groupware Meeting was held at the LinuxHotel, Essen, Germany. This is a short summary what happened during the weekend:

For more details have a look at the wiki page. Being four instead of three people at the event we gained 33% more participants over last year. We hope to see even more of you around next year.

New initramfs-tools package

Maximillian Attems pointed out that there is a new version of the initramfs-tools package released which satisfies a release goal for Squeeze. These tools are used fairly early on in the boot process to create a initramfs which gets used by the kernel as an initial file system. The new version brings in some changes made by Ubuntu which should lead to faster boot times. There is an opportunity here to test this and send along any relevant info to the team that maintains the package, which is the Debian kernel team at In addition to the ability to use other forms of compression, there are a number of new fixes and features in this package. See the complete list.

MIPS architecture news

Andreas Barth send some information on the mips and mipsel buildd status (buildd is a build deamon which automatically builds Debian binary packages from Debian sources). He mentioned that they have had some hardware failures leaving them with just one mipsel buildd currently. While the new buildd sorting order is helping, packages are still taking a while to be built. Andreas sees an empty build queue in sight "quite soon" and work is in progress to fix the known hardware issues with the other machines.

Berlin MiniDebConf

Jan Hauke Rahm wrote that there is going to be held a MiniDebConf in the middle of LinuxTag on June 10th and 11th. The MiniDebConf will feature a talk by the new Debian Project Leader as well as a hack lab which will be open at night. The hack lab could use some more people to help out and the schedule of talks is almost complete. The MiniDebConf aims to be newbie friendly with help for new Debian bug squashers, not least since Debian hopes to be in a freeze by that point. A Bug Squashing Party be held as well. So why not join the German Cabal in Berlin?

Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the unofficial RC-bugs count, the upcoming release, Debian 6.0 Squeeze, is currently affected by 364 release critical bugs. 76 of them have already been fixed in Debian's unstable branch. Of the remaining 288 release critical bugs, 38 already have a patch (which might need testing) and 14 are marked as pending.

Ignoring these bugs as well as release critical bugs for packages in contrib or non-free, 172 release critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): phpmyadmin, apache2, kdm (kdebase), pidgin, cact and squidguard. 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 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):

Work-needing packages

Currently 592 packages are orphaned and 140 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 Jeremiah C. Foster and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.