Debian Project News - May 31st, 2010

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

Bits from the Debian Project Leader

Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli sent a Bits from... mail reporting some of his recent activities. He started with a call to help Debian's Release Team as the current members need more help getting the upcoming release of Debian 6.0 Squeeze ready. He also mentioned some interviews and public appearances he had, and delegations of the Debian System Administrators and a Debian Auditor. In a summary of his report of his recent visit to the Ubuntu Developer Summit, he asked for volunteers to act as the contact point for Debian derivatives. Their job would be to help developers of Debian derivatives to find ways to contribute back to Debian.

Parallel booting enabled by default

Debian Developer Petter Reinholdtsen announced that after enabling reordering the init scripts of a boot sequence back in last July, parallel booting is now also enabled by default in recent installations, which should help to reduce boot and shutdown times of new Debian systems. There is still some work left to do which would further improve shutdown speed of Debian systems, such as reducing the number of scripts that just kill a daemon during shutdown.

DebConf Reconfirmation Deadline

DebConf organiser Pablo Duboue asked all attendees of the 2010 Debian Developer Conference to reconfirm before 10 June 2010 that they still plan to attend the conference. Reconfirmation can be done using the Conference Organisation Web Interface. Reconfirmation is especially important for people who requested sponsored food and/or accommodation.

Declassification of the debian-private mailing list

Over four years ago the Debian Project decided to open up the archive of its private mailing list for everyone after a period of three years. With this three year period being over for the first posts, Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli is now looking for volunteers to look through the archive, contact authors of these mails and open the archive. Martin Krafft proposed to change the workflow, by making parts of the archive open on a regular basis and letting people delete mails they don't want to see published. Several problems were pointed out with this approach, such as that people might have resigned as Developers in the past three years and therefore no longer have enough access to delete their mails.

LILO about to be removed in Debian 6.0 Squeeze

William Pitcock explained that due to some limitations (for example in the size of supported kernels) the boot loader LILO is about to be removed from the upcoming release of Debian 6.0 Squeeze. He therefore asked users to test the replacement boot loader GRUB 2.

Firmware support in Debian's installation system

Debian Developer Petter Reinholdtsen announced some changes he is introducing into Debian's installation system to allow more flexible handling of the loading of firmware files (binary programs loaded and executed in hardware, for example some network adaptors). Steve McIntyre, leader of the Debian CD/DVD team, has already adapted the build system for CD/DVD images to reflect these changes and created some test images.

Other news

Ana Guerrero noticed that quite a few of the recent Non-Maintainer Uploads are quite intrusive and reminded NMUers to keep changes minimal.

After visiting the Électricité de France Research and Development centre, Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli blogged about their reasons for basing their cluster (and an increasing number of desktops, too) on Debian. One of their main reasons was the large amount of scientific software available as packages and the high quality standards Debian sets.

Aurélien Jarno reported a bit about Debian's switch from GLIBC to EGLIBC.

Debian System Administrator Martin Zobel-Helas announced that with the successful introduction of a GeoDNS setup, the experimental subzone is obsolete and should be replaced by the normal entry in /etc/apt/sources.list files.

Roland Mas blogged bits of news from the FusionForge project, the software running Debian's collaboration platform.

While a similar list for Debian Developers already existed for some time, it was reported that Enrico Zini has just finished the code to produce a list of Debian Maintainers and their packages.

After wondering what distribution specific tools Debian's KDE might miss, Sune Vuorela reported some of the feedback he got. To quote him: All in all, it looks like we are quite far already. We just need to get the last bits put together.

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 395 release critical bugs. 66 of them have already been fixed in Debian's unstable branch. Of the remaining 329 release critical bugs, 44 already have a patch (which might need testing) and 27 are marked as pending.

Ignoring these bugs as well as release critical bugs for packages in contrib or non-free, 199 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): phpgroupware, dvipng, kdegraphics, postgresql-8.3, krb5 and linux-2.6. 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 630 packages are orphaned and 123 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 Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.