Debian Project News - June 14th, 2010

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

Debian Community Poll

After getting the idea during the recent Mini Debian Conference in Berlin, Torsten Werner prepared a poll for users of the Debian Operating System asking different types of questions like the usage of derivatives, about the Debian Free Software Guidelines and firmwares and of course releases.

The Poll is available at Torsten asks to spread the link to as many users as possible.

Automatic installation of hardware-specific packages

Petter Reinholdtsen introduced a new change into the Debian installation system allowing the installation of hardware-specific packages at installation time (or on an already installed system). This is useful for certain RAID controllers, graphic adapters and other hardware, and is done by mapping PCI and USB IDs to the names of Debian packages. Petter welcomes help maintaining this list.

He also pointed out that for hot swappable devices this approach won't work, and wonders whether the existing discover package should be adapted to also support listening to DBus events, or whether PackageKit could be ported to Debian.

Desktop artwork and themes for Debian Squeeze

Valessio Brito started to collect ideas and proposals for the desktop artwork used in Debian 6.0 Squeeze. This artwork would be the base for common themes throughout the system. Yves-Alexis Perez started to list possible uses for that artwork ranging from themes for different desktop environments through boot splash screens to website banners. He also asked for more comments about the artwork from other users.

Debian Installer string freeze coming up

Christian Perrier proposed a string freeze in order to officially notify translators that they should consider completing their current work. Christian wrote: During the string freeze, developers would be required to avoid committing changes that involved modifications to localizable strings. Each of these would require a prior discussion in debian-boot and a formal ACK to commit. He proposed Sunday July 4th as deadline for the string freeze. Time to finish up those translations!

Provisional list of talks for DebConf10

Ana Guerrero announced the publication of a provisional list of talks for DebConf10. She also mentioned the opportunities for ad-hoc events to be scheduled during DebConf, in order to plan a last minute event with others once at DebConf. Details on the scheduling of these events will be available at the conference.

Some of the planned highlights are Bits from the Debian Project Leader, Debian in (and on) the cloud, Debian/kFreeBSD from the FreeBSD Point of View, Multimedia Patents vs. Debian, RC bug fixing + NMU = Fun and The Nexenta Project: OpenSolaris + APT + GNU.

License usage in Debian

While working on requests to add specific license texts to /usr/share/common-licenses/, Russ Allbery wrote a script to check which licenses are used how often in the Debian archive. He also published his results. Unsurprisingly, the most used licenses are the different forms and versions of the GNU General Public License.

Other news

Ana Guerrero announced that the migration of the Debian-Women wiki into Debian's wiki is now complete. There's still a little work to do: if you want to contribute, take a look at the migration TODO list.

Adrian von Bidder announced that he will now take orders for Debian Umbrellas.

Bill Allombert announced that circular dependencies in unstable reached an all-time low. Even if fixing some might be too intrusive for Squeeze, Petter Reinholdtsen noticed that some of them may also cause upgrades from Lenny to Squeeze to fail.

Andrew Pollock blogged about his recent progress on the ISC DHCP 4.1 package: packages in experimental appear to work, and upgrade cleanly from the 3.1 packages, so they will soon reach unstable.

The previous issue of the Debian Project News mentioned that the boot loader LILO was about to removed from Debian due to missing upstream development. In the following discussion Joachim Wiedorn volunteered to take over upstream development, while the Debian Maintainer William Pitcock will continue taking care of packaging once upstream development created a release that actually has merit.

Bastian Blank wondered whether Debian 6.0 Squeeze should be shipped Xen 3.4 or 4.0 and listed some pros and cons for both versions.

New Developers and Maintainers

Six applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers and two applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainer since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Dominique Belhachemi, Sylvain Beucler, Scott Kitterman, Giovanni Mascellani, Alessio Treglia, Ulises Vitulli, Hannes von Haugwitz and Tang Ke into our project!

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 424 release critical bugs. 81 of them have already been fixed in Debian's unstable branch. Of the remaining 343 release critical bugs, 46 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, 211 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): bind9,, zonecheck, mysql-dfsg-5.0, glibc, pcsc-lite and cacti. 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 627 packages are orphaned and 132 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 Foster, David Prévot and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.