Debian Project News - July 12th, 2010

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

Bug Squashing Party in Munich

Michael Banck announced a Bug-Squashing-Party in Munich over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of July. The BSP will again take place at the LiMux Project Office in the city centre. See the wiki page for further information and directions.

Contributions by non-DDs are welcome; the BSP will be attended by several Debian Developers who will be able to upload fixes. Michael Banck will again try prepare an introductory session on Friday evening for people who have not attended a BSP before.

Organise a DebianDay in your city?

With Debian's 17th birthday coming up on August the 16th, the wider Debian community all over the world is invited to organise local DebianDay gatherings and one-day conferences for users, contributors and developers.

Information and tips are available in the Debian wiki, which already also contains some DebianDay Artwork.

Bits and request for help from the listmasters

Listmaster Martin Zobel-Helas requested help in maintaining Debian's mailing lists. Some topics which should be addressed are the MHonArc scripts which generate the web archive (mixing code and design, making it difficult to make any changes to the design) and the constant work on improving the spam filters and cleansing the archive of received spam. Martin noted that the spam filtering rules are publicly accessible, and welcomes hints on how to improve them. Last, but not least, he mentioned that when subscribing to Debian mailing lists you should avoid bouncing spam which made it through your filters. Listmasters would prefer such spam from to be discarded.

Report from FAI workshop 2010

From 2nd of July to 4th of July the FAI workshop in Linuxhotel Essen/Germany took place. Nine FAI developers/users met to discuss and work on FAI in preparation for the Debian Squeeze release. A report about the meeting is available on Michael Prokop's blog.

The FAI developers want to thank the sponsors (Debian, Linuxhotel, Linux Information Systems AG, Netways, Spotify, Thomas-Krenn.AG) for funding the developer meeting.

FAI is a non-interactive system to install, customise and manage Linux systems and software configurations on computers as well as virtual machines and chroot environments, from small networks to large-scale infrastructures and clusters.

Bits from the Debian Project Leader

Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli sent a new bits from the DPL report. He mentions several conferences he was invited to as well as interviews published in different media. He also talks about the recently founded derivatives front desk, which is a central place for Debian derivatives to discuss collaboration with the Debian Project. As there haven't been enough volunteers for the team declassifying the archive of the private Debian mailing list, he just documented the the status of the implementation of that general resolution.

Website redesign progress

Quite some time has passed since Kalle Söderman created a proposal for a redesign of Debian's webpresence (including subdomains, like the wiki and the mailinglist archive). However, recently quite a lot has happened, with prototypes of the new design being tested at the Git webfrontend, the mailing lists webfrontend and the internal wiki of Debian's sysadmin team. While some bugs in different browsers remain and need to be fixed, it looks promising!

DebConf 12 will be held in... your country?

With this year's annual Debian Conference coming up, Gunnar Wolf, one of the organisers of the Debian Conference encouraged people to think whether they would like to host the Debian Conference in the year 2012 in their city. As proposals are accepted till the end of the year, working on such proposals should start soonish, which can be presented at the upcoming conference. Please see the DebConf wiki for information.

In related news, Stefano Zacchiroli announced the results of the DebConf Newbie initiative and noted that there is still need for more money for DebConf travel sponsorship to bring even more Debian Contributors to the upcoming conference in New York City.

Report from the Skolelinux project in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Debian Developer Philipp Huebner gave a report about the state of the Debian-Edu based distribution for schools in the federal state Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany. To ensure the sustainability of the installations it was decided that documentation and developed features should be integrated into the official Debian Pure Blend Debian-Edu / Skolelinux. That's similar to what has been done with features developed for the Debian based installations in the Extremadura, Spain.

Other news

Ritesh Raj Sarraf noticed that the recent upload of the Linux kernel adds support for kprobe, making SystemTap, a tool to monitor Linux kernel internal data, a much more useful instrument.

Cyril Brulebois from Debian's X Strike Force called for help testing the xserver-xorg-video-intel driver for Intel based graphic cards. As they are considering introducing version 2.12 of the driver, after the last two versions contained quite a few regressions, any reports about working setups or noted regressions would be quite helpful.

New Developers and Maintainers

Four applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers and two applicants has been accepted as Debian Maintainer since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Thomas Goirand, Georges Khaznadar, Adrian Perez, Felipe Sateler, Deepak Tripathi and Stefan Völkel into our project!

Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the unofficial release-critical bug counter, the upcoming release, Debian 6.0 Squeeze, is currently affected by 401 release-critical bugs. 95 of them have already been fixed in Debian's unstable branch. Of the remaining 306 release-critical bugs, 49 already have a patch (which might need testing) and 16 are marked as pending.

Ignoring these bugs as well as release-critical bugs for packages in contrib or non-free, 163 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): wireshark, mahara, pcsc-lite (updated) and python-cjson. 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 617 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.

Want to continue reading DPN?

Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteer writers to watch the Debian community and report about what is going on. Please see the contributing page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at

To receive this newsletter in your mailbox, subscribe to the debian-news mailing list.

Back issues of this newsletter are available.

This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Michael Prokop, Jeremiah Foster and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.