Debian Project News - February 28th, 2011

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

Debian 6.0 Squeeze released

Almost two years after Debian 5.0 Lenny was released, Debian 6.0 Squeeze was released on the 6th of February, 2011. Among other improvements, the completely free Linux kernel now shipped in Debian has been welcomed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

Adam D. Barratt, Release Team manager, has already announced a first point release planned for next month and gave advice to maintainers about further uploads to unstable: Wheezy is already on people's minds.

New layout and website related news

The new look for Debian's websites is already available on some of the Debian project's main web interfaces. Gerfried Fuchs sent a report about the last WWW Sprint where members of the team prepared this new layout, smashed and triaged some bugs filed against the pseudo-package, and discussed other topics such as whether there is any interest in moving away from CVS. Martin Zobel-Helas, member of the DSA team who actively worked for this to happen, thanked the team for putting the new layout proposed by Kalle Söderman on line in time for the release of Debian Squeeze.

Backports for Squeeze easier for users

Alexander Wirt announced the start of the next generation of backports. Users of Squeeze (and Lenny) will be offered new versions of packages available in testing (Wheezy) via squeeze-backports (and lenny-backports-sloppy). He also explained to maintainers how to upload packages to the backports archive. A recent change introduced in APT makes out-of-the-box use of squeeze-backports easier than ever before, without the need to configure pinning for the backports repository in order to handle upgrades to new versions of packages installed from there.

Volatile replaced by new updates suite

The Debian Volatile archive has been replaced by the new updates suite: starting from this stable release (Squeeze), packages that were handled via the Volatile repository will enter the official release via the squeeze-updates suite. Updated packages will also be included in the stable point release following the announcement published in the debian-stable-announce mailing list.

Bits from the Debian Project Leader

Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli sent another bits from the DPL report. He discusses collaboration with others (via for example the Debian derivatives census or the cross-distribution meeting) and communication with people from other projects and companies (via his latest Who the bloody hell cares about Debian? talk). He also touches on the relationship between Debian and DebConf in matters such as the goals that were recently published, and is looking for volunteers as DebConf chairs.
Stefano has also been interviewed for Linux Outlaws Podcast.

DebConf communication channels and decisions

Richard Darst blogged on the Debian Administration site about the various communication channels in the DebConf organization. DebConf is the group that manages the yearly Debian Conference. He mentioned the various connected media that the DebConf team uses, including IRC, wiki, and mailing lists, describing how each channel is used and how to contribute.

Handling Debian Merchandise

Have you ever wondered where Debian T-Shirts and other goodies come from? How can you get your hands on a cool Squeeze T-Shirt? Well, the answer lies with the Debian Merchandising team who co-ordinate Debian merchandise for the various events where a Debian representative appears. Luca Capello, known as Gismo, wrote about the Merchandising team to explain how it all works. You can also have a look at an overview of what Debian offers.

Debian Google Code-in 2010-2011 report

Ana Guerrero López blogged about the Debian participation at this year's Google Code-in. Even though preparation for the contest started quite late, and few tasks were open to those without a Debian installation, we got a moderate success. As Ana says: about 30 students have participated, doing 39 tasks mostly related to translation, bug triaging, and writing documentation.

Further This week in Debian interviews

Since the last issue of the Debian Project News, two new issues of the This week in Debian podcast have been published: with Andreas Tille, from the Debian Med Team, discussing Debian Pure Blends; and with Raphaël Hertzog, co-maintainer of dpkg.

There has also been two further People behind Debian interviews: with Mike Hommey, Firefox/Iceweasel maintainer; and with Maximilian Attems, member of the kernel team.

Other news

The 24th issue of the miscellaneous news for developers has been released and covers the following topics:

Cyril Brulebois published the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth issues of Debian XSF News, summarising many recent events around packaging in Debian — new version uploads to experimental, unstable, and stable distributions; initial testing of Wayland; removal requests for unmaintained drivers; preparation of reference documentation on dependency handling between the X server and the drivers; and much more. He also thanked submitters for their bug reports.

David Paleino has reported that after almost six years from the original ITP bug, Code::Blocks is now in Debian.

New Debian Contributors

2 applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers, 1 applicant has been accepted as a Debian Maintainer, and 19 people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Stefano Rivera, Frédéric-Emmanuel Picca, Javier Merino Cacho, Pedro Ribeiro, Julien Viard de Galbert, Markus Schulz, Nik Lutz, Thomas Krennwallner, Qijiang Fan, Rafael Kitover, Andy Bailey, Andrey Rahmatullin, David Kalnischkies, Damian Johnson, Dmitry Eremin-Solenikov, Benoît Knecht, Nicolas Dandrimont, Alessandro Ghedini, Simon Ochsenreither, Julian Taylor, Pierre Saramito and Olaf van der Spek into our project!

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): pcscd, postgresql-8.3, postgresql-8.4, and postgresql-9.0, cgiirc, vlc, tomcat6, openjdk-6, openssl, python-django, shadow, ffmpeg-debian, chromium-browser, phpmyadmin, openafs, telepathy-gabble, mailman, asterisk, moodle, pam-pgsql and avahi. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

Debian's Backports Team releases advisories for these packages: git and openafs. 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 (and the separate backports list, and stable updates list or volatile list, for Lenny, the oldstable distribution) for announcements.

New and noteworthy packages

The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently (among many others):

Work-needing packages

Currently 379 packages are orphaned and 139 packages are up for adoption: please visit 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 Francesca Ciceri, Jeremiah C. Foster, Alexander Reshetov and David Prévot.