Debian Project News - March 20th, 2012

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

Debian Project Leader Elections 2012: the candidates

On 2 March, Kurt Roeckx, current Debian Project Secretary, sent the call for nominations for the 2012 Debian Project Leader elections. Unlike last year, when Stefano Zacchiroli was the only candidate, this year three candidates will be running for DPL: Wouter Verhelst, Gergely Nagy and the current DPL Stefano Zacchiroli.
The campaigning period has already started and will end on 31 March: the candidates' platforms are already available. You can follow the campaign on the debian-vote mailing list, where the prospective leaders reply to voters' questions. The voting period will start on 1 April and end on 14 April.

First Squeeze-based Debian Edu released

The first Squeeze-based version of Debian Edu was released last week. Debian Edu (aka Skolelinux) is a Debian Pure Blend specifically targeted at schools and other educational institutions, and provides a completely configured school network environment out of the box.
Petter Reinholdtsen started a series of blogposts dedicated to Debian Edu / Skolelinux, which will include interviews with Debian Edu users and administrators and explanations of the team's workflows.

Updated Debian 5.0: 5.0.10 released

The Debian project is pleased to announce the tenth and final update of its oldstable distribution, Debian 5.0 (codename Lenny). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the oldstable release, along with a few adjustments for other serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available.

Reports from recent Bug Squashing Parties

Jonathan Wiltshire sent a report from the Bug Squashing Party held over the weekend of 2–4 March in Cambridge. The BSP was a success: eighteen developers and contributors worked on 170 bugs, closing 45 bugs and adding further information for 16 bugs. Manuel Montecelo closed the oldest bug, opened in 2005, while Neil Williams, requesting the removal of opensync and associated packages, closed 25 bugs by a single action.
Paul Wise reported on the Perth Bug Squashing Party held over the weekend of 10–11 March. During the weekend about 10 people worked on 12 bugs, focusing on the release critical bugs highlighted by rc-alert.


Philipp Kern announced the availability of a Gobby server hosted by Debian. Gobby is a realtime collaborative editor which works as a standalone desktop application. To use it, install the gobby-0.5 package and then just connect to the server at

The Debian Kernel Team rocks!

In a recent article, Stefano Zacchiroli pointed out how much the Debian Kernel Team is contributing to upstream. Not only can members of the team often be spotted among the most active contributors to specific Linux releases, but they were also publicly thanked by Greg Kroah-Hartman, current Linux kernel maintainer for the -stable branch, with these words: I would personally like to thank the Debian kernel developers, specifically Ben Hutchings, Maximilian Attems, Dann Frazier, Bastian Blank, and Moritz Muehlenhoff. They went above and beyond what any normal developer would have done, ferreting patches out of the releases and the different vendor kernels and bug tracking systems, backporting them to the 2.6.32 kernel, testing, and then forwarding them on to me. Their dedication to their user community is amazing for such a volunteer group of developers. I firmly believe that without their help, the 2.6.32 kernel would not have been the success that it was. The users of Red Hat and SuSE products owe them a great debt.


Raphaël Hertzog published a People behind Debian interview with Gregor Herrmann (member of the Perl team).

Other news

Enrico Zini announced the new website for the New Members process. The new site is the result of a major re-design of the backend database carried out at a recent meeting.

Stefano Zacchiroli sent his monthly report on DPL activities.

Koshuke Kawaguchi wrote an interesting blogpost about the clash of cultures between Debian and Maven.

The Debian Project will participate, for the seventh consecutive year, in the Google Summer of Code. Further information can be found on the Debian wiki.

New Debian Contributors

Eight people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Raúl Benencia, AbdulKarim Memon, Keith Winstein, Medhamsh V, Robin Gareus, Andrea Palazzi, Sergey Slipchenko, and Anton Kokalj into our project!

Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the Bugs Search interface of the Ultimate Debian Database, the upcoming release, Debian Wheezy, is currently affected by 573 Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 382 Release-Critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.

There are also some hints on how to interpret these numbers.

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): libxml-atom-perl, plib, gimp, imagemagick, freetype, mysql-5.1, python-pam, libdbd-pg-perl, libyaml-libyaml-perl, and iceweasel. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

Debian's Backports Team released advisories for these packages: fex and notmuch. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

Debian's Stable Release Team released an update announcement for the package: at. Please read it 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) for announcements.

New and noteworthy packages

315 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many others are:

Work-needing packages

Currently 440 packages are orphaned and 146 packages are up for adoption: please visit the complete list of packages which need your help.

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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Cédric Boutillier, Francesca Ciceri and Justin B Rye.