Debian Project News - December 10th, 2012

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

Record number of participants for Mini DebConf Paris

The second Mini DebConf Paris, held over the third weekend of November, registered a record number of participants for a mini DebConf: more than a hundred people, including Debian Developers, contributors and enthusiasts from all over Europe. The great success of the event was also guaranteed by the high number of talks and workshops held during the two days, most of them recorded by the amazing DebConf Video team (and soon available on the video website). Josselin Mouette, one of the founders of the Debian GNOME team, held an interesting talk titled Large deployment of GNOME from the administrator's perspective, consisting of an overview of existing mechanisms for administrating GNOME systems. Stefano Zacchiroli, current Debian Project Leader, presented the debian-cloud initiative during the Lightning Talks, while Lucas Nussbaum explained how to get involved in Debian in his five-minute Get involved - it's not that hard talk. Ben Hutchings and Maximilian Attems presented the work of the Linux kernel team, while Cyril Brulebois explained how the Debian Installer is created and how it works. Some talks were dedicated to the community aspects of Debian, such as Roberto Di Cosmo's Free software and Debian, 20 years after and the accurate analysis of social interactions on Debian mailing lists by Alexandre Delanoë and Bernard Conein.

Debian on smartphones: a feasibility analysis

Paul Wise documented how to install Debian on smartphones: while this is technically possible, the process is complicated by the fact that the Linux mainline kernel doesn't run on many mobile devices and the Debian Linux kernel maintainers prefer not to include non-mainline patches. Paul concluded by saying that the procedures I documented above are not a great way to support mobile devices at all and could break at any moment anyway. So everyone, please become a kernel developer and help merge all of the many many versions of Android Linux into Linux mainline so that you can have your favourite distribution on your devices. The state of the art of support for running Debian on such devices is documented on the Mobile wiki page, while people interested in helping can join the discussion on the debian-mobile mailing list or simply join the #debian-mobile channel on

Official Debian images on Amazon Web Services

James Bromberger announced the availability of official Debian images on Amazon Web Services. Over the last few months, James and others have been working on the creation of official images to be put on the AWS Marketplace. After the first contact between Amazon and DPL Stefano Zacchiroli, a group of Debian Developers and the wider community formed to generate a set of AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) using Anders Ingemann’s ec2debian-build-ami script, explained James. Those who plan to use it can find the relevant documentation on the Amazon EC2 Image wiki page, while the ongoing task of creating and supporting official images is coordinated via the debian-cloud mailing list.

Reports from latest BSPs

During the third weekend of November, three simultaneous Debian Bug Squashing Parties were held in different locations across the world: in Tokyo, Japan, in Munich, Germany and in Essen, Germany. The next episode of the Bug Squashing Marathon for Wheezy will be on 15-16 December in Mechelen, Belgium.

Other news

The Debian Women project finally completed the migration of to the main Debian website. The new version is already available in Danish and French. In the announcement you can find instructions and hints on translating it to your language.

Inspired by Nicolas Dandrimont's talk about The state of GSoC and beyond, Lucas Nussbaum noted that half of the package maintainers in Debian are not Debian Developers or Debian Maintainers.

Zaki Akhmad released Indonesian subtitles for the video recording of Stefano Zacchiroli's Bits from the DPL talk, held in Managua, Nicaragua, during DebConf12. If you want to translate the subtitles to your language, you can fetch the original English subtitles and follow the tutorial on creating video subtitles.

New Debian Contributors

6 people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Alberto Fernández Martínez, Dominik George, Mika Pflüger, Wilfried Goesgens, Eric Newberry and Carsten Schoenert 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 360 Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 155 Release-Critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.

There are also more detailed statistics as well as some hints on how to interpret these numbers.

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): iceape, iceweasel, xen, mysql-5.1, libxml2, apache2, rssh and libssh. 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) for announcements.

New and noteworthy packages

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

Work-needing packages

Currently 502 packages are orphaned and 139 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 Moray Allan, Cédric Boutillier, Francesca Ciceri and Justin B Rye.