Debian Project News - March 18th, 2013

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

Debian Edu Squeeze updated

Holger Levsen announced the first update of Debian Edu Squeeze since its initial release. This update contains all the changes between Debian 6.0.4 and 6.0.7, as well as Debian Edu specific bugfixes and enhancements, explained Holger. The updated installer images are available for downloading.

DPL election campaign

This year's DPL election campaign has now officially started. Three candidates are running for DPL this year: Moray Allan, Gergely Nagy and Lucas Nussbaum. There is already quite an active debate on the debian-vote mailing list, where people can ask the candidates questions about their platforms. So far, the main topics discussed have been: questions about recruitment of new contributors and mentoring; the use of Debian's money and the possibility of fundraising campaigns to renew Debian's core hardware infrastructure; and possible changes to the constitutional role of the DPL, including the creation of a DPL board or changing the length of the term of office.
The campaign will end on 30 March, and will be followed by a two-week voting period. These early days of the 2013 DPL campaign have been very intense; as a mere voter I'm struggling to keep up with the debian-vote backlog. Still, it's incredibly refreshing to see such a democratic battle between volunteers eager to offer their free time as DPL. Volunteerism in free software is in very good health, it seems, said Stefano Zacchiroli, who has been DPL for the last three years.

A deeper look inside the freeze

Lisandro Damián Nicanor Pérez Meyer blogged about his experience with the Debian freeze as a Debian Developer. Lisandro, who is a member of the Qt/KDE team, intensified his activity during the freeze, reviewing patches, applying them and testing the fixes. With help from the other members of the team, Lisandro has done eleven uploads of Qt to get it ready for the new release. He explains that during the freeze, communication within and between teams is crucial, as the energies of all Debian Developers are focused on releasing, and that requires a great deal of coordination. And the team that is put under the greatest amount of stress during the freeze is the Release Team. From the outside, communicating with the RT was a kind of "special art", and not an easy one, explained Lisandro, who then lists some useful hints for communicating with the Release Team in an effective way.

Kali Linux: a new Debian derivative for penetration tests

Raphaël Hertzog blogged about the birth of Kali Linux 1.0, a new Debian derivative developed by Offensive Security to be an advanced and stable penetration testing distribution.
Mati Aharoni, lead Kali developer, explained that Debian provides a reliable base to build a new distribution and yet can easily be customized to add bleeding edge features, thanks to the unstable and experimental distributions. Raphaël, who helped the Kali team in setting up their technical infrastructure as a Debian derivative, also added that not only will most Kali applications be integrated into Debian, but Offensive Security is also willing to dedicate a node of their armhf cluster for Debian's own use.

Other news

Lucas Nussbaum published some statistics about changes in Debian packaging and structure since 2005 gathered by mining data from The majority of the software in Debian is now team-maintained through a VCS repository (mostly Git), and packaged using dh.

Luca Falavigna blogged about his experience in one of Debian's core teams, the FTP Team.

According to the Ultimate Debian Database (UDD), the top 10 RC-bug closers during March are:

  1. Michael Gilbert
  2. LaMont Jones
  3. Julien Cristau
  4. Ludovico Cavedon
  5. Raphaël Hertzog
  6. Gregor Herrmann
  7. Sebastian Ramacher
  8. Abou Al Montacir
  9. Arno Töll
  10. Sébastien Villemot

Well done!
More information on this data is available in this email.

Upcoming events

There is one upcoming Debian-related event:

You can find more information about Debian-related events and talks on the events section of the Debian web site, or subscribe to one of our events mailing lists for different regions: Europe, Netherlands, Hispanic America, North America.

Do you want to organise a Debian booth or a Debian install party? Are you aware of other upcoming Debian-related events? Have you delivered a Debian talk that you want to link on our talks page? Send an email to the Debian Events Team.

New Debian Contributors

One applicant has been accepted as a Debian Developer and two applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainers since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Balint Reczey, Alexander Chernyakhovsky and Alexandre Raymond 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 115 Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 74 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): apache2, openafs, php5, zoneminder, perl, sudo, puppet, wireshark, inetutils, typo3-src, firebird2.1, firebird2.5, lighttpd and libvirt. 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

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

Work-needing packages

Currently 496 packages are orphaned and 142 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.