Debian Project News - January 6th, 2014

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

SteamOS, a game oriented Debian derivative

Valve Software has made available images for SteamOS, a Debian derivative aimed at providing a gaming experience built for the big screen. This gaming operating system is based on Debian 7 (codename Wheezy). Installation instructions are available from the SteamOS website. A dedicated page in the Debian wiki lists additional information about this Debian derivative.

Mini-DebConf in Phnom Penh

FOSSASIA is inviting Debian contributors and fans to Phnom Penh, Cambodia for a Mini-DebConf from February 28 to March 2, 2014. After previous events in Vietnam and a successful Mini-DebConf 2010 in Ho Chi Minh City it is time to bring together some of the awesome Debian folks in the region again and organise another Mini-DebConf: Phnom Penh 2014. The event will be held at Norton University, the leading IT institution in Cambodia, and will bring together a number of free software projects. Please join us, add your name to the wiki, and spread the word!

Mini-DebConf in Barcelona

Debian Women is proud to announce that a Mini-DebConf will be organised in Barcelona on 15-16 March 2014. The idea behind the conference is not to talk about women in free software, or women in Debian, but Debian subjects more inclusive for women. Everybody is invited, but speakers are expected to be all people identifying themselves as women. Conference organisers are seeking proposals for papers, presentations, discussion sessions, and tutorials. If you have one or more proposals, send them to

Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament to use Debian for email encryption

Rebecca Harms, co-president of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, announced a project to use trustworthy encryption in cooperation and dialogue with European Parliament IT services and Debian. Recognising that we live in a digital environment polluted by pervasive surveillance, she sees encrypted software as a small first step to ensure nobody but the intended recipent of an email can read it. Greens/EFA will use a selection of Free Software from Debian running on regular consumer laptops. As Greens in the European Parliament we are very pleased that we are supported by Debian [...], a community of programmers and developers abiding to a social contract to share and maintain their common resource which they call Free Software, she said.

An automatic list of Debian contributors

Enrico Zini announced that a list of known Debian contributors is available at The list will never be fully comprehensive, but it will try to be the best effort Debian can possibly make to credit everyone, Enrico said. The list is created from data sources which can be added to take into account new types of contributions. Please refer to Enrico's message for implementation details.

Bits from the DPL

Lucas Nussbaum sent his monthly report of DPL activities for November 2013. Among other topics, Lucas gave an update on the participation of Debian in the Outreach Program for Women. He also started a discussion about the role of release goals, and a proposal to replace them with procedures built on the existing recommended practices for mass bug filings.

Lucas also recently updated delegations for the Policy Editors, the Debian Keyring Maintainers, the Debian Account Managers, the Press Team, and the Debian System Administrators. He also officialised the existence and the powers of the Release Team by publishing the first delegation for this team.

Bits from the Release Team

Niels Thykier sent some bits from the Release Team, with a precise timeline of events that need to happen before the freeze for the next stable Debian release, Jessie, which is scheduled for November 5 2014. He also mentioned that the results from piuparts, a tool to test installation, upgrade and removal of Debian packages, are now integrated into Britney, the software taking care of the migration of packages from unstable to testing.


There have been DebianEdu interviews with Dominik George and Klaus Knopper, who both describe, among other things, how they got involved in Debian Edu and their views about it.

Other news

The third update of the stable distribution of Debian (codename Wheezy) was released on December 14.

Jakub Wilk posted on his blog a one-liner script, named μdput, to efficiently replace dput or dput-ng for package uploading on a flaky network connection.

Martin Zobel-Helas sent minutes of the DSA Team Meeting, held on December 13, 2013.

The update for Wheezy of the Debian Administrator's handbook, prefaced by Lucas Nussbaum, the current Debian Project Leader, and Stefano Zacchiroli, Debian Project Leader from 2010 to 2013, is available for download from the website of the book, or as the debian-handbook on Debian systems running unstable.

Niels Thykier announced that he has automated the reprocessing of packages in the Debian archive when there is a new version of Lintian, a tool to find bugs and policy violations in packages. Reprocessing the whole Debian archive with Lintian 2.5.20 is expected to take about 3 to 4 weeks.

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 wiki, 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

Four applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers, eight applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainers, and twenty-five people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Thomas Bechtold, Miguel Landaeta, Andrea Colangelo, Mike Miller, Michael Fladischer, Axel Wagner, Chris Boot, ChangZhuo Chen (陳昌倬), Dima Kogan, Elmar Heeb, Hendrik Tews, Jakob Haufe, Radu-Bogdan Croitoru, Walter Reiner, Ghislain Vaillant, Antonio Ospite, Ben Carrillo, Stewart Smith, Sergio Schvezov, Otto Kekäläinen, Mechtilde Stehmann, Sebastien Badia, Christian Stalp, Mitsuya Shibata, Bret Curtis, Alexandre Gramfort, Zev Benjamin, Folkert van Heusden, Julien Muchembled, Noriyuki Ohkawa, Silvio Rhatto, Zygmunt Krynicki, Benjamin Eikel, Lennart C. Karssen, Simon John, Mats Sjöberg, and Christos Trochalakis 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 Jessie, is currently affected by 476 Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 330 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): openjpeg, ruby1.8, ruby1.9.1, chromium-browser, samba, gimp, varnish, munin, php5, libtar, mysql-5.5, iceape, nspr, gnupg, xorg-server, pixman, curl, wireshark, denyhosts, libcommons-fileupload-java, drupal6, hplip, ruby-i18n, puppet, memcached, openssl, and typo3-src. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

Debian's Backports Team released advisories for these packages: roundcube, strongswan, openssh, and nbd. 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

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

Work-needing packages

Currently 541 packages are orphaned and 156 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 Mario Behling, Cédric Boutillier, Elizabeth Krumbach, Carl J Mannino and Justin B Rye.