Debian Project News - June 15th, 2015

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

Souvenirs from Jessie's release parties from all over the world

To celebrate Jessie's release, many parties were organised all over the world. Here is a collection of links to photos and reports of the various events, in Évry (France), Perth (Australia), San Francisco (USA), and several places in India, from where we received group pictures and Jessie cake photos. Thanks for sharing these moments with the community!


The Ruby team posted a report on their recent meet at IRILL in Paris from April 8 to 10 for the 2015 Debian Ruby Sprint. Pre-Jessie a large part of the results were sent to experimental; post-release the changes are being sent to unstable. The team triaged and/or fixed almost all of the important bugs in Ruby library packages, and while doing so discovered that the popular text-with-markup parsers bluecloth and redcloth were unmaintained upstream; the team would like to encourage anyone to work on these projects upstream. Obsolete packages were identified and requests for removal filed and/or prepared. The obsolete githubredir service has been removed, and a long-standing issue with the handling of the /var/lib/gems/$VERSION paths resolved: for Stretch and beyond, they will be shipped with the interpreter itself. The team also worked on improving the support for Reproducible builds, porting work for Ruby 2.2, whitelisting Ruby Packages in Debian CI, and packaging improvements.

Niels Thykier updated the status of experimental ddeb support which aims to automatically produce debugging symbols for everything in the archive, without developers needing to add -dbg packages. Currently a consensus has been reached on using the .deb extension for ddebs for Automatic Debug Packages. Debhelper has the necessary patches to produce compliant ddebs with the .deb extension. Work is ongoing on support in dak, as well as progress in debhelper toward removing and reverting patches. Niels kindly included an FAQ and outlined the most recent changes.

Martin Pitt has put forth an idea to enable stateless persistent network interface names to overcome the problems with the kernel's unpredictable sorting order of network devices. The proposal would remove the administrative overhead of having to correct the order by using a round-about manner to keep and use a stable interface name for firewalls or other network configuration. His initial proposal called for dropping persistent-net-generator.rules and enabling ifnames; however, as he received feedback and comments an updated proposal was made which would include a naming policy using MAC based names for USB and other devices.

From Bits from the Debian Hamradio Maintainers, Ian Learmonth posted updates on the Debian Hamradio pure blend and the status of its DVD images, work towards live images based on Stretch, outstanding issue resolutions, and updates on packages such as direwolf, qsstv, and soundmodem.

Andrew Pollock blogged on fixing a few issues with which was giving incorrect codes, along with some needed cosmetic upgrades, and working with

A challenge to improve reproducibility

GSOC student Eduard Sanou updated his status on Reproducible builds in Debian. Many packages in Debian are built with a fair amount of unique data, such as build machine names, unique IDs, and timestamps that may unfortunately produce different results when they are built on different machines. The project goal is to achieve the same binaries independently of what machine builds the package for production. Eduard introduces himself with some of his background, motivation, and separately the benefits of this coding work.

While Jérémie Bobbio continued his series of weekly reports about reproducibility of package builds, and how it is improving over the Stretch development cycle, Daniel Kahn Gillmor proposed a challenge, called one reproducible package a week. Daniel invites everyone interested in Debian development to find packages on the reproducible builds web pages which cannot be built reproducibly at the moment and for which the reason has not been mentioned in the notes yet. If you find the reason, you can then file a bug against the package with your diagnosis, and tag it with one of the tags. It is a good opportunity to discover many aspects of Debian in a fun and useful way. Daniel describes his workflow to achieve this, and also refers to the dedicated Wiki page for more information.

Debian Squeeze LTS reports

Freexian sent a report about the activities of contributors on the long term support of Debian Squeeze during the month of April. Ben Hutchings, Thorsten Alteholz, Raphaël Hertzog, Guido Günter, Mike Gabriel, and Holger Levsen have described on their blogs their work on Debian Squeeze LTS during the month of May, together with their activities on Debian and more broadly on free software.

An official mirrors redirector

Raphael Geissert announced the availability of an official Debian service,, acting as a Debian mirrors redirector. This service, known as before it was hosted on Debian infrastructure, allows many of the nearly 400 Debian mirrors to be available via a single address, adapting to your network location, IP family connectivity, and service availability, says Raphael. To use this service with Debian Jessie, just put deb jessie main in your /etc/apt/sources file.

A glimpse at DebConf15's program

Monday June 15 is the deadline to submit proposals for events at DebConf15, to be held in Heidelberg, Germany, from August 15 to August 22. A list of already approved talks has been published, together with the list of keynote speakers for the opening and closing of DebConf: Bradley M. Kuhn, Werner Koch, Bdale Garbee, and Jacob Appelbaum.


Neil McGovern, Debian Project Leader, has been interviewed by Swapnil Bhartiya for the website.

Julien Danjou published on his blog an interview on software testing in Python by Johannes Hubertz with himself. It belongs to a series of interviews gathered by Johannes Hubertz as part of a book on the subject.

Other news

Simon McVittie posted on his blog a very detailed article on how PolicyKit works. He took the example of mounting a disk on modern Linux to illustrate the various processes involved.

Patrick Schoenfeld wrote an overview of the different options to test puppet modules.

Holger Levsen mentioned on his blog that the number of source packages in the Debian archive has just passed 22,000. The number of binary packages reached 45,000 a few weeks ago.

The first update of the stable distribution of Debian (codename Jessie) was released on June 6.

New Debian Contributors

4 applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers, 9 applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainer, and 18 people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Fabian Greffrath, Michael Fladischer, Jean-Michel Vourgère, Alexandre Delanoë, Arturo Borrero Gonzalez, Bertrand Marc, Herbert Parentes Fortes Neto, Robert James Clay, Jochen Sprickerhof, Peter Spiess-Knafl, Roland Fehrenbacher, Ruben Undheim, Steven Capper, Johannes Hubertz, Navid Fehrenbacher, Partha Pratim Mukherjee, Richard B Winters, Pali Rohár, Gustavo Soares de Lima, Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana, Paul Liétar, Arthur de Moura Del Esposte, Lucas Kanashiro, Hialo Muniz, Guillaume Grossetie, Athos Coimbra Ribeiro, James Lu, Alba Crespi, Kai-Chung Yan, Kevin Murray, and David Mohr into our project!

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): quassel, qemu, iceweasel, libmodule-signature-perl, xen, proftpd-dfsg, icedove, zendframework, fuse, chromium-browser, ntfs-3g, postgresql-9.1, postgresql-9.4, nbd, ipsec-tools, tiff, virtualbox, fusionforge, symfony, wireshark, libapache-mod-jk, redis, php5, strongswan, and cups. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

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

The Debian team in charge of Squeeze Long Term Support released security update announcements for these packages: icu, dpkg, tiff, nbd, ruby1.8, commons-httpclient, dnsmasq, ntfs-3g, ntfs-3g, libnokogiri-ruby, eglibc, dulwich, exactimage, tomcat6, clamav, postgresql-8.4 ipsec-tools ruby1.9.1 wordpress, mercurial, fuse, cups, libapache-mod-jk, wireshark, libraw, imagemagick, and strongswan. 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, stable updates list, and long term support security updates list) for announcements.

New and noteworthy packages

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

Work-needing packages

Currently 666 packages are orphaned and 177 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, Jean-Pierre Giraud, Donald Norwood, Justin B Rye and Paul Wise.