Debian Project News - October 22nd, 2015

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

Welcome to the New Debian Project News!

We hope that you enjoy our first newly revised issue of DPN. We have shifted some of the content around, introduced new sections, and moved some content onto the Bits from Debian blog.

Bits from Debian will showcase new packages and interviews, plus some announcements, and is where we will welcome new DDs.

We are planning to send more short news items via our social network account. Please be sure to follow us on (or fall back to the non-official mirrors in other social networks).

One of the major changes is the removal of the DSA security advisories from the newsletter. Debian's Security Team releases current advisories on a daily basis (Security Advisories 2015), so please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

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.

We are simplifying and (we hope) improving the help needed section. From now on, you will find:

Internal News/Happenings

Joerg Jaspert announced that Squeeze non-LTS architectures were moved to Squeeze i386 and amd64 continue to be hosted on Debian mirrors.

The Debian Technical Committee was asked to decide on menu systems in regard to bug #741573. They have announced their decision to migrate away from the Debian Menu System and towards the common Freedesktop Desktop Entry Specification, and that menu information for applications should not be duplicated in two different formats.

Christian Perrier announced the traditional bug guessing contest for when bugs #900000 and #1000000 will be reported. Chris Lamb reported Bug #800000 on vdr-plugin-prefermenu.

The Debian Website Team has reviewed and updated organisations using Debian in the website section Who's using Debian - Organisations. Many new and old organisations in the world have explained how they are deploying Debian in the year 2015. Have a look! You can still submit new entries/info or join the Who's using Debian review efforts, now in the Education subsection.

The DebConf Team is working on writing the DebConf15 Final Report, and some sections are almost ready, content-wise; for example DebConf15 in Numbers (contact the DebConf Team if you could help with transforming the stats into nice infographics) and the Attendee Impressions (a comprehensive list of links of blogposts about DebConf15, including some quotes).

Look how the time has flown! Christoph Berg recounts 10 years as a Debian Developer and Dirk Eddelbuettel celebrates 20 years of Debian Contributions.

The delegations for the Publicity Team have been updated and the team restructured. The new Publicity Team will handle social media, blogging, press releases, announcements, the DPN, and Debian Press functions.

Upcoming Events

FreedomBox Halloween Hackathon

The FreedomBox Foundation is hosting a Halloween Hackathon on Saturday October 31 in New York City. New and existing contributors will be getting together to work on FreedomBox, the Debian-based privacy-respecting self-hosting software suite and wireless router.

You can find more information about Debian-related events and talks on the events section of the Debian website.

Once upon a time in Debian:


1,831 people and 18 teams are listed on the Debian Contributors page for 2015.

Calls for help!

Translators and reviewers needed!

Help us make Debian (the software, the community) speak your language! Less than an hour every once in a while - even just a couple of minutes - can make a difference.

If you speak a language other than English, you can join the team for your language and contribute to Debian with translations and reviews of other people's translations.

Reviewing translations made by other contributors is particularly needed (to ensure their quality) and easy (no technical skills needed, just language skills).

More information and contact details at the Welcome Translators wiki page.

Packages needing help

Currently 671 packages are orphaned and 178 packages are up for adoption: please visit the complete list of packages which need your help.

Newcomer bugs

Debian has a newcomer bug tag used to indicate bugs which are suitable for new contributors to use as an entry point to working on specific packages.

There are 158 newcomer bugs available.

More than just code

Tips and Tricks

Several members of the Debian community shared tips: François Marier shows how to set up a network scanner using SANE, Norbert Preining demonstrates how to rename a local OfflineIMAP mangaged folder. Sven Hoeexter discusses adding multiple SubjectAlternativeNames on one certificate, and wildcard SubjectAlternativeNames. Luca Falavigna shares resource control with systemd.

Having issues with WordPress 4.3 getting slow? You might need an update as detailed here along with some background information on the bug and fixes.


The ian in Debian, Ian Murdock, penned How I came to find Linux sharing how a from starting as a nine-year-old with computer video games and later programming he came to make his own contribution to the growing community - and a new distribution called Debian.

Steve McIntyre posted a summary of the ARM ports BOF at DebConf15. He details and asks questions about armel in Stretch and Debian's sole support of older ARM hardware, armhf cross distribution and kernel efforts, and arm64, the most recent port shipped with Jessie. Steve also shares information about buildds and hardware, scientific software, and porting access.

Andreas Barth posted Minutes from the 32bit architectures in Debian BOF. His report details 32-bit architectures in Debian and discussions over how to compile and link with more memory, and issues specific to i386 such as new 32-bit hardware, excluding architectures on packages, and powerpc.

Gregor Herrmann posted a Report from the Debian Perl Rolling Sprint at DebCamp15. The sprint covered workflow patches in git (especially git-debcherry), and held several discussions on minor issues in scripts, new tooling to import changes, and work on several individual packages. They were also able to do bug triaging, repository cleanup, and update examples of pkg-perl-tools. During DebCamp and DebConf, 189 packages were uploaded with 19 bugs closed.

Niels Thykier reported on the GCC-5/libstdc++ transition and provided a list of packages that will be affected. Neils also fixed then unbroke Dak which now has its auto-decrufter and generate-releases code patched.

Guido Günther posted the Bits from the 9th Debian Groupware Meeting. The attendees updated several packages, among them Icedove, calendar-exchange, and Azrafa/Giraffe. The team also addressed security and licensing issues and added integration of zarafa-webapp with Apache 2.4. Philipp Kern blogged about a new version of sysconfig-hardware and a new version of zipl-installer for s390x. The changes were moved into unstable and make it possible to install Debian on s390x with root on LVM. Philipp also uploaded a new version of Hercules, a z/Architecture emulator.

LTS status/updates

Long Term Support for Squeeze reported 25 hours of paid support with Guido Günther fixing a regression in pykerberors, working with Craig Small, who updated wordpress, as well as the CVE triaging of 9 CVEs. Thorsten Alteholz prepared an upload of php5 for testing and uploaded security updates for opensaml2, wesnoth-1.8, and xmltooling among others. He also did frontdesk work answering questions on IRC and researching priority CVEs. Scott Kitterman released a fix for screen and reviewed CVEs for items that were applicable to squeeze-lts.

Reproducible Build status/update

Reproducible Builds weekly reports on package and toolchain fixes in Stretch cycle:

RC Bugs update

Gregor Herrmann reported on 13 RC bugs worked on in September.

Outside News

Frank Hofmann and Axel Stefan Beckert announced the availability of a Debian Package Management Book written in German. Gute Arbeit!

DebConf15 Coverage in Linux Weekly News

Nathan Willis from Linux Weekly News attended DebConf15 and wrote eight articles about topics covered in the conference: Copyright assignment and license enforcement for Debian, Debian and binary firmware blobs, Advances in Debian's package manager, Debsources as a platform, Bringing Git workflows to Debian with dgit, Automating architecture bootstrapping in Debian, How Debian managed the systemd transition, and A status update on Debian's reproducible builds. All these articles and their comments are publicly available now at the Linux Weekly News website.

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Back issues of this newsletter are available.

This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Cédric Boutillier, Jean-Pierre Giraud, Donald Norwood, Laura Arjona Reina, Justin B Rye and Paul Wise.