Debian Project News - January 1st, 2016

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

Mourning Ian Murdock

Debian is saddened to share the news of the passing of Ian Murdock. Ian was not only the founder of Debian, but friend and mentor to many. We will miss him dearly.

The publication of this issue of the Debian Project News has been delayed with this sad news, along with the preparation of a dedicated announcement that will be published soon on the debian-announce mailing list and the website. Thus what should have been the last DPN issue of 2015 has become the first of 2016. In any case, we hope you find it useful.

The New Debian Project News

This is our second newly revised issue of the 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

FAI 5.0 released

After several months of hard work, the FAI team is very happy to announce their new major release 5.0.

FAI (Fully Automatic Installation) is a non-interactive system to install, customise, and manage Linux systems and software configurations on computers as well as virtual machines and chroot environments. FAI is a long-standing project in Debian and was started in 1999.

The new FAI ISO image now supports the installation of Debian 8 with XFCE or GNOME desktop, Ubuntu 14.04, and CentOS 7.

Read the full feature list, download installation images (for CD/DVD or USB sticks), or watch screenshots and videos on the FAI project website.

Official Debian Images for Microsoft Azure

The Microsoft Azure platform officially endorses and supports Debian, by providing in their marketplace official Debian images, which are created in collaboration between several Debian teams (the Debian Cloud Team, Debian Trademark Team, and Debian CD Team), credativ GmbH (Debian development partner), and Microsoft.

More info can be found in the blogpost by credativ and the Debian Cloud Team communication channels.

Kernel oops collector is back in Debian!

Debian's Kernel oops collector has returned to Debian thanks to the efforts of Bálint Réczey. The kerneloops collector available in unstable sends reports to the Linux Kernel Oops Service, which collects kernel errors from all over the world helping kernel developers find and fix kernel issues that otherwise are not reported.

Mini DebConf at 2015 Latinoware Report

Giovani Ferreira reported on a Mini DebConf that occurred on October 15 2015 during Latinoware in Brazil. Debian Developers Antonio Terceiro, Felipe Augusto van de Wiel, João Eriberto Mota Filho, and Thadeu Lima de Souza Cascardo were present and presented a number of talks on the Debian Project and ways to contribute.

At the end of the programme new contributors and speakers spoke about how to collaborate with Debian specifically in Brazil, and gave an everything you wanted to know about Debian session. In addition to the presentation, the project had a stand available at the exposition to receive stakeholders and distribute merchandise.

Annual Deb Med Advent Calendar

The Debian Med Advent Calendar ran from December 1 through to 24. This annual event aims at squashing bugs each day and marking them on their Advent Calendar. This year they were able to close more than 50% of open bugs, 150 in total! Many thanks to all who contributed.

General Resolution: Update Standard Resolution Procedure

The Debian Constitution had an amendment dealing with our resolution procedures proposed and voted on. The proposal of the amendment, seconds, and voting results were recently published.

Once upon a time in Debian:


1,974 people and 18 teams are listed on the Debian Contributors page for 2015.

Help needed

DebConf16 needs your help to raise funds

We are well into the organisation of DebConf16, which will take place in Cape Town, South Africa, in July of 2016. The Debconf Fundraising Team asks every Debian contributor to consider acting as an advocate for Debian, by asking your organisations to sponsor DebConf, particularly if your organisation is either entirely new to sponsoring Debian, or has not sponsored Debian recently. You can download a brochure and a flyer to help with the effort. They summarise what Debian and DebConf are and list the available sponsorship benefits.

Although it would be great if the request came from someone known, if you would prefer not to ask directly, please contact the Fundraising Team with any leads.

Debian will be at 2016 FOSDEM!

Debian put forth a booth proposal which was accepted by FOSDEM and we will have one table at the 2016 FOSDEM event. A Call for Help is needed for volunteers, organising, mailing, booth presence, and other items. Help us put our best forward at this amazing event!

Packages needing help:

Currently 661 packages are orphaned and 171 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 153 newcomer bugs available.

More than just code

Tips and Tricks

David Bremner shares a quick How-To for a Bootable Debian USB. Jonathan McDowell shows how to Update Brother HL-3040CN firmware from Linux. Simon Josefsson explains an Automatic Replicant Backup over USB using rsync.


LTS status/updates

Long Term Support for Squeeze reported 71.50 hours of paid support in September, 85.50 hours in October, and 114.50 hours in November following an ascending curve. Now the project jumped from 50% to 65% of the objective of the equivalent of a full-time position with a single new sponsor said Raphaël Hertzog in the monthly Freexian report about Debian Long Term Support, greeting the first Platinum sponsor: TOSHIBA (through Toshiba Software Development Vietnam). These work hours are regularly distributed between eight paid contributors: Ben Hutchings, Chris Lamb, Guido Günther, Mike Gabriel, Raphaël Hertzog, Santiago Ruano Rincon, Scott Kitterman, and Thorsten Altenholz. In terms of security, at the end of November, the dla-needed.txt file listed 19 packages awaiting an update; the list of open vulnerabilities in Squeeze shows about 22 affected packages in total, which is around the average of the last months.

Guido Günther reported on his contributed LTS work for August; he worked on pykerberos, wordpress and the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) triage for nine CVE items. In September he worked on glibc and nss, with nine CVEs. For the month of October he worked on krb5 and the triaging of 16 CVEs. He also added indentation support to LTS CVE/list Emacs on his own time, leading into December with work on krb5 and nss. After observing that nss requires frequent updates, he added autopkg tests to the process and discussed using the same version in all suites.

Thorsten Alteholz reported on his September LTS contributions, work on a new version of php5, a php5 update, openldap, and rpcbind. In October he worked on updates for freeimage, polarssl, and libxml along with nine CVEs fixed. For November he worked on php5, libpng, and libsndfile along with additional security bugs.

The Debian 6 Squeeze long term support will continue until February 2016. The LTS cycle of Debian 7 Wheezy is planned to run from February 2016 to May 2018.

Reproducible Build status/update

The Reproducible Builds project produces weekly reports on package and toolchain fixes in the Stretch cycle.

Outside News

Software Freedom Conservancy Needs Donors!

The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) helps promote, improve, develop, and defend Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects and provides a non-profit home and infrastructure for FLOSS projects.

Last August, Debian and Conservancy announced a partnership and formed the Copyright Aggregation Project where, among other things, Conservancy will be able to hold copyrights for some Debian works and ensure compliance with copyleft so that those works remain in free software.

Recently, Conservancy launched a major fundraising campaign and needs more individual supporters to gain more sustainable and independent funding. This will allow the Conservancy to continue its efforts towards convincing more companies to comply with free software licenses such as the GPL and take legal actions when dialogue turns out to be unsuccessful. Conservancy needs your support now, more than ever!

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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.