Debian Project News - November 28th, 2016

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

Welcome to the Debian Project News!

We hope that you are enjoying the new format of DPN.

For other news, please read the official Debian Blog Bits from Debian, and follow which feeds (via-RSS) the @debian profile on several social networks.

Debian's Security Team releases current advisories on a daily basis (Security Advisories 2016). Please read them carefully and subscribe to the security mailing list.

At the end of this Project News we've added a Quick Links section which links to many of the posts made through our other media streams.

Internal News/Happenings

News on Debian Stretch

Debian Stretch has entered its transition freeze. There will be no new library transitions or package transitions that involve a large number of packages.

The Release Team maintains a calendar with important dates. The next milestones are 5 December 2016 (forced 10-day migration delay), 5 January 2017 (soft freeze, deadline for new source packages or letting packages re-enter Stretch), and 5 February 2017 (full freeze for Stretch: all changes to Stretch will require approval).

The Debian-Installer Stretch Alpha 8 release has been published. Tests and reports to find bugs and further improve the installer are welcome. Installer CDs, other media and everything else are available for download.

The softWaves theme, by Juliette Taka Belin, will be the default artwork for Debian 9. It was selected out of twelve candidates using a survey. Read our blog post for more details about the process and how to help in getting artwork packaged for Debian.

New FAI version 5.2 is going to the cloud

The release has been announced of FAI 5.2, the new version of the Fully Automatic Installation tool set, which now supports creating disk images for virtual machines. It uses the normal FAI process and it's very fast - using a small set of packages the image can be created in less than 50 seconds. A first version of a Google Compute Engine configuration is also provided.

Events: Upcoming and Reports

Upcoming events

Bug Squashing Parties

On 4 December 2016 there will be a Bug Squashing Party in Dresden, Germany. See the wiki page for details.

There will be another BSP on the weekend of 27-29 January 2017 in Cambridge, UK. More info on its wiki page.

Reproducible Builds sprint in December 2016 in Berlin

There will be a Reproducible Builds summit in Berlin for three days on 13-15 December, with more than 50 attendees from 20 projects. The Debian participants will have a Reproducible Builds Sprint during the event; details can be seen on the wiki page.

The main goals are to discuss and hack on reproducible builds in Stretch, plus longer term plans for Debian 10 Buster, and, together with the wider community at the summit, to improve collaboration both within and between projects, expand the scope and reach, and brainstorm design of tools enabling end-users to get the most benefits from reproducible builds.

DebConf17 in Montreal

The 18th annual DebConf will take place in Montreal, Canada, 6-12 August 2017. It will be preceded by DebCamp, 31 July to 4 August, and Debian Day, 5 August. The DebConf team welcomes any contribution towards its organisation, particularly looking for sponsors. See the wiki for more details on how you can help out, or have a look at the sponsorship brochure (PDF).

Bid deadline for DebConf18 approaching

The deadline for submitting bids to host DebConf18 is the end of December 2016, so you still can consider hosting DebConf in your city. Taipei (Taiwan) and Curitiba (Brazil) already have early plans and they also welcome any help in the preparation of their bids. See all the details on the DebConf wiki page.

Event Reports

Debian Day 2016 in Curitiba

On Saturday 13 August 2016, the Curitiba Livre Group organised a meeting at Centro Universitário Uniandrade in Curitiba (Brazil) to celebrate the twenty-third anniversary of the Debian Project.

Over the years from 2004 with Debian User Group Paraná to this year with Curitiba Livre Group, the free software community in Curitiba has organised several activities to celebrate this date, with the goal of contributing to the project and returning some contributions to Debian, such as code, translations from English to Portuguese, and also help with finding new contributors.

For more details about this event, photos and links, see Bits from Debian Day 2016 in Curitiba - Brazil.

MiniDebConf Cambridge 2016

A mini-DebConf took place in Cambridge, UK on 10-13 November 2016. Details of the event, schedule, and photos are on their wiki page. There were live video streams, and the recordings are already available.

Debian Video Team sprint

A Debian Video Team sprint happened on 17-20 November in Paris, France. The main goals of the sprint were to work on the software video mixer Voctomix, streamline the streaming infrastructure, assess the Opsis boards, write documentation, and agree on the new hardware that needs to be purchased.

DebianEdu sprint end of November 2016 in Oslo

With the freeze coming, a DebianEdu gathering and sprint has been held in Oslo, 25-27 November. See the wiki page for details.

Other events

Debian was present at Latinoware 2016, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, 19-21 October, at OpenRheinRuhr, Oberhausen, Germany, 5-6 November, and at T-DOSE 11th edition, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 12-13 November.

Once upon a time in Debian

Help needed

Debian contributors survey

All Debian contributors - from bug reporters to Debian project members and participants in any Debian team - are invited to take part in the first edition of the Debian contributors survey. The deadline for participation is: 4 December 2016, at 23:59 UTC. See more details in the call for participation mail.

Help the switch to elpa-* packages

With the advent of GNU Emacs's native package manager, package.el, there has been renewed interest in writing useful Emacs Lisp addons. Unfortunately, both package.el itself and the infrastructure that has grown up around it leave a lot to be desired when it comes to quality assurance and security.

Over the past year or so the pkg-emacsen team have been developing tools to convert package.el packages to Debian packages, and it is now quite easy to create new ones. We'd like to see more Emacs users who know at least the basics of creating Debian packages join our team. To get started:

  1. join #debian-emacs
  2. apt-get install dh-make-elpa/experimental
  3. man dh-make-elpa # to view a quick start guide

Packages needing help

Currently 989 packages are orphaned and 153 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 185 newcomer bugs available.

More than just code


1,898 people and 19 teams are currently listed on the Debian Contributors page for 2016.

For the contributors getting their maintainer or developer account in Debian, you can follow our bi-monthly welcome posts in

Outside News

Daniel Pocock attended the first summit of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), and sent a report about it.


LTS Freexian Monthly Reports

Freexian issues monthly reports about the work of paid contributors to Debian Long Term Support.

Reproducible Build status/update

Follow the Reproducible builds blog to get the weekly reports on their work in the Stretch cycle.

Quick Links from Debian Social Media

This is an extract from the feed, in which we have removed the topics already commented on in this DPN issue. You can skip this section if you already follow or the @debian profile in a social network (, GNU Social, or Twitter). The items are given unformatted and in descending order by date (recent news at the top). Sorry for the long list, we expect to deliver these digests more often in the future.






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

Subscribe or Unsubscribe from the Debian News mailing list

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 The Publicity Team with contributions from Sean Whitton, Paulo Henrique Santana, Stefano Zacchiroli, Holger Levsen and Justin B. Rye.