Debian Project News - February 28th, 2018

Welcome to this year's first 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 this edition 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 2017 and Security Advisories 2018). 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 a selection of the posts made through our other media streams.

Internal News/Happenings

Updated Debian 9 and Debian 8: 9.3 and 8.10 released

The Debian project announced the third update of its stable distribution Debian 9 (codename Stretch) on 9 December 2017 to point release 9.3.

The Debian project also announced the tenth update of its oldstable distribution Debian 8 (codename Jessie) on 9 December 2017 to point release 8.10.

These point releases added corrections for security issues along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available. Upgrading an existing installation to either revision can be achieved by pointing the package management system at one of Debian's many HTTP mirrors. A comprehensive list of mirrors is available at: build service for installation images

Thomas Lange has announced the build service for customised installation images. On this web page, you can create customised images with only a few clicks. It supports different Debian distributions, all common desktop environments, several locales, backported kernels, and the option of entering a list of packages. After some time you can download your own ISO image which does a fully automatic installation using FAI.

Debsources now in

The Debsources team is happy to announce that Debsources, which provides direct web access to the Debian operating system source code, has been moved onto the official Debian infrastructure at Debsources allows users to directly browse available source packages and to peruse and highlight portions of the source code files for every Debian release. It provides links via HTML and an API for programmatic use.

Debian participates in Outreachy and GSoC

Debian welcomes three Outreachy interns: Juliana Oliveira who will work on reproducible builds, Kira Obrezkova who will work on open-source mobile technologies, and Renata D'Avila who will work on a calendar database of social events and conferences for free software developers.

The Outreachy program is available due to the efforts of Debian Developers and Donors, providing a three month internship for groups traditionally underrepresented in technology.

Google, through its Google Summer of Code program, provides students with a stipend to work over the summer months on open source development. Debian is happy to announce that we will be participating as a mentoring organisation this year.

We are looking for mentors and students that would like to participate. Additional information is available on our Summer of Code 2018 wiki page; if you are able to mentor please contact the Debian Outreach Team via mailing list to join as a mentor.

New IRC channel #debian-til

There is a new IRC channel #debian-til for sharing things that you recently learned about Debian. Quoting the topic of the channel: Share something that you've learned today (or whenever) prefixed by "TIL" (yes, even when YIL would be "correct"). Can be something technical, social or anything else somewhat relevant to Debian - Judgement-free zone! Post anything, however "obvious"!. More info about the Debian IRC channels can be found in

Misc Developer News

Paul Wise posted Misc Developer News #45. Highlights include debhelper compat 11, KGB now supporting GitLab webhooks (for salsa), the change of the FTP upload queue, a call to review your debtags today, and Purism hardware discounts for Debian Developers.

New and noteworthy packages

Among many other packages that were added to the unstable Debian archive in the last weeks, we can find:

Events: Upcoming and Reports

Upcoming events

Debian Bug Squashing Party in Tirana, Albania

There will be a Bug Squashing Party on 3 and 4 March 2018, held in Tirana, Albania, hosted by the Open Labs Hackerspace.

MiniDebConf Curitiba 2018

Members of the Debian community in Curitiba met at Positivo University to discuss organising a 2018 Curitiba MiniDebConf which will take place April 11 to 14 at the central campus of the Federal University of Technology - Paraná (UTFPR). Registration is free and there will be a crowdfunding campaign to help finance the event.

MiniDebConf Hamburg 2018

A miniDebConf will take place in Hamburg (Germany) from May 16 to 20, with three days of Debcamp style hacking, followed by two days of talks, workshops and more hacking. Read the announce and visit the wiki page of the event where you can get all the details, register for the event, and help in the organisation.

Debian presence at events

There'll be a Debian booth at the Chemnitzer Linux-Tage 2018 taking place in the Zentrales Hörsaal- und Seminar-Gebäude of the Technical University Chemnitz from Saturday 10 March to Sunday 11 March 2018. The first CLT was held in 1999 and Debian has taken part in the event since 2002. If anyone is interested in helping with the booth, please have a look at the wiki page:

FOSSASIA Summit will take place in Singapore 22–25 March 2018; several Debian Developers and contributors will attend, and maybe organise a Debian booth. Please get in touch via the debian-events-apac mailing list for details and help or coordination.

DebConf18 in Hsinshu

The organisation of DebConf18 (Hsinshu, Taiwan, 29 July–5 August 2018) is going on. DebConf18 will be preceded by one week of DebCamp, Saturday, July 21 through Friday, July 27. The Call for Proposals was published on 7 February 2018. You can now sign into the website and submit an event, or write to the content team at to suggest an invited speaker. Talk proposals must be submitted by Sunday 17 June 2018 at the latest. Registration will open soon and you can subscribe to debconf-announce to be notified when registration opens. Bursary applications will be available together with registration and must be submitted by 13 April. As of now, eleven companies or organisations have decided to support the event, and DebConf18 is still accepting sponsors; visit its website for more details.

DebConf19 in Curitiba

DebConf19 will be hosted in Curitiba, Brazil. See the Debian Curitiba bid for details.

Event Reports

MiniDebConf Toulouse 2017

A miniDebConf took place in Toulouse, France, on 18–19 November 2017 organised by Debian France Association together with the Capitole du libre, the help of the Toulibre association, and the support of Evolix. The event was a real success with more than twenty-five attendees at each session. Details of the event are on the wiki page.

MiniDebConf Cambridge 2017

Another miniDebConf took place in Cambridge, UK, on 23–26 November 2017. Details of the event, schedule, and photos are on their wiki page. There were live video streams, and the recordings are already available.

Debian presence at events

There was a Debian presence at the XIV Goiano Free Software Forum (FGSL) in Goiânia (Brazil) last November (talks and booth), at LinuxDay in Dornbirn (Austria) last December (Debian booth), at Campus Party Brasil 2018 in São Paulo (Brazil) and at FOSDEM 2018 in Brussels (Belgium) in February (Debian booth).


LTS Freexian Monthly Reports

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

Reproducible Builds status update

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

Help needed

Packages needing help:

Currently 1262 packages are orphaned and 164 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 226 bugs available tagged newcomer.

More than just code


941 people and 16 teams are currently listed on the Debian Contributors page for 2018.


On the Debian-user mailing list, Debian user Jason asked how to create a PDF-Printer from the command line. A large discussion covered many questions asking: Is (La)TeX text or not, what exactly is a mimetype, why not a2ps or lp, and file bloat for PDF creation. There are lots of tips and tricks throughout the thread for those wondering about the same question.

Debian user Richard Hector asked about the policy on the wontfix bug tag used by maintainers. The thread covered many topics and discussions about the actual output from the date command, interactive shells, the question of what day is it really?, the fuzzy grammar of the date string, parsers, mail LDOSUBSCRIBER, and the formail component of procmail. A very interesting read!

Once upon a time in Debian:

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, Mastodon or Twitter). The items are given unformatted and in descending order by date (recent news at the top).





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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by The Publicity Team with contributions from Thomas Lange, Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana and and Jean-Pierre Giraud..