digikam: advanced photo management
on 28.02.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
on 26.02.2007, 20:28
in event-report
Supporting Debian makes sense, commercially speaking.
on 23.02.2007, 18:34
in news, success-stories
gtetrinet: multiplayer Tetris with some twists
on 21.02.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
Debian @ FOSDEM 2007
on 18.02.2007, 11:44
in event-announce
signing-party: complete toolkit for efficient key-signing!
on 18.02.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Sarge updated (r5)
on 17.02.2007, 20:37
in news, release
Key expiry breaks most D-I Etch RC1 images
on 16.02.2007, 19:30
in news, release
We need your help now !
on 15.02.2007, 09:23
in packages-news
screen: a console-base window manager on steroids
on 14.02.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
Debian Weekly News 2007/03
on 13.02.2007, 00:00
in weekly-news
zim: a desktop wiki
on 11.02.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
krusader: twin-panel (commander-style) file manager
on 07.02.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
einstein: Puzzle game inspired on Einstein’s puzzle
on 04.02.2007, 05:00
in packages-news

digikam: advanced photo management

published on Wed Feb 28 05:00:03 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Amanda Angell. We are in a big need for new editors, able to dedicate time on a regular basis to debaday. See the contribute page for details, and contact us !

digiKam’s website states that it is an “advanced digital photo management application for Linux” which understates the programs abilities. It does everything from auto-detecting your camera, importing the photos, sorting your collection in useful ways, and does some basic - or even creative - photo editing. It is only available for KDE, so Gnome users miss out. It is Integrated into KDE applications using KIPI (KDE Image Plugin Interface), and can drag-and-drop into other KDE programs.

DigikamImagePlugins is an add-on that enhances the basic digiKam Image Editor into a much more powerful tool for playing with pictures. My favorites are the distortion effects, oil paint, and the adjust levels plug-ins. There is a Create Calendar section in digiKam’s Tools menu, which is a lot of fun and the end result can be printed or saved as a PDF.

digiKam uses dcraw 8.41 to decode “more than 200 proprietary camera file formats”, and the Gphoto2 project supports “over 700 digital camera devices”. Cameras using USB, serial connection, and USB/IEEE Mass storage connections are supported.

The camera interface is fast and smooth, with thumbnails to preview the pictures before downloading and, at least with Canon cameras, you have the option to only select new pictures for download.

Photos can be organized by albums, date, saved searches, and a completely customizable tagging system. This makes a big difference when trying to find and organise your photos as opposed to the simple date order of some programs.

Once in the main window, a left click opens the photo in the digiKam Image Editor. Right click for more options, including opening the photo in other editing programs (such as the Gimp). Movie files are opened in your favorite multimedia software.

In comparison, I have been using Gnome’s camera import using gthumb image viewer for 6 months and there are noticeably less camera interface options. It feels a little disjointed and doesn’t have the options of sorting your photos into albums, tags or ratings. In-fact, I feel that digiKam handles my camera better than the original Windows XP software.

Version 0.9.0 is available in Debian (experimental) and Ubuntu.

digiKam won the 2005 TUX Readers’ Choice Award for “Favorite Digital Photo Management Tool”, and for good reason. It is powerful, easy to use, and intuitive.



published on Mon Feb 26 20:28:19 2007 in event-report

The continuous drizzle and cold weather only marginally tarnished the experience of FOSDEM 2007, which took place on 24/25 February on the campus of the Université Libré in Brussels, Belgium. Around 50 active Debian contributors had made sure not to miss the event, and mingled with the hundreds of other Free software enthusiasts.

As in the previous years, the Debian booth was a popular space for discussions and meeting people, and the presentations on Debian-related topics, which took place in the Debian DevRoom, attracted a large crowd who seldom left any empty seats. Topics included the testing migration, APT improvements, data mining within the project, a new network configuration management system, and automated installations.

In the evenings, groups of all sizes could be found in the various bars and pubs of Brussels, sampling the local beer, planning total world domination by Free software, or submitting themselves to cross-cultural exchange with fellow colleagues.

The Debian project would like to thank the organisers of FOSDEM, as well as all volunteers who made the event possible and who represented Debian at the booth or in talks. We are looking forward to next year.

Supporting Debian makes sense, commercially speaking.

published on Fri Feb 23 18:34:45 2007 in news, success-stories

According to Jeffrey Wade, worldwide open source marketing manager at HP, supporting Debian for its Proliant and Blade Systems servers was a surprising commercial success: $25 million in hardware sales for 2006 in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) were directly related to HP starting to offer official support for Debian sarge.

In the same article on InternetNews, Wade also assured that official support for Debian etch will be forthcoming soon after the latters release.

gtetrinet: multiplayer Tetris with some twists

published on Wed Feb 21 05:00:28 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Jan Hülsbergen. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

Gtetrinet is a small multiplayer clone of the classic puzzle-game Tetris implementing the tetrinet protocol. It features some original ideas about how multiplayer-Tetris can be handled and it has an active user community.

Multiplayer enhancements

The most unique thing about gtetrinet is the usage of ‘extras’ or ’special blocks’. Every time a player eliminates a line of his own field, one of the remaining blocks turns into an extra. When a line containing one or more extras is eliminated, those extras go to the inventory of the player, from where he/she can use them to harm other players or to aid himself. There are numerous extras which do everything from just eliminating or adding a single line to switching playing fields with an opponent of choice.

Also, the servers offer different ‘channels’, which have slightly different game-modes. For example, the tetrinet.de server has a #maps channel, in which the players do not start with an empty field but with some blocks/extras already there. Also, there is a #pure channel, in which the player can play a more classical multiplayer Tetris, without any extras at all.

User community

You don’t have to search for others to play against you, you can just connect to one of the public servers, for example tetrinet.org or tetrinet.de, which - as far as I can tell - has active players at any given time of day. And I have checked this for years now. ;-)


I already mentioned the public available tetrinet servers but there are more. You can also run your own server, using for example the package tetrinetx, which provides a nice tetrinet server implementation. There is also a package tetrinet-server, but it’s more primitive.

Also, there is a tetrinet-client package, which features a textmode client for the game.

Screenschots (click to get a larger image)

The Partyline


Debian @ FOSDEM 2007

published on Sun Feb 18 11:44:35 2007 in event-announce

Debian will be present at this years Free and Open source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM). FOSDEM will take place 24th and 25th February 2007 in Brussels, Belgium.

Beside many interesting tracks from projects like

  • CrossDesktop
  • KDE
  • openSUSE
  • Mozilla
  • GNU Classpath+OpenJDK DevJam
  • CentOS+Fedora
  • Jabber
  • OpenGroupware+GNUstep
  • Python
  • Research Room
  • X.org
  • Gentoo
  • Embedded
Debian will hold it's own track in room AW 1.125. The following talks are currently planed:

Saturday 2007-02-24

14:15-15:15 Testing migration Luk Claes
15:15-16:15 Mole -- Infrastructure for Managing Information Jeroen Van Wolffelaar
16:15-17:00Automated Testing of Debian PackageLucas Nussbaum
17:00-18:00Delta Upgrades without rsyncMichael Vogt, Paul Sladen
18:00-19:00Open Source VoIP with DebianDaniel Pocock

Sunday 2007-02-25

09:00-10:00Formal Dependency ManagementBerke Durak
10:00-11:00NetconfMartin Krafft
11:00-12:00Secret debian internalsEnrico Zini
13:00-14:00Kernel and d-i in lenny and beyondSven Luther
14:00-15:00Running Debian on Inexpensive Network Storage DevicesMartin Michlmayr
15:00-15:45Let's port togetherPeter De Schrijver
16:00-17:00Automating installationsFrans Pop
17:00-18:00Debian-Community.org (pre)launchHolger Levsen

signing-party: complete toolkit for efficient key-signing!

published on Sun Feb 18 05:00:27 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Thijs Kinkhorst. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

signing-party is a package combining a set of tools used in managing OpenPGP / GnuPG cryptographic keys. The most important tools in this package are used in preparing for or processing the results of gatherings to exchange key signatures, hence the name “signing-party”. If you are coming to FOSDEM next week-end, you should definitely have a look at it!

The two tools most interesting for the average user are gpg-key2ps and caff.

gpg-key2ps is used before attending a signing party. The script takes your public key and creates PostScript (PS) output that has your key fingerprint and userid’s nicely formatted on paper slips. The only thing left for you to do is to cut the paper.

When you arrive home after the signing event, you need a way to process all these paper slips. That’s where caff comes in. Give it a list of key-ID’s, and it will cycle through them, present you with the key’s fingerprint and asks you to confirm that it matches the paper you got.

The most important part about the signing process is that you verified the key owner’s real identity. However, caff adds additional security to that: it encrypts your signature on their key with their own key, and then mails it to them. It mails the signature for a specific user ID to the emailaddress on that user ID. This brings additional security: before the recipient can add your signature to their key, they must decrypt it with their private key, proving that they indeed have access to the key they claimed to be theirs. By mailing to the email addresses on the key user ID’s, it is also verified that the key owner can indeed read that address. All this you get for free - caff stands for “CA fire and forget”: you confirm that fingerprints match, and caff handles the rest.

Target Users:

  • Anyone signing OpenPGP keys.

Further reading:

The signing-party package is available in both Debian and Ubuntu. The caff tool is only available in Debian Etch and up, or in the package from backports.org.

Sarge r5 might break apt 0.6 from backports.org

published on Sat Feb 17 20:52:42 2007 in news

Debian Sarge r5 is the first version of Debian GNU/Linux signed by the off-line Stable Release Key in addition to the on-line ftp-masters key. This might lead to problems for users who have installed a backported version of apt 0.6, but haven't added the Stable Release Key to apt's keyring.

Solution: Get key 0xADB11277, verify that it is signed by the Stable Release Managers, and add it with apt-key.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.1 (GNU/Linux)


Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Sarge updated (r5)

published on Sat Feb 17 20:37:30 2007 in news, release

The Debian project has updated the stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 (codename 'sarge'). This update mainly adds security updates to the stable release, along with a few corrections to serious problems. Those who frequently update from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update.

Please note that this update is the first version of Debian GNU/Linux signed by the off-line Stable Release Key in addition to the on-line ftp-masters key. This might lead to problems for users who have installed a backported version of apt 0.6, but haven't added the Stable Release Key to apt's keyring.

This update does not constitute a new version of Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away 3.1 CDs. Instead you only need to update against ftp.debian.org or a mirror after an installation, in order to incorporate those changes. New CD and DVD images are being built right now and will be available soon at the regular locations.

Upgrading to this revision online is usually done by pointing the 'apt' package tool (see the sources.list(5) manual page) to one of Debian's many FTP or HTTP mirrors. A comprehensive list of mirrors is available at: http://www.debian.org/distrib/ftplist

Miscellaneous Bugfixes

This stable update adds a few important corrections to the following packages.

Package                Reason
exim                   Update description to reflect upgrade problems.
glibc                  Update timezone data.
openvpn                Fix restart of openvpn in init script.
pinball                Rebuild to get architectures back in sync.

Security Updates

This revision adds the following security updates to the stable release. The Security Team has already released an advisory for each of these updates.

Advisory ID Package(s)               Correction(s)
DSA  996    libcrypt-cbc-perl        Cryptographic weakness
DSA 1193    XFree86                  Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1196    clamav                   Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1197    python2.4                Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1198    python-2.3               Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1199    webmin                   Input validation problems
DSA 1200    qt-x11-free              Integer overflow
DSA 1201    ethereal                 Denial of service
DSA 1202    screen                   Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1203    libpam-ldap              Access control bypass
DSA 1204    ingo1                    Arbitrary shell command execution
DSA 1205    thttpd                   Insecure temporary file creation
DSA 1206    php4                     Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1207    phpmyadmin               Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1208    bugzilla                 Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1209    trac                     Cross-site request forgery
DSA 1210    mozilla-firefox          Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1211    pdns                     Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1212    openssh                  Denial of service
DSA 1213    imagemagick              Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1214    gv                       Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1215    xine-lib                 Execution of arbitrary code
DSA 1216    flexbackup               Denial of service
DSA 1217    linux-ftpd               Access control bypass
DSA 1218    proftpd                  Denial of service
DSA 1219    texinfo                  Multiple vulnerabilities
DSA 1220    pstotext                 Arbitrary shell command execution
DSA 1221    libgsf                   Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1222    proftpd                  Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1223    tar                      Arbitrary file overwrite
DSA 1224    mozilla                  Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1225    mozilla-firefox          Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1226    links                    Arbitrary shell command execution
DSA 1227    mozilla-thunderbird      Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1228    elinks                   Arbitrary shell command execution
DSA 1229    asterisk                 Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1230    l2tpns                   Buffer overflow
DSA 1231    gnupg                    Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1232    clamav                   Denial of service
DSA 1233    kernel-source-2.6.8      Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1234    ruby1.6                  Denial of service
DSA 1235    ruby1.8                  Denial of service
DSA 1236    enemies-of-carlotta      Missing sanity checks
DSA 1237    kernel-source-2.4.27     Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1238    clamav                   Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1239    sql-ledger               Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1241    squirrelmail             Cross-site scripting
DSA 1242    elog                     Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1243    evince                   Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1244    xine-lib                 Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1245    proftpd                  Denial of service
DSA 1246    openoffice.org           Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1247    libapache-mod-auth-kerb  Remote denial of service
DSA 1248    libsoup                  Denial of service
DSA 1249    xfree86                  Privilege escalation
DSA 1250    cacti                    Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1251    netrik                   Arbitary shell command execution
DSA 1252    vlc                      Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1253    mozilla-firefox          Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1254    bind9                    Denial of service
DSA 1255    libgtop2                 Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1256    gtk+2.0                  Denial of service
DSA 1257    samba                    Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1258    mozilla-thunderbird      Several vulnerabilities
DSA 1259    fetchmail                Information disclosure
DSA 1260    imagemagick              Arbitrary code execution
DSA 1261    postgresql               Several vulnerabilities

The complete list of all accepted and rejected packages together with rationale is on the preparation page for this revision:



The complete lists of packages that have changed with this revision:


The current stable distribution:


Proposed updates to the stable distribution:


Stable distribution information (release notes, errata etc.):


Security announcements and information:


Key expiry breaks most D-I Etch RC1 images

published on Fri Feb 16 19:30:00 2007 in news, release

The expiration of the Debian archive's signing key for 2006 has broken most of the installation media from etch RC1. The only RC1 images that should remain usable are the full installation CDs and DVDs, but only when used without a network mirror.

Final preparations have begun for the second release candidate of the Debian Installer for Etch, and we hope to get RC2 out as soon as possible to fix this.

In the meantime, if you need to use one of the other installation methods, use the daily built images. This will also help us with pre-release testing for RC2, so please file installation reports!


Full CD and DVD images are now available again from the D-I project homepage, for all architectures (except S/390). The now available images are virtually identical to what will be released as D-I RC2, so testing and installation reports are most welcome.

We need your help now !

published on Thu Feb 15 09:23:48 2007 in packages-news

Debian Package of the Day has now been alive again for more than two months. While it has been running quite well until know, we are concerned about the future, since we don’t have any article ready currently, and haven’t received a lot of contributions recently.

We really need *you* to submit articles about the packages you use. If you read Debaday, and haven’t submitted an article yet, you should really feel guilty now. :-) There are still tons of packages one could write about ! You can write about everything: games, sysadmin tools, cool end-user stuff, etc. Please read the Contribute page for more info. We are considering a switch from “two packages per week” to “one package per week” if we don’t receive more submissions soon.

Also, it would be great if we could recruit one or two other “editors”. The job is interesting (the goal is to answer submissions, providing ideas for improvements, and to adjust the last details), and you get to read all the articles in advance. You don’t need to be a native english speaker. Contact us if you are interested.

screen: a console-base window manager on steroids

published on Wed Feb 14 05:00:28 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Ico Doornekamp. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

GNU Screen is one of my all-time favorite Unix tools. According to the official documentation, Screen is a full-screen window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal between several processes.

So, what does that mean ? GNU Screen allows you to run multiple console based applications like editors, shells, IRC clients, newsreaders, etc, all through a single terminal. Screen allows you to switch between applications or layout multiple windows in a single terminal. One of the most nifty features is that the programs running under Screen’s control can be detached - this means they are still running, even though the actual terminal is closed. Later a new terminal can be reattached to a running screen session, even from another host!

Here’s a small demo of a typical Screen session, the true story of Bob the system administrator:

Bob connects to the server and starts a new screen session.

bob@desktop$ ssh bob@server
bob@server$ screen 

Screen displays it’s welcome message, and after hitting the Return key, a new shell is started.

Screen version 4.00.03 (FAU) 23-Oct-06

Copyright (c) 1993-2002 Juergen Weigert, Michael
Copyright (c) 1987 Oliver Laumann

This program is free software; you can redistribute
it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU
General Public License as published by the Free
Software Foundation; either version 2, or
(at your option) any later version.

[Press Space for next page; Return to end.]

This shell is now running inside the Screen session. Bob starts his favorite editor…

bob@server:~$ su -
server:~# vi /etc/apache/httpd.conf 

… and does some heavy editing.

ProxyRequests On

Order deny,allow
Deny from all
Allow from 10.0.0. 

/etc/apache/httpd.conf 993,25 94%

But then disaster strikes: The CEO comes in and trips over the uplink network cable, breaking the SSH session!

connection lost. (Connection closed)


Screen to the rescue! Bob starts a new SSH session to the server, and now runs Screen with the -x parameter.

bob@desktop$ ssh bob@server
bob@server$ screen -x 

Instead of starting a new session, screen now reattaches to the running screen session, and Bob finds his editor just the way he left it!

ProxyRequests On

Order deny,allow
Deny from all
Allow from 10.0.0. 

/etc/apache/httpd.conf 993,25 94%

While editing, Bob decides he needs to check his mail. Instead of opening another SSH session to the server, he hits C-a C - that is, he types Ctrl-a and then ‘c’.

Screen now creates a new window, opening a new shell…

bob@server$ mutt  

…and Bob starts ‘mutt’, his mail user agent.

q:Quit d:Del u:Undel s:Save m:Mail r:Reply g:Gro
2 + Dec 22 Daniel Hirschi (0.6K) Implementing s
3 + Jan 06 Ricki Silversto (3.0K) Paycheck
4 + Jan 26 Roberto (1.0K) Read this!
5 C Jan 26 Michel Wraith (9.0K) RE: finished

—Mutt: ~/Maildir [Msgs:5 19K]—(threads/date)—(a)

With the keystrokes C-a 1 and C-a 2, Bob is now able to switch between vi and mutt, from the same console.

Time to go home. Bob hits C-a D, which will detach the current screen session from his terminal, and takes the bus home.

bob@server$ screen -x
bob@desktop:$ logout 

After dinner, Bob decides to finish the job. From his home computer, he opens a new SSH session to the server, and reattaches to the running screen session:

bob@home$ ssh bob@server.company.com
bob@sever$ screen -x

The editor and mutt are still running, and Bob can now continue his work from home from the point he left.

ProxyRequests On

Order deny,allow
Deny from all
Allow from 10.0.0. 

/etc/apache/httpd.conf 993,25 94%

Screen has been available for ages in both Debian and Ubuntu.

Debian Weekly News 2007/03

published on Tue Feb 13 00:00:00 2007 in weekly-news

Welcome to this year's 3rd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. In light of recent attacks on SHA-1, the National Institute of Standards and Technology is preparing for a competition to augment and revise the current Secure Hash Standard. Rick Lehrbaum reported that the installation of Debian etch on an old ThinkPad notebook went pretty well and added a number of screenshots.

Supporting Package Downgrade?

Justin Pryzby listed a couple of reasons for not supporting package downgrades. They often work nevertheless, except when package replacements and maintainer scripts are involved. He wondered if there are any other reasons. Damyan Ivanov recommended the excellent documentation of maintainer scripts written by Margarita Manterola on the Debian Women Wiki.

LDAP and Infrastructure Updates

Ryan Murray announced new fields in the Debian LDAP schema: Date of birth (developer-only visible), Gender (world visible), and several fields to allow the developer to disable their @debian.org email address, specify a white-list, enable greylisting and sender verification callouts or specify RBL and RHSBL lists to be checked at SMTP time. Jörg Jaspert added some important points about fields available via the mail gateway and fields available only via the web interface. He also mentioned how developers could help with userdir-ldap.

FOSDEM Schedule finalised

Wouter Verhelst announced the schedule for talks in the Debian developers room at the this years' FOSDEM taking place from February, 24th to 25th in Brussels, Belgium. Debian developers will also maintain a booth. Interested supporters should contact Wouter Verhelst by mail.

Debian powers New Zealand's Electoral Enrolment

Rodney Gedda Sydney reported that New Zealands electronic election enrolment system is powered by Debian GNU/Linux. The system consists of two clusters of PostgreSQL databases in different locations that replace the former system of decentralised Oracle databases with Visual Basic front-ends. The new system also increases voting participation by automatically informing eligible voters about ongoing votes.

Restructuring Parts of the Debian Website

Frans Pop suggested to split the overview of untranslated pages into three categories to help translators. Manoj Srivastava noticed that the navigation bar for vote pages grows longer and would like to create a history page. Martin Schulze proposed to alter the menu even more.

Debian-Installer Release Candidate 2

Frans Pop, leader of the debian-installer team announced that the release candidate 2 of the debian-installer is imminent. Nearly all prerequisites for the last release candidate and probably final version of the etch installer are met. This candidate introduces Linux 2.6.18, incorporates translation updates and improves the graphical installer.

Debian GNU/Linux Support from Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard announced to support customers running Debian GNU/Linux on their business line products ranging from HP t5725 Thin Clients to ProLiant and BladeSystem file and application servers. Debian is also available pre-installed and configured on several product series.

Call for Project Leader Nominations

Manoj Srivastava, secretary of the Debian project, called for nominations for the upcoming Debian Project Leader election. Prospective candidates are asked to send in their platforms and letters of application to the project secretary in time, so they can be published on the voting page. The term of the new Debian Project Leader will start in April 2007.

Debian Live Autobuilder

Daniel Baumann announced that he has set-up an autobuilder for the Debian Live system. This is a live version of Debian GNU/Linux that doesn't need to be installed on a hard disk. The system is available with different desktop environments like GNOME, KDE and Xfce. Builds based on testing are created every week and the ones based on unstable are build daily.

First Test Report on Multiarch DVD

Giuseppe Sacco reported his impressions about the use of multiarch DVD. He wondered what should be done in order to start the amd64 kernel instead of i386, Steve McIntyre explained that i386 is default and prepending amd64- would do the trick. Giuseppe also commented about a few documentation mistakes, Frans Pop confirmed that they are already fixed.

Automatic Installation and Removal Tests

Lucas Nussbaum sent in the results of piuparts tests against the whole Debian archive. The first run only tested the package installation process and the second run checked installation and removal of packages. Lucas proposed to find common sense before filling bugs with respect to the log files. For easier processing Stefano Zacchiroli asked for a list sorted by maintainer, which Loïc Minier provided.

Archive Signing Key for 2007

Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña asked for the new archive signing key for 2007 which should be properly announced. Anthony Towns responded that a special Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 signing key is used instead and expected to be valid until some time after upcoming stable release.

Updates for Debian Sarge

Martin Zobel-Helas announced the preparations done for the next stable update, 3.1r5. It will include updated versions for Glibc, kernel 2.4 and 2.6, Mozilla, OpenOffice.org and XFree86 among others. Most other packages are updated to incorporate the security corrections that have accumulated.

Debian Conference 2008 in Argentina

Margarita Manterola announced that the annual Debian Conference for 2008 will take place in the city of Mar del Plata, Argentina. The conference will probably held during the second and third weeks of August, 2008, which means that this will be the first DebConf to take place in winter.

zim: a desktop wiki

published on Sun Feb 11 05:00:31 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Julien Danjou. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

Zim is a desktop wiki. It’s a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) text editor and works like a wiki, so you can have links between your pages, and pages are stored in a hierarchical structure, which makes them easy and to browse. Zim is the perfect application to take notes and keep TODO lists somewhere in an organized fashion. It is very easy to use and you can hide it in the traycon to keep it handy.

It’s written in GTK2-Perl, it’s very small and fast. You don’t need to run a Web server, as required for a standard Wiki like Mediawiki, or to run mono like Tomboy. If you run KDE, a similar program is BasKet, but BasKet is more oriented to note-taking and it it is not supposed to be a desktop wiki.

Files are stored as plain text files and organized in directories, so you can even manage them with VCS like Subversion.

Also, it allows you have multiple repositories independent of each other.

Zim is available in Debian etch and sid (but not in sarge). It’s also available in Ubuntu since Dapper. The only known bug that looks annoying is that it’s currently not possible to print notes from zim (one can still print the text files instead).


Here you have some screenshots taken from zim’s webpage:

The editor window with all widgets visible.

Minimalistic editor window with some links.

Showing the calendar and spell checking in action.

krusader: twin-panel (commander-style) file manager

published on Wed Feb 7 05:00:18 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Matej Urbančič. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

Quick overview

Krusader is the most advanced twin panel file manager for Linux with a bundle of features, that can not be all included in this simple package presentation.

Program description

Krusader as an advanced twin-panel (commander-style) file-manager provides all the file-management features you could possibly want. Its simple and straight forward interface provides great working environment for newbies as well as more expert users. While its features are usually described through extended and advanced functionality, it is basically still a file manager for everyone with simple ways for copying, moving, deleting, packing, editing and viewing files. on more advanced levels it features extensive archive handling, mounted file system support, FTP, an advanced search module, a text viewer/editor, directory synchronization, support for file content comparisons, powerful batch renaming, and a lot of other things only real expert users use.

Krusader follows the same paradigm as legendary console based Midnight Commander and windows rival Total Commander. Among Linux alternatives for graphical interface the closest is GNOME commander.

To be just a bit more verbose, Krusader uses two powerful panels, command line and optional terminal emulator, strong keyboard orientation and with it the ability to perform all functions without the mouse. Or with it, if you prefer it that way. It has context-dependent invocation of scripts and programs, history of almost everything, virtual file systems for remote connections, support for many archives, search results and synchronizer, a really powerful internal viewer and editor, advanced searching capabilities on the file system, but also inside archives and search content on remote file systems.
It has several panel view modes via the PopUp panel, locate GUI frontend and separate synchronize directories, mount-manager and disk usage module. It’s archive handling capabilities are wide in features and supported archives types. It utilizes many checksum creation-verification mechanisms, calculates occupied space of files and folders, archives and remote file systems, file splitter and synchronized browsing, it provides directory comparison and filtering and also file compare by content via external diff programs. It integrates powerful renaming via Krename. It simplifies overview and changing of file permissions and ownership with support for numeric permissions, selection filters in synchronizer and searcher. It is fully mimetype-aware, uses tabbed panels and integrates editor/viewer.


Screenshots from Krusader homepage.
Click on picture to see large version.

Additional Information

  • Homepage: krusader.org
  • Forum: krusader phpBB
  • Programming language: C++ on Qt/KDE framework.
  • Archive support: ace, arj, bzip2, deb, gzip, iso, lha, rar, rpm, tar, zip and 7-zip.
  • Connections: ftp, sftp, lan, samba, NFS, fish.
  • Checksum: md5, sha1, sha256, sha224, sha256, sha384, sha512, tiger, whirlpool, cfv and crc.
  • External diff support: Kompare, Kdiff3 or xxdiff.
  • Recommended packages: krename, kompare, kmail.
  • Availability: Latest version are available both in Debian and Ubuntu. You also have an updated distro list at Distrowatch.

Last words

Krusader project gets a lot of appraisal in reviews. Still, it’s twin panel paradigm somehow, makes users distant. From early beginnings of thin panel file managers, the idea of constantly connected source and destination panels gives an impression of geeky interface and usage. It gets down to simple solution. Use it once and you will never look back.

einstein: Puzzle game inspired on Einstein’s puzzle

published on Sun Feb 4 05:00:34 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Kari Pahula. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

Einstein is a game for playing a type of puzzle, attributed to Albert Einstein (hence the name). In its original form, the riddle asks the question “Who owns the fish?” and the player is given hints like “The Englishman lives in the red house” and “The owner of the green house drinks coffee”. The riddle can be solved by placing the five neighbours to the correct order and deducing the nationalities, house colors, favorite drinks, pets and the type of cigarettes they smoke.

In Einstein, the player is given 6 groups of different types of tiles, with 6 tiles in each and a number of hints. Only one type of tiles can be found in a row. There are four different types of hints.

  • X is in between Y and Z hints tell that the three tiles in question are in successive columns, but the order of Y and Z is not fixed.
  • X is on the right side of Y hints tell how the two tiles are situated relative to each other, but they may have one or more columns in between of them.
  • X is next to Y hints tell that the two tiles are in neighbouring columns.
  • Finally, the X is in the same column as Y hints tell that the two tiles are, well, in the same column.

The gameplay consists of elimination and deduction according to the hints. For example, the “x … I” rule above reveals that “x” can’t be in the rightmost column since that would leave no room for having “I” anywhere. A click of the right mouse button removes that tile from consideration. Left clicks are conversely used to mark that the tile in question is in the claimed position. Unneeded hints can be removed from view by right clicks too.

Random clicking or guessing rarely lead anywhere, since the game mercilessly declares the game over from one wrong guess.

Einstein’s homepage is at http://games.flowix.com
It is available in Debian unstable and Etch. And in Ubuntu since Feisty.