Debian Project News 2010/04
on 31.05.2010, 00:00
in weekly-news
Debian Project News 2010/03
on 18.05.2010, 00:00
in weekly-news
Debian Project News 2010/02
on 03.05.2010, 00:00
in weekly-news

Debian Project News 2010/04

published on Mon May 31 00:00:00 2010 in weekly-news

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

Bits from the Debian Project Leader

Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli sent a <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/05/msg00008.html"><q>Bits from...</q></a> mail reporting some of his recent activities. He started with a call to help Debian's Release Team as the current members need more help getting the upcoming release of Debian 6.0 <q>Squeeze</q> ready. He also mentioned some interviews and public appearances he had, and delegations of the Debian System Administrators and a Debian Auditor. In a summary of his report of his recent visit to the Ubuntu Developer Summit, he asked for volunteers to act as the contact point for Debian derivatives. Their job would be to help developers of Debian derivatives to find ways to contribute back to Debian.

Parallel booting enabled by default

Debian Developer Petter Reinholdtsen <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/05/msg00009.html">announced</a> that after enabling reordering the init scripts of a boot sequence back in last July, parallel booting is now also enabled by default in recent installations, which should help to reduce boot and shutdown times of new Debian systems. There is still some work <a href="http://people.skolelinux.org/pere/blog/Parallellized_boot_seem_to_hold_up_well_in_Debian_testing.html">left to do</a> which would further improve shutdown speed of Debian systems, such as reducing the number of scripts that just kill a daemon during shutdown.

DebConf Reconfirmation Deadline

DebConf organiser Pablo Duboue <a href="http://lists.debconf.org/lurker/message/20100525.175712.4b6eb245.en.html">asked</a> all attendees of the <a href="http://debconf10.debconf.org/">eleventh Debian Developer Conference</a> to reconfirm before 10 June 2010 that they still plan to attend the conference. Reconfirmation can be done using the <a href="https://penta.debconf.org/">Conference Organisation Web Interface</a>. Reconfirmation is especially important for people who requested sponsored food and/or accommodation.

Declassification of the debian-private mailing list

Over four years ago the Debian Project <a href="http://www.debian.org/vote/2005/vote_002">decided</a> to open up the archive of its private mailing list for everyone after a period of three years. With this three year period being over for the first posts, Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2010/05/msg00105.html">is now looking</a> for volunteers to look through the archive, contact authors of these mails and open the archive. Martin Krafft <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2010/05/msg00106.html">proposed</a> to change the workflow, by making parts of the archive open on a regular basis and letting people delete mails they don't want to see published. Several problems were pointed out with this approach, such as that people might have resigned as Developers in the past three years and therefore no longer have enough access to delete their mails.

LILO about to be removed in Debian 6.0 Squeeze

William Pitcock <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2010/05/msg00769.html">explained</a> that due to some limitations (for example in the size of supported kernels) the boot loader <a href="http://packages.debian.org/lilo">LILO</a> is about to be removed from the upcoming release of Debian 6.0 <q>Squeeze</q>. He therefore asked users to test the replacement boot loader <a href="http://packages.debian.org/grub-pc">GRUB 2</a>.

Firmware support in Debian's installation system

Debian Developer Petter Reinholdtsen <a href="http://people.skolelinux.org/pere/blog/More_flexible_firmware_handling_in_debian_installer.html">announced</a> some changes he is introducing into Debian's installation system to allow more flexible handling of the loading of firmware files (binary programs loaded and executed in hardware, for example some network adaptors). Steve McIntyre, leader of the Debian CD/DVD team, has already <a href="http://lists.debian.org/20100527141708.GA27043@einval.com">adapted</a> the build system for CD/DVD images to reflect these changes and created some <a href="http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/daily-builds/sid_d-i/20100527-7/">test images</a>.

Other news

Ana Guerrero <a href="http://lists.debian.org/20100522130720.GA1982@ana.debian.net">noticed</a> that quite a few of the recent Non-Maintainer Uploads are quite intrusive and reminded NMUers to keep changes minimal.

Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the <a href="http://bts.turmzimmer.net/details.php">unofficial RC-bugs count</a>, the upcoming release, Debian 6.0 <q>Squeeze</q>, is currently affected by 395 release critical bugs. 66 of them have already been fixed in Debian's <q>unstable</q> branch. Of the remaining 329 release critical bugs, 44 already have a patch (which might need testing) and 27 are marked as pending.

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2046">phpgroupware</a>, <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2048">dvipng</a>, <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2050">kdegraphics</a>, <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2051">postgresql-8.3</a>, <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2052">krb5</a> and <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2053">linux-2.6</a>. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

New and noteworthy packages

The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently (<a href="http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/newpkg">among others</a>):

Work-needing packages

Currently 630 packages are orphaned and 123 packages are up for adoption. Please take a look at the <a href="http://lists.debian.org/E1OFG6G-0000GZ-Py@merkel.debian.org">recent</a> <a href="http://lists.debian.org/E1OHnR4-0000NQ-4W@merkel.debian.org">reports</a> to see if there are packages you are interested in or view the complete list of <a href="http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/help_requested">packages which need your help</a>.

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 <a href="http://wiki.debian.org/ProjectNews/HowToContribute">contributing page</a> to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at <a href="mailto:debian-publicity@lists.debian.org">debian-publicity@lists.debian.org</a>.

Debian Project News 2010/03

published on Tue May 18 00:00:00 2010 in weekly-news

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

DebConf10 update

Deadlines are looming for DebConf10 - some have already passed. For example, the last day to submit a BoF (Birds of a Feather) talk has come and gone. There is still lots you can do for DebConf10 however including volunteering time, lending equipment, and even donating money. Sponsors and donors are needed to help defray the costs of holding DebConf10 as Raphael Geissert wrote on his <a href="http://my.opera.com/atomo64/blog/2010/05/04/debconf10-needs-your-help">blog</a>.

Squeeze freeze

Adam Barratt and the release team sent out an <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/05/msg00000.html">update on the status of transitions, Release Critical bugs and a Timeline of the Squeeze freeze</a>. In short, we have a way to go before Squeeze is frozen and it is difficult for the release team to estimate when Squeeze will get frozen. Adam writes <q>In order to help us keep a clearer picture of which changes still need to occur before we can freeze, we will be introducing a 'transition freeze' before the end of this month. If you have not yet discussed your transition with the Release Team, please ensure that you have done so before May 21st.</q>

Debian-Ubuntu relationship

Being invited to the recent Ubuntu Developer Summit, Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2010/05/msg00083.html">gathered feedback</a> and examples about the relationship between the two projects. Most interesting where of course success stories, <q>epic fails</q> and requests from the Debian Project at large to the Ubuntu community. Later he posted a link to <a href="http://upsilon.cc/~zack/stuff/debian-uds-m.pdf">his slides</a> (a <a href="http://blip.tv/file/3622104">video is also available</a>) also containing some figures, e.g. that roughly 75% of all packages in Ubuntu are taken without further patches directly from Debian. Stefano later posted a <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2010/05/msg00084.html">summary of his talk</a> and the feedback he got.

Debian installation media and non-free firmware

With Debian's Kernel Team moving firmware files (binary data needed for some hardware like network interface cards) in separate packages in Debian's non-free section, Kurt Roeckx <a href="http://lists.debian.org/20100505162955.GA17250@roeckx.be">wondered</a>, if that approach could lead to usage problems especially during installation and if these files should be added to the installation media. Several people pointed out, that the <a href="http://www.debian.org/releases/lenny/i386/ch06s04.html">debian installation system already supports loading firmware</a> from a separate installation media, e.g. a USB stick. That however would still be to complicate for many users or use cases (e.g. remote installation). In the end Steve Langasek <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2010/05/msg00081.html">proposed</a> to offer normal installation media without non-free firmware files and an easy to use tool, which would add the distributable non-free firmware files to the installation media image.

Other news

The 22nd issue of the <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/05/msg00006.html">miscellaneous news for developers</a> has been released and covers the following topics:

New Developers and Maintainers

9 applicants have been <a href="http://lists.debian.org/E1OBGLq-0004Fc-16@merkel.debian.org">accepted</a> as Debian Developers and 6 applicants have <a href="http://lists.debian.org/E1OE0zH-0008Py-VZ@ries.debian.org">been</a> <a href="http://lists.debian.org/E1ODk88-0001Je-3Q@ries.debian.org">accepted</a> as Debian Maintainer since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Deepak Tripathi, Daniel Nurmi, Paul Gevers, Thomas Goirand, Pino Toscano, Johan Euphrosine, Kanru Chen, Mikhail Gusarov, Obey Arthur Liu, Thierry Soloniaina Randrianiriana, Ritesh Sarraf, Tommi Vainikainen, Thomas Weber, Hideki Yamane and Serafeim Zanikolas into our project!

Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the <a href="http://bts.turmzimmer.net/details.php">unofficial RC-bugs count</a>, the upcoming release, Debian 6.0 <q>Squeeze</q>, is currently affected by 370 release critical bugs. 72 of them have already been fixed in Debian's <q>unstable</q> branch. Of the remaining 298 release critical bugs, 37 already have a patch (which might need testing) and 20 are marked as pending.

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2041">mediawiki</a>, <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2042">iscsitarget</a>, <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2043">vlc</a>, <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2044">mplayer</a> and <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2046">phpgroupware</a>. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

New and noteworthy packages

The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently (<a href="http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/newpkg">among others</a>):

Work-needing packages

Currently 607 packages are orphaned and 120 packages are up for adoption. Please take a look at the <a href="http://lists.debian.org/E1OCilA-0001ft-ME@merkel.debian.org">recent</a> <a href="http://lists.debian.org/E1OABQP-0004Lu-Nq@merkel.debian.org">reports</a> to see if there are packages you are interested in or view the complete list of <a href="http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/help_requested">packages which need your help</a>.

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 <a href="http://wiki.debian.org/ProjectNews/HowToContribute">contributing page</a> to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at <a href="mailto:debian-publicity@lists.debian.org">debian-publicity@lists.debian.org</a>.

Debian Project News 2010/02

published on Mon May 3 00:00:00 2010 in weekly-news

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

New Debian Project Leader

The New Debian Project Leader is named Stefano Zacchiroli (IRC nick <q>zack</q>). Stefano has already posted an <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/04/msg00011.html">email</a> to the Debian Developers Announce mailing list giving out a big thank you, updating his progress in understaning the DPL's job, and letting people know how they can get in touch with him. Stefano hopes to be a 'facilitator' and asks that developers get in touch with him to let him know about 'blockers' that stand in the way of getting work done. <q>We're a very nice do-ocracy, and there is no reason why enthusiastic and capable people willing to work on a specific subject should not be empowered to do so.</q>

Special funding for DebConf Newbies

If you've never been to a DebConf, but always wanted to go, this is your year. Joey Hess wrote that a <a href="http://kitenet.net/~joey/blog/entry/Sponsoring_non-regulars_for_DebConf10/">special funding for trips to DebConf10</a> is available for Debian Developers who have either never attended a DebConf before, or who have not been to a DebConf since DebConf6 (in Mexico). <a href="http://debconf10.debconf.org">DebConf10</a> will be held in New York from August 1-7, 2010.

Debian welcomes Google Summer of Code students

Obey Arthur Liu <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/04/msg00015.html">welcomed</a> this years <q>Google Summer of code</q> students, who will get their work on a specific topic financed by Google:

Bits from Debian Groupware Meeting

Guido G√ľnther wrote such a good <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/04/msg00013.html">bits from</a> mail that I just cut and pasted it into this issue of DPN, here it is:

New initramfs-tools package

Maximillian Attems pointed out that there is a new version of the <a href="http://packages.debian.org/search?keywords=initramfs-tools">initramfs-tools</a> package released which satisfies a release goal for <q>Squeeze</q>. These tools are used fairly early on in the boot process to create a initramfs which gets used by the kernel as an initial file system. The new version brings in some changes made by Ubuntu which should lead to faster boot times. There is an opportunity here to test this and send along any relevant info to the team that maintains the package, which is the Debian kernel team at <a href="mailto:debian-kernel@lists.debian.org">debian-kernel@lists.debian.org</a>. In addition to the ability to use other forms of compression, there are a number of new fixes and features in this package. See the <a href="http://www.itp.tuwien.ac.at/~mattems/blog/2010/04/06#initramfs-tools_0.94">complete list</a>.

MIPS architecture news

Andreas Barth send some <a href="http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/04/msg00010.html">information on the mips and mipsel buildd status</a> (buildd is a build deamon which automatically builds Debian binary packages from Debian sources). He mentioned that they have had some hardware failures leaving them with just one mipsel buildd currently. While the new buildd sorting order is helping, packages are still taking a while to be built. Andreas sees an empty build queue in sight "quite soon" and work is in progress to fix the known hardware issues with the other machines.

Berlin MiniDebConf

Jan Hauke Rahm <a href="http://blog.jhr-online.de/77">wrote</a> that there is going to be held a MiniDebConf in the middle of LinuxTag on June 10th and 11th. The MiniDebConf will feature a talk by the new Debian Project Leader as well as a <q>hack lab</q> which will be open at night. The hack lab could use some more people to help out and the schedule of talks is almost complete. The MiniDebConf aims to be newbie friendly with help for new Debian bug squashers, not least since Debian hopes to be in a <q>freeze</q> by that point. A Bug Squashing Party be held as well. So why not join the German <a href="http://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/Miniconf-LT-Berlin/2010">Cabal in Berlin</a>?

Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the <a href="http://bts.turmzimmer.net/details.php">unofficial RC-bugs count</a>, the upcoming release, Debian 6.0 <q>Squeeze</q>, is currently affected by 364 release critical bugs. 76 of them have already been fixed in Debian's <q>unstable</q> branch. Of the remaining 288 release critical bugs, 38 already have a patch (which might need testing) and 14 are marked as pending.

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2034">phpmyadmin</a>, <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2035">apache2</a>, <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2037">kdm (kdebase)</a>, <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2038">pidgin</a>, <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2039">cact</a> and <a href="http://www.debian.org/security/2010/dsa-2040">squidguard</a>. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

New and noteworthy packages

The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently (<a href="http://packages.debian.org/unstable/main/newpkg">among others</a>):

Work-needing packages

Currently 592 packages are orphaned and 140 packages are up for adoption. Please take a look at <a href="http://lists.debian.org/E1O2ZPv-0005oI-KN@merkel.debian.org">the</a> <a href="http://lists.debian.org/E1O56ki-0005np-BT@merkel.debian.org">recent</a> <a href="http://lists.debian.org/E1O7e5a-0005vM-9y@merkel.debian.org">reports</a> to see if there are packages you are interested in or view the complete list of <a href="http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/help_requested">packages which need your help</a>.

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 <a href="http://wiki.debian.org/ProjectNews/HowToContribute">contributing page</a> to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at <a href="mailto:debian-publicity@lists.debian.org">debian-publicity@lists.debian.org</a>.