Debian Project News 2010/10
on 26.08.2010, 00:00
in weekly-news
Debian Project News 2010/09
on 09.08.2010, 00:00
in weekly-news
DebConf10: beta versions of the recordings are up
on 08.08.2010, 21:59
in debconf-news
DebConf10: please say thank you to the whole team
on 06.08.2010, 19:29
in debconf-news
Participate remotely with your Web Browser
on 03.08.2010, 16:39
in debconf-news
DebConf10: you can has videos
on 01.08.2010, 12:49
in debconf-news

Debian Project News 2010/10

published on Thu Aug 26 00:00:00 2010 in weekly-news

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

Debian turns 17

The seventeenth birthday of the Debian Project caused quite some media echo, birthday parties and congratulations.

Screenshots at

As it is often easier to get an impression of an application by looking at screenshots, instead of just reading a descriptive text, Gerfried Fuchs has integrated the service into the package information at See for example the screenshot of the package extremetuxracer.

Some bits from ARM porters

Riku Voipio published some "unofficial bits from the ARM porters" in which he thanked ARM and Canonical for sponsoring new machines for the project. Besides giving Debian Contributors a three times faster machine for their development work, it has allowed the buildd infrastructure of machines automatically building new packages for specific architectures and suites to be renewed, so that experimental packages, volatile packages, non-free packages and packages from are now automatically built as well. Finally, he announced some work being done on a Hardfloat ARM port, which will work better on newer ARM processors with a hardware floating-point unit.

Join the DebConf Team

Richard Darst started a series of blog posts about the organisation of the annual Debian Conference by commenting on the recent "DebConf & Debian" discussion. He doesn't see a difference between the two, and invites all interested people to join the organisation team by subscribing to the DebConf team mailing list and joining the #debconf-team IRC channel on In his second post, he explained the timeline of a DebConf.

Progress of the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port

Different aspects of the port of the Debian operating system to the FreeBSD kernel have made great progress recently. The Debian installer has been upgraded to the FreeBSD kernel version 8.1, which also allows the installation system to be used in languages other than English. Also the debian-cd scripts used to create CD and DVD images now support the creation of the new architectures. Daily build images for Debian unstable are already available; daily and weekly builds for "Squeeze" will be made available with the next beta release of the Debian installer. However, the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD related web pages are outdated, and help is needed to fix the web and wiki pages.

Bits from the MIA team

Jan Hauke Rahm sent some bits from the MIA team, which tries to identify and handle package maintainers who sadly have become inactive. He gave some advice on how package maintainers should react when they think a package has been neglected by its maintainer, and stressed that the work of the "MIA" team is an important aspect of quality assurance.

Other news

Valessio Brito wondered whether a webchat interface similar to the one used during the last Debian conference should be permanently available, to make it easier for users unfamiliar with IRC to join.

Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the unofficial release-critical bug counter, the upcoming release, Debian 6.0 "Squeeze", is currently affected by 302 release-critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 128 release critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.

Debian Project News 2010/09

published on Mon Aug 9 00:00:00 2010 in weekly-news

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

The Debian project Release Team announces an official Freeze

On 6 August at DebConf10 in New York City, Adam D. Barratt and the rest of the Debian Release Team announced that Debian is being frozen in preparation for release. The tentative release goal is before the end of the year. As Adam D. Barratt said, a freeze is a horizontal transition and it means that one doesn't introduce new transitions, or upload packages to unstable which are not intended to be released in "Squeeze". Also, if your package is involved in an ongoing transition, don't upload a new version until it migrates. You can check the transition tracker for more information.

Annual Debian Developer Conference 2010 ended

The 2010 annual Debian Developer Conference, DebConf10, which was held at Columbia University in New York City, ended last Saturday on 7 August, 2010. With over 300 Debian Developers, Maintainers, and Users from 40 countries attending, it was one of the most productive conferences ever. Attendees met other developers, worked on projects, toured New York City, and attended talks, thus forming strong community bonds throughout the week long event.

A free (as in speech) Debian book in the making

Debian Developers Raphaël Hertzog and Roland Mas have announced their intention to translate their French Debian book into English. Their best-seller covers a wide range of topics from the basics (introducing the community, dpkg, APT, debian-installer, etc.) to more advanced administration tasks (automated installation, virtualization with Xen, RAID/LVM, SELinux, etc.) as well as the most common services (mail, web, firewall, file server, LDAP, etc.). It will be based on the upcoming Debian "Squeeze".

Net-installation CD images with firmware available

During the last few weeks, "netinst" CD images (containing the installation system and all packages for the base system, downloading everything else from the Internet) have been available which also contain the partly non-free firmware files needed (e.g.) for some network and WLAN controllers. Now that they have been tested, they have been moved to their final location and can be downloaded from the official download site for the i386, amd64, and powerpc architectures as well as one image to boot all three architectures.

Debian Edu/Skolelinux 6.0.0 alpha0 test release

DebianEdu, who adapt Debian for the special needs of schools and similar institutions, released their first test version based upon Debian "Squeeze". Many applications have been updated and added, so testers are asked to take special care about the package selections: missing, unneeded, and untranslated applications should be reported back. Other newly introduced features are the integration of the LXDE desktop environment and a roaming workstation profile for laptops.

ZFS support in unstable on kFreeBSD ports

Thanks to Tuco Xyz, Petr Salinger and Aurelien Jarno, zfsutils are now packaged for Debian GNU/kFreeBSD and available in "Sid", including the relevant libraries and a udeb package for the Debian Installer. Its availability also brought some kernel ZFS issues to light which have been fixed in the meantime. Now Debian GNU/kFreeBSD can fully support ZFS.

Debian-Accessibility is using Blends web sentinel

The Debian-Accessibility project is now using the web sentinel provided by the Debian Pure Blends effort to show their current work to users. Those who are interested might have a look at the

Debian GIS project will release Blends metapackages in "Squeeze"

The Debian GIS project has now released a set of metapackages built using Debian Pure Blends tools which are available in testing (and thus will be released in "Squeeze"). The web sentinel provides an overview of the available GIS and OSM packages in Debian. It would be great if some OpenStreetMap addicts would join this effort.

DebiChem project will release Blends metapackages in "Squeeze"

The DebiChem project has likewise released a set of metapackages for "Squeeze" built using Debian Pure Blends tools. See the overview of chemical application packages in Debian and task definition in the Subversion repository.

DebConf11 logo contest

While Annual Debian Developers Conference 2010 has just ended, preparations for the 2011 conference have already begun. One example is the DebConf11 logo contest collecting ideas and logos for the conference, which will take place in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

When should services started by init.d scripts be operational?

Petter Reinholdtsen wondered whether a service started by an init.d script should already be operational when the script exits successfully. As the execution of these scripts is ordered based on their dependencies, it can lead to difficult to solve problems (see for example #585966 or #589915) when these scripts exit before their service is completely up and running. A depending service may be called while the service is still only starting up. Josselin Mouette noted that this would be the case for all init.d scripts using the start-stop-daemon with the --background option. Josef Spillner added that services should be able to handle it if services they depend on are temporarily unavailable, e.g. by trying to reconnect.

Different statistics about Debian

Anthony Towns published several statistics about Debian, including the average time needed to close bugs and the number of release-critical bugs. The graphs are rendered using JavaScript allowing different filters and zooming into the graphs.

Building all files from source

After several bugs had been filed against packages not building Flash files during their build process but shipping precompiled files, Charlie Smotherman wondered whether all files shipped in a Debian package really need to be built from source. Some of the reasons named were quality assurance, conforming with Debian Policy, and compliance with the Debian Free Software Guidelines: being able to modify files distributed by Debian is a core principle.

Other news

The twenty-third issue of the miscellaneous news for developers has been released and covers the following topics:

New Developers and Maintainers

Six applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainers since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Michael Ziegler, Josué Miguel Abarca Samayoa, Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo, Tomasz Muras, Praveen Arimbrathodiyil, and Youhei SASAKI into our project!

Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the unofficial release-critical bug counter, the upcoming release, Debian 6.0 "Squeeze", is currently affected by 245 release-critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 145 release-critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.

DebConf10: beta versions of the recordings are up

published on Sun Aug 8 21:59:00 2010 in debconf-news

For your enjoyment and enlightment, 85 videos in low and high encoding quality are available at the usual location already, which I think is totally superimpressive, even though the videos are relased as betas (or maybe alphas?) - so you might find issues. We will continue to work on them the next days and^w^w weeks, if you’re on the team you can use the reviewing interface in penta like you did in NYC. More information about the work still to be done should be available on our mailing list in a few days…
As previously said, please leave a thanks-message in our wiki. We truely love to hear your stories, where, what, how and why you watched our videos and how you benefit from our work. Your feedback is truely very important to us!
It is important to leave your thanks mesaage on the wiki, as our team consisted of about 40 wonderful people this year, so if you “just” say thanks to a few members, your message will not be as powerful and motivating as it could be :-)
So much for now, big thanks to everyone who help make DebConf10 a wonderful experience and great conference! You rock!

DebConf10: please say thank you to the whole team

published on Fri Aug 6 19:29:00 2010 in debconf-news

If you appreciate the videoteams work, please leave a message in our wiki. We truely love to her your stories, where, what, how and why you watched our videos and how you benefit from our work. Your feedback is truely very important to us! :-)

Participate remotely with your Web Browser

published on Tue Aug 3 16:39:00 2010 in debconf-news

Thanks to Valessio Brito you can also participate on many sessions by simply opening in your browser. You’ll see a stream, the schedule, and twitter posts and can join the irc channels used to comment / discussion during the sessions.

You’ll either need a HTML5 compliant Web Browser or java.

DebConf10: you can has videos

published on Sun Aug 1 12:49:00 2010 in debconf-news

Just (on) a very short notice: the streams are up! See the DebConf10 webpage for URLs and schedule. Enjoy! (We are using GeoIP and you might want to try different browsers…)