Debian Project News - June 8th, 2011

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The Debian Project
Debian Project News
June 8th, 2011

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

* Report from LinuxTag 2011
* Testing new hardware support for Debian 6.0.2
* Bits from the Perl maintainers
* Report from the Alioth sprint
* Bits from the DPL
* New mirrors closer to Debian users
* Debian in newspapers
* Other news
* New Debian Contributors
* Important Debian Security Advisories
* New and noteworthy packages
* Work-needing packages
* Want to continue reading DPN?

Report from LinuxTag 2011

Jan Hauke Rahm sent a report from the LinuxTag event [1] held in Berlin, Germany. This year, Debian shared a booth with Kanotix and aptosid, so one of the main topics was the relationship between Debian and its derivatives. Users also asked about various hot topics like the implementation of a "rolling" version of Debian, new efforts like "/run" , etc. Jan expressed thanks to Annette Kalbow for organizing, and all the helpers at the booth: a team of about ten to fifteen people everyday.

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Testing new hardware support for Debian 6.0.2

Ben Hutchings blogged about testing new hardware support for Debian 6.0.2 [2]. Ben has prepared several updates intended for Debian's point release 6.0.2. Since the kernel team does not have a large collection of hardware on which to test driver changes, he is asking for test reports from users. Ben also described changes in drivers, showed where to get the updated packages [3] and their checksums in the signed changes file [4] so that users who want to help can verify downloaded packages, and explained how to test the drivers.

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Bits from the Perl maintainers

Dominic Hargreaves sent some bits from the Perl maintainers [5], which describe changes in Debian's perl [6] package. First of all, around twelve months after the first upstream 5.12 release, Perl 5.12.3 was uploaded to "unstable". Dominic thanked the Release Team for the superb work of migrating new Perl packages to "testing". Although the Perl maintainers did their best to minimize Perl 5.12 specific breakage, he pointed out that there will inevitably be occasional problems to be fixed. An upgrade trigger is also available in this major version. At the end of his message, Dominic published plans for the Perl 5.14 release which will be uploaded to "unstable" later this year.

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Report from the Alioth sprint

Roland Mas sent a report from the Alioth sprint [7] held in Cambridge, England from 20 to 22 May in the course of which the three Alioth administrators (Stephan Gran, Tollef Fog Heen, and Roland Mas) did an incredible amount of work to redefine the hosting structure of Alioth. Basically, they have split the old into two different machines: and, both running "Squeeze". The former hosts the writable repositories, while the latter provides anonymous read-only access to repositories, the repository browsers, and the project websites. So, it's time for a fingerprint [8] update [9] for the two hosts. Another important change is that now password-only remote logins are no longer allowed, and only SSH logins via RSA key are possible. During the sprint the basic setting up was done, trying to minimize inconvenience for users: the Alioth team is still working on some other issues [10]. You can also read further details of the Alioth team's work during the sprint in the report mail. Roland ends his mail with a thank you to the DPL and Collabora for triggering and hosting the sprint.

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Bits from the DPL

Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli sent another bits from the DPL [11] report. He summarized some of the hot topics discussed in the Debian development mailing list, such as the "rolling" release, pointing out how discussions in thedebian-devel mailing list have become more useful. After listing the various events and conferences attended, Stefano announced that he's working with SPI to figure out how - legally speaking - could be possible to set up a "PPA" service, to "allow Debian Developers to provide, under their own responsibility, unofficial Debian packages benefiting from the usual archive and buildd toolchain".

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New mirrors closer to Debian users

After the announcement [12] of the official Chinese mirror [13], the Debian mirrors team is happy to announce the first Debian mirrors in Tunisia [14] and Madagascar [15]. For other countries, the full list [16] is available online. There are still many countries lacking good connectivity to a Debian mirror: interested hosting sponsors are invited to contact the mirrors team.

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Debian in newspapers

Per Andersson and Hedvig Kamp wrote a series of article about Free Software in general, and Debian in particular, in "Fria Tidningen" a Swedish newspaper. One article is titledDet demokratiska Debian [17] ("The democratic Debian" ), and describes Debian's organization and social responsibility. Hedvig Kamp wrote aboutnerdfeminism and groups that promote equality in free software [18]; among other groups she presents Debian Women in the article (in the paper edition there is a great big Debian Women logo too). Also in the paper is a general guide on how to install GNU/Linux [19], with Debian as one of the featured distros.

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Other news

Rene Engelhard, maintainer of Debian's LibreOffice packages, was appointed as a member of LibreOffice's new Engineering Steering Committee [20], which discusses release progress and coordinates development activities.

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Tanguy Ortolo wrote an interesting article about uninstalling a single component of a metapackage [21], explaining how to unmark all the dependencies and recommendations of the metapackage itself.

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Till Kamppeter proposed some cooperation between Debian and Ubuntu to start work on Color Management [22]. As Didier Raboud said in this thread [23], "this type of communication between Debian and its derivatives (and reversely in that case) is very important for the health of our ecosystem".

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New Debian Contributors

Nine applicants have been accepted [24] as Debian Developers, two applicants have been accepted [25] as Debian Maintainers, and eight people have started to maintain packages [26] since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Bert Agaz, Olivier Berger, Gary Briggs, Jonathan Carter, Francesca Ciceri, Serge Hallyn, Anton Gladky, Christoph Göhre, Christian Kastner, Iain Lane, Gennaro Oliva, David Prévot, Filippo Rusconi, Jeremy Salwen, Michael Tokarev, Matteo F. Vescovi, Sven Wick, Aron Xu, and Artem Popov into our project!

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Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): vino [27], apr [28] (update), libmojolicious-perl [29], qemu-kvm [30], linux-2.6 [31], cyrus-imapd-2.2 [32], unbound [33], bind9 [34], chromium-browser [35], mahara [36], rails [37], ejabberd [38], jabberd14 [39], citadel [40], subversion [41], dovecot [42], fontforge [43], oprofile [44], and libxml2 [45]. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

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Please note that these are a selection of the more important security advisories of the last weeks. If you need to be kept up to date about security advisories released by the Debian Security Team, please subscribe to the security mailing list [46] (and the separate backports list [47], and stable updates list [48] or volatile list [49], for "Lenny", the oldstable distribution) for announcements.

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New and noteworthy packages

816 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many others [50] are:

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* activity-log-manager -- blacklist configuration user interface for Zeitgeist [51]
* azr3-jack -- drawbar organ simulator [52]
* check-mk-agent -- general purpose Nagios-plugin for retrieving data [53]
* creepy -- geolocation information aggregator [54]
* duende -- experimental MaraDNS logging daemonizer [55]
* dvcs-autosync -- automatically synchronize distributed version control
repositories [56]
* gcc-msp430 -- the GNU C compiler (cross compiler for MSP430) [57]
* kaccessible -- accessibility services for Qt applications [58]
* kalgebramobile -- algebraic graphing calculator for KDE [59]
* ladish -- session management system for JACK applications [60]
* lv2file -- command-line program to apply LV2 effects to files [61]
* mutrace -- mutex and realtime memory allocation profiling tools [62]
* nordugrid-arc-client -- ARC prototype clients [63]
* nzbget -- command-line newsgrabber for NZB files [64]
* packaging-tutorial -- introduction to Debian packaging [65]
* simgrid -- toolkit for scalable simulation of distributed applications [66]
* udisks-glue -- simple automount daemon with support for user-defined actions [67]
* xul-ext-perspectives -- verify HTTPS sites through notary servers [68]
* xyscan -- data thief for scientist [69]
* zita-rev1 -- pro-audio reverb effect [70]

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Work-needing packages

Currently 316 packages are orphaned [71] and 140 packages are up for adoption [72]: please visit the complete list of packages which need your help [73].

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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 [74] to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your mail at [75].

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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Francesca Ciceri, Jeremiah C. Foster, Simon Paillard, David Prévot, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl, Alexander Reshetov and Justin B Rye [76].

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