Debian Project News - May 26th, 2016

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The Debian Project
Debian Project News
May 26th, 2016

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

* Welcome to the Debian Project News!
* Internal News/Happenings
* Events: Upcoming and Reports
* Help needed
* More than just code
* Outside News
* Reports
* Quick Links from Debian Social Media
* Want to continue reading DPN?

Welcome to the Debian Project News!

We hope that you are enjoying the new format of the DPN.

For other news, please read the official Debian Blog Bits from Debian [1], and follow our network feed:


Debian's Security Team releases current advisories on a daily basis (Security Advisories 2016 [2]). Please read them carefully and subscribe to the security mailing list [3].


At the end of this project news we've added a Quick Links section which links to many of the posts made through our other media streams.

Internal News/Happenings

As of February 2016 [4] there were more than 50,000 binary packages in sid main amd64! With an increase to 51,000 as of May 2016 [5].


The Great Freeze

The Release Team has set the freeze dates for Debian 9 ("stretch") [6]: 5 November 2016 for transitions, 5 January 2017 for the "soft" freeze, and the full freeze on 5 February 2017.


It is anticipated that "stretch" will be released with the 4.10 Linux kernel, and these freeze dates allow for longer upstream support.

Sixth alpha release of the installer for Debian 9 "stretch"

The Debian Installer team announced [7] the sixth alpha release of the installer [8] for Debian 9 "stretch".


There are many improvements, such as Debian Pure Blends available in the software selection screen, improvements in accessibility, Linux 4.5.0-2, more hardware supported... Testing and feedback are welcome!

All hail the DPL

Mehdi Dogguy [9] has been elected [10] to the position of Debian Project Leader [11] (DPL). Mehdi shared his ideas and platform for nomination [12] as part of the voting process.


Off to an immediate start he gave an interview [13] to and posted his first "Bits from the DPL" [14] report.


Wheezy LTS security support initiated

As of 25 April, nearly three years after the release of Debian 7 ("wheezy"), regular security support for "wheezy" came to an end. The Debian Long Term Support (LTS) Team takes over security support [15]. Wheezy LTS will be supported until 31 May 2018.


Debian Java Team updates

The Debian Java Team posted an update [16] of the current state of Java packages. 136 packages added, 63 removed, 213 upgraded, and 145 updated. They are maintaining 892 packages (+12.34%). OpenJDK 9 is available in experimental. New packaging tools have been created to work with Gradle. Scala has been upgraded to the version 2.11.


The Debian Japanese Translation team and The Debian Administrator's Handbook

The Debian Japanese Translation team led by Ryuunosuke Ayanokouzi completed an impressive body of work with the Japanese translation [17] of The Debian Administrator's Handbook. They also met the requirements to publish a Japanese paperback version of the book, thus joining French as the other available paperback [18]. The authors kindly donated copies of the Japanese paperback to several Japanese communities to help them promote Debian and the book.


Ryuunosuke Ayanokouzi thanked everybody involved:

First of all, on behalf of the Japanese translation team, I would like to express our thanks to the authors, Raphaël Hertzog and Roland Mas, for giving freedom of translation. Then, I would like to acknowledge many important suggestions and comments about Japanese translation notably from the members of Debian JP Project's mailing lists (in particular,<>) and Japanese Debian developers also.

In addition, I appreciate the hard work made by Doru Patrascu on the Japanese-localized layout of the book cover.

It would not have been possible to publish the Japanese paperback version of The Debian Administrator's Handbook without cross-cooperation between the authors, the translators, and the designer.

Thank you very much for your great support!

Other translations are completed and their translation teams are working towards a paperback: Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese. Many more translations are in progress: Arabic, Norwegian, Chinese (Taiwan and Traditional), Russian, German. Don't hesitate to contribute [19]!


R.I.P. Iceweasel

After nearly a ten year run, Mike Hommey posted [20] about the transition from Iceweasel to Firefox in Debian.


ZFS is now available in Debian

Having ZFS in the Debian archive [21] was blocked for years due to licensing incompatibility. However, through consultation with the Software Freedom Law Center and the work of many patient Debian Developers we are able to offer the ZFS in "contrib" rather than in "main". The code is available for users via DKMS


Events: Upcoming and Reports

Upcoming events

DebConf 16

Preparations are in progress for DebConf16 (2-9 July 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa). A first batch of talks [22] has been approved, and others are being evaluated. The Call for Proposals [23] is still open for informal sessions (BoFs) and workshops.


Teams attending DebCamp (23 June - 1 July 2016) are encouraged to write down their plans as a wiki page [24].


If you have plans or ideas for the Open Weekend (2-3 July 2016) please have a look at the dedicated wiki page [25] and get in touch [26] with the DebConf team.


Debian Bug Squashing Parties

The yearly LiMux BSP [27] will again be hosted and sponsored by the City of Munich. Friday May 27 - Sunday May 29th.


There will also be a Bug Squashing Party [28] Friday September 23 through Sunday September 25 2016, held in Salzburg, Austria, hosted by Conova Communications GmbH.


You can find more information about how to sponsor Debian-related events and talks on the events section [29] of the Debian website.


Event Reports

Debian Ruby Team

In February the Debian Ruby Team held a Sprint [30] at the Curitiba Federal Technological University of Paraná (UTFPR). Eight participants over the course of five days were able to focus on working to fix many of the bugs that occur between new versions of the Ruby interpreter. The sprint was not all work as they were able to enjoy cheese and wine [31], solve some confusion about Tinder, and work out how to improve sprints in the future.


The team completed over 151 uploads, worked on the transition to Ruby 2.3 in unstable, and improved the toolchain in regard to Reproducible Builds. The team documented progress each day and gave an excellent final report [32] that links to the daily work. We look forward to their continued work but more so to their solving the One-Sided Dinner Booth Problem [33].


Mini-DebConf Curitiba 2016

The Mini-DebConf Curitiba 2016 had over two days dedicated to Debian with 20 hours of programming, 85 attendees, 12 lectures, 7 Lightning Talks and 5 Workshops. They wish to thank Aldeia Coworking [34] for space and contributions to the event, and shared photographs [35] of the event.


Once upon a time in Debian:

* 1997-04-11 "Deity" dselect-replacement project started [36]
* 1998-03-23 "Deity" renamed to "apt" [37]
* 1999-05-03 "Swirl" voted as Debian logo [38]
* 2003-03-29 Alioth introduced [39]
* 2007-04-08 Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 ("etch") released [40]


Help needed

The Debian Java Team asks for help [41] with transitions ahead for: BND 3, Tomcat 7 to 8, Jetty 8 to 9, ASM 5, and Java 9. The team also needs help with removing old libraries, and a maintainer for Azureus/Vuze. Suggestions to or chat with them on IRC at, #debian-java.


Newmaint call for help [42]. The team wants to integrate their workflow into the interface so that prospective maintainers can send their application online and the Newmaint Team review it from within the website.


Packages needing help:

Currently [43] 718 packages are orphaned [44] and 178 packages are up for adoption [45]: please visit the complete list of packages which need your help [46].


Newcomer bugs

More than just code



Debian user Lina asked, "which files took the space?" [47] regarding what seemed to be hidden files in the local file system. A discussion followed which give a bit of history and procedure as to how the mount command mounts and sometimes hides files.


Debian user Jude DaShiell asked about "running Linux without a display" [48], which talked about headless server setup, dummy display, and screen readers.


Debian user Richard Owlett asked about "Multiple live iso's on a single bootable flash drive" [49]; discussion follows about the possibility of doing so and a few tricks to make it happen.


Tips and Tricks

Vincent Fourmond shares [50] QSoas tips and tricks for better baselines in data analysis, using the "save points" feature.


Enrico Zini shares [51] a simple one-liner to save battery life and reduce system latency.


Outside News

At the 2016 Open Compute Project [52] summit, Microsoft released SONiC [53], a Debian based software platform that uses the Switch Abstraction Interface [54] (SAI) to allow network administrators to control network devices with customised configurations and controls.


Earlier this year we reported on Microsoft in collaboration with credativ adding Debian to its list of "endorsed distributions" [55] for
its Azure marketplace.



LTS Freexian Monthly Reports

Debian Long Term Support, April 2016 [56]


Debian Long Term Support, March 2016 [57]


Debian Long Term Support, February 2016 [58]


Reproducible Build status/update

Reproducible builds: week 56 in "stretch" cycle [59]


Reproducible builds: week 55 in "stretch" cycle [60]


Reproducible builds: week 54 in "stretch" cycle [61]


Reproducible builds: week 53 in "stretch" cycle [62]


Reproducible builds: week 52 in "stretch" cycle [63]


Reproducible builds: week 51 in "stretch" cycle [64]


Reproducible builds: week 50 in "stretch" cycle [65]


Reproducible builds: week 49 in "stretch" cycle [66]


Reproducible builds: week 48 in "stretch" cycle [67]


Reproducible builds: week 47 in "stretch" cycle [68]


Reproducible builds: week 46 in "stretch" cycle [69]


Reproducible builds: week 45 in "stretch" cycle [70]


Reproducible builds: week 44 in "stretch" cycle [71]


Reproducible builds: week 43 in "stretch" cycle [72]


Reproducible builds: week 42 in "stretch" cycle [73]


Reproducible builds: week 41 in "stretch" cycle [74]


Reproducible builds: week 40 in "stretch" cycle [75]


Quick Links from Debian Social Media

Imagination accelerates Debian development for 64-bit MIPS CPUs [76]


Debian welcomes its 2016 summer interns [77]


Debian announces partnership to sub-contract publicity and press to an outside marketing agency [78] (APRIL FOOLS)


Debian Project wishes to thank Mythic Beasts for loaned hardware [79]


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


This issue of Debian Project News was edited by The Publicity Team with contributions from Ryuunosuke Ayanokouzi, Jean-Pierre Giraud, Raphaël Hertzog, Justin B Rye and and Holger Wansing.