Debian Project News
Debian Project News – September 15th, 2008
Welcome to this year’s 11th issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian
Some of the topics covered in this issue include:
* Release Update
* Should Security Enhanced Linux be priority «standard»?
* Lenny Upgrade advisor
* … and much more.
Luk Claes reported on the progress regarding the release of the new
stable release Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 «Lenny». While there are still a
lot of release critical bugs to be fixed, Lenny is in good enough shape
to call for upgrade tests and work on the release notes. Regarding the
upgrade tests, he especially asks to test the Linux 2.6.26 kernel.
Regarding the release notes, he asks that any issues that should be
documented should be reported as bug against the release-notes
pseudo package. Further discussion will happen on the debian-doc
Should Security Enhanced Linux be standard?
Martin Michlmayr wondered if the packages needed for security
enhanced Linux should still be priority «standard» or if they should be
lowered to «optional». Martin noticed, that the installation of these
packages takes at least half an hour on popular devices like the
Linksys NSLU2. Frans Pop noted that the packages where far from
being usable without major tweaks, but were made «standard» to gain
more testing by being installed but not activated by default. Russell
Coker reported on the improvements during the last month. Several
people argued, that SELinux should either not be installed by
default or activated, maybe by offering an option or task during the
Lenny Upgrade advisor
Franklin Piat started to write a script that warns users of
potential problems when upgrading their system from Debian GNU/Linux
4.0 «Etch» to the upcoming version 5.0 «Lenny». The intention of his
script is to notice potential problems (for instance obsoleted or
discontinued package) and point out relevant documentation and
solutions. He asked for further ideas, comments and patches. Christian
Perrier asked if the messages could be internationalized allowing
them to be translated.
Status of translations in the debian-installer
When the development of the current Debian installation system
reached a state where changing output strings was discouraged
(string freeze), Christian Perrier started coordinated translation
efforts and reported daily about the progress. In the two weeks between
his first and his latest report, the number of translations
ready for inclusion with the next Debian release has been trippeled.
Overall it looks, like the upcoming release of Debian GNU/Linux «Lenny»
will be shipped with at least 60 languages activated in the
Bits from the Debian GNU/Hurd porters
Michael Banck sent bits from the Debian GNU/Hurd porters. Since the
last bits had been posted, a lot of development took place, including
the release of several snapshot releases. Michael also reports, that
the base packages and the basic toolchain are in pretty good shape and
most toolchain packages from Debian’s repository can be used without
any changes. He also refers to the possibility of testing Debian
GNU/Hurd using XEN and ongoing work to make a Debian GNU/Hurd box
available to all Debian Developers. He closes with a call for help,
since Debian GNU/Hurd still misses an installer.
FAI / Emdebian work session in Extremadura
Holger Levsen wrote a report on the recent work session in
Extremadura, Spain. 18 Debian contributors met and worked to get the
fully automated install (FAI) in shape for the upcoming release of
Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 «Lenny» and to work on the infrastructure for
using Debian on embeded architectures. Beside that Holger reports, that
30GB of DebConf7 videos (as ntsc and pal mpeg1 file formats) where
uploaded, so that DVDs can be created soon. He closed with thanks to
Junta de Extremadura for sponsoring yet another successful work
Brazilian government-owned IT enterprise SERPRO selects Debian
GNU/Linux for its servers and wishes to collaborate
The Servico Federal de Processamento de Dados (SERPRO), a US$ 1 billion
annual revenue Brazilian government-owned IT enterprise, announced
during the Debian Day Brasil 2008 in Porto Alegre that it has
selected Debian GNU/Linux as the preferred distribution for its
hundreds of GNU/Linux development and production servers.
SERPRO has decided to increase supplier independence, flexibility,
agility, and participation in technical solutions by direct interaction
with the Debian Project community. This is the first time that a
federal government institution of this size has reached out to the
Debian Project community for a closer relationship.
The 10th issue of the miscellaneous news for developers has been
released and covers the following topics:
* Package Tracking System news
* Casals replaced by mahler (MIPS porter machine for Debian
* Personnel changes (Martin Zobel-Helas joins Debian System
Administrators, becomes Stable Release Wizard; Philipp Kern joins
Stable Release Management)
* Delayed queue moves to ravel (new people.debian.org machine)
* Git user survey 2008
Joey Schulze gave an overview about the upcoming Linux and Free
Software related events in Europe and asked for volunteers to organize
and man booths or give talks.
5 applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers since the
prior issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Laurent
Bigonville, Gregory Colpart, Timo Jyrinki, Adriaan Peeters and Soeren
Sonnenburg in our project!
Important Debian Security Advisories
Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): freetype and linux-2.6.24. Please read them
carefully and take the proper measures.
If you would like to be kept up to date about the security advisories
released by the Debian Security Team, please subscribe to the
mailing list for security announcements.
New and noteworthy packages
The following packages were added to the unstable Debian archive
recently (among others):
* bzflag-client — BZFlag client
* dnssec-tools — DNSSEC tools, applications and wrappers
* scim-python — Python input method framework for SCIM
* vboxgtk — simple GTK+ frontend for VirtualBox
* esteidutil — EstEID smartcard management tool
* s51dude — In-System Programmer for 8051 MCUs using usbtiny
* zoomer — generate a video from a picture by zooming from one
point to another
mythtv and mrxvt where presented by Debian Package of the Day.
Currently 452 packages are orphaned and 125 packages are up for
adoption. Please take a look at the recent reports to see if
there are packages you are interested in or view the complete list of
packages which need your help.
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 to find out how to help. We’re
looking forward to receiving your mail at
This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Andre Felipe
Machado, Meike Reichle and Alexander Reichle-Schmehl.
PS: For organisational reasons the next issue of the DPN will be
published in three instead of two weeks. After that, the DPN will
be continued with the usual two week intervall. We apologize
for any inconveniences.