Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - May 25th, 2004
Welcome to this year's 21st issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. The June issue of the Australian Personal
Computer magazine includes a Debian 3.0 DVD and an installation guide.
We've been told that users can install Debian seamlessly through
Overclockix, another Knoppix variant, as well.
Debian from Scratch. John Goerzen announced a Debian From Scratch
(DFS) rescue or rather installer CD. The CD supports all major
filesystems and has the usual, plus some unusual, recovery tools. DFS
can be used to do a Gentoo-like installation of i386 woody, i386
sarge, i386 sid, or amd64 sid. John will package the scripts used to
build the CD soon.
Package Build Errors. Goswin von Brederlow wondered how severe it
is for a package not to build on a given architecture because of the
use of uname instead of dpkg-architecture. This will fail on
architectures where the Debian architecture string differs from the
Linux architecture string in the kernel, e.g. when running an i386
system on an amd64 machine. Thiemo Seufer asserted that only a few
packages would be affected by this since mipsel also reports mips as
Linux architecture, so most of these errors should have been found by
How to declare versioned Dependencies? Andrew Pollock wondered how
to calculate a versioned dependency to a library, because the package
doesn't seem to work with an older version of the library. Matt
Zimmerman explained that the library package needs to be adjusted
with regards to shlibs if it has introduced incompatible changes.
Linux Kernel 2.6.6 for SE/Linux i386. Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton
announced new Debian kernel image packages for Linux 2.6.6 and
SE Linux since he believes that some adventurous people might want
to try SE Linux from the latest CVS, but wouldn't necessarily want to
go to all the trouble of baking their own kernel. Please follow these
instructions as well.
Base System Dependencies. Joey Hess complained about developers
who still change dependencies in the base system. Each of these
changes costs the debian-installer team at least two days of
development and testing as they need to get a fixed version of
debootstrap into testing. Some time ago the release management team
declared a freeze of the base system, but some packages are still
Debian Kernel Packaging. William Lee Irwin III announced how the
new kernel maintenance group will be composed. It will be lead by him
and Al Viro. Additionally, Masanori Goto, Christoph Hellwig and
Benjamin Herrenschmidt have offered their help.
Debian Kernels for non-x86 Architectures. Troy Benjegerdes started
a discussion on how to best support non-i386 architectures with Debian
kernels. Christoph Hellwig explained that he would like to see
architecture-dependent patches included in the main package. Thiemo
Seufer asserted that the real question is how to create kernels
Spam on the Lists. Pascal Hakim computed some statistics on how
much spam is hitting the Debian mailing lists. Currently only about
3.5 % of incoming messages are forwarded on to list subscribers. Each
day about 60 thousand spam messages are deleted and almost 1 and a
half million emails are delivered to list subscribers.
Anatomy of the Debian Filesystem. Ivan Savov thought about
documenting the path where particular files reside on a Debian system
since finding stuff turned out to be a major problem for him after
switching from another system. Thereupon readers created the
Debian Anatomy document in a Wiki so others could contribute.
Debian Packages a Day redesigned. Andrew Sweger reported that he
has redesigned Debian Package a Day, set up a database to manage
the postings, and has started loading up new packages from readers
suggestions into the queue. He will try to add some commentary on each
package in addition to its description to help answer the why
question. Please give him feedback.
Improved Kaffe on the Way. Arnaud Vandyck reported that Debian
will be the first distribution to package kaffe 1.1.5, which will be
released next week. This version integrates many improvements in
gnujaxp, added gjdoc as a javadoc alternative and more.
GNOME 2.6 for Debian unstable. Sebastien Bacher asserted that
GNOME 2.6 is indeed ready for an upload into Debian unstable. It has
been built on 9 architectures and a tenth is work in progress. The
release manager also agreed on this. As a first step, the have
uploaded GTK 2.4.
Debian Conference 2004. The Debian project announced this year's
Debian Conference which will take place from May 26th to June 5th
at SESC in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This is a conference with, by and for
Debian developers, interested and sophisticated users. The
schedule is composed of talks and birds of a feather sessions.
This is a chance for developers to work together in an less formal
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* cvs -- Buffer overflow.
* neon -- Buffer overflow.
* cadaver -- Buffer overflow.
* xpcd -- Buffer overflow.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* cacti-cactid -- Multi-Threading poller for cacti.
* wmmaiload -- Dockapp to monitor mails in one or more mail
Debian Packages introduced last Week. Every day, a different Debian
package is featured from the testing distribution. If you know
about an obscure package you think others should also know about, send
it to Andrew Sweger. Debian package a day introduced the following
packages last week.
* discover -- Hardware identification system.
* lftp -- Sophisticated command-line FTP/HTTP client programs.
* debian-goodies -- Small toolbox-style utilities for Debian
* flightgear -- Flight Gear Flight Simulator.
Orphaned Packages. 18 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 174 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the WNPP pages for the full list,
and please add a note to the bug report and retitle it to ITA: if you
plan to take over a package.
* 6in4tunnel -- Interactively setup a tunnel to the IPv6
* bbdate -- Date tool for the blackbox window manager.
* casu -- Communication and Status Utilities. (Bug#249829)
* cpuburn -- A collection of programs to put heavy load on CPU.
* defrag -- Ext2, Minix and xiafs filesystem defragmenter.
* dosemu -- The Linux DOS Emulator and the VGA font for.
* dosemu-freedos -- FreeDOS package for DOSEMU. (Bug#249719)
* gg2 -- GNU Instant Messenger with plug-in support - core.
* gnomba -- GNOME Samba browser. (Bug#249831)
* imwheel -- Program to support the "wheel" on most new mice.
* kernel-patch-usagi -- Another IPv6 implementation for Linux.
* lesstif1-1 -- OSF/Motif 1.2 implementation released under
* netleds-applet -- GNOME network LEDs applet. (Bug#249834)
* nfs-user-server -- User space NFS server. (Bug#249715)
* vrfy -- Verify electronic mail addresses. (Bug#249717)
* widestudio -- Multi platform C++ IDE for x11. (Bug#250327)
* xpm4.7 -- X PixMap library, compiled with libc5.
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