Welcome to this year's eleventh issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community.
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - March 16th, 2004
Welcome to this year's eleventh issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter
for the Debian community. Ludovic Brenta proposed a new task for
Ada development for tasksel. Apparently, SPAM has closed a bug
report again, so people should watch the bug reports they opened.
Manoj Srivastava called for votes the general resolution to
handle non-free and reported that 303 developer have already voted.
Debian and KDE used at 2300 m. KDE France reported about the use
of Debian and KDE used in the highest Internet access center at 2300 m
in the ski resort Val Thorens. Debian was chosen since it is well
suited for installing customised systems. Generating and distributing
system packages is very simple with apt-get and a custom repository,
New Proposal to distribute non-free. Ean Schuessler proposed to
use certificate authorisation to protect users from non-free software
from Debian servers but provide those certificates to other
distributors for signing a contract that indemnifies Debian against
Delays in the Init Scripts. Shaul Karl proposed to discourage the
use of delay statements in the stop target of init scripts in order to
save time when shutting down the machine. Miquel van Smoorenburg
pointed out that not waiting for database servers to terminate
properly could harm the database and destroy its data.
Running Debian from USB Flash? Jeff Johnston pondered running
Debian GNU/Linux from a USB flash device since they don't have any
moving parts. Those have up to 1 GB of capacity and therefore can well
take an operating system. Steinar Gunderson, however, pointed out
that flash devices usually have a more or less fixed number of writes
before they start to break.
Problems with Subversion License. Warren Turkal noticed that
subversion has some clauses in its license which seemed questionable
to him. Andrew Suffield asserted that the license itself is free
in the Debian sense but GPL-incompatible at the same time.
Debian Bugs via LDAP. Andreas Barth was working on the LDAP
gateway to the Debian bug tracking system and recreated it. In
order to provide an intuitive interface he has already created a
preliminary schema which will probably use the Debian OID space in
the future. Adam Heath is also working on a new and extensible
index format which can be used by this gateway.
Installation reports needed. Joey Hess asked for people to report
their experiences using the new debian-installer on the mips,
powerpc, ia64, hppa, sparc, and s390 architectures. He asserted that
he is close to releasing at least 6 architectures. He is also looking
for someone who is prepared to debug base-installer to take a look at
the i386 netboot issues.
Why supporting old Hardware? Konstantinos Margaritis asked if
Debian should support all architectures in parallel or establish some
kind of "speed lanes". Martin Michlmayr explained that Debian will
support them as long as there is interest. Also, by auto building the
entire archive on those platforms, Debian helps testing GCC, XFree86
and the kernel. This way, Debian has reported a lot of bugs
(especially toolchain bugs), which leads to better free software.
Debian on Sun Starfire. Fabio Massimo Di Nitto reported that he
was able to install Debian on a Sun Enterprise 10000 server
via NFS-Root at Ericsson Telebit A/S. Such a Starfire machine
contains up to 64 CPUs and can run several operating systems at the
same time. This machine, however, only uses 4 CPUs with Linux together
with 4 GB of RAM.
Debian at CeBIT 2004. The Debian project will be present at this
years' CeBIT at the booth of LinuxLand (Hall 6, booth B52,
subbooth 469), a German distributor of Debian GNU/Linux. Additionally,
Michael Meskes will deliver a talk about the migration to Free
Software. Hauke Goos-Habermann and Daniel Kasten will give a
tutorial about setting up a LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) system
with Debian. Klaus Knopper will deliver a talk about Knoppix and
Frank Ronneburg will give a talk about software management with Debian
Ordering Packages on Sarge CDs. Petter Reinholdtsen asked for
participation in the popularity contest by installing the
popularity-contest package and say yes to participate. Petter
asserted that sarge will probably ship with 13 binary CDs filled up
with about 13,500 packages and that the contest will be used as
criteria to order the packages on the last eleven CDs.
Bug Squashing Party. Frank Lichtenheld announced a bug squashing
party next weekend (March 19-21). Coordination will take place on the
IRC channel #debian-bugs on irc.debian.org. He also felt that Debian
is clearly making progress towards sarge (see the rc bug count
graph and the progress on the debian-installer).
Debian-Installer Beta 3. Joey Hess announced the third beta
release of the debian-installer with 6 architectures. This
release features the new partitioner that supports automatic
partitioning and LVM and uses grub as boot-loader on i386. PowerPC
had to be dropped in the last minute due to non-working compilers,
though. Debian needs test installations and reports sent to the
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* Python 2.2 -- Buffer overflow.
* kdelibs -- Cookie traversal bug.
* systat -- Insecure temporary file creation.
* calife -- Buffer overflow.
* xitalk -- Local group utmp exploit.
* samba -- Privilege escalation.
* gdk-pixbuf -- Denial of service.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* apt-watch -- Monitor apt sources for upgrades.
* arch-buildpackage -- Tools for maintaining Debian packages
* awesfx -- Utility programs for AWE32/64 and Emu10k1 driver.
* boxshade -- Pretty-printing of multiple sequence alignments.
* kgoldrunner -- KDE clone of the Loderunner arcade game.
* ksig -- Graphical tool for managing multiple email signatures.
* openggsn -- OpenSource Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN).
* pcregrep -- Grep utility that uses Perl 5 compatible regexes.
* prismstumbler -- Wireless network sniffer.
* qemu -- Fast x86 Processor Emulator.
* revelation -- GNOME2 Password manager.
* squidview -- Monitors and analyzes your squid access.log
* talksoup -- IRC client for GNUstep.
* webdruid -- Web server log file analysis tool.
* xball -- Simulate bouncing balls in a window.
* xen -- Virtual Machine Monitor like User-Mode-Linux.
* xtermcontrol -- Dynamic configuration of xterm properties.
* zoem -- Macro processor for creating typesetting mark-up
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