Welcome to this year's 12th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. If you ever wanted to switch from Debian GNU/Linux to SuSE Linux, you should read this howto. This article will attempt to dispel some myths and clear a few things up for those interested in finding more information on GNU/Linux. While most people in the Free Software community already know this stuff, outsiders only know what they read in the news and hear from others.
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - March 23rd, 2004
Welcome to this year's 12th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. If you ever wanted to switch from Debian
GNU/Linux to SuSE Linux, you should read this howto. This
article will attempt to dispel some myths and clear a few things
up for those interested in finding more information on GNU/Linux.
While most people in the Free Software community already know this
stuff, outsiders only know what they read in the news and hear from
FOSDEM Reports. Wookey and Stefan Gybas reported about the
Embedded Debian and Debian Java projects that met with other people
during the Free and Open Source Software Developers' Meeting in
Brussels. Both groups gave a talk giving an overview and explaining
the current status. The Embedded Debian project was significantly
advancing their plans to make Debian a really useful distribution for
small machines as well as large. Besides better collaboration with
Gentoo and FreeBSD the Debian Java developers also had a lot of
Towards an MPlayer Resolution. Diego Biurrun posted an update on
the work being done to resolve MPlayer's licensing difficulties. The
main two concerns have been the lack of a LICENSE file and
noncompliance with clause 2a of the GNU General Public License, which
Diego has attempted to address through a LICENSE file and a Copyright
file. Don Armstrong thought it would suffice for Debian's
purposes, but suggested that the MPlayer team should indicate in the
relevant files that they've been changed and who changed them.
Debian Project Leader Election. Manoj Srivastava called for votes
for the Debian Project Leader Election 2004. Votes must be
received by 23:59:59 UTC on April 10th, 2004. The voting period may
have to be extended by roughly 15 hours because Manoj wasn't able to
send out the call in time. The platforms of Martin Michlmayr
Gergely Nagy and Branden Robinson are online.
Re-affirming non-free Components. The vote on the General
Resolution on the status of the non-free section is determined.
The non-free section was re-affirmed. 163 developers voted for its
removal, whereas 260 developers voted for the re-affirmation. 482
developers took part in this vote.
Regular Bug Squashing Parties and weak Freeze. Adrian Bunk
proposed a weak freeze in the near future so that no new upstream
versions may be added to the testing distribution. Additionally there
should be regular bug squashing parties to help reduce the number of
Linux 2.6 on Debian 3.0. Adrian Bunk announced the availability of
packages to run Linux kernel version 2.6 on Debian woody. They are
taken from unstable and were recompiled on woody. Hence, they may not
be as stable as the packages in woody. Although these packages should
help to use kernel 2.6 on Debian 3.0, complete support for all kernel
2.6 features is not possible.
Report from the Bug Squashing Party. Frank Lichtenheld reported
about the bug squashing Party last weekend. It was quite successful
since the small group of participants produced a lot of fixed
packages, patches and solutions. He also talked about the used methods
of coordination and requests input by others on some topics for
future bug squashing parties.
Kernel Packages Cleanup? Adrian Bunk released a proposal to clean
up the kernel packages in unstable. Since supporting 2.2, 2.4 and 2.6
is insane he asked if an architecture still requires 2.2 at all. He
also proposed to remove various kernel-patch packages that add random
features, which are present in newer kernels since they can't be
supported in a stable Debian release.
Menu based Init Configuration. John Hasler announced that he has
uploaded sysvconfig into experimental. This is a text-oriented
menu-based utility for configuring init scripts. This package can
render the system unbootable, though, and hence should be used only
with care. John is interested in bug and success reports, of course.
OSCAR running on Debian. Members of the Open Cluster Group, an
informal group of people dedicated to making cluster-computing
practical ported OSCAR (Open Source Cluster Application Resource)
on Debian IA-64. They introduced an abstraction layer so that both
at the package level (rpm or dpkg) and at the distribution level
(updaterpm, yum, urpmi and apt-get) OSCAR can run on systems that
don't use rpm as a packaging tool using exactly the same code base.
Running Debian at 3.7 GHz. Alexander Schmehl reported about the
fastest x86 system at this year's CeBIT. Its manufacturer H2O
approached the Debian booth to find out whether GNU/Linux would run on
that machine. The entire installation was done in less than 15 minutes
with the slow 48x CD-ROM drive being a bottleneck. With Linux
reporting 7372.9 Bogomips and glxgears reporting 4540.8 fps, that's
quite a nice working environment.
Debian-Installer Usability Review. Marcus Thiesen reviewed the
latest Beta 3 of the debian-installer in terms of usability from
an average users perspective. The new debian installer is a good way
to set up ones favorite distribution. Nonetheless he discovered a few
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* openssl -- Multiple vulnerabilities.
* Linux 2.2.10 (powerpc/apus) -- Local root exploit.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* cabot -- Set of helper scripts for GPG/PGP keysigning
* cdcat -- Media catalog program.
* gdeb -- Graphical package inspection tool.
* genisovh -- Make CD-ROMs bootable for SGI MIPS machines.
* gramadoir -- Irish language grammar checker.
* hashcash -- Postage payment scheme for email based on hash
* ifrename -- Rename network interfaces based on various static
* lusernet -- News Reader for GNUstep.
* makeself -- Utility to generate self-extractable archives.
* mbot -- Multi purpose mail robot.
* nice -- Extension of Java with parametric types,
multi-methods, and more.
* nickle -- Desk calculator language.
* piwi -- P(erl|relude) IDS Web Interface - A frontend to your
* textedit -- Basic text editor for GNUstep.
* unace -- Extract, test and view .ace archives.
* viewpdf -- Portable Document Format (PDF) viewer for GNUstep.
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