Debian Project News – January 9th, 2012


The Debian Project                      
Debian Project News          
January 9th, 2012   

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

* Debian Edu/Skolelinux 6.0.3 beta2 released
* Bits from the DPL
* Forthcoming new release of the X server
* Scientific article on Debian in PNAS
* New Debian Infographic
* New interface for Debtags website
* apt-get purge defoma
* Further interviews
* Other news
* Upcoming events
* New Debian Contributors
* Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
* Status of Debian Installer localisation
* Important Debian Security Advisories
* New and noteworthy packages
* Work-needing packages
* Want to continue reading DPN?

Debian Edu/Skolelinux 6.0.3 beta2 released

Petter Reinholdtsen announced the release of Debian Edu Squeeze 6.0.3
beta2 [1]: download and installation instructions [2] are available on
the wiki, and in particular a useful    [3] “Getting Started” chapter in
which you can find explanations of how to log in for the first time.
Feedback and installation reports can be sent to the Debian Edu mailing
list [4].

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Debian Edu is a project aiming to make a Debian Pure Blend for
educational purposes, which can be used in schools and other educational
institutions. The Debian Edu project develops and maintains Skolelinux
[5], a complete and free “out of the box” software solution for schools.
For more information about Debian Edu, please visit therelated wiki page

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Bits from the DPL

Stefano Zacchiroli sent some bits from the DPL [7] in which he reported
about the work done by Martin Michlmayr as Auditor, in order to
reconstruct Debian’s expenses and budgets. Stefano also sent a call for
help for Wheezy artwork organisation, and announced that Gunnar Wolf has
volunteered to monitor the discussion regarding the Creative Commons
process for revision 4.0 on behalf of Debian.

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Forthcoming new release of the X server

Cyril Brulebois blogged about the forthcoming X server release 1.12 [8]:
one major change is the addition of XI2.2 patches, which are related to
multitouch support. Another significant change is the addition of
support for Intel’s Sandy Bridge New Acceleration in the Debian

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Scientific article on Debian in PNAS

Michael Hanke noted [9] that the Proceedings of the National Academy of
Science (“PNAS”) of the United States of America has apaper on the
evolution of software in Debian [10].

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If you know other studies about Debian and its software, you can add it
to our related wiki page [11].

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New Debian Infographic

Claudio Filho has published a beautiful infographic about Debian [12].
The main motivation was, as Claudio said [13], “to “draw” for final
users how Debian can be good for them”. Similar efforts have been made
by Stéphane Blondon [14] and Chris Lamb [15], who created the Debian
Timeline website [16] and the related Debian package [17].

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New interface for Debtags website

Enrico Zini announced a new interface for the Debtags website [18].
Debtags is a project to classify Debian packages by adding tags to them:
“Debtags attaches categories (we call them tags) to packages, creating a
new set of useful structured metadata that can be used to implement more
advanced ways of presenting, searching, maintaining and navigating the
package archive”, Enrico saidwhile presenting the project in 2005 [19].
Using the new interface, it is possible to search packages [20], take a
look at statistics about Debtags [21] and, obviously, help with the
tagging effort [22]. For more information about Debtags, you can visit
the related wiki page [23].

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apt-get purge defoma

Paul Wise reported that the transition from defoma to fontconfig is
finally complete [24]. Defoma is the Debian-specific font manager, long
unmaintained, while the replacement (fontconfig) is cross-distribution
and also has wide support from upstreams. In the past three years the
Debian Fonts Task Force [25] has worked a lot in order to gain this
result, thanks especially to the work of Christian Perrier and Paul
Wise. Please note that the transition is not completely smooth:  ”Xorg
does not yet support fontconfig so for now programs relying on
server-side fonts will only be able to use thexfonts- packages shipping
their fonts in the directories known by the X server” and in addition
“there are some issues [26] with Ghostscript and CJK”, Paul said.

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Further interviews

Since the last issue of the Debian Project News, two new issues of the
[27] “This week in Debian” podcast have been published: with Jonathan
Nadeau [28], about the Northeast GNU/Linux Fest; and with Raphael
Hertzog [29], about the Debian handbook.

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There has also been a “People behind Debian” interview withi Ben Hutchings
[30], member of the kernel team.

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In addition the NeuroDebian team [31] was interviewed [32] by the INCF.

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Other news

The 27th issue of the miscellaneous news for developers [33] has been
released and covers the following topics:

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* Planet Debian Derivatives
* win32-loader.exe now eases access to the GNU/Hurd Debian-Installer
* Wiki bugstatus extended to Launchpad bugs
* dh-exec entering unstable
* derivatives patch generation prototype

Uwe Hermann published a useful quick howto on using OpenVPN on Debian
GNU/Linux [34].

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Jonas Smedegaard reported that the Indonesian newspaper [35] “Serambi”
dedicated an article to his Debian involvement after his presence at a
radio talkshow in Aceh, Indonesia. Jonas was travelling Asia in order to
deliver a series of talks dedicated to Debian Pure Blends [36]. More
information about his trip are available on a related wiki page [37].

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The web team is pleased to announce that all languages have finished
their migration to UTF-8 [38], so the Debian website [39] is now
available for everyone in UTF-8, thanks to all the translators who
worked on this issue.

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Asheesh Laroia wrote an interesting article about short key IDs with
OpenPGP and GNU Privacy Guard [40], arguing that using them is
fundamentally insecure as it’s easy to generate collisions for short key

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The Debian Project was mentioned in an article by Bruce Byfield on
Datamation titled       [41] “2011: The Year of Linux Disappointments” .
According to the author, in fact, while various Open Source projects saw
a decline in 2011, the Debian project   “spent much of 2011 reinventing
itself. In the past few twelve months, it has — among other things –
tried to encourage cooperation among its derivatives, revamped its new
member process, and experimented with IRC training sessions.”

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Martin Zobel-Helas announced that he has applied the main theme of
Debian website to, the internal LDAP directory of Debian
Developers [42]. In the previous days, thanks to Cristoph Berg, the
Debian Quality Assurance website [43] had also switched to the main

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Russ Allbery wrote an interesting blog post [44] about Debian and

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Upcoming events

There are several upcoming Debian related events:

* January 18, Ballarat, AU — Freedom, Out of the Box! [45] by Bdale Garbee
* January 18, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL — workshop onDebian Packaging [46]
* January 20-22, Los Angeles, US — Debian booth at the Tenth Annual Southern
California Linux Expo [47]

You can find more information about Debian related events and talks on
the events section [48] of the Debian web site, or subscribe to one of
our events mailing lists for different regions: Europe [49], Netherlands
[50], Hispanic America [51], North America [52].

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Do you want to organise a Debian booth or a Debian install party? Are
you aware of other upcoming Debian related events? Have you delivered a
Debian talk and want to link it on our talks page [53]? Send an email to
the Debian Events Team [54].

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New Debian Contributors

Fifteen people have started to maintain packages [55] since the previous
issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Werner Detter, Fredrik
Thulin, Eleanor Chen, Sergiusz Pawlowicz, Brian Thomason, Mike Gabriel,
Ko van der Sloot, Paul Boddie, Mark Vejvoda, Patrick Ulbrich, Lucia
Prado, Jon Ludlam, Kamil Ignacak, Mike McClurg, and Leo Iannacone into
our project!

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Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the Bugs Search interface of the Ultimate Debian Database
[56], the upcoming release, Debian 7.0 “Wheezy”, is currently affected
by 797 release-critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or
on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 532 release-critical
bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.

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There are also more detailed statistics [57] as well as some hints on
how to interpret [58] these numbers.

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Status of Debian Installer localisation

In his last report on Debian Installer localisation [59], Christian
Perrier noted that eighteen languages are currently up to date for D-I’s
core files; ten (Czech, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Kazakh, Dutch,
Portuguese, Russian and Slovak) are 100% complete for the moment.

Christian informed us previously [60] that “A very important and
critical fix to partman-zfs broke a string in sublevel 4.” That explains
why the results are lower than thelast time [61] we relayed the
translation status, but translators are quickly working to make the
Debian Installer completely available in many languages.

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Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian’s Security Team recently released advisories for these packages
(among others): tor [62], xorg [63], dtc [64], mediawiki [65], asterisk
[66], lighttpd [67], libsoup2.4 [68], unbound [69], jasper [70], heimdal
[71], inetutils [72], openswan [73], krb5, krb5-appl [74], ipmitool
[75], cyrus-imapd-2.2 [76], ffmpeg [77], krb5 [78], foomatic-filters
[79], squid3 [80], ecryptfs-utils [81] and super [82].  Please read them
carefully and take the proper measures.

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Please note that these are a selection of the more important security
advisories of the last weeks. If you need to be kept up to date about
security advisories released by the Debian Security Team, please
subscribe to the security mailing list [83] (and the separate backports
list [84], and stable updates list [85] or volatile list [86], for
“Lenny”, the oldstable distribution) for announcements.

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New and noteworthy packages

367 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among
many others [87] are:

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* coccinella — communication tool (XMPP/Jabber) with a built-in whiteboard [88]
* colorhug-client — Tools for the Hughski colorimeter [89]
* eclipse-gef — Eclipse graphical editing framework [90]
* exfat-utils — utilities to create, check, label and dump exFAT filesystem [91]
* gnome-documents — document manager for GNOME [92]
* ho22bus — simple application to memorize words [93]
* jgit-cli — Java implementation of Git version control [94]
* xcp-xapi — Xen Cloud Platform XenAPI server [95]
* zanshin — to-do list manager for KDE [96]

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Work-needing packages

Currently 203 packages are orphaned [97] and 111 packages are up for
adoption [98]: please visit the complete list of packages which need
your help [99].

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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 [100] to find out how to help. We’re
looking forward to receiving your mail at [101].

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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Cedric Boutillier,
Francesca Ciceri, David Prevot, Justin B Rye and Paul Wise [102].

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