Debian Project News - May 14th, 2012

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

Update for Debian 6.0: 6.0.5 released

The fifth update for Debian 6.0 (codenamed Squeeze) has been released. This update mainly adds corrections of security problems to the stable release, along with some adjustments for serious problems.

Deadlines reminder for DebConf12

Leandro Gómez noted that the deadline for sponsored registration for DebConf12 is quickly approaching; hurry up and register before Tuesday 15 May!

In related news, Gunnar Wolf sent another call for papers for DebConf12: talk submissions will be accepted until a day before the talk itself, but they must be submitted before Friday 1 June to have guaranteed video coverage and to be announced as part of the conference's official program.

Holger Levsen also reported on his recent visit to Managua, Nicaragua. The report includes a thematically sorted list of impressions and advice you may be really interested in reading if you are considering coming to DebConf12. In short, it was great, DebConf12 will be great.

General Resolution about diversity statement

The Debian Project Secretary, Kurt Roeckx, announced that the process for a General Resolution about the Debian Project's diversity statement has been started. Details are available on the related vote page while the discussion can be followed on the debian-vote mailing list.

First alpha release of the installer for Debian Wheezy

The new Debian Installer supports WPA, uses ext4 as default filesystem, allows Btrfs for the /boot partition, allows a choice of the ISO image to use, and a lot more. It also improves the handling of ZFS file systems, and supports a lot of new hardware. You are welcome to help finding bugs and further improving the installer by trying it out. Installer CDs, other media and everything else you will need are available.

The Debian Administrator's Handbook freed

Raphaël Hertzog announced the availability of The Debian Administrator's Handbook. This manual is the English translation of the French best-seller Cahier de l'Admin, of which he is co-author with Roland Mas. The book is now released under a DFSG compliant license and it has also been packaged for the main Debian repository, so you can install it on Debian unstable with:

apt-get install debian-handbook

An ever growing mirrors network

Raphael Geissert wrote a blog post about the constant growth of Debian's mirrors network. The total number of mirrors is currently 330 for the HTTP protocol and 300 for FTP. The mirrors are distributed across 73 countries, thanks to the Debian sponsors hosting them.

Bits from the DPL

Stefano Zacchiroli sent his monthly report on DPL activities. During April, Stefano mostly spent time trying to reach consensus on various topics: the proposal for a diversity statement for the Debian Project, the revenue sharing agreement with DuckDuckGo, the long running conflict over Python maintenance and the relationship between pkg-multimedia maintainers team and the unofficial repository. In his mail, Stefano also asked for DPL helpers: volunteers to help the Debian Project Leader in some minor tasks and share his work-load.

Other news

Joerg Jaspert announced the creation of a new archive key for Debian 7.0 Wheezy. The key will be put to use with the release of Wheezy or the expiry of the old key 0x473041FA (2018-03-05), whichever comes first.

Paul Tagliamonte sent another update on his GCC 4.7 patchathon: since 14 April he has already sent 28 patches to fix gcc-4.7 FTBFS bugs. Well done, Paul!

Cyril Brulebois sent some updates on Debian X server development.

Thanks to an upstream licence change, autoconf-doc is now part of Debian main.

Based on a recent study looking at insecure libraries, Thomas Koch suggested that it makes sense to package Java libraries in Debian, thanks to its strict and rigorous security policy.

Andreas B. Mundt presented the Debian Local Area Network project (Debian-LAN): its goal is to make setting up a local network with centralised user and machine management, intranet, etc. as easy as possible in Debian. More information is available on the wiki.

Upcoming events

There are some upcoming Debian-related events:

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

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 that you want to link on our talks page? Send an email to the Debian Events Team.

New Debian Contributors

Three applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers, eight applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainer, and eight people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Peter Green, Willi Mann, Clint Byrum, Dmitry Shachnev, Matteo F. Vescovi, Christian Welzel, Koichi Akabe, Julian Taylor, Jeremy Bicha, Frank Habermann, Thomas Pierson, wujiang, Billy Zhe-Wei Lin (林哲瑋), Kefu Chai, xiaowen (辛晓闻), Thomas Kluyver, Russell Sim, Bruno Braga, and Markus Wanner into our project!

Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release

According to the Bugs Search interface of the Ultimate Debian Database, the upcoming release, Debian Wheezy, is currently affected by 930 Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 556 Release-Critical bugs remain to be solved for the release to happen.

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

Important Debian Security Advisories

Debian's Security Team recently released advisories for these packages (among others): samba, icedove, imagemagick (updated announcement), quagga (updated announcement), php5, rails, mahara, file (updated announcement), libjakarta-poi-java, linux-2.6 and wordpress. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.

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 (and the separate backports list, and stable updates list) for announcements.

New and noteworthy packages

243 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many others are:

Work-needing packages

Currently 394 packages are orphaned and 169 packages are up for adoption: please visit 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

To receive this newsletter in your mailbox, subscribe to the debian-news mailing list.

Back issues of this newsletter are available.

This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Moray Allan, Cédric Boutillier, Francesca Ciceri, David Prévot and Justin B Rye.