Debian Project News - January 6th, 2014
Welcome to this year's first issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:
- SteamOS, a game oriented Debian derivative
- Mini-DebConf in Phnom Penh
- Mini-DebConf in Barcelona
- Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament to use Debian for email encryption
- An automatic list of Debian contributors
- Bits from the DPL
- Bits from the Release Team
- Other news
- Upcoming events
- New Debian Contributors
- Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
- Important Debian Security Advisories
- New and noteworthy packages
- Work-needing packages
- Want to continue reading DPN?
SteamOS, a game oriented Debian derivative
Valve Software has made
available images for
a Debian derivative aimed at providing a gaming experience built for the big screen.
This gaming operating system is based on Debian 7 (codename
Installation instructions are available from the
A dedicated page in
the Debian wiki lists additional information about this Debian derivative.
Mini-DebConf in Phnom Penh
FOSSASIA is inviting Debian contributors and fans to Phnom Penh, Cambodia for a Mini-DebConf from February 28 to March 2, 2014. After previous events in Vietnam and a successful Mini-DebConf 2010 in Ho Chi Minh City it is time to bring together some of the awesome Debian folks in the region again and organise another Mini-DebConf: Phnom Penh 2014. The event will be held at Norton University, the leading IT institution in Cambodia, and will bring together a number of free software projects. Please join us, add your name to the wiki, and spread the word!
Mini-DebConf in Barcelona
Debian Women is proud to announce that a Mini-DebConf will be organised in Barcelona on 15-16 March 2014. The idea behind the conference is not to talk about women in free software, or women in Debian, but Debian subjects more inclusive for women. Everybody is invited, but speakers are expected to be all people identifying themselves as women. Conference organisers are seeking proposals for papers, presentations, discussion sessions, and tutorials. If you have one or more proposals, send them to email@example.com.
Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament to use Debian for email encryption
Harms, co-president of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, announced
project to use trustworthy encryption in cooperation and dialogue
with European Parliament IT services and Debian.
Recognising that we
live in a digital environment polluted by pervasive surveillance,
she sees encrypted software as a small first step to
ensure nobody but the intended recipent of an email can read it. Greens/EFA will
use a selection of Free Software from Debian running on regular consumer laptops.
As Greens in the European Parliament we are very pleased
that we are supported by Debian [...], a community of programmers and developers
abiding to a social contract to share and
maintain their common resource
which they call Free Software, she said.
An automatic list of Debian contributors
Enrico Zini announced
that a list of known Debian contributors is available at
The list will never be fully comprehensive, but it will try to be the
best effort Debian can possibly make to credit everyone, Enrico said.
The list is created from data sources
which can be added to take into account new types of contributions.
Please refer to Enrico's message for implementation details.
Bits from the DPL
Lucas Nussbaum sent his monthly report of DPL activities for November 2013. Among other topics, Lucas gave an update on the participation of Debian in the Outreach Program for Women. He also started a discussion about the role of release goals, and a proposal to replace them with procedures built on the existing recommended practices for mass bug filings.
Lucas also recently updated delegations for the Policy Editors, the Debian Keyring Maintainers, the Debian Account Managers, the Press Team, and the Debian System Administrators. He also officialised the existence and the powers of the Release Team by publishing the first delegation for this team.
Bits from the Release Team
Niels Thykier sent some bits from the Release Team, with a precise timeline of events that need to happen before the freeze for the next stable Debian release, Jessie, which is scheduled for November 5 2014. He also mentioned that the results from piuparts, a tool to test installation, upgrade and removal of Debian packages, are now integrated into Britney, the software taking care of the migration of packages from unstable to testing.
There have been DebianEdu interviews with Dominik George and Klaus Knopper, who both describe, among other things, how they got involved in Debian Edu and their views about it.
The third update of the stable distribution of Debian (codename
was released on December 14.
Jakub Wilk posted on his blog a one-liner script, named μdput, to efficiently replace dput or dput-ng for package uploading on a flaky network connection.
Martin Zobel-Helas sent minutes of the DSA Team Meeting, held on December 13, 2013.
The update for Wheezy of the Debian Administrator's handbook, prefaced by Lucas Nussbaum, the current Debian Project Leader, and Stefano Zacchiroli, Debian Project Leader from 2010 to 2013, is available for download from the website of the book, or as the debian-handbook on Debian systems running unstable.
Niels Thykier announced that he has automated the reprocessing of packages in the Debian archive when there is a new version of Lintian, a tool to find bugs and policy violations in packages. Reprocessing the whole Debian archive with Lintian 2.5.20 is expected to take about 3 to 4 weeks.
There is one upcoming Debian-related event:
- January 18-19, Paris, France — Paris Mini-DebConf in Telecom ParisTech
You can find more information about Debian-related events and talks on the events section of the Debian wiki, 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
Four applicants have been accepted as Debian Developers, eight applicants have been accepted as Debian Maintainers, and twenty-five people have started to maintain packages since the previous issue of the Debian Project News. Please welcome Thomas Bechtold, Miguel Landaeta, Andrea Colangelo, Mike Miller, Michael Fladischer, Axel Wagner, Chris Boot, ChangZhuo Chen (陳昌倬), Dima Kogan, Elmar Heeb, Hendrik Tews, Jakob Haufe, Radu-Bogdan Croitoru, Walter Reiner, Ghislain Vaillant, Antonio Ospite, Ben Carrillo, Stewart Smith, Sergio Schvezov, Otto Kekäläinen, Mechtilde Stehmann, Sebastien Badia, Christian Stalp, Mitsuya Shibata, Bret Curtis, Alexandre Gramfort, Zev Benjamin, Folkert van Heusden, Julien Muchembled, Noriyuki Ohkawa, Silvio Rhatto, Zygmunt Krynicki, Benjamin Eikel, Lennart C. Karssen, Simon John, Mats Sjöberg, and Christos Trochalakis 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
Jessie, is currently affected by 476 Release-Critical bugs. Ignoring bugs which are easily solved or on the way to being solved, roughly speaking, about 330 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): openjpeg, ruby1.8, ruby1.9.1, chromium-browser, samba, gimp, varnish, munin, php5, libtar, mysql-5.5, iceape, nspr, gnupg, xorg-server, pixman, curl, wireshark, denyhosts, libcommons-fileupload-java, drupal6, hplip, ruby-i18n, puppet, memcached, openssl, and typo3-src. Please read them carefully and take the proper measures.
Debian's Backports Team released advisories for these packages: roundcube, strongswan, openssh, and nbd. 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
670 packages were added to the unstable Debian archive recently. Among many others are:
- automx — tool providing account configuration data to mailclients
- bugs-everywhere — distributed bug tracking system using VCS storage
- calligraactive — tablet version of Calligra
- codespell — find and fix common misspellings in text files
- crudini — utility for manipulating ini files
- debmake — helper script to make the Debian source package
- fssync — file system synchronization tool (1-way, over SSH)
- geary — lightweight email client designed for the GNOME desktop
- git-repair — repair various forms of damage to git repositories
- jshon — command line tool to parse, read and create JSON
- keyringer — distributed secret management using GnuPG and Git
- loook — tool to search strings in ODF documents
- mariadb-server — MariaDB database server
- pumpa — simple desktop client for pump.io, the distributed social network
- vim-youcompleteme — fast, as-you-type, fuzzy-search code completion engine for Vim
- vokoscreen — easy to use screencast creator
- whiteboard — simple collaborative text editor for the web
- x509-util — utility for X.509 certificates and chains
- yara — help to identify and classify malwares
- zmap — network scanner for researchers
Currently 541 packages are orphaned and 156 packages are up for adoption: please visit the complete list of packages which need your help.
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This issue of Debian Project News was edited by Mario Behling, Cédric Boutillier, Elizabeth Krumbach, Carl J Mannino and Justin B Rye.