Debian Weekly News - September 25th, 2001
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - September 25th, 2001
KDE 2.2.1 and Xinerama. Ivan Moore's KDE 2.2.1 packages are compiled
without Xinerama support for reasons too lengthy to go into here.
However, if you want to find some packages with Xinerama compiled,
David Bishop has been kind enough to put some here
Using HFS+ with Linux. There has been a discussion about using
HFS+ partitions with Linux. They are used on MacOS X for large
partitions. A Linux driver is, however, unstable and abandoned.
Several people have experienced kernel panics when accessing HFS
partitions. The only way to access this filesystem with Linux is to
use userspace HFS+ tools from the hfsplus package. Alternatively
one could use UFS partitions which MacOS X supports and for which an
experimental Linux driver is available.
Using Mosix on Debian GNU/Linux. Viral Shah has written a HOWTO
about using Mosix on Debian GNU/Linux. Mosix is a scalable,
multi-os, transparent load balancing tool, which unfortunately only
works on the x86 architecture. The HOWTO provides a step by step
introduction to using Mosix, which is available as Debian packages
New Treasurer for SPI. The general meeting of Software in the Public
Interest, Inc., has appointed Branden Robinson, the fabulous X guy
from Debian, as new treasurer for the corporation on September 17,
2001. SPI forms a legal umbrella around the Debian project.
Security Secretary. Current problems with Debian Security have led
Joey into reconsidering the situation. Debian Security is very crucial
to our users and thus should be managed properly. To help improve the
situation, Joey has asked for a Security Secretary, who will help
the Debian Security Team doing their work.
English, British English or American English? There has been a
discussion on Debian-Devel inspired by Marcelo E. Magallon and
Bug#111465 which brought up a problem with creating an alias
"English" for either en_US or en_GB. There have been many voices in
favour of naming en_GB.ISO-8859-1 as "English" since the language
comes from Great Britain and is spoken outside of it as well, similar
to French being fr_FR and Spanish being es_ES, even while the language
itself is spoken outside of France or Spain in a local version.
No More Evil? Last week we reported on the evils of
/usr/share/java/repository. Ola Lundqvist was kind enough to
summarize the results of the discussion so far. Java fiends may
wish to peruse this summary and join in the discussion. The prevention
of further evil may depend on it!
Apache Task Force. Ardo van Rangelrooij has proposed to form an
Apache Task Force that will maintain the Apache packages. The current
state of Apache and the recent need to fix at least some of the
outstanding bugs led him to the conclusion that a more active
maintenance of these packages is needed. This includes an Apache Task
Force Webpage defining goals, writing up guidelines for packaging
Apache modules, setting up a CVS repository and migrating the Debian
apache packages to Apache 2, which is already prepared by Thom May
and Daniel Stone. Several people have already volunteered to help out.
Looks like there will be new Apache packages soon - better than ever.
A preliminary mailing list has been created already.
Preview of new Ghostscript packages. Torsten Landschoff has
announced new Ghostscript packages which are up for testing. This
includes both gs 6.51 as well as gs-aladdin 7.00. Torsten is going to
throw away the upstream scripts and replace them with his own ones.
New update_excuses output. Anthony Towns has announced that there
will be a new set of lines in the update_excuses output. His
announcement contains an explanation.
Uninstallable packages in Debian/testing. Andrew M. Bishop has posted
a summary of packages in testing which are not installable. The
list is depressingly long. Anthony Towns has agreed that there are
a few packages that aren't installable in Woody. A number of packages
are out of sync or even have release-critical bugs. There is also a
more accurate list of uninstallable packages.
Aptitude updated. We reported on a problem with aptitude in our last
issue. Daniel Burrows wrote us: "I just realized, when I saw this in
DWN, that I never followed up to this. The version of aptitude in sid
is now free of this bug (and some stupid segfaults that somehow snuck
in at the same time). Install 0.2.6.4, and if it still doesn't work,
Bootstrapping on SuperH. Yutaka Niibe has posted a step-by-step
manual for bootstrapping Debian GNU/Linux distribution on SuperH.
Currently Debian GNU/Linux on i386 is required, including the
development environment as well as binutils-multiarch.
Graphing Debian Lists. Joey has played with RRD apparently. He has
created some graphics of the mailing lists that Debian serves on
lists.debian.org. They display both the total list of subscribers
as well as the posting frequency per list. This results in some
interesting graphs, such as Debian-Announce whose number of
subscribers grow steadily with no postings or Debian-Alpha with
frequent postings but nearly the same number of subscribers.
New lintian to test. In our last issue we reported that Shaleh
announced to restart work on lintian. He has already put up
preliminary .debs. Get them while they're hot.
Python Policy Draft. Neil Schemenauer has posted a draft of a
Debian Python Policy. All interested parties should check it out and
send comments to the debian-python list.
32/64-Bit Coexistance. There's a lot of discussion on the LSB-Spec
list about a proposal for 32-bit and 64-bit compatibility on 64-bit
systems. Not many of us happen to have 64-bit systems sitting around
at home, but this topic is going to be more and more important in the
future. (Note, if you do have a 64-bit system sitting at home, there's
no need to email us to let us know. Thanks.)
Correction. Last week we included an item on Alternatives in
Build-Dependencies and Bdale Garbee's name was misspelled as Bdale
Garbie. Sorry about that Bdale!
Fonts missing after upgrade. Several people have reported problems
with fonts after X was upgraded. Characters appeared as boxes within
Gnumeric, GIMP, XMMS or other programs. This is caused by the presence
of ISO10646-1 ("Unicode") encoded fonts in the new 4.1.0 X font
packages. Many applications and toolkits don't specify what character
encoding they want when requesting a font, and aren't equipped to
handle the return of a 16-bit font. Using the X Font Server (xfs) from
XFree86 4.x will fix the problem. People have reported that
changing the font ordering in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 will also
work, though it may only be a fortunate coincidence.
New Packages. Here's some of the new and notable this week.
* mpg321 -- This is a command-line MP3 player, a clone of the
non-free mpg123 player. Thanks to Joe Drew for the tip.
* newbiedoc -- A snapshot of documentation produced by the
* desklaunch -- A utility for placing icons on the desktop which
are connected to an application.
* sgmltexi -- SGML system to create Texinfo docs.
* rats -- The Rough Auditing Tool for Security. Scans source
C/C++ code to find "dangerous" function calls.
* harden -- Package to help the admin improve a system's
* xine-dvdnav -- Plugin to help handling special features on
DVDs like menus, subtitles, audio channels.
Recent Security Advisories. A few new security advisories to take heed
of if you use these packages.
* most -- Remote buffer overflow.
* squid -- Remote DoS.
* slrn -- Remote Command Invocation.
* uucp -- uucp uid/gid access.
Got a comment, question, compliment or newsworthy tidbit? Send it to
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