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Debian Weekly News - March 25th, 2003

Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - March 25th, 2003

Welcome to this year's 12th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. This year's leader election will end in less
than a week and some interesting numbers have been released already.
Hugh Saunders [1]wondered if people could imagine anything more
frustrating than trying to read a Debian list from a Hotmail account.
Quickly, Alberto Gonzalez Iniesta [2]answered with a set of programs
to manage exactly this under GNU/Linux.

 1. http://lists.debian.org/debian-curiosa-0302/msg00119.html
 2. http://lists.debian.org/debian-curiosa-0302/msg00121.html

Status of the DPL Election. Manoj Srivastava sent out the final
[3]call for votes for the current Debian Project Leader (DPL)
[4]election. About 50 % the Debian developers have voted already,
others can still cast their vote until March 29th. Manoj is also
[5]concerned about the high number of rejected ballots and manually
checked them out. 140 rejections were received and none of them came
from Mutt, even though it's the user agent that is most widely
[6]used. Moshe Zadka, one of the candidates, sent a [7]letter
stating that he doesn't trust the integrity of the secretary and asked
for an independent Debian developer for control counting.

 3. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce-0303/msg00016.html
 4. http://www.debian.org/vote/2003/vote_0001
 5. http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote-0303/msg00069.html
 6. http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote-0303/msg00071.html
 7. http://lists.debian.org/debian-vote-0303/msg00077.html

Trusted Debian Project. The [8]Trusted Debian project aims to create
a highly secure but usable GNU/Linux platform. To accomplish this, the
project will use currently available security solutions for GNU/Linux
(like kernel patches, compiler patches, security related programs and
techniques) and knit these together to a highly secure GNU/Linux
platform. Trusted Debian is an [9]upgrade to Debian GNU/Linux 3.0
which adds stack execution protection, address space layout
randomization, FreeS/WAN, and some recent security package updates.

 8. http://www.trusteddebian.org/
 9. http://www.trusteddebian.org/installation.html

Problem with Mozilla Libraries. Josselin Mouette [10]discussed a
[11]dilemma in the way Mozilla libraries are currently handled. The
libraries don't contain a SONAME and are only used by Mozilla (and
Galeon). Libraries in /usr/lib are required to provide a SONAME,
hence, the libraries must not be placed in that directory. Adding a
SONAME would add an incompatibility with other vendors' libraries.
However, placing the libraries somewhere else would hide them from the

 10. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0303/msg01062.html
 11. http://bugs.debian.org/184401

Results from Bug Squashing Party. A [12]bug squashing party took place
last weekend. Bas Zoetekouw [13]thanked all participants and listed
the results. According to the [14]IRC log, about 30 people
participated in the party. They produced 58 packages that were
uploaded to the incoming/DELAYED directory, closing a total of 89
bugs. Unfortunately, there are still 789 release-critical bugs left.

 12. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce-0303/msg00008.html
 13. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0303/msg01063.html
 14. http://people.debian.org/~bas/bsp.php

Support for Filesystem Labels. Theodore Ts'o [15]disclosed his plans
to release a new shared library, libblkid, which is used to interpret
UUID= and LABEL= specifiers. Since it will maintain a cache file a
[16]discussion started about the question of whether this file should
be placed in /etc or in /var.

 15. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0303/msg01180.html
 16. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0303/msg01183.html

Debian on the Rebel NetWinder. Dan "overridex" McCombs [17]explained
how he installed Debian 3.0 (woody) on a Rebel NetWinder 3100. These
computers consist of a small gray and dark blue box with a Transmeta
Crusoe processor and 128MB of RAM. They run Red Hat Linux by default,
but Dan preferred Debian for its stability and easy security updates.
He described all the steps needed to get Debian installed and running.

 17. http://www.linuxorbit.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=550

Why Shared Source is not Open Source. Although it has been discussed
at length elsewhere, Robin 'Roblimo' Miller [18]argued that the
biggest practical difference between Open Source and Shared Source has
been generally overlooked. He explained that you can modify Open
Source software to fit your device (and other software), while Shared
Source only lets you modify your device (and other software) to fit
the Shared Source software. He concluded that software licensing is
going through a period of rapid evolution, but that Shared Source is
not even related to Open Source in any substantial way.

 18. http://newsforge.com/newsforge/03/03/12/1330253.shtml?tid=9

KDE in Sid finally Complete. [19]Debian Planet reported that the final
components of KDE 3.1.1 have now been accepted into the unstable (sid)
archive. The kdepim and kdenetwork packages were at first [20]rejected
last week due to minor copyright file issues. This has been resolved
and both packages are finally available in the unstable archive,
coinciding with the [21]official release of KDE 3.1.1.

 19. http://www.debianplanet.org/
 20. http://lists.debian.org/debian-kde-0303/msg00601.html
 21. http://www.kde.org/announcements/announce-3.1.1.php

Detecting the Default Browser. Xavier Roche [22]wondered about the
best way to detect the default web browser on a Debian system. It was
[23]pointed out that sensible-browser does just this, but John Goerzen
[24]thought that such a system-wide default needlessly forces all
users to use what root prefers. However, David B. Harris [25]noted
that sensible-browser is explicitly for Debian Developers. It takes
information from well-known sources and then makes a decision. The
$BROWSER environment variable is available for setting each user's
default web browser.

 22. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0303/msg01193.html
 23. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0303/msg01196.html
 24. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0303/msg01212.html
 25. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0303/msg01217.html

A Newcomer's Experience with Debian. [26]Digital Drip has an article
that describes a newcomer's experience with [27]installing and
[28]configuring Debian. The writer began with the common attitude that
Debian can be one of the "most brutal experiences of your computing
life if you're not prepared". However, after going through the install
and set up of a Debian system, the writer was impressed by Debian's
speed, stability and excellent package management.

 26. http://www.digital-drip.com/
 27. http://www.digital-drip.com/articles/os/debian-1.shtml
 28. http://www.digital-drip.com/articles/os/debian-2.shtml

Live Filesystem CDs. Debian Planet hosted a [29]short discussion about
bootable CD-ROMs based on Debian. These CDs can be used to run
GNU/Linux without the need to install it on the hard-drive first.
Distributions mentioned included the venerable [30]Knoppix,
[31]Metadistros (Spanish), [32]Gnoppix (German), [33]Morphix, [34]Damn
Small Linux, and [35]TrX Firewall. Not to forget, there are several
instances of bootable [36]business cards and the [37]Gibraltar
firewall system.

 29. http://www.debianplanet.org/node.php?id=926
 30. http://www.knoppix.org/
 31. http://metadistros.hispalinux.es/
 32. http://www.gnoppix.org/
 33. http://am.xs4all.nl/drupal/node.php?id=20
 34. http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/
 35. http://www.trxlinux.org/
 36. http://www.lnx-bbc.org/
 37. http://www.gibraltar.at/

Woody Desktop Mini-CD. Marcus Moeller [38]announced ISO images for
miniwoody version 1.1. The distribution includes the current stable
version of KDE 3.1.1 and has been modified for easier installation.
The configuration of XFree86 is said to be easier than with the
regular Debian installation process, since automatic hardware
detection can easily be accessed during the base-config process.

 38. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/2003/11/mail#1

Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.

 * [39]lxr -- Information disclosure.
 * [40]bonsai -- Several vulnerabilities.
 * [41]krb5 -- Several vulnerabilities.
 * [42]lpr -- Local root exploit.
 * [43]Mutt -- Arbitrary code execution.

 39. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-264
 40. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-265
 41. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-266
 42. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-267
 43. http://www.debian.org/security/2003/dsa-268

New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.

 * [44]atom4 -- An original two-player color puzzle game.
 * [45]bincimap -- IMAP server for Maildir depositories.
 * [46]deco -- Demos Commander.
 * [47]gg2 -- GNU Instant Messenger with plug-in support - core.
 * [48]gok -- The GNOME Onscreen Keyboard.
 * [49]gtkhx -- A GTK+ version of Hx, a UNIX Hotline Client.
 * [50]hammerhead -- stress testing tool for web server and web site.
 * [51]hybserv -- IRC services for IRCD-Hybrid.
 * [52]kaddressbook -- KDE NG addressbook application.
 * [53]kget -- KDE Download Manager.
 * [54]kgpgcertmanager -- KDE Certificate Manager.
 * [55]knotes -- KDE Notes.
 * [56]sopwith -- Port of the 1980's side-scrolling WWI dogfighting
 * [57]sugarplum -- Automated and intelligent spam

 44. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/atom4.html
 45. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/mail/bincimap.html
 46. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/deco.html
 47. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/gg2.html
 48. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/gok.html
 49. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/gtkhx.html
 50. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/hammerhead.html
 51. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/hybserv.html
 52. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/kaddressbook.html
 53. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/kget.html
 54. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/kgpgcertmanager.html
 55. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/utils/knotes.html
 56. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/games/sopwith.html
 57. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/misc/sugarplum.html

Orphaned Packages. 3 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 176 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the [58]WNPP pages for the full list,
and please add a note to the bug report and retitle it to ITA: if you
plan to take over a package.

 58. http://www.debian.org/devel/wnpp/

 * [59]kinkatta -- Fully configurable AOL Instant Messenger client
   for KDE. ([60]Bug#186071)
 * [61]magpie -- Debian reference librarian. ([62]Bug#185988)
 * [63]qtella -- A gnutella client based on Qt. ([64]Bug#185647)

 59. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/kinkatta.html
 60. http://bugs.debian.org/186071
 61. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/text/magpie.html
 62. http://bugs.debian.org/185988
 63. http://packages.debian.org/unstable/net/qtella.html
 64. http://bugs.debian.org/185647

Want to continue reading DWN? Please help us create this newsletter.
Some people are submitting items already, but we are still in need of
volunteer writers who prepare items. Please see the [65]contributing
page to find out how to help. We're looking forward to receiving your
mail at [66]dwn@debian.org.

 65. http://www.debian.org/News/weekly/contributing
 66. mailto:dwn@debian.org

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