Debian Weekly News - July 1st, 2003
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - July 1st, 2003
Welcome to this year's 26th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. The South Australian government discusses a
bill that requires government departments to use Free Software
where practicable. British scientists found out that debugging in
open source projects is always faster than in closed source projects.
Eben Moglen, legal advisor of the Free Software Foundation
released a paper in which he tries to correct confusing use of the
Abuse of Changelog Entries. Gerfried Fuchs explained in detail how
changelog entries should not be abused by package maintainers and how
bugs should be closed instead. The general rule is that if there has
been no change made to close a bug, don't close it with a changelog
entry. If a new upstream version fixes some bugs, details should be
written as well.
Improving the Debian Reference. Maximilian Attems sought people to
help improve the small section about perl in the Debian
Reference by Osamu Aoki and others, that covers many aspects of system
administration through the shell command examples. He admitted that
the Bash section is quite impressive. Links to free documentation
about Perl should be added at least.
Debian on a Dell Inspiron 8000. Nori Heikkinen announced a
howto document that describes in detail how to install Debian on a
Dell Inspiron 8000 notebook. This includes configuration for the video
card, an external mouse and hints on rescuing the system from the boot
CD. She would appreciate any comments, suggestions and improvements
people have about it.
Getting to know Debian. SitePoint has an article called Getting to
Know Debian. It begins with an explanation of Debian GNU/Linux and
how to obtain an installation CD. It then moves on to describe
booting and setting up the system, setting up accounts, and upgrading
the system with apt-get. The article is suitable for beginners and
includes a succinct description of Debian's philosophy, advantages and
Debian Powers 1st wireless DVD-quality Video. PRISMIQ announced
the release of 802.11a/g Wi-Fi support for its MediaPlayer set-top
box, which connects to a TV or stereo system and communicates with a
PC. PRISMIQ says the 54 Mbps 802.11g bandwidth will carry high quality
video from a PC to a TV, making MediaPlayer "the first consumer
set-top box to enable DVD-quality video over 802.11g wireless." The
MediaPlayer is powered by Debian GNU/Linux, which was chosen for its
"quality and features" and was ported in-house by Brad LaRonde.
Debian on Ultra 10/Distribution Server. Guillaume Tamboise wrote a
document on configuring Debian 3.0 as a distribution server on a
Sun Ultra 10. The document was written for a SANS Institute security
certification (SANS GCUX). It is more Sparc 64 specific than Sun Ultra
10 specific, but most of it applies to Debian in general. It includes
chapters on risk assessment, a step by step setup guide, and ongoing
Verifying Packages with APT. Isaac Jones announced APT Secure,
which is the working name of a project to add to APT the ability to
verify the authenticity of Debian packages. It accomplishes this via a
chain of trust which is initiated by the package maintainers and ends
on the installing machine. Isaac asked people to help test and audit
the patch to APT, and eventually to participate in the policy
discussion about the patch.
Libtool requires Updating. Scott James Remnant announced that many
Debian packages need to be updated to use the latest version of
libtool (1.4.3-10). This is because older versions use the file
utility and a regular expression to determine if something is a shared
library, but the format of the file output line for MIPS shared
libraries has changed. Newer versions of libtool use a better checking
method, however many source packages have not updated and Scott may
need to file his first mass bug report.
Debian and the Rise of Linux. Slashdot hosted a discussion about
an article contributed by Jonathan Oxer in this month's LinMagAu
that asks a question about how the rise of Linux will impact Debian
and what that could mean. It says that by mid 2004 at the latest Linux
will be a serious contender on the average desktop and that Linux will
begin to take a serious chunk of the market.
Perl Packages in Sarge uninstallable. Mark Hedges indirectly
reported that several Perl packages in sarge are not installable
anymore, since they indirectly depend on perlapi-5.6.1 which is not
available anymore. Adam Heath pointed out that those packages need
to be updated for the recent version of Perl and there was enough time
for this already.
Introduction to Debian. SitePoint has an article by Jono Bacon
that introduces Debian and contains guidelines on installing it. This
could be useful for managers, new users and other people that may be
interested in using Debian. It says that in addition to the long term
benefits, there are also a number of distinct technical advantages to
using Debian, the first of which is its wide availability.
More on European Software Patents. An article at ZDNet UK says that
the EU bureaucrats aren't even considering the numerous
anti-software patenting opinions out there. According to a
well-connected lobbyist group, they have determined there will be
patents, and the only question is what kind.
Debian-Installer on PowerPC. Gaudenz Steinlin wrote a little
howto that contains tips and tricks for using debian-installer on
a PowerPC machine. He includes links to missing packages and describes
in how to boot a newworld PowerPC system over the network and install
Debian on it.
GNU Versions of Projects. Don Jacobson wanted to install only the
GNU versions of projects, such as gawk instead of mawk, and asked if
there is a single command to install them all. Sam Hocevar
proposed a command line that finds all GNU versions available.
Roland Mas suggested to maintain a new task task-gnu-only.
Identifying transitional Packages. Bernd Eckenfels noticed a few
transitional and dummy packages on his system, but no common way to
identify them. Aaron Ucko pointed to deborphan --guess-dummy
--guess-only that tries to find dummy packages.
Incorporating a temporary fork of Date::Manip? Kenneth Pronovici
wondered how he is supposed to handle a temporary fork of
Date::Manip by the upstream developer of one of his packages, since
the new version is somewhat required by the package. Options include
adding the fixes to the Debian package as well, creating a new package
that would include the fork and ignoring the fork.
Is PHPNuke free or not? Several new discussions wanted to know
whether license problems in PHPNuke are real and rendering the package
non-free. A notice tries to make users believe that the package is
still free, but Steve Langasek concluded that the license addition
indeed renders the package non-free. The maintainer agreed
that he would upload the package to non-free, which didn't happen yet.
Debian Beowulf Resources. Adam Powell announced that he put a
couple of entries into the Debian Wiki related to Beowulf. He
has moved all of the content from his old "Debian Beowulf Howtos" to
this site for better visibility and long-term maintenance.
New Skolelinux CD image. Petter Reinholdtsen announced that he had
created new Skolelinux CD image, prerelease 39. LVM is now fully
supported by autopartkit and is used on the system partitions. Several
other improvements are included, but there are still a couple of
problems included that require fixing.
Custom Compilation on a Laptop? Johannes Graumann wondered if
custom compiling of packages would be better suited for machines with
limited resources like a laptop. Russell Coker explained that the
resources to compile a package are vastly greater than those required
to just install a binary Debian package.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* imagemagick -- Insecure temporary file creation.
* Linux 2.4.17 -- Several vulnerabilities.
* acm -- Integer overflow.
* xgalaga -- Buffer overflow.
* mantis -- Insecure file permissions.
* Linux 2.2.20 -- Several vulnerabilities.
* gtksee -- Buffer overflow.
* proftpd -- SQL injection.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* backuppc -- High-performance, enterprise-grade system for
backing up PCs.
* bristol -- Vintage Synthesiser emulator.
* fprobe -- Exports NetFlow V5 datagrams to a remote collector.
* ghc6 -- Glasgow Haskell Compilation system.
* kanatest -- Beginner's drill game to learn Japanese kana
* klogic -- Digital circuit editor and simulator for KDE.
* lua50 -- Small embeddable language with simple procedural
* phpqladmin -- LDAP user administration interface.
* pkcipe -- Public key based configuration tool for the CIPE VPN
* socketapi1 -- Socket API library for sctplib.
* starvoyager -- 2D space arcade game, themed around 'Star Trek'
* ttf-arhangai -- TrueType font with Mongolian Cyrillic letters.
* ygraph -- Visualize one-dimensional scientific data.
Orphaned Packages. 4 packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 190 orphaned packages. Many
thanks to the previous maintainers who contributed to the Free
Software community. Please see the 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.
* awesfx -- Various utility programs for controlling AWE32/64
* gtkrecover -- GUI for recover. (Bug#199247)
* kbackup -- A console single host backup solution for various
* recover -- Undelete files on ext2 partitions. (Bug#199250)
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