Debian Weekly News - September 2nd, 2003
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - September 2nd, 2003
Welcome to this year's 35th issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for
the Debian community. The discussion about legalizing software
patents in Europe was held so controversial that the vote was
postponed, as Ciaran O'Riordan from the FSF reported. At the 10th
international conference of European Association for Japanese
Studies in Warsaw Janusz Bien gave a talk on Debian GNU/Linux as a
Japanese language teaching platform.
Opteron Support for Debian. The Debian project has received full
access to a Dual Opteron machine for porting efforts. Mattias
Wadenstein also maintains a similar machine and hands out accounts to
interested developers. This port aims at supporting a mixed 32/64 bit
userland, which requires significant changes in the Debian
infrastructure that will most probably not happen in time for the
release of sarge. The developer list has also been renamed to
debian-amd64 to reflect the general architecture name.
Per-User Init System. Jerry Haltom wondered what others thought
about a per-user init system that would be able to start user-based
services upon system startup without handing out root access to the
users. However, Colin Watson pointed out that this can already be
achieved with an @reboot line in the normal crontab.
Binary Packages from multiple Sources. Glenn McGrath investigated
lists of source and binary packages and discovered that, according to
the .dsc files, several binary packages were provided by more than one
source package. In his opinion a virtual package should be used when a
binary package is provided by multiple source packages.
LWN Subscription for Debian Developers. Bdale Garbee reported
about HP sponsoring LWN subscription for Debian developers since many
people asked whether this offer still stands. If you are a Debian
developer and want full access to lwn.net, go to their website,
create an account for yourself, then send a mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org containing your LWN account name and sign
this mail with your key on the Debian keyring. Eventually, Bdale will
process the request and send an acknowledgement.
Debian Archive Growth. Jason Andrade noticed that the Debian
archive is about to hit the 100 GB mark on his mirror and wondered
if there is any way to reduce the size of the archive over the next
weeks before he can insert a new disk. Josip Rodin answered that
about 7 GB will be freed when potato is moved to
archive.debian.org. Marcelo Magallon added the size of all
binary packages belonging to the given architecture in the specified
Survey about the Freeness of the FDL. Branden Robinson posted the
results of a survey to measure the level of consensus on
whether the GNU Free Documentation License (FDL) is considered a
free license according to the Debian Free Software Guidelines
(DFSG) or not. The majority of Debian developers and also the majority
of non-developers don't regard the GNU FDL as a license that can
easily satisfy the DFSG.
Installer Packages spread throughout "main" and "contrib". Tore
Anderson wondered why installers of non-free software are located
in supposedly free sections. He explained that one would not
expect non-free software to be installed on the system, when using the
contrib section. Mathieu Roy added that software in contrib that
has only the purpose of installing non-free software in its postinst
script is a good candidate for non-free itself.
Interview with Morphix Founder. Prakash Advani conducted an
interview with Alex de Landgraaf, the founder and the lead
maintainer of the Morphix project. He explained that Morphix,
which is based on Knoppix, has a modular design to build a live
CD, which would relieve all remasterers and let them work on the
actual task at hand.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* libpam-smb -- Buffer overflow.
* node -- Remote root vulnerability.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
unstable Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* atlc -- Arbitrary Transmission Line Calculator.
* beneath-a-steel-sky -- Science fiction adventure game.
* cgdb -- Curses-based interface to the GNU Debugger (GDB).
* darkice -- Live audio streamer.
* duali -- Arabic Spell Checker.
* knutclient -- KDE GUI that displays UPS statistics from NUT's
* macchanger -- Utility for manipulating the MAC address of
* meterbridge -- Collection of Audio meters for the JACK audio
* nicotine -- Graphical client for the SoulSeek peer-to-peer
* raggle -- Console RSS aggregator.
* uncc -- Decompiler for i386.
* xtrojka -- Fast paced columns-like game.
Orphaned Packages. 1 package was orphaned this week and require a new
maintainer. This makes a total of 206 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.
* fpm -- Password Manager. (Bug#207849)
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