Debian Weekly News - July 2nd, 2002
Jul 03, 2002, 07:00 (4 Talkback[s])
Debian Weekly News
Debian Weekly News - July 2nd, 2002
Welcome to this year's twentyfifth issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter
for the Debian community. We are happy to learn that UnitedLinux
will apparently be based on the Debian distribution, since Ex-CEO of
Caldera, Ransom Love, will be trying to find a way to include members
such as Debian, which don't have the commercial focus of the current
UnitedLinux partners -- and to us this looks like the only logical
HomePNA HOWTO with Debian GNU/Linux. On Debian Planet, Jeremy
Avnet posted a link to a HOWTO that describes how to set up
HomePNA with Debian GNU/Linux. HomePNA is a technology that uses the
unused pairs on a plain old analogue line (or in fact a cat 5 cable),
as a relatively slow networking system.
More than 10,000 Debian Packages for Sid. Recently, the number of
Debian packages for Sid (also known as "unstable") has reached the 10k
mark. The binary-i386 distribution contains 6961 packages and
binary-all adds 3149 packages to the list. They are built from 6345
source packages. These numbers include non-US as well as non-free and
contrib. If you use dselect method, the message, "Information about
(the number of packages) was updated", shows up after [U]pdate. When
you are familiar with apt, apt-cache stats shows the number of package
in the package database on your system.
Security Updates for Woody. Some of you may have noticed already that
the Security Team is already supporting Woody in their advisories.
Apparently the new security build structure is working properly.
In order to use the updated packages automatically, you should add deb
http://security.debian.org/ woody/updates main contrib non-free to
your sources.list if you are running Woody.
Java Beans for Debian People. Adam Heath announced that he
finished building Debian packages of JBoss. All changes left are
just minor bug fixes. This is an implementation of Sun's Java2
Enterprise Edition EJB specification. It provides container based
persistence, message queues, transaction management and other
services. While JBoss itself is GPL, it requires non-free software to
run. JBoss developers, in order to provide an easier to run download,
have elected to include these non-free programs and libraries with
their source. Because of this, Adam has placed the files in the
Newer Versions of Perl Modules? Ardo van Rangelrooij wanted to
know how a package maintainer is supposed to handle the case when a
Perl module requires a newer version of another module than the
version included in the perl-modules package. This package contains
modules from the core Perl distribution. The solution is to simply
package the new module as usual. The files will be placed in a
directory which is preferred over the system provided one, so both
modules can coexist.
Pilot Sync Software Recommendation. A question came up asking
which software for synchronizing data on the handheld with the main
machine should be used, if one depends on data integrity. Karl
Jørgensen summarized his experience with pilot-manager,
gnome-pilot and jpilot. People seem to be happy with jpilot.
For those who don't require a graphical user interface, coldsync
may be worth a try.
Daily Debian Snapshots. Fumitoshi Ukai set up a new host called
snapshot.debian.net/ that contains both a debian and debian-non-US
mirror. The server has a 160 GB hard disk and provides daily snapshots
of the Debian archive dating back from 2002/06/04. To access this
repository you'll have to direct apt-get to a specific date, relative
dates are ok.
Abandoning /etc/mtab? Nikita Youshchenko made an attempt to remove
/etc/mtab and link it to /proc/mounts. However, it was made clear very
quickly that one file reflects the users point of view and the other
file reflects the kernel's point of view. For example, bind
mounts, loopback mounts and disk quotas are displayed
RedHat using Debian alternatives. After reading the release notes of
Red Hat Linux 7.3, Tollef Fog Heen reported, that this
distribution includes a port of the Debian alternatives system, as a
way to support multiple packages providing a particular service.
Wichert Akkerman explained, that he's talking with RedHat about
keeping these two implementations in sync.
Is Linux really Free Software? In his talk during this year's
Ottawa Kernel Summit Bdale Garbee raised the question, whether
Debian violates its Social Contract by shipping the Linux kernel?
This issue reflects the inclusion of proprietary firmware in a number
of device drivers. The concensus during his talk was that this problem
would be best discussed and investigated on the debian-legal list,
where he is seeking assistance.
HTTPS Method for apt-get. Tomas Pospisek announced https support
for apt-get. He implemented it as patch against version 0.5.4 of
apt, which is the current version in Woody. The upstream developer,
however, has some reservations against including pieces of
dpkg 1.10 released. Finally a new version of dpkg made it into the
archive. This is a long awaited upload which also closes no less
than 63 open bugs. It contains several improvements, like a splitted
off dselect package with improved handling of Recommends and Suggests.
It also understands a per-user configuration file. The entire list of
changes is impressive, you shouldn't forget to read it.
Debian in SpamCop's List. We have recently been informed that
master.debian.org/ is listed in SpamCop's database. Marco
d'Itri noted that this database has to be used with special care
because mailing lists are routinely blocked by it.
Final Bits for DebConf2. Joe Drew released the final announcement
covering the upcoming Debian Conference 2 which will take place
from July 5th to 7th in Toronto, Canada. In addition to the
Debian-specific talks which make up the majority of the program,
there are several non-Debian related. Among these is Damian Conway, a
well-known speaker and Perl developer will give a talk entitled with
Another Potato Update on the Way? Joey sent in a report about the
current work done for another update (r7) to the stable Debian release
(also known as Potato). Even though Woody will probably be released
soon, Potato is still supported and received a couple of security
updates that should be addressed properly.
Security Updates. You know the drill. Please make sure that you update
your systems if you have any of these packages installed.
* libapache-mod-ssl -- Buffer overflow.
After heated debates resulting from the OpenSSH vulnerability, we'd
like to mention a small quote from the Revised OpenSSH Security
Advisory: The most helpful vendors were OpenWall Linux and Debian.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following packages were added to the
Debian archive recently or contain important updates.
* apache2 -- Next generation, scalable, extendable web server.
* bluez-utils -- Utilities for controlling Bluetooth devices.
* brag -- Downloads and assembles multipart Usenet binaries.
* dia2sql -- A Dia UML to SQL converter.
* doctorj -- A tool to analyze Java code.
* firebird -- DFSG-free RDBMS based on the InterBase 6.0 code.
* gimp1.3 -- The GNU Image Manipulation Program, unstable
* jswat2 -- JPDA java debugger.
* moin -- MoinMoin - a Python clone of WikiWiki.
* oav-update -- OpenAntiVirus virus signature update script
using many sites.
* offlineimap -- IMAP/Maildir synchronization and reader
* openag -- Open alternative to AudioGalaxy Satellite.
* orca -- Router Monitoring and Graphing System.
* zaptel -- Zapata telephony utilities.
Orphaned Packages. Five packages were orphaned this week and require a
new maintainer. This makes a total of 84 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.
* libgifgraph-perl -- GIF Graph Plotting Module for Perl 5..
* libiniconf-perl -- Module for reading .ini-style configuration
* po-utils -- Tool collection for handling PO files.
* rep-xmms -- Rep language bindings for XMMS (Bug#151340)
* taper -- Full-screen system backup utility. (Bug#151256)
Seen something interesting? Please drop us a note whenever you see
something noteworthy that you think is appropriate for inclusion in
DWN. We don't notice everything, unfortunately. Of course, we are also
thankful for completely written items from volunteer writers. Please
see the contributing page. We're looking forward to receiving your
mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.