Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian
A Release update: In the aftermath of the release, everything is
mostly going well. Ftp.debian.org has been running at full capacity
since release -- if you have not yet upgraded, remember to use a
There were some problems with the CD images for 2.2. It took a
while to get CD images mirrored to enough sites to meet demand.
Then it was discovered that the SPARC and alpha CDs released
with potato were not bootable, and there were some other minor
problems with other images. These problems are due to both
insufficient testing of the final CD images, and hardware problems
with the CD image build machine. Fixed images are labelled as
Several articles have already appeared about Debian 2.2. Linux
Weekly News wrote up an article about the press conference.
LinuxPlanet posted a comprehensive and generally favourable
review of Debian 2.2 that's full of good quotes, like "The
project moves forward at a seemingly ponderous pace, but a little
time spent reading through the myriad developer and user lists
reveals a disarmingly feverish quest for perfection" and
"installation has improved in some key areas since the Slink
release of over a year ago, noticeably lowering the bar to entry.
And ITworld ran a story on Debian. "Much attention has been paid
to the commercialisation of Linux, but the spirit of open source
that drives Linux may be best seen in efforts like the Debian
development group, which is something of a labor of love for the
Security fixes: The version of xlockmore shipped with Debian 2.1
(slink) is vulnerable to a local exploit of the shadow group. In
general, the versions in Debian 2.2 and unstable are not, but
fixed packages have been provided for all three versions, just
in case. An updated fix for a security hole in Zope was released
-- the original fix "did not fully address the issue".
With the release out of the way, everyone was glad to get back
to the important things, like inconclusive flamewars over obscure
points of the FHS. This was mostly a rehashing of an old
controversy about whether traceroute belongs in /usr/sbin or
/usr/bin Some good points were made, but we continue to be as
divided as ever on this issue.
A more interesting discussion concerned meta-packages. It would
be nice to generalize the several methods we have of grouping
packages now -- by priority, by section, in task packages -- and
come up with one mechanism that can handle all three.
How would you like to have an up-to-date distribution like
unstable, without the associated set of nasty new bugs every day?
Anthony Towns has been working to make this a reality with his
"testing" distribution, and now he's ready to roll it out into
Debian proper. According to AJ, "the point of the 'testing'
distribution: to contain a consistent set of the most recent
'believed-to-be-reliable' packages". "The point of packages in
testing is not that they should be perfect or bug-free, just that
they should be usable." This is accomplished by making testing lag
behind unstable by a couple of weeks, watching what bugs are opened
against new versions of packages in unstable, and allowing updated
packages that do not introduce bad bugs to filter into testing. The
result is that three distributions would always be available:
* unstable bleeding edge, broken, etc
* testing leading edge, maybe buggy, but working
* stable static, usable, going out of date
AJ thinks that this will also speed up the release process -- we
can freeze testing rather than freezing unstable, and start
preparing for a release with a distribution that is already mostly
bug-free. He concludes that "it's coded. It works. It serves a
useful purpose. I think we should use it."
The ftp-maintainers have been hard at work this week.
Incoming has been empty for brief periods of time. 177
packages were added to Debian this week, including:
* ari-yahoo: Text based simple Yahoo Messenger client
* arrow: GPG-aware GUI mail client
* code-crusader: Full-featured software development IDE
* code-medic: GUI frontend to GDB
* cupsys-client: Common UNIX Printing System(tm) (libs,
* dmbt: Debian maintainer's bug-tool
* exdbm: eXode database manager
* fbi: linux FrameBuffer Imageviewer
* libdetect0: a library for automatic hardware detection
* libqt2.2: Qt GUI library
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