Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian
Today, the first Debian IA-64 system booted. Bdale Garbee and
Randolph Chung have been quietly working on a port of Debian to the
IA-64 (also known as "Itanium") for several weeks. They starting by
building a chrooted Debian system inside a Turbolinux installation,
and working from there to today's accomplishment: a native
Debian system booting on IA-64. "Package uploads should begin
within the next week." Over 600 .debs have been built, and if they
can get a version of the boot-floppies working with IA-64, the new
architecture could be suitable for release with woody. Of course,
IA-64 systems are not available for sale yet, and general lack of
root access to IA-64 machines (plus NDA issues) hobbled earlier
porting efforts; this port really took off when Bdale, a veteran
Debian porter, received a loaner IA-64 machine. Bdale is "*not*
able to provide logins for everyone on this machine". For more
information on the IA-64 port, see its web page.
Is it finally time to move cryptographic software from non-US
into the main archive? Wichert Akkerman proposed that it is time
to do just that. The crypto situation is still rather murky. The
regulations require that the software not be consciously exported
to one of seven blacklisted countries. What lengths we would have
to go to to not run afoul of that requirement is a question that
can only really be answered by a lawyer; however, no lawyers have
yet stepped forward to offer the Debian project a clear
interpretation of the law. Other sites and distributions, such as
kernel.org, and Red Hat, seem to have decided that it's safe to
include crypto in their archive with only minimal precautions like
this welcome message. There were no real objections to Wichert's
proposal, just a fair amount of uncertainty and confusion, and the
proposal is well on its way to becoming part of policy.
61 long-orphaned packages are scheduled to be removed from
Debian in three weeks time, in the theory that if no one is
interested enough to maintain them, and nothing in Debian depends
on them, they are not worth keeping in the distribution. Scan the
list and make sure you care about nothing therein..
The suidmanager package has been superseded by dpkg's new
dpkg-statoverride program. A transition plan has been developed.
This message explains how to update packages that use
suidmanager to make use of statoverride.
Many stories of Debian users were posted to a thread on
debian-user entitled "Why choose Debian?" There is nothing really
new here -- we know that many people start with more well-known
linux distributions, and once they are comfortable and experienced
with linux, gravitate toward Debian. The nice thing about this
thread is the stories: dozens of accounts of people's introduction
to linux, their experiences, and how they eventually stumbled upon
Debian. These stories are sure to resonate with your own
experiences, and are pleasant reading for a lazy afternoon.
This week's security fixes included a temporary file
vulnerability in mgetty, and a reappearance of a glibc bug
that allowed normal users to view files like /etc/shadow. This
latter bug only affected testing and unstable, so no formal
advisory will be posted.
No week would be complete without a flamewar, and we had a great
one this week. It's another new-maintainer flamewar, centered
around a perceived slowness of the Debian Account Managar's
approval of new applicants, but it veered far and wide,
encompassing a variety of complaints about the new maintainer
process. Debian Weekly News will not attempt to summarize it.
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