Debian Weekly News - January 1st, 2002
Jan 03, 2002, 00:01 (0 Talkback[s])
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
Happy New Year! Welcome to the new year 2002
and the first issue of Debian Weekly News for this term. We hope
that you have survived all New Years parties and are feeling well
again. Let's start the new year with responsible development and
improvements of Free Software and Free Documentation. As a
sidenote: the DWN team could also use one or two more people who
submit entire items, so volunteers are welcome.
Net Installation for Woody. Ian Eure developed
some special CD
images for a woody network installation for i386 and powerpc.
The images don't contain full 650MB of packages (which you don't
even use entirely), but contain a basic Debian system, which is
bootable. Once the image is booted it will guide the user through
the Debian installation procedure until he has reached the step
where he has to set up APT. From that step the installation will
continue using the network as expected. Use these images at your
own risk. If you send Ian a polite mail at email@example.com, he
will try to help with any problems you might have.
GRSecurity and Debian. Jonathan McDowell
over the GRSecurity kernel patch from Russell Coker. GRSecurity is a patch to 2.4.x
kernels for extra security. It adds the ability to hide from many
types of port scans and filtering out certain information from
network transfers. It limits access to data in /proc such that a
regular user can only see their own processes and can't see
important network data (ifconfig output is truncated) or dmesg
output. Also it severely limits operations in chroot jails to
prevent programs from escaping and includes a port of all the
OpenWall code. Preliminary packages are here.
Pinning Unstable. Have you ever heard of the
pinning feature of recent versions of
apt-get? For all
those who are using woody (aka testing) but would like to use some
packages from unstable, this feature will help. Take
evolution as an example, since it is currently only
available in unstable. Grant Bowman sent us a description
for this feature.
Counting Potatos. Jesus Gonzalez-Barahona is
part of a group interested in measuring some aspects of software
maintained by the Debian project. They have been counting the
number of physical source lines of code (SLOC) in several Debian
distributions. A paper covering this has been published in the
Upgrade Magazine. Here's an interesting quote from the abstract:
"It is also shown that if Debian had been developed using
traditional proprietary methods, the COCOMO
model estimates that its cost would be close to $1.9 billion
USD to develop Debian 2.2."
Adding Three More SuperH Architectures? Takeshi
additional architectures based on variants of the SuperH processor.
To support all of them, it may be required to provide binaries for
four SuperH architectures in unstable: sh3, sh4 and their big
versions. It is questionable if the user base will be large enough
to justify three more architectures, though. Yutaka Niibe explained
in detail which differences and history these processers come
Retrospect of DDTP. At the end of the last year
Michael Bramer posted a review
of the Debian Description Translation Project (DDTP) which he
founded. His report does not only contain a current status report
but also talks about his plans for the future. Two Debian mirror
servers already support translated packages descriptions so the
translation effort is already in use by some users.
Porting Volunteers Needed. Phil Blundell
for more volunteers helping with the ARM port of Debian. This port
needs more volunteers to examine build failures, fix and file bugs
as appropriate. Since the release of Woody comes nearer and there
are quite a few packages that don't build properly on all
architectures, help is really needed. This is also the main problem
the M68k port suffers from. We may lose that port one day, not
because of too few machines that don't keep up with the number of
packages, but because there are not enough people actually porting
and fixing things.
Multiple Boot Images on Woody CD. Jim Westveer
the ability to put 5 boot images on the first woody-i386 CD/ROM.
With a i386-woody CD#1, and a newer BIOS in your computer, the CD
will boot, and present you with a menu of what 'flavor' of kernel
image you wish to boot with. On an older BIOS, CD#1 will simply
boot the 'default' kernel.
Bug Reporting in Non-Commercial Software. Seth
an article for Linux Weekly News (LWN) about using the Debian Bug
Tracking System (BTS) emphasizing how easy it can be used. Looking
at the current number of reported bugs in the BTS our users and
developers are using the BTS to its full extent in order to report
bugs in the software and thus helping improving the software, both
in Debian and upstream.
Three Developers Required for a Package? Janos
Lenart prepared a proposal
modifying the upload policy for new packages. His concerns refer to
the bloat in Debian, since he believes that there are so many
unneeded, unused and unmaintained packages. He would like to make
it more complicated for developers to upload new packages. While he
didn't make many people happy, Raphaël Hertzog finetuned
Debian GNU/Linux or Debian GNU or Debian?
Jeroen Dekkers complained
about developers who write Debian GNU/Linux when they mean a Debian
system instead. That's a common mistake that hurts the fledgling
Hurd port. Hurd people are probably going to file quite a few bug
reports about this.
New or Noteworthy Packages. The following new
or updated packages were updated or added to the Debian archive
-- Lists available package versions with distribution. (Read
-- APT package searching utility -- command-line interface.
libnet-jabber-perl -- Perl modules for accessing the Jabber
- mh-e --
The GNU Emacs front end for MH and nmh mail user agents.
-- Open Sound System (OSS) interface for Python.
Security Updates. You know the drill, make sure
you update your systems if you have one of these packages
- gpm -- Local root vulnerability.
Got news? Please tell us. We are looking
forward to adding more interesting items by voluntary writers.
- Debian Weekly News - December 27th, 2001(Dec 27, 2001)
- Debian Weekly News - December 19th, 2001(Dec 21, 2001)
- Debian Weekly News - December 12th, 2001(Dec 13, 2001)
- Debian Weekly News - December 5th, 2001(Dec 05, 2001)
- Debian Weekly News - November 21st, 2001(Nov 22, 2001)