Debian Archive

Debian Has a New Leader

The widely-used Debian GNU/Linux distribution has a new project leader, Australian Anthony Towns, following an election process spanning several weeks. Australian Anthony Towns won the poll from a field of several candidates after 421 votes - from 43 percent of the eligible community of Debian developers - were cast. He will take up the post for one year from Monday 17 April, taking over from incumbent Branden Robinson.

Building the Whole Debian Archive with GCC 4.1

Over the last two weeks, Debian developer Martin Michlmayr compiled the whole Debian archive on a quad-core MIPS machine donated by Broadcom using GCC 4.1. The aim was to find problems in GCC 4.1 itself and bugs in free software projects exhibited by GCC's increased standards conformance (in particular regarding C++ code). Read more for the details.

Building a Virtual Private Server with Debian, OpenVZ

"In this HowTo I will describe the steps to be taken to prepare a server for OpenVZ virtual machines on Debian 3.1 32Bit Linux. With OpenVZ you can create multiple Virtual Private Servers on the same hardware, similar to Xen and the Linux Vserver project. OpenVZ is the open-source branch of Virtuozzo, a commercial virtualization solution used by many providers that offer virtual servers. The OpenVZ kernal patch is licensed under the GPL license, and the user-level tools are under the QPL license."

Review: SimplyMEPIS 3.4-3

MadPenguin reviews SimplyMEPIS, and concludes: "The bottom line here is when reviewing a desktop Linux candidate, I expect to have a certain amount of functionality at hand, and a certain amount of polish. SimplyMEPIS 3.4-3 lacks both in my opinion. If you're looking for a fundamental installation and don't mind spending a bunch of time fixing/adjusting things that normally would have been done for you already, MEPIS might be for you. If you're looking for a desktop that pretty much works out of the box, handles removable media with grace, and isn't going to rob you of productive time, then I'd recommend sticking with something like Fedora, Ubuntu, Mandriva, or SUSE."

Why Ubuntu Needs Linspire’s CNR

"It was recently annouced that desktop Linux's golden child, Ubuntu, may begin to offer Linspire's Click-N-Run service. This story which hit the internet just a few days ago is big news for the desktop Linux community. Ubuntu, which is the most popular Linux distribution (according to DistroWatch) has had a profound impact on the desktop operating system industry and any move it makes is going to be a critical one. Overall, feelings about this are understandably mixed."

Linspire May Offer Ubuntu CNR Service

Linspire and one of its biggest desktop Linux rivals, Ubuntu, are talking about collaborating to offer Linspire's CNR (Click-N-Run) application download service to Ubuntu users. CNR is a subscription service ($20 annually) through which users can install thousands of software programs with 'literally' one click, CEO Kevin Carmony said. Ubuntu, according to DistroWatch.com the no. 1 most popular Linux distribution (as ascertained by number of clicks), has nothing like CNR available for its users. Both Linspire and Ubuntu are based on the Debian kernel.

MEPIS May Be Going Ubuntu

MEPIS, one of the more popular Debian-derived distributions, may be moving in a new direction soon. MEPIS founder Warren Woodford is considering building future MEPIS releases from Ubuntu sources rather than from Debian. SimplyMEPIS 3.4-3, which is scheduled for release today, has been quite a challenge to build, according to Woodford. "It's taking up all my time, fighting the Etch pool... We've had a lot of trouble, because the Debian community has become so active, it's been difficult to get this out, so I'm looking at alternatives to getting out stable releases."

Debian Scrutinizes GPL3

At last week's launch of the first draft for the revised GNU General Public Licence, the Debian project was out in force. Besides Branden Robinson, the Debian Project Leader, Debian members at the meeting included Don Armstrong, Benjamin Mako Hill, Bruce Perens, and several Debian members from the Boston area. In the aftermath of the meeting, a consensus is still emerging, but Debian members seem to regard GPL3 generally favorably, although some have concerns about exact wording and the implications of some parts of the draft.

Interview: Martin F. Krafft, Author of The Debian System

"This interview was conducted with Martin F. Krafft, the author of 'The Debian System'. Despite Debian GNU/Linux's important role in today's computing environment, it is largely misunderstood and oftentimes even discounted as being an operating system which is exclusively for professionals and elite users. In this book Krafft, explains his concept of Debian, which includes not only the operating system but also its underpinnings."

Shuttleworth on Why the DCC Will Fail

Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu Linux, has explained why he thinks the DCC (Debian Common Core, but don't let the Debian guys hear that) will fail. "The vision behind DCC, which is indeed compelling, is that it would provide a common platform for certification, and that the distros that make up the DCC would all ship exactly that same core. But it strikes me that this approach has never worked in the past. In fact, every distro ALWAYS modifies elements of the core, and with good reason. And while we would love that not to be the case, the truth is that the reasons to specialise outweigh the benefits of homogeneity."

The Beauty of ‘The Debian System’

"In conclusion, let me say that Martin's book is not an easy read, but then few things worth doing are easy to do. You will be challenged by Martin's book, unless you are a wizard like Martin. But after you have toiled through the intellectually taxing tasks of examining, weighing, lifting, turning and tweaking the multitudinous creatures that inhabit the Debian forest, you will come out with a far, far greater appreciation for the beauty of the Debian System."

A Concise apt-get / dpkg Primer for New Debian Users

When we speak of Debian Linux distribution, the number one thing that come into our minds is its flag-ship utility apt-get . Infact this package management is so popular that a large part of Debian's popularity revolves around it. Ask any person why he or she thinks Debian is a better distribution and in 7 out of 10 cases the answer will be apt-get. Here is a consice but very complete article on using apt-get and dpkg the backend for apt-get.

Netcraft Reports Strong Growth for Debian

Debian is currently the fastest growing Linux distribution for web servers, with more than 1.2 million active sites in December. Debian 3.1 was declared stable in July and it appears that both the anticipation of this release becoming stable, and the release itself, have generated new interest in Debian, after some years where it had lagged behind its more active rivals. This growth is particularly noticeable at some of the larger central European hosting locations, including Komplex, Lycos Europe, Proxad and Deutsche Telecom.

Interview: Debian’s Branden Robinson

Here's an interview with Debian's Branden Robinson. From the interview: "I think Debian's success stems from its dual commitments to userempowerment through free licensing of the works we distribute, and to high quality through careful design and integration decisions. Not everyone is a software freedom fighter, nor is everyone a software perfectionist – but we can accommodate both of those passions pretty well. Debian is an exciting and rewarding place to be if you want to help shape the future of the Free Software landscape."

Libranet’s Long Goodbye

"Basically the operation is shutting down." With these words, Tal Danzig, the owner and technical lead for the Libranet distribution, quietly announced in his blog on November 25 the news that users had been dreading ever since his announcement two months ago that the distribution was "restructuring." Danzig did not rule out the possibility of reviving the distribution after his return in February 2006 from a three-month trip to Israel. Yet, for now, the announcement seems to mark the end of one of the oldest and best-loved Debian-based distributions. On Distrowatch, Libranet's status is now marked as "dormant." On June 1st, 2005, Jon Danzig, co-founder of Libranet and father of Tal Danzig passed away.

Linux-Vserver on Debian Sarge

"Linux-VServer allows you to create virtual private servers and security contexts which operate like a normal Linux server, but allow many independent servers to be run simultaneously in one box at full speed. All services, such as ssh, mail, Web, and databases, can be started on such a VPS, without modification, just like on any real server. Each virtual server has its own user account database and root password and doesn't interfere with other virtual servers." A guide for Debian is available here.