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Debian GNU/Linux Community News


Debian Security (29 April 15:46 EDT) - Your one stop for news about Debian ( 1 May 00:00 EDT)

  • Debian in the Google Summer of Code 2012
    This year our efforts have paid off and despite there being more mentoring organizations than there were in 2011 (175 in 2011 and 180 in 2012), this year in Debian we got 81 submissions versus 43 submissions in 2011. Read more here
  • XBMC Eden on Debian Wheezy
    I bought some HTPC a few years ago to run XBMC, a neat media center solution. At the time, to avoid any problems, I installed it on top of a minimal Ubuntu Lucid installation with the official packages from the team XBMC. Recently, XBMC Eden has been released and XBMC has landed into Debian unstable. [...]
  • Deploy your own “cloud” with Debian “Wheezy”
    The Debian Project produces an entirely Free operating system that empowers its users to be in control of the software running their computers. These days, more and more computing is being moved away from user computers to the so-called “cloud” – a vague term often used to refer to Software as a Service (SaaS) [1] [...]
  • Install ZFS on Debian GNU/Linux
    First, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been working on porting the native Solaris ZFS source to the Linux kernel as a kernel module. So long as the project remains under contract by the Department of Defense in the United States, I’m confident there will be continuous updates. Read more here
  • Five Best Linux Distributions
    Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been using Linux systems for years, you probably have an opinion on what the best distribution is. “Best,” is obviously a relative term, and we understand that what’s best for beginners may not be best for advanced users, and so on. Read more here

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Debian GNU/Linux System Administration Resources (16 April 19:03 EDT)

  • How to setup Postgresql 9.1 Streaming Replication Debian Squeeze
    This is a short HOWTO on setting up a backported Postgresql 9.1 database with streaming replication on Debian Squeeze.
  • Isolating sudo messages from syslog
    sudo is an essential tool in an environment where there are multiple server and system administrators. By default sudo will log to syslog, and it is very straight-forward to isolate the logging to a local file which can be useful.
  • How to convert a Wheezy (or newer) system to btrfs
    Newer GRUBs can handle a /boot partition which is btrfs, so you need not have a separate /boot partition formatted as ext3/4.
  • How to set up dynamic DNS (DDNS) on WD My Book Live
    Western Digital's My Book Live runs on Debian Lenny. It is a pretty nice NAS missing one critical feature for which many people ask on-line: The ability to sit behind a home LAN router and update a dynamic DNS entry as many routers can do.
  • Installing Redmine with MySQL Thin and Redmine on Debian Squeeze
    Redmine ( is a web-based project management system, often called a forge, built using the Ruby on Rails ( framework. It provides bug/issue tracking, time tracking, wiki pages, gantt charting and calendar, multiple project support, and role-based access control for users to name a few. This article will cover the process of installing Redmine on Debian Squeeze using MySQL for data storage, Thin for serving Ruby, and nginx as the outward-facing server.
  • Optimizing code via compiler flags
    When you're developing performance-critical code you will most likely receive performance increases in one of two ways; via the selection of the most appropriate algorithmic solution, or via the expense of additional hardware. Here we'll look at an interesting alternative - optimising via compiler flags.
  • A simple introduction to fabric
    fabric is described as a simple library and command-line tool for performing application deployment and system administration tasks. Here we'll take a look at using it to deploy simple applications remotely.

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Planet Debian (30 April 23:58 EDT)

  • Russ Allbery: Debian private repositories

    Earlier this year, I switched Stanford's internal repositories from an old debarchiver setup that didn't do repository signing to something more modern and secure built on top of reprepro.

    While we're not doing anything particularly exciting at a technical level, I thought it might be interesting for people to see how a large site with heavy Debian usage divides up and manages its internal repositories.

    I put up a first draft of a writeup at Debian private repositories. This is currently fairly incomplete. One obvious thing that's missing is a pointer to the wrapper script that we use, but I know there's more. I'm happy to prioritize additional documentation based on what people would find interesting. Send me email (or mention on debian-enterprise, to which I'll also send a pointer to this) if there's anything in particular you want to hear about.

  • Cyril Brulebois: Debian XSF News #11

    Long time no see…


    Anyway, here are some quick news from the X packaging front, focussing on the past few weeks.

    1. While I was busy doing other things, Julien took care of uploading lots of libraries (making most of them multiarch-aware) along with our usual meta-packages (like x11-apps, x11-utils, etc.), preparing for the upcoming 7.7 katamari.

    2. Mesa 8.0.2 was finally uploaded to experimental, where it seems to be building fine, and working fine, at least for me.

    3. Accordingly, I’m planning an upload to unstable very soon, and I won’t be disabling wayland support this time, since wayland/weston reached their first milestone with a public release (0.85). There’s nothing very interesting to see here, but since wayland support doesn’t really hurt, I thought I’d just keep it. That’s why wayland hit unstable yesterday; weston should follow after mesa. (In case somebody is in a hurry, they have been in experimental for quite some time already.)

    4. Scrolling issues with the synaptics driver seem to be finally fixed thanks to rc4: #665004 was confirmed as fixed by many reporters (thanks everyone for the quick feedback after my ping). Accordingly, I’ve pinged the release team to get an age-days 3 to make it migrate faster, and a kind RM added that hint to his file, so testing is getting the fixed package thanks to this midnight’s britney run.

    5. libcairo2/server/EXA/ati/nouveau fun: will be added through an edition of this post. Executive summary: downgrade libcairo2 to testing’s version if you’re seeing text corruptions.

    Upcoming X server transition

    X server 1.12 has been prepared in experimental for a while, from release candidates to the first stable release from server-1.12-branch. Since a bunch of drivers were uploaded to cope with that version when it shows up, we should be able to upload xorg-server 1.12 to unstable VERY SOON.

    What does that mean?

    Basically, that’s a transition. In details:

    1. We upload xorg-server, and wait for it to be built everywhere, then we trigger binNMUs for all architectures at once when it’s ready on all of them.

    2. Unlike shared libraries, there’s no old and new library packages (old+new SONAME); instead, the server itself provides different packages (because of the different input and video ABI). That means that drivers won’t be installable until they are rebuilt against the new server. Usually, we’re talking about a few dinstall runs, meaning less than a day.

    Frequently Yelled Phrases:

    1. Upgrades are broken! No, it just means you can’t upgrade the server alone, you need the drivers too (see above).

    2. Installations are broken! Well, that’s unstable, and you probably know installability-related issues are trivially solved by pulling packages from testing when needed. This is such a case.

    Please don’t report bugs on this topic, thanks already, and enjoy that new server.

  • Lars Wirzenius: Obnam 0.27 released (backup software)

    I've just released version 0.27 of Obnam, my backup application. The relevant part of NEWS:

    • The repository format has again changed in an incompatible manner, so you will need to re-backup everything again. Alternatively, you can try the new convert5to6 subcommand. See the manual page for details. Make sure you have a copy of the repository before converting, the code is new and may be buggy.
    • New option --small-files-in-btree enables Obnam to store the contents of small files in the per-client B-tree. This is not the default, at least yet, since it's impact on real life performance is unknown, but it should make things go a bit faster for high latency repository connections.
    • Some SFTP related speed optimizations.
    • Data filtering is now strictly stable and priority-ordered, ensuring that compression always happens before encryption etc.
    • Repository metadata is never filtered, so that we can be sure that in future if when we add backwards-compatibility we can detect the format without worrying about any other filtering which might occur.
    • Forcing of locks is now unconditional and across the entire repository.
    • Uses the larch 0.30 read-only mode to fix a bug where opening a B-tree rolls back changes someone else is making, even if we only use the tree to read stuff from.
    • "obnam backup" will now exit with a non-zero exit code if there were any errors during a backup, and the problematic files were skipped. Thanks, Peter Palfrader, for reporting the bug.
    • "obnam forget" is now a bit faster.
    • Hash collisions for filenames are now handled.

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