Debian turns 23!

Tue 16 August 2016 by Laura Arjona Reina with tags debian birthday

Today is Debian's 23rd anniversary. If you are close to any of the cities celebrating Debian Day 2016, you're very welcome to join the party!

If not, there's still time for you to organize a little celebration or contribution to Debian. For example, you can have a look at the Debian timeline and learn about the history of the project. If you notice that some piece of information is still missing, feel free to add it to the timeline.

Or you can scratch your creative itch and suggest a wallpaper to be part of the artwork for the next release.

Our favorite operating system is the result of all the work we have done together. Thanks to everybody who has contributed in these 23 years, and happy birthday Debian!

We, the Debian project and the Tor project are enabling Tor onion services for several of our sites. These sites can now be reached without leaving the Tor network, providing a new option for securely connecting to resources provided by Debian and Tor.

The freedom to use open source software may be compromised when access to that software is monitored, logged, limited, prevented, or prohibited. As a community, we acknowledge that users should not feel that their every action is trackable or observable by others. Consequently, we are pleased to announce that we have started making several of the various web services provided by both Debian and Tor available via onion services.

While onion services can be used to conceal the network location of the machine providing the service, this is not the goal here. Instead, we employ onion services because they provide end-to-end integrity and confidentiality, and they authenticate the onion service end point.

For instance, when users connect to the onion service running at http://sejnfjrq6szgca7v.onion/, using a Tor-enabled browser such as the TorBrowser, they can be certain that their connection to the Debian website cannot be read or modified by third parties, and that the website that they are visiting is indeed the Debian website. In a sense, this is similar to what using HTTPS provides. However, crucially, onion services do not rely on third-party certification authorities (CAs). Instead, the onion service name cryptographically authenticates its cryptographic key.

In addition to the Tor and Debian websites, the Debian FTP and the Debian Security archives are available from .onion addresses, enabling Debian users to update their systems using only Tor connections. With the apt-transport-tor package installed, the following entries can replace the normal debian mirror entries in the apt configuration file (/etc/apt/sources.list):

  deb  tor+http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion/debian          jessie            main
  deb  tor+http://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion/debian          jessie-updates    main
  deb  tor+http://sgvtcaew4bxjd7ln.onion/debian-security jessie/updates    main

Likewise, Tor's Debian package repository is available from an onion service :

  deb tor+http://sdscoq7snqtznauu.onion/   jessie    main

Where appropriate, we provide services redundantly from several backend machines using OnionBalance. The Debian OnionBalance package is available from the Debian backports repository.

Lists of several other new onion services offered by Debian and Tor are available from and respectively. We expect to expand these lists in the near future to cover even more of Debian's and Tor's services.

Each release of Debian has a shiny new theme, which is visible on the boot screen, the login screen and, most prominently, on the desktop wallpaper.

Debian plans to release Stretch next year. As ever, we need your help in creating its theme! You have the opportunity to design a theme that will inspire thousands of people while working in their Debian systems.

They might be people working in exciting NASA missions:

Debian Squeeze Space Fun Spotted during the Juno Orbital Insertion live stream

Or DYI users who decided to make a matching keyboard:

Keyboard matching Debian Lenny Theme

If you're interested, please take a look at

The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

  • Josué Ortega (josue)
  • Mathias Behrle (mbehrle)
  • Sascha Steinbiss (satta)
  • Lucas Kanashiro (kanashiro)
  • Vasudev Sathish Kamath (vasudev)
  • Dima Kogan (dkogan)
  • Rafael Laboissière (rafael)
  • David Kalnischkies (donkult)
  • Marcin Kulisz (kula)
  • David Steele (steele
  • Herbert Parentes Fortes Neto (hpfn)
  • Ondřej Nový (onovy)
  • Donald Norwood (donald)
  • Neutron Soutmun (neutrons)
  • Steve Kemp (skx)

The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

  • Sean Whitton
  • Tiago Ilieve
  • Jean Baptiste Favre
  • Adrian Vondendriesch
  • Alkis Georgopoulos
  • Michael Hudson-Doyle
  • Roger Shimizu
  • SZ Lin
  • Leo Singer
  • Peter Colberg


Debian Perl Sprint 2016

Wed 06 July 2016 by Alex Muntada with tags perl sprint zrh2016

Six members of the Debian Perl team met in Zurich over the weekend from May 19 to May 22 to continue the development around perl for Stretch and to work on QA across 3000+ packages.

The participants had a good time, met friends from local groups and even found some geocaches. Obviously, the sprint was productive this time too:

  • 36 bugs were filed or worked on, 28 uploads were accepted.
  • The plan to get Perl 5.24 transition into Stretch was confirmed, and a test rebuild server was set up.
  • Cross building XS modules was demoed, and the conditions where it is viable were discussed.
  • Several improvements were made in the team packaging tools, and new features were discussed and drafted.
  • A talk on downstream distribution aimed at CPAN authors was proposed for YAPC::EU 2016.

The full report was posted to the relevant Debian mailing lists.

The participants would like to thank the ETH Zurich for hosting us, and all donors to the Debian project who helped to cover a large part of our expenses.

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