Sunday, June 26, 2011

Debian Squeeze updated to 6.0.2 - and my nostalgic trip back in free-software time

There are 60-something updates waiting for me in Debian Squeeze at the moment, and such a large number of packages staring at me from Update Manager usually means a “major” Debian Stable update.

In this case it’s the second update of Debian Squeeze, 6.0.2. Check the link for everything changing in Debian in terms of bugfixes and and security updates.

As always, while new installation media is available for download, any Debian 6.x image will still install a system that can be fully updated via the usual tools (apt, Aptitude, Synaptic/Update Manager).

Whether or not this point release is some kind of milestone (it’s not, I think), it’s a good time as any to assess where I’ve been on the Linux and BSD desktop over the past few years. Am I setting a personal longevity record with Debian Squeeze?

If you don’t count Sarge, and I don’t because I’m running it on my Sun Sparcstation 20 now and not in the deep, dark past when Sarge was the current Stable release, Squeeze is third Debian Stable release I’ve run for significant periods of time.

That means I’ve been messing with Linux for a bit more than four years at this point. I started experimenting with Knoppix, Ubuntu, Puppy and Damn Small Linux in early 2007 (maybe late 2006) and did my first Debian installation after I read about Etch going Stable in April 2007.
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Installing LibreOffice in Debian Squeeze from Backports without a hitch

It’s not the least eventful package installation I’ve ever done in Linux and BSD, but tapping into Debian Backports to install the Document Foundation’s new LibreOffice suite and replace the formerly Oracle-controlled, now-in-limbo OpenOffice is fairly easy if you follow the steps, refrain from panic and just type in the letter “y” a few times.

I added the Backports repository to my sources, issued the Aptitude command and then watched as the system removed OpenOffice and replaced it with LibreOffice.

I didn’t use the Synaptic Package Manager for this installation. Instead I used Aptitude, which I tend to trust more when things get complicated.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If you’re running Iceweasel 4.0.1 from, change your sources to Iceweasel 5.0

I don’t exactly keep tabs on what’s happening at Mozilla with Firefox/Iceweasel, but I came across this ZDNet article: Attention Firefox 4.x users - Firefox 5.0 is your security update by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes.

The short version is that Mozilla is continuing development for Firefox not in the 4.0.x series but in 5.x. So there will presumably be no security updates past 4.0.1, which is what I’m running now from the Debian Mozilla Team’s repository.
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

LibreOffice is now in Debian Squeeze Backports

Turmoil in the free-office-suite world has led to the formation of the Document Foundation and its forking of into LibreOffice, and much if not most of the Linux world has declared its support for the more-community-oriented LibreOffice.

Just about every major (and most minor) Linux distribution that used to ship is now either already shipping or pledging to ship LibreOffice instead. I get the feeling that some will continue to offer OpenOffice in their repositories, but when it comes to the default office suite going forward, LibreOffice will fill that roll.

If I’m not incorrect, Ubuntu, OpenSuse and Fedora are already shipping LO.

And LibreOffice has been available in Debian Sid and Wheezy for awhile.

But what about Debian Squeeze, the project’s Stable release? Stable Debian releases traditionally don’t get new packages in their core repositories. That means LibreOffice will be included in the next Stable release, the current Testing release (Wheezy). Wheezy will be declared stable sometime in the future. I’d say a year from now.

But if you wanted LibreOffice in Squeeze until very recently, the package could be installed either from the Testing or Unstable archives.

Now there’s a “better,” safer way for Squeeze users to run LibreOffice …
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Life, the Universe and Debian is back

Sorry it took so long.

I had a couple of issues with my web host. They’re not exactly related but became so once the whole ball got rolling.

My attempt to renew the domain name for this site failed, so the domain expired. Once I learned of the expiration (hint for the future: make the e-mail contact for your domain an e-mail account you actually check), I re-did the renewal, this time successfully.

Being honest, I think the “fail” was on my part. I renewed a few domains and probably renewed one that didn’t “need” it while skipping one of those that did need it.

Concurrently, while I’ve been using subdomains like, I never set up the “root” domain

I’d been meaning to take care of the “root” domain issue. Once I did, my subdomains stopped working.

So I backed up the content in the subdomains, removed the subdomains from the hosted account and then re-created and tested them.

I’m just now moving the content back into the newly created subdomains. If you can read this (and if you couldn’t read it, I’d have a hell of a time writing it), is back.

While the site has been down, I’ve been blogging about Debian (among other things) at Click.

Recent Debian entries over there include:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 is back

Now that the transition to the new Alioth server is complete, The Debian Mozilla Team’s site is back, as is the repository. I know because I got an Icedove update this morning.

Added to the choices of newer Mozilla appsat are versions 5.0, Aurora and Beta of Iceweasel (aka Firefox). So you can get even closer to the bleeding edge of Firefox development on your Squeeze, Wheezy or Sid system.