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News for Debian developers

This wiki page collects small news that all developers should know but that are not worth a dedicated mail to debian-devel-announce. Follow the template "Example of news" and add your news below it. See /Help for more information on how to write entries.

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Example of news

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-- Your Name

New debhelper compat 10 ready for testing

As of debhelper/9.20160403, the new compat level 10 is now ready for widespread public testing. A few highlights:

Please review the full list in "man 7 debhelper" or

-- Niels Thykier

Source packages can include upstream signatures

Debian source packages in the 3.0 (quilt) format can now include a detached OpenPGP signature of the source tarball by the upstream developers: just put a foo_1.2.orig.tar.xz.asc besides the foo_1.2.orig.tar.xz tarball and dpkg 1.18.5+ will pick up the signature and include it. uscan does not yet place upstream signatures alongside the upstream tarball.

This signature is not used by the Debian archive, but can be used by others to verify the integrity of the upstream source.

Thanks to Daniel Kahn Gillmor for the suggestion and Guillem Jover for the implementation.

-- Ansgar Burchardt

Repository makes use of `by-hash` to avoid hashsum mismatches

For a long time updating repositories was racy: apt update could obtain a Release file, but non-matching (newer or older) Packages indices and would report a "Hash Sum mismatch" error. Re-running apt update at a later time would obtain a matching set of files.

Recently apt gained the ability to retrieve files referenced from Release via a hash, for example it would request

instead of

This means that as long as all by-hash files are present before the new Release file is installed, apt would no longer retrieve non-matching sets of files. In addition the repository can provide an older generation of indices for clients that obtained the old Release file at the same time. Debian's archive now supports this for the testing, unstable and experimental suites, as well as for some related suites (buildd-*, *-debug, testing-proposed-updates).

Another, less visible, change was done to help our mirroring tools. The files dists/*/*Release* were moved to zzz-dists/*/*Release* and replaced with symlinks. It helps rsync to sync these important files after all other indices have been updated, as rsync always sorts files to be transferred by name. This change has been implemented for the distributions mentioned above.

One piece in APT is still missing: apt does not yet use `by-hash` for the pdiff Index files. This means APT might fall back to downloading the complete file instead of only diffs in case a non-matching pdiff Index file was retrieved. Many other tools will need changes as well to benefit from these archive changes.

Thanks to the APT developers for implementing this in apt, and to Julien Cristau for the implementation on the archive side in dak.

-- Ansgar Burchardt

stretch-debug suite now populated

As of May 22nd, the stretch-debug suite available in the debug archive contains the dbgsym (debugging symbols) packages corresponding to packages in stretch. It can be enabled with either of the following sources.list entries:

deb stretch-debug main
deb testing-debug main

-- Julien Cristau

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