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The Philadelphia Area Debian Society (PADS)

PADS Is Currently Inactive

PADS hasn't organized a meeting since 2003. The mailing list has had almost no substantive activity since 2003. There have been a few attempts to revive PADS, but none have developed. CJ is interested, but not enough to "make it happen". If anyone is interested in reviving PADS, let me know.

Since the mailing list is defunct, I shut it down to eliminate the task of having to delete so much spam from the moderators queue. Let me know if you see a benefit to keeping the mailing list active. The archive is still on-line at PADS mailing list archive.

Mission Statement

The Philadelphia Area Debian Society (PADS) was founded in May 1999 by CJ Fearnley to organize a working group of users and developers for improving Debian GNU/Linux based distributions (including Skolelinux, Libranet, Xandros, Knoppix, Floppix, DemoLinux) and our understanding of them. We have a focused meeting each month on a topic relevant to this Community. PADS maintains a world-wide membership via our mailing list (List is DISABLED: do not subscribe or post: only kept for historical archives).

PADS is primarily intended for advanced users and developers. Users seeking beginner- and intermediate-level discussions might consider our sister organization, and others, PLUG.

Our Next Meeting
PADS is looking for a new, permanent meeting location. If you have a meeting space we can use, please contact CJ Fearnley. Thanks!

We continue the attempt to install Debian on a Libretto 100CT. Installing on this laptop is complicated by the PCMCIA-Bridge which isn't recognized after the kernel boots. We will explore options for getting this installed in the hopes that Mike will have Debian on his laptop at the end of the evening. Mike has cleaned the disk and created a new partition, so we are ready to go this month!

Social Dinner

Attendees are invited to gather for dinner prior to the meeting at the Nile Restaurant, 120 Chestnut ST, Philadelphia, 215-925-2363. -->

Keysigning Notes

PADS and our sister organization, PLUG, keep our signed keys at the Philadelphia Linux Web of Trust

If you want your GPG or PGP key signed by other members and/or Debian developers, please follow these instructions carefully.

To facilitate the keysigning, please send an e-mail to CJ Fearnley <cjf@CJFearnley.com> with the following details about your public key:

  • Your real name
  • Your email address
  • Your User ID, as it appears on their public key. In most (all?) cases, this should be a mixture of your real name, plus your email address.
  • Your Key ID
  • Your Key Size (bits)
  • Your Key Fingerprint
  • The contents of your public key
  • The type of key (RSA in most cases)

GPG users should use "gpg --export --armor NAME " to retrieve their key and "gpg --fingerprint NAME" to retrieve their fingerprint and KeyID. For PGP users, most of this information can be obtained by typing "pgp -kvc <username>".

Finally, please bring positive picture ID to the meeting as well as a copy of all of the information that you send to CJ by e-mail.

Note: The Keysigning Parties Page has an overview of keysigning get-togethers. Many Thanks to David Coe for providing this link.


Debian Policy

  1. LaTeX source format
  2. PDF format

Building Debian Packages by Example: Packaging libgnupg-perl

  1. LaTeX source format
  2. PDF format

Building Debian Packages by Example: Packaging dlkern

  1. LaTeX source format
  2. PDF format

MIME Solutions: Using Debian's mime-support Package.

  1. LaTeX source format
  2. PDF format
  3. PostScript format

Upgrading to Debian's ``unstable'' release.

  1. LaTeX source format
  2. PDF format
  3. PostScript format

Overcoming Debian's New maintainer Procedures.

  1. LaTeX source format
  2. PostScript format

Building Debian Packages.

  1. LaTeX source format
  2. PostScript format

An Overview of Debian Policy.

  1. LaTeX source format
  2. PostScript format
Minutes of Past Meetings (in reverse chronological order)
  1. 16 August 2000. Building Debian Packages by Example: Packaging libgnupg-perl. We demonstrated the building of a Debian package by preparing one for libgnupg-perl, a Perl Interface for Gnu Privacy Guard (GnuPG.pm).
  2. 19 July 2000. Building Debian Packages by Example: Packaging dlkern. We demonstrated the building of a Debian package by preparing a .deb file for dlkern, a package to download the Linux kernel and verify its signature. Dlkern is a very simple one file script. Therefore this session will cover only the very basics of Debian Package building.
  3. 21 June 2000. Installing Debian 2.1, Corel 1.1, and Storm Linux 2000. There are at least two third party Linux distributions based on Debian: Corel, and Storm. We demoed and discussed the installation of these distributions as well as Debian GNU/Linux from the Debian Project itself to show attendees the strengths and weaknesses of each.
  4. 16 February 2000. The Corel LINUX Install Process: Under the Hood. We examined the Corel 1.0 LINUX installation process which is the easiest Linux distribution to install ... except when it doesn't. Corel's install depends on an XFree86 3.3.5 supported video card and a CD-ROM drive. We examined techniques to install Corel LINUX on systems without such amenities. We discussed procedures for converting an existing Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 system into a Corel LINUX system.
  5. 15 December 1999. Debian's Menu Package: A Catalog of Debian Software. We examined menus which are a familiar device to index the functionality of a system. Debian's menu package provides a mechanism for each Debian package to provide a menu interface to its software. We will describe the system and explore how to use it as a user, a system administrator and a developer.
  6. 17 November 1999, We examined Debian's mime-support package. We identified the advantages of having an integrated, transparent capability for viewing, editing, printing, etc., of multiple types of encoded data streams. We noticed that there is no C library codifying a consistent handling of the UNIX MIME system.
  7. 20 October 1999, Using Debian's unstable releases are filled with dangers. It is necessary for Debian developers to use and test the unstable releases to prepare the next stable release of the distribution. Advanced users may also want to test pre-release versions of Debian and use newer versions of upstream software as well as any new packages that are only available in unstable. We examined the sundry advantages and pitfalls involved in using ``Potato'', the current ``unstable'' Debian release.
  8. 15 September 1999, CJ Fearnley outlined the issues involved in Overcoming Debian's New Maintainer Procedures. A discussion on the importance of clear, easy to understand package descriptions was useful (see the Packaging Manual for more information). At the end of the meeting we verified David and CJ's key information for signing.
  9. 18 August 1999, CJ Fearnley discussed the procedures involved in Building Debian Packages using the hello package as an example.
  10. 21 July 1999, CJ Fearnley continued the discussion on Debian Policy. Our members want to start building Debian packages. So it was decided to move into package building discussions.
  11. 16 June 1999, CJ Fearnley presented an Overview of Debian Policy.

    Eight people attended: one longtime Debian developer, one new developer, and several prospective developers. Everyone participated in the casual discussion. Several subtleties in policy were clarified. Everyone seemed to find the topic interesting, so we decided to continue the discussion next month.

  12. 19 May 1999, Organizational Meeting

    Star Wars opens the same night and only two people attended.