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Debian

Debian 3.0r2 Released 285

Posted by michael
from the wh00t dept.
FrankoBoy writes "As announced on DistroWatch, Debian 3.0r2 has been released this weekend, with some security issues fixed... and Rock 'n Diamonds dropped because of license problems. Here's the official announcement. This release had been slowed by an attack on Debian boxes discussed Friday."
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Debian 3.0r2 Released

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  • by nubbie (454788) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @04:43PM (#7543705) Homepage
    Google cache [google.ca] of packages.debian.org
  • by Amsterdam Vallon (639622) <amsterdamvallon2003@yahoo.com> on Sunday November 23, 2003 @04:50PM (#7543749) Homepage
    The hack attack from last week (as cited in the write-up) could have grave effects on Linux servers worldwide if you don't check the MD5 sumations against your downloaded packages.
  • Re:My first debian (Score:5, Informative)

    by OMG (669971) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @04:53PM (#7543763)
    Good choice ;-)

    The stable distri of debian has one problem: Many programs made a lot of progress in the last month and the distro doesn't reflect that so far. So you will need to add some more (unoffical) sources to your apt configuration. Check the manual for details.

    One important page for finding the right source for a recent Mozilla, OpenOffice or X11 is:
    http://www.apt-get.org/

    Have fun! *eg*
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @04:54PM (#7543766)
    http://www.wiggy.net/debian/
  • by corebreech (469871) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @04:57PM (#7543783) Journal
    Thank you for your support.
  • by t0ny (590331) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:00PM (#7543794)
    This... This release had been slowed by an attack on Debian boxes discussed Friday.

    was caused by this... This release had been slowed by an attack on Debian boxes discussed Friday.

    just some info for those playing at home.

  • by stu42j (304634) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:02PM (#7543799) Homepage
    From the Debian 3.0r2 Changelog [debian.org]:

    "Rocks-N-Diamonds contains sound, graphics and level data which
    violate section 2.3 of the Debian policy manual. Some of the
    game content originates with commercial sources that have not
    provided explicit permission for their reuse."

    BTW, aspell was also removed due to license reasons.
  • by bstadil (7110) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:07PM (#7543816) Homepage
    While we wait for the Debian site to recover from the Slashdot effect, head over to SUSE [suse.com]where the latest 9.0 became available via ftp today.

    We should be able to take that one down as well.

  • Re:My first debian (Score:5, Informative)

    by Malc (1751) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:08PM (#7543824)
    Use Woody for a server. I haven't used it as a desktop, but it might be bit too old for you. If it isn't, it will be stable. Use the testing/unstable installation CD if you want an easier install, and then upgrade to the latest everything afterwards. If you use KDE, Google as the dependencies for kmultimedia are buggered at the moment. I use unstable on my desktop, and it's pretty good. The only complaints was X took more to setup than Mandrake (it doesn't like the fact that I have two video cards), KDE install took a while to figure out due to the broken deps, and there's a really annoying bug that puts some garbage in the default X window manager file instead of /usr/bin/kdm (or whatever it is). Generally though, it's good and up to date.
  • by Malc (1751) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:13PM (#7543838)
    What are whittering on about? This is Debian and this bittorrent thingy isn't needed. Use jigdo, or a netinst ISO and apt-get. Kids of today!
  • Rocks'n'diamonds (Score:3, Informative)

    by reynaert (264437) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:13PM (#7543840)
    The rationale for the removal is pretty vague:
    Rocks-N-Diamonds contains sound, graphics and level data which violate
    section 2.3 of the Debian policy manual [debian.org]. Some of the game content originates with commercial sources that have not provided explicit permission for their reuse.
    Bug #210233 has more information, but the bug tracking system is still down. It probably just means that levels, graphics and/or music have been illegally copied from commercial games, which is a pretty common problem with open source games.
  • by isorox (205688) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:13PM (#7543842) Homepage Journal
    First of all, Debian has the most out of date software packages of any major mainstream distros. Even in the unstable version, is KDE 2.2 and Gnome 2.0, with Xfree86 4.1 (A version that really sucks).

    $ konqueror --version
    Qt: 3.1.1
    KDE: 3.1.3
    Konqueror: 3.1.3

    $ xdpyinfo |grep "XFree86 version"
    XFree86 version: 4.2.1.1

    Secondly, its a pain in the goatse to set up, first of all, you are forced to use Kernel 2.2, which is horribly hacked with "backports" to get any use on any modern machine (Read, made after 1999). Good luck memorizing all the *.ko files in /lib/modules, as you are going to need it.

    WTF's a .ko? modconf does all that nasty module stuff

    $ uname -r
    2.4.20

    Configuring XFree86 is hell! If you don't have a Thick X11 orilley book, and a list of your horizontal sync values from your monitor's intruction manual (if you even have one), BOOM! There goes your monitor.

    You must have a *really* old monitor if it can't cope with an out of range signal. I admit its been A few years, but xf86config or xf86setup or something was fine when I set up my X.

    Even then, good luck getting anything over 640x480@16 colours.

    screen #0:
    dimensions: 1024x768 pixels (260x195 millimeters)
    resolution: 100x100 dots per inch
    depths (7): 16, 1, 4, 8, 15, 24, 32

    Other distros give you comprehensive PRINTED MANUALS, PHONE SUPPPORT and/or freindly forums where repling RTFM gets you banned!

    Yes, pay for the manuals and phone support if you want. For online stuff, I used to go to linuxnewbie.org [linuxnewbie.org]

    Debian has ZERO support for any decent hardware, including USB mice, scanners, Sound cards, heck even Serial devices struggle.

    Well, my usb mouse (cordless, mouse # 2 so I can control xine from across the room, but not my main mouse) works fine, as does my USB mp3 player and sound card. My modem was fine too when I used one, but I don't have a scanner. Printer worked too, but I sold it when I emmigrated.


    Apt-get has many flaws. First of all it uses a non standard package format (the rest of the world uses RPM, deprecate the DEB format!)


    It's a superior format

    Debian is falling to pieces, if it is to survive any market share

    That's just it, Debian isn't a commercial distro, it'll go As long as people develop it. If it's not for you, fine. TBH If I had time I'd probably migrate my desktop away from Debian. My laptop's too slow to run a modern distro though. Use whatever floats your boat.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:17PM (#7543863)
    there are images of testing/unstable

    http://www.debian.org/CD/http-ftp/

    however you can always install a minimal stable system and immediately change your sources from stable to unstable and `apt-get dist-upgrade` and continue from there
  • Re:liscense issues (Score:5, Informative)

    by adrianbaugh (696007) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:19PM (#7543870) Homepage Journal
    Debian has never really limited you by its politics, there are plenty of non-free packages available (in the helpfully named "non-free" section).
    If you read the article you would know that this was removed due to containing commercial material for which usage permission had not been granted. Ceasing to distribute the package is completely the right (and legally required) thing for them to do; it doesn't mean you aren't going to be able to use other non-free packages on your machine. In fact, with over 4,000 packages available, Debian is extremely well-supplied with software of all kinds.
  • by damiam (409504) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:24PM (#7543902)
    Try Knoppix. It's a bootable CD with a full Debian-based desktop environment, with packages mostly from testing (but a few added in from unstable). You can install it to the hard disk in just a few minutes (much easier than the standard Debian installer), and you'll have a full Debian system.

    However, why do you need a new ISO image every week? Just download a standard ISO and tell it to retrieve packages from Debian's servers. You'll automatically get the newest packages whenver you install.

  • KDE Unstable (Score:4, Informative)

    by theantix (466036) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:24PM (#7543904) Journal
    I would suggest following the instructions on the debian/kde wiki [debian.net] for installing 3.1.X on Sid -- you have to install one package manually and then the rest go like clockwork.
  • by stevey (64018) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:26PM (#7543916) Homepage

    No, apart from the new ISO's being built for people to test the new installer.

    The intention with Debian is that you only install once, you get the updates via apt-get.

    I guess this sucks if you've got poor connectivity, but it's possible to download the list of packages needing updates and then fetch those at work - which is what I used to do, carrying my parallel port Zip disk to and from the office to transfer the .debs ...

  • Re:New Debian! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Xemu (50595) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:28PM (#7543930) Homepage

    Christ, Microsoft's security servers have never been r00ted

    Bzzzt. Wrong. Argumentum ad populum. [datanation.com] Try again.

  • by jab (9153) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:30PM (#7543941) Homepage
    If you are a desktop user and want to see a different perspective of Debian, Knoppix may be a better starting point. Debian 3.0r2 is Debian Stable, which is very good if you prize stability and don't really want your OS to change out from under you. Knoppix is basically a closely tracked derivative of Debian Unstable, and therefore has more recent software which is often desirable for desktop users. For example, the most recent Knoppix ISO was cut on November 19th of this year, so it is REALLY current.

    The other nice thing about Knoppix is that it is very easy to try out, and it also makes for a very painless Debian installer. I use it all the time to install Debian Unstable onto x86 desktop machines (see knoppix-installer in /usr/local/bin). I've been a Debian Developer for several years now, and I've pretty much switched over to using Knoppix for all my installation needs.

  • Re:Now? (Score:5, Informative)

    by qtp (461286) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:33PM (#7543961) Journal
    Not gonna happen.

    Too many of the developers have been failing to address bugs in Sarge (testing) and instead have been waiting for or [packaging new upstream versions. This happens during every release cycle, and many developers just assume that this is common practice.

    Eventually, Sid (unstable) will be frozen as well, so the maintainers are unable to upload new versions until the RC bugs in Sarge are fixed.

    If the release manager would just accept that this is necessary in order to get a release out the door instead of assuming that reason will rule the day, the time between releases would likely be much more reasonable.

    The problem seems to originate in the fact of most maintainers having only one machine at home with Sid installed. It is difficult to replicate (and thus fix) bugs in testing if you are keeping your machine up to date with unstable. Freezing Sid and testing at the same time seems to resolve this problem for most of the maintainers.

    IANADPM, but I have been using Debian for 6+ years and observing this series of events occur semi annually Every year, policy and process changes are adjusted to mitigate the various difficulties involved in preparing for release, but the dist is growing at such a rate (I believe that Sarge will fill 10 CDs with packages) that new complications must be addressed every year.

    I'm just amazed that they are able to achieve what they do, and that the quality of the release is so much higher than that of thier comercial competitors.

  • by Durin_Deathless (668544) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:39PM (#7543986) Homepage
    A word of warning though:

    Before you decide to always use Knoppix as an installer, realize that it leaves a lot of livecd cruft behind. Scripts and things. Also, it can be hard to get some packages to install, since it is a hybrid of stable, testing, and unstable. You have to be careful.
  • You can help! (Score:5, Informative)

    by eddy (18759) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:42PM (#7544001) Homepage Journal

    Help test apt-secure [debian.net].

  • Re:My first debian (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zigg (64962) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:55PM (#7544064)

    XFree86 is certainly not the most recent. However, X Strike Force [debian.org] is working on 4.3.0 and you can get it out of experimental. Add

    # Debian experimental
    deb http://apt-proxy:9999/debian/ ../project/experimental main contrib non-free
    deb-src http://apt-proxy:9999/debian/ ../project/experimental main contrib non-free

    to your sources.list and you can select the newer version manually inside aptitude [debian.org] (which I highly recommend for package management anyway, if you're not using it.)

  • by Random832 (694525) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @05:57PM (#7544072)

    when sid finally becomes stable

    suddenly start [...] new packages, things get messy

    Neither of these statements are accurate reflections of reality. 'sid' is synonymous with 'unstable', and, even were that not the case, it would just upgrade the packages that there were dependencies for when the dist switched over

  • by IlliterateFule (726012) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @06:03PM (#7544092)
    Yes. If you install from the network, there is no need worry about up to date packages. Make sure to tell it you're installing unstable.
    Actually, tell it you're installing 'sid'. Otherwise...

    Actually, I believe that unsable has always been, and always will be, called Sid [go watch ToyStory again if you can't work out why!] so this won't make any difference.

    When Sarge becomes 'stable', replacing Woody, Sid will not become 'testing' - it will be copied to 'testing' and given a new name.

  • by Looke (260398) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @06:08PM (#7544108)
    I'd suggest getting KDE 3.1 from ftp.kde.org [kde.org], which provides excellent Debian Woody packages. There are also a lot of packages available at backports.org [backports.org] and apt-get.org [apt-get.org]. (I think there is a pretty good Gnome backport out there as well.)

    I use Sid (unstable) on my laptop, but on my new desktop PC I haven't bothered to upgrade from Woody, other than KDE 3.1, OpenOffice.org, Privoxy, and a few home-compiled apps. Actually, I find it refreshing to have a rock-solid and stable system. On my Sid laptop, I get all kinds of weird problems. Not often, but occasionally... Like when the printer stops working, or the USB mouse doesn't work anymore, or when X is no longer 3D accelerated. These are the kinds of issues you have to deal with once in a while when running Debian unstable. Not a big deal, but if I could choose again, I would have chosen Woody (with a few selected upgrades) on the laptop as well.

  • Re:My first debian (Score:2, Informative)

    by Joe Tie. (567096) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @06:19PM (#7544156)
    Another option is installing Debian via Knoppix. I found the partitioning a bit annoying as the installer at the time I did it wanted to just throw everything into a single partition, but otherwise it was amazingly easy to install and dist-upgrade to Debian Unstable.
  • by corebreech (469871) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @06:22PM (#7544167) Journal
    With over 300 mirrors, I doubt this crowd will be able to kill "the server".

    From the Debian website:
    There are less mirrors of these images due to space and bandwidth constraints, so these downloads can be quite slow.


    Debian would rather you didn't download the ISO's, in favor of Jigdo. However, I prefer ISO's. I live having the whole distro laid out in however many CD's it takes, so I don't have to worry about the network running or having everything I need to do the install.

    Sometimes distros forget to include stuff you need in a specific package. Getting everything at once helps to preclude that inevitability.

    So again I ask, who has the torrent?
  • Re:Be careful. (Score:3, Informative)

    by wfrp01 (82831) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @06:25PM (#7544185) Journal
    Debian's release cycle is a little slow, so by the end things seem a little out of date. But when the new stable comes out, upgrading will be a snap (if the past is any indication). Install once, and then easy upgrades from then on.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @06:32PM (#7544219)
    what was the last RedHat distro to ship with a 2.2 kernel by default?

    7.0.

  • Re:My first debian (Score:5, Informative)

    by runderwo (609077) <`gro.niw.liam' `ta' `owrednur'> on Sunday November 23, 2003 @06:40PM (#7544254)
    www.backports.org [backports.org] is also a good resource for finding cutting-edge packages backported to the stable release.
  • by mbanck (230137) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @06:49PM (#7544307)
    "The license incorrectly says that it's LGPL but it is in fact a unique license which is non-DFSG-free."

    That's what the Bug-Report resulting in this removal said (according to the Woody ChangeLog). I don't have any other information about this, sorry. Note that GNU aspell is still in unstable, so perhaps it was about a specific version being non-free in the past, which happened to be included in woody.

    Michael

  • by LnxAddct (679316) <sgk25@drexel.edu> on Sunday November 23, 2003 @07:06PM (#7544401)
    umm... use unstable, the name is more of a disclaimer then anything else. I'm using it right now and have for a least a year or so. Never had a stability issue. Either I'm just that damn good, or Debian is, and I know its not me.
    Way to go Debian, keep up the good work!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @07:22PM (#7544490)
    Actually, it ships with a number of different 2.4 kernels also. If you do nothing but keep hitting the enter key, you will get the most conservative install possible (with a 2.2 kernel). If you read a paragraph or two of documentation or the install help screen, it will tell you how to select a kenel. Also, the different CDs in the set are all bootable, and use different kenels to start the install if you want to do it that way. If all else fails, and you install a 2.2 kernel, type apt-get install kernel-image-# and you should be ready to go.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @07:30PM (#7544539)
    is it too much to ask to have a decent Firebird package?

    What's wrong with this one [fedora.us]?

  • by sg_oneill (159032) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @07:45PM (#7544602)
    May I suggest Knoppix. Its pretty much unstable with some 'testing' bits in it.

    You can drop it in yer cd rom and know in a blink if you will have any sort of hardware compatability issues. then use the kpx-hdinstall command to drop it on yer hard drive. Also remember to specify english. Finally find a good deb source for Gnome 2.4 and put that gnomish goodness on yer desk.

    Knoppix is nice.
  • Re:New Debian! (Score:3, Informative)

    by throwaway18 (521472) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @07:49PM (#7544614) Journal
    Christ, Microsoft's security servers have never been r00ted, yet Linux is supposedly more secure?

    What about this? [wss.net]

  • by MrLizardo (264289) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @07:51PM (#7544621) Journal
    The way it works is a named distro such as sid, woody or sarge progresses through different stages of stability: from unstable->testing->stable. So right now sid is considered "unstable", sarge is in the "testing" stage before it becoms stable, and woody is considered "stable." Once sarge is considered stable, woody will be obsolete and sid will be bumped to testing and a new version will become unstable. The Debian maintainers have a _very_ high standard for stability. When you have a Debian stable release you can count on being able to install any package from the stable release without hitting a stability problem. All packages in stable are very thoroughly tested to be sure that there are no problems with them. That being said they tend to be somewhat out of date. I've been using Debian since 1998 and I've used unstable almost exclusively since then on my desktop, but have used stable on any servers/gateways I've built. I would say that "unstable" Debian tends to be more stable than RedHat releases, and more up to date (RedHat 9 did make vast improvements over RedHat 8 in the stability/non-brokeness area though). I suggest if you're installing it on a desktop machine that you should go with unstable(sid). From time to time some packages will have dependency fights with each other but those can be solved by putting those packages on "hold" for a few days and waiting for the dependency issues to work themeselves out, then upgrading as normal. Once you go Debian, you'll never go back to a distro without apt builtin.

    As of now:
    Unstable->sid (this is probably what you want for a desktop)
    testing->sarge (use this if you need something slight more reliable than unstable)
    stable->woody (use this on mission critcal systems and servers)

    -Mr. Lizard
  • Re:Be careful. (Score:5, Informative)

    by deek (22697) * on Sunday November 23, 2003 @07:54PM (#7544635) Homepage Journal
    • The problem is, by all objective standards, Woody is significantly behind Redhat, SuSE, Mandrake and Yellow Dog (all distributions that I've used extensively) in terms of usability. As others will attest, it's often a nightmare to get Woody installed and configured on a machine where Redhat or Mandrake will Just Work (tm).

    Yes, in a way, Debian really does need to you know what you're doing, how a Linux system works, and what certain packages do. But if you're technically adept, I can tell you that a Debian system is nicer to maintain than Redhat or Mandrake. It's not just apt, it's the way the whole system is designed from a technical perspective. And of course, apt makes installing and maintaining great, and you know that apt is on every Debian system you may encounter. It's not an optional package.

    By the way, if you want to make things easier, you just have to know the right package. discover will automatically probe and insert modules every time you boot up. webmin handles easy configurations for many system programs and settings.

    Really, the main problem with debian is you have to _know_ that these packages exist, and then install them. Debian will not install these packages by default, because its basic install is just that ... basic. Absolutely fantastic for creating a stripped down system, or a custom built system where you know every package that is installed, without the hassle of having to find and download the source code.

    Nothing beats the time I visited a client to fix something that they had wrong with their unix server. I discovered it was a Debian machine, but one that didn't have the telnet command installed. A simple apt-get install telnet, and 20 seconds later (it was a modem internet connection :), I was using telnet to check services running on the machine. Fantastic stuff!
  • by MrLizardo (264289) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @07:55PM (#7544646) Journal
    Step1: Go to apt-get.org and put xfree86 into the package search.
    step2: ???
    step3: profit

    If you can't follow this to its logical conclusion, then:
    echo 'deb http://people.debian.org/~mmagallo/packages/xfree8 6/$(ARCH)/ ./' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

    apt-get update
    apt-get upgrade

    These packages have worked just fine for me. enjoy!

    -Mr. Lizard
  • by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Sunday November 23, 2003 @07:58PM (#7544669) Homepage Journal
    One correction: unstable is always called sid. When sarge is released, a new name will be chosen for testing.
  • Re:My first debian (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23, 2003 @07:59PM (#7544671)
    Why not give Knoppix [knoppix.net] a try if you want an easy install. It is incredibly easy to install to HD as well, just boot up without X ( hit F2 for boot options, then type in knoppix 2), and type in knx-hdinstall. Answer a few questions and you will have a very up to date Debian based system.
  • by Mr.Ned (79679) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @08:31PM (#7544820)
    Status update:

    http://www.wiggy.net/debian/
  • Re:Be careful. (Score:5, Informative)

    by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Sunday November 23, 2003 @08:43PM (#7544884) Homepage Journal

    Unless you like to do fresh installs to clear out the clutter you've created from time to time,

    This isn't an issue with Debian. Want to clear out the clutter? Just use your favorite apt-get interface to remove all but a basic set of packages. Use cruft to find and remove anything else, then use apt-get to install the stuff you want again. This way you clear out the clutter, but don't lose your configuration.

    In practice, I don't really even do the above unless my drive is getting full. Unlike other operating systems (cough Windows cough), Linux doesn't really 'degrade' over time. It may get cluttered, but it continues to work just fine.

    to try new things and such

    If you run unstable, you will always be trying new things. Just upgrade frequently (I upgrade daily, in general) and you'll always be running new stuff. Also, every time I update I get a new list of packages in my "New Packages" section, and I find it very interesting to take five minutes and scan through them, looking for anything intruiguing.

    need a system you can setup on a new set of hardware in under an hour pretty much consistantly

    Try Knoppix. It's Instant Debian unstable. Getting it running on a clean box takes nothing more than the time to boot. Getting it installed takes just a few minutes more.

  • Re:I see now (Score:3, Informative)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @08:54PM (#7544938) Homepage Journal
    the thing is, that the best way to install it is through the netinstall and for that you only need a quite small iso to kick the installer going. you don't often need isos of it, for old installations update automatically very simply and it is _not_ preferable to update them from cd's. so for them it is preferable to have them created from the packages on the machine of the guy who wants those isos. also i imagine that a full iso package would weight quite a lot nowadays. this is fundamentally different from the "get the isos, that could come in a shrinkwrap package, and pop the cd's in to update to the next version" method of some other distributions.

    and their mirrors for the packages are plenty and fast as hell as well(they seem to have quite formidable amount of support from the academic world with bandwith resources to donate). for me updating my debian box it takes more time to unpack than it takes to download, thanks to the mirror that is quite nearby on a fat pipe.

    also a lot of people prefer to not run the 'stable' distribution as their desktops and so you would need many different sets of those isos that would be need to be updated periodically to reflect the changes in the distributions.

    (however some might prefer to use knoppix or similar and do a hdinstall from there, if you just wanted a quite up to date system on a cd that works easily.)

    all this said i'm pretty sure that there are some torrents somewhere for some iso pack, for that is the nature of the community big enough that everything will appear.

    btw there's alternative (net)installation boot cd's as well should you wish for example xfs support & some things like that. and be sure to choose an apt-source that is fast since the chances are that you will find one pretty easily, and also spend the time to learn that where you can add additional sources(for additional software not in the official distributions http://www.apt-get.org is a pretty good place to look from).
  • by Trepalium (109107) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @08:58PM (#7544949)
    Well, part of the reason Debian has so many old packages has to do with the number of architectures it runs on. If the package can't be compiled and run on Alpha, ARM, IA-32, IA-64, HPPA, M68K, big endian MIPS, little endian MIPS, PPC, s390 and SPARC, it doesn't get in. There are exceptions for things that are really arch specific, but for most cases, if you want it in Debian, it needs to run on every platform Debian is available for.

    Another factor is packaging. Debian packages are built in a specific fashion, and in some cases when the upstream developer releases a new version that is binary and source incompatible with the old version, the package developer goes to great pains to make sure both packages can co-exist on the same system.

    Then there's version stability. When a security hole is found in a Debian package, Debian doesn't just package up the latest version and ship that like some vendors do. Instead, the security fixes are backported to the previous version, and an update to the old version is released instead. Why would they do this? A new version with new features can have new bugs, or change the behaviour of certain things in various (sometimes subtle) ways. I've had an entire PHP-based website stop working because of a PHP upgrade. Something that was legal and worked fine in a previous version (storing objects in an array stored in the SESSION variable) completely ceased functioning in the new version.

  • by slackergod (37906) on Sunday November 23, 2003 @09:03PM (#7544971) Homepage Journal
    the 'unstable' 'stable' and 'testing'
    names are symlinks for one of the named
    debian distributions.

    woody is currently the stable version.
    the stable version which will usually have
    slightly older software, but because it's been
    tested for a much longer time
    it's better to use on business servers.

    sarge is currently the testing version.
    it should probably be for workstation/home use.
    the packages are newer, but not as bug-free.
    while it could be used in a production environment,
    stable will always be a safer bet.

    as the stable version, woody gets mainly
    security updates. at some point, sarge
    will become well testing enough that
    woody will be retired (like 'potato' before it),
    and sarge will become the current stable branch.

    a new fork will be created at that point,
    and become the new testing version.

    'sid' will always be the unstable branch of
    debian. you don't want to use 'unstable'.
    it will almost always have the newest
    software versions, but they will probably
    break your system. if you see something you
    like, download it singly, don't install
    sarge to get it.

    in short...
    get sarge/testing to try out debian.
    if there's problems, or you want older
    more tested software, get woody/stable.
    if all you want is problems,
    for your own mind to solve,
    get sid/unstable.
  • Re:Be careful. (Score:2, Informative)

    by kmilani2134 (652045) * on Sunday November 23, 2003 @09:12PM (#7545009) Homepage

    For several years I had run SuSE and Red Hat and had wanted to try Debian, but didn't have enough knowledge to get it installed.

    Then, just over a year ago, I learned about Libranet [libranet.com] and ordered a copy. Libranet is a distribution that is true to Debian, while providing a cutting edge desktop, slick install and a great administrative interface.

    I have found Libranet to be exceptionally stable and you just can't beat Debian for its package management.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 24, 2003 @06:24AM (#7546581)
    IIRC the problem was that there was a non free wordlist (the DEC one) included into the english dictionary, an that invalidated the full license.

    In sid, the english dict comes from a different (fully free, and better) source, so there is no license problem in sid.
  • Re:Removed packages (Score:3, Informative)

    by mst76 (629405) on Monday November 24, 2003 @06:49AM (#7546644)
    > SCO will be furious cause they forgot
    > Linux Kernel - license problems

    No license problems, they're still using the 2.2 kernel :-)

    -- running 3.0r1 at home

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. - Henry Spencer, University of Toronto Unix hack

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