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Debian Software Linux

Sarge is Now Frozen 380

Posted by timothy
from the chill-yo dept.
JoeBuck writes "Steve Langasek has announced that Debian Sarge is now frozen. He produced a schedule that would lead to a Debian release at the end of May, though I would expect it to slip somewhat. I'm glad that the long wait for a Debian release will soon be over."
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Sarge is Now Frozen

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  • Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:11PM (#12426434)
    Haha for a second there I thought the title said "Sarge is Now Frozen," I guess I should put my glassess... wait, what the...
  • Oh no! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:11PM (#12426436)
    I hope they can thaw him out.
  • Sooo. (Score:5, Funny)

    by I_redwolf (51890) * on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:12PM (#12426453) Homepage Journal
    That pig flying was about this. Was wondering wtf that was about.
  • by FlipmodePlaya (719010) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:13PM (#12426465) Journal
    I was upset to see that KDE 3.4 was being held back from Sid until Sarge released (I ended up getting it from the Kubuntu sources), and I believe a few other packages followed this policy as well. Now that Sarge is coming out I assume we'll see some major updates in Sid. On that note, does anyone know when Debian will adopt X.org?
    • "does anyone know when Debian will adopt X.org?"

      2013?
      • 2013?

        That's just to the unstable branch I believe...
        • by Kent Recal (714863) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @08:39PM (#12427370)
          Okay, you take the basher part, I'll try to play the zealot...

          If debian is too slow for you then don't fucking use it but quit the whining. Go and have your gentoo, ubuntu, fedora or whatever fulfills your desire for up-to-date software.

          The rest of us will just keep on loving and hugging debian for testing the shit out of their shit in multiple stages before they even consider to stamp a big, red "stable" on it.

          I consider it a great blessing that I am granted access to their *testing* and *unstable* branch for my desktop but my major reason for choosing debian is that I know once something hits stable it might be old but it is very likely that many people have not only looked at it but actually used it for a noteworthy amount of time (and whined and bitched about bugs and problems, all of which have then been worked out in the process).

          Show me another distro where "stable" means stable and that achieves this goal in shorter time and I'll switch, gladly.
          There is none.

          In the life of a sysadmin it's worth quite a bit to know that there's a place where you can say "apt-get install apache" and it *will* work.
          Certainly worth much more than alpha transparency in X or whatever hype feature of the moment.
          • Amen to stable.

            When shit breaks it fucks up my day. Debian has never done that to me.
          • by Slack3r78 (596506) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @11:22PM (#12428491) Homepage
            Congratulations, you've just hit on exactly why most people will never even try Debian, which is a shame. Because when legitimate complaints are raised, the Debian zealots get defensive and give reasons that would excuse the distribution for being somewhat behind the curve, but not in the state it's in.

            If they really are releasing Sarge without X.org, this is a perfect example of just this mentality. Debian is the *only* major distribution that hasn't made the switch. Even Slackware's done so, even with that stretch where Pat was absent from development. Let's face it, X.org has been the de facto standard for months now, and the initial release was little more than a fork of the last XFree release before the license change.

            So what exactly is the reason for completely ignoring a changing landscape every other distribution has accepted? I just see it as the 'nothing changes' mentality taken to an absurdist extreme. Yes, it makes sense for a stable distribution that's already released, but putting out a new stable branch that, if given Debian's current record, will end up being the standard bearer for a few *years* with major system components that have been replaced for months at launch? Beats me.

            The fact of the matter is, like it or not, this is the perception of Debian that's been gained by a good segment of the Linux using populace, and its users aren't helping with comments like "I consider it a great blessing that I am granted access to their *testing* and *unstable* branch."

            Which is a shame because from a technical standpoint, Debian has quite possibly the best underpinnings of any of the major distributions. apt is an elegant solution to the package management problem. Debian's configuration tools are generally top notch. Even the new installer's not half bad. But as a whole it's held up by an overly slow development cycle and an elitist attitude amongst its users.

            *That's* the reason you see people migrating to Ubuntu en masse. It's all the technical goodness of Debian on a sane development schedule and with a friendly user base. It's what I've wished Debian could be for years, but never seemed to have any interest in becoming. Ah well, C'est La Vie. It just shows what's possible when development becomes focused on getting things done rather than allowing them to languish.
            • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @12:24AM (#12428836)
              X.org is already stable in 11 architectures? Who did that?

              Its relatively easy to do it just for i386 (It's the original target). As I know most of the efforts to port X to most architectures comes from Debian.

              Ubuntu and others have i386, AMD64 and PowerPC basically. They make a great work. But doing it for 11 architectures and with the stability that Debian does...

              I can't understand you. I think you are just to ignorant to understand.
              • That is a good reason to drop the other architectures, and favor i386, and PowerPC, as well as their 64 bits flavors: x86-64, ia-64 and PowerPC 64.

                For me the reason to support other architectures was the existance of the Alpha, a great processor for scientific computing and clusters. But, let's face it, it is dead. Adn there was ARM, Mips and SH3 in the embedded area. But, lets face it again, ARM is the architecture of choice for most people! These 11 other architectures should be moved out of Debian, as

            • If they really are releasing Sarge without X.org, this is a perfect example of just this mentality. Debian is the *only* major distribution that hasn't made the switch.

              Wow. As a somewhat laid-back debian desktop user who primarily runs the testing builds, my thoughts were mostly about how we can finally start to test X.org now that sarge is going to be out of the way.

              Bitching about not having it until now didn't really occur to me.

    • On that note, does anyone know when Debian will adopt X.org?

      Short answer: It shouldn't take very long at all since it's already been packaged for Ubuntu. A new X.org release with a different packaging structure is scheduled to be released soon, so that will complicate things a bit. The new release is supposed to be included in the next Ubuntu release if it gets out early enough, so most of the packaging work will be done.
      Long answer: Debian X Strike Force [deadbeast.net]
    • I just temporarily changed to Kubuntu until Sarge, KDE3.4, XOrg et al is out. I don't really think it'll take too long but I'll be patiently waiting. I like my technology.
    • by lspd (566786) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @10:31PM (#12428193) Homepage Journal
      The original party line was that Debian's X team was waiting on a modularized X.Org source tree.

      Debian's X team now is in a holding pattern until Sarge gets out, though I don't remember ever seeing this stated directly. For instance, in this message to dri-devel, [sourceforge.net] Branden Robinson clarifies that Debian will package Xorg in the same fashion as XFree86 if the modular version isn't ready yet.

      The Debian X Faq [deadbeast.net] states, more or less, the same thing.

      You don't see "No Xorg till Sarge releases" anywhere because none of the X team members are fortune tellers. I would imagine that NOW, with the freeze underway, they'd be happy to say it.
  • by LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:15PM (#12426487) Homepage Journal
    Duke Nuke'm Forever was released and Microsoft committed toa firm launch date for Longhorn.
  • by SaDan (81097) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:19PM (#12426539) Homepage
    Whaddaya know?

    "Chance of flurries tonight, lows in the teens."
  • by zeromemory (742402) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:20PM (#12426556) Homepage
    For regular Debian stable users, this doesn't mean too much: a simple apt-get upgrade is all it will take to 'upgrade' to Sarge.

    For new Debian users, Debian testing images based upon the new installer have long been available here [debian.org].

    My main question is why Debian didn't advertise the above-linked installation images more. Just finding a link to the new installer ISO images is like navigating a maze blind-folded. Yes, I understand that they're not 'release-quality' yet, but it would take just a simple warning on the page to download Debian: "Please try our new installer! Although it's not completely stable, it's faster and easier to use and is definitely worth a try."

    Ubuntu's installer is based upon the new installer, and it's not unreasonable to believe that many people use Ubuntu because it's an easier-to-install Debian, in no small part due to the work on Debian's new installer (and the great work of Ubuntu developers).
    • Are you sure Ubuntu's installer is based on the new Debian installer? I'd thought otherwise, although I have not tried installing ubuntu.

      Bruce

      • It is. It's just got a lot of sane defaults for a newbie's desktop. Also, you should try it, it looks and works remarkably well - think of it as Debian's package mgmt. with Red Hat's looks
      • According to them it is [ubuntulinux.org]. Quote: "Keep the Ubuntu installer in sync with the Debian installer as much as we can, and feed back relevant changes. Develop new installer features, in cooperation with Debian and with the other groups using d-i."
    • Actually, I believe 'aptitude dist-upgrade' is now the prefered upgrade path. This was just discussed on a mailing list.
  • Oh no. (Score:5, Funny)

    by michelcultivo (524114) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:21PM (#12426569) Homepage Journal
    This is the last April Fools's joke?
  • by kkelly (69745) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:21PM (#12426572)
    most of our team left Debian a while back. While its stability is still a strong point, many other distros are very proactive about putting out a stable, quality product these days without the rediculously long timeline....
  • by EugeneK (50783) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:21PM (#12426578) Homepage Journal
    I want to use Debian but I need to get my CD burner from 1992 working and need at least kernel 2.2. thx.
  • Debian has still been growing consistently. So they aren't dead yet. Sure, the release will be hugely behind but this gets the ball rolling in the right direction before they become irrelevant.

    Of course, a better time for this would have been a year ago, before Ubuntu started to eat into the Debian user base, while breaking compatibility. But it may be soon enough to stop even that from happening.
    • Re:Thank Goodness (Score:3, Informative)

      by sydb (176695)
      They are neither dying nor hugely behind nor becoming irrelevant.

      They just have a terrible time getting a release out the door.

      If you run testing/unstable you run fairly current software, and you're not that much further behind come the release, and at release time Sarge will be fairly representative of the "stable state of the art". It's just that in the couple of years between now and Etch, things will progress without being reflected in a stable Debian release. But come the next release, Debian will be
      • If you run testing/unstable you run fairly current software, and you're not that much further behind come the release, and at release time Sarge will be fairly representative of the "stable state of the art". It's just that in the couple of years between now and Etch, things will progress without being reflected in a stable Debian release. But come the next release, Debian will be there again.

        Well, not only is there nothing wrong with it, but things called "companies" that have to "make money" don't mind h

  • by espergreen (849246) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:28PM (#12426660) Homepage
    Something else froze today too!
  • How Debian works... (Score:5, Informative)

    by chrysrobyn (106763) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:28PM (#12426661)

    Just because there are always people who don't know how this works...

    Each generation of Debian is named after a character from Toy Story. Potato, Sarge, Woody (the one I run), Slink, Hamm and Sid. Sid is always "testing", the most unstable places for apps to go. Remember who Sid was in Toy Story? Same thing. After packages get more stable, they get promoted to "testing". For a while, this has been "Sarge". After "testing" proves itself (and they demote packages that can't get more stable), it gets promoted to "stable"-- today that's "woody".

    Sarge being frozen means that sometime in the near future, we'll have a new "stable", with more recent packages.

    People who run servers but can't afford to qualify them much should probably stick with "stable". "Testing" is for desktop users who don't like much churn, but it's still more stable than Windows, IMHO. "Unstable" is for the bleeding edge who want someone else to do the compiling.

    For more information, visit your local library [debian.org].

    • by jonestor (443666)
      Sid is always "testing"
      Isn't sid the unstable branch?
    • by explorer (42481)
      > Sid is always "testing"

      No, Sid is always unstable.
    • by OrangeHairMan (560161) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @08:13PM (#12427137)
      Sid is always "testing", the most unstable places for apps to go. Remember who Sid was in Toy Story? Same thing. After packages get more stable, they get promoted to "testing".

      Not to nitpick, and I'm sure this is what you meant, but: Sid is always "unstable", not "testing".

      In addition, to clarify. "After packages get more stable" is a combination of factors. Mainly:
      • after they have been in unstable for a certain period of time (3/5/10 days, depending on the package type and priority, IIRC)
      • have all dependencies in testing
      • have no critical bugs filed against them
      • are built sucessfully on all archs.

      I can recommend Why is package X not in testing yet? [bjorn.haxx.se]. It helps spell out why, heh, a package has not migrated into testing from unstable yet. It helps a whole lot when people whine about old testing packages.

      So yes. I, like many other Debian users and non-users, hope the release comes soon!

      -orange.
    • by benjamindees (441808) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @11:13PM (#12428432) Homepage
      Although yours is a competely accurate description of how Debian is *supposed* to work, I have a feeling reality is somewhat different. This is my analysis. Feel free to correct it.

      Debian Stable seems to be doing just fine. It's a bit old, so hardware support is dated, but no one who needs a "stable" distro ever complains that Debian Stable isn't "stable" enough. Those using Stable are the same people who like to assume that Debian is a server-only distro, and wonder what all the fuss is about "new releases". Unless you're one of the new users who clicks on debian.org and mistakenly downloads and installs Stable, expecting a modern desktop with modern hardware support, Stable is great.

      Testing, which is a somewhat new addition to Debian, doesn't really seem to be fulfilling its mission. The goal for Debian Testing was for it to always be "ready to release". In theory, then, Testing would be an ideal base for third-party distros. Unfortunately, for some reason, few Debian-derived distros use Testing as a base. Most use Unstable instead. Testing is also supposed to be the branch that users can place on a non-production box in order to test out what the next stable will be, and to help stabilize it. Structurally, however, there is little difference between Unstable and Testing. Packages from Unstable are automatically migrated to Testing after a couple of weeks, unless they have glaring flaws. In the time between Debian Stable releases, most upstream sources go through multiple development cycles. Due to this and the constant churn of packages from Unstable into Testing, much of the work done stabilizing Testing is done in vain. Testing is touted as the ideal desktop, and many even use it as a server due to the outdatedness of the Stable branch. Debian Testing is more stable than 90% of other operating systems. But the Testing branch lacks security updates, and broken packages are frequently removed completely from Testing in order to enforce the "ready to release" philosophy. Also, the branch is in constant flux, meaning third-party support is near impossible.

      Unstable is supposed to be a developers' and ricers' haven, with the latest up-to-date packages, fresh from the build farms and ready for hours of enjoyment. Unfortunately, Debian Unstable isn't new and unstable enough for many users. Creating Debian's well-built packages takes time, so the latest software usually isn't available overnight. Also, for fear of breaking Unstable, developers have created an even more unstable branch, Experimental, to contain truly unstable packages. Unstable is sometimes preferred over Testing as a desktop because there is no wait for security updates to migrate.
      • by noahm (4459) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @12:44AM (#12428945) Homepage Journal
        Debian Stable seems to be doing just fine. It's a bit old, so hardware support is dated, but no one who needs a "stable" distro ever complains that Debian Stable isn't "stable" enough. Those using Stable are the same people who like to assume that Debian is a server-only distro, and wonder what all the fuss is about "new releases". Unless you're one of the new users who clicks on debian.org and mistakenly downloads and installs Stable, expecting a modern desktop with modern hardware support, Stable is great.

        I disagree. At this point, I find woody too old to even be usable on servers. What's outdated? Well, let's see: the MTA, whichever it may be; the web server, whichever web server you may prefer; the SNMP packages; the various FTP servers; OpenSSH; Kerberos; OpenAFS; PHP; perl; gcc; MySQL; Postgres. The list could go on. Not only are these packages out of date, but they're horribly out of date, in some cases multiple upstream stable releases behind. I run a number of services on woody boxes, and for most of these services I've had to backport packages or use something like backports.org [backports.org] for the important packages, often including their dependencies. Having to do this kind of thing sort of defeats the purpose of a "stable" release, IMO. Just because a machine is a "server" doesn't mean it doesn't need modern hardware support or up to date software. Maybe it's OK if it's just a simple little shell/static HTML server sitting in your closet for you and a few friends to use, but when you start trying to run an enterprise on Debian stable, you find it rather limiting.

        noah

  • Hell, these are news? Sarge has been frozen for only god knows how long already =P
  • and that is why he is frozen.
  • by poofyhairguy82 (635386) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:37PM (#12426766) Journal
    All I can say is THANK GOODNESS. A lot of bad air has risen between Ubuntu and Debian lately on some news sites (very trollish if you ask me) and I think the core of the problem was tension related to Sarge's release. Now that Sarge will be released, Debianites will feel better and a great server distro will once again grab the spotlight for a while.

    Of course, I don't think Sarge will get all of the Debian desktop users back. I hope that community is fine with its role of being a server distro.

    • by tacocat (527354)

      My concern about Unbuntu is that they still do not have a viable business model. Without that, they are always at risk of just folding up and going away to some extent. Will they disappear entirely, I doubt it. But they will certainly take a hit.

      Debian has a long standing history, so it's not likely to go away anytime soon.

      By the way, Debian has a pretty nice installer now. Not GUI cute, but very effective.

      • My concern about Unbuntu is that they still do not have a viable business model. Without that, they are always at risk of just folding up and going away to some extent. Will they disappear entirely, I doubt it. But they will certainly take a hit.

        Canonical has the same business model of Red Hat or Mandriva- sell support for their distro. [ubuntulinux.org] As is gets more popular, more people need support. Until then Ubuntu has a benefactor that is far richer than most in the OSS world...

    • by Puggs (562473)
      They may not get all the users back but I shall probably go back to sid when X.org FINALLY gets added.

      Ubuntu's nice and all, but I've always felt it to be on the slow side compared to Debian or Gentoo, its also owned/controlled to a certain extent by Canonical

      Gentoo's been fun to run for a while, but compiling everything from source, and keeping it all updated is such a hassle. When I do eventually go back to Debian, I might have to play with apt-build to apply a few of the optimisation tricks I've learnt

  • Huzzah! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Bastian (66383) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:43PM (#12426832)
    Now I know how Boston felt last World Series.
  • Get over it (Score:2, Informative)

    by jargoone (166102) *
    I'm glad that the long wait for a Debian release will soon be over.

    Proof positive that you have no idea how Debian works. This isn't Windows, or OS X. If you want the release, just go get the damn release whenever you want. You don't have to wait for it to be stable before you do.
  • by Markus Registrada (642224) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @07:53PM (#12426932)
    Just practicing.
  • . . . for the Sarge in Toy Story to have become a Major General in the amount of time it took.
  • by n6mod (17734) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @08:28PM (#12427291) Homepage
    Since most of us weren't alive the last time this happened:

    Think seriously about whether you want your apt sources list to say "testing" or "sarge"

    There's no single answer to that question, if you get it wrong, it might lead to a very long day.

  • by donkstuff (719846) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @09:35PM (#12427807) Homepage Journal
    With sarge being frozen, and the release nearing, I am finally glad i'll be able to move back to debian. Ubuntu is nice, but debian gives you much more control out of the box.

    What is keeping me off of debian right now is the lack of Xorg, and the official support for the amd64 arch. Those were both things that were a "coming after sarge" deal, and now it looks like all that waiting will finally come to an end, I hope.
  • by lars_boegild_thomsen (632303) <lthNO@SPAMcow.dk> on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @10:28PM (#12428174) Homepage Journal
    I never understood why so many people focus so much on releasing a new version like this. I have more or less run Debian since around the Woody release (coming from years of running Slackware) and one of the things I enjoy about Debian is the "floating" update. I generally just do an update with dselect on all my boxes once a week and everything is reasonably current. Debian "old"? Well - most stuff is reasonably up to date and it's certainly more up to date than if I took ANY of the commercial Linuxes and installed that without updates. So what IS the fuss about? I seriously LIKE not having to go through a major update/reinstallation every now and then. In my eyes it's the KEY quality of Debian.

    Oh - of course I see the argument in a production environment - and then again - I don't. As I said - been running Debian "testing" or "sarge" for 3 years on something like 20 machines or so. During that time I've had TWO problems that was so serious it made one machine (the one I was testing the update on) unusual for a short while. One was when somebody screwed up the Adaptec aix_7xxx driver in the kernel in the early 2.6.8 and the other was during the switch from LVM 1 to LVM 2. Apart from that - every single update have been successful. That IS pretty impressive if you ask me.

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