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Debian Bug

Bugs Delay Release of Debian Lenny 227

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the better-late-than-buggy dept.
A. B. VerHausen writes to tell us that over 200 release-critical bugs continue to push back Debian Lenny's release date. Originally slated for a September release, there is still a long road to be traveled before Lenny sees the light of day. Project leader Steve McIntyre says they may consider dropping some packages for the release if they continue to cause problems, and while an end of October release is the goal, only time will tell.
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Bugs Delay Release of Debian Lenny

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  • by mpapet (761907) on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:14PM (#25358885) Homepage

    For production quality operating systems there is *nothing* better than release when ready. Given the sheer number of packages and diversity of platforms, all the Debian volunteers do a great job.

    It remains the corner-case user who needs the latest and greatest release of any given package.

    As an fyi, I've been running Lenny for at least 6 months as a clean-install desktop with no issues. Upgrading from stable to Lenny had issues for me. I've got two servers running Lenny without show-stopper bugs right now.

    Lenny's got a really nice KDE4 in an unofficial repo at deb http://kde4.debian.net/ [debian.net] . I encourage users to check it out. Don't enter bugs against these packages in Debian though.

  • by MasterOfMagic (151058) on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:27PM (#25359053) Journal

    If this is happening, first check the changelog for the affected package in /usr/share/doc. If it is out of date or missing, you need to file a severity minor [debian.org] (with the following rationale [debian.org]) against the packages missing the updated changelog. This is not a violation of Debian policy (which would warrant a severity of serious), but it's suggested by policy and trivial to add.

  • Re:Good! (Score:5, Informative)

    by WK2 (1072560) on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:31PM (#25359087) Homepage

    There needs to be distros like Debian which, while always delayed, has all the important bugs ironed out.

    Debian is like Debian. Seriously, how many Debian distros do we really need? 1 is fine with me.

    Also I am pretty sure that Ubuntu is based on Debian.

    Ubuntu is based on Debian Unstable. Their release processes are entirely different. Ubuntu includes buggy packages that Debian would reject in a stable release.

  • Re:Good! (Score:2, Informative)

    by JshWright (931399) on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:35PM (#25359141) Homepage
    Lenny was never Unstable. Unstable is always Sid.
  • Re:Good! (Score:5, Informative)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:38PM (#25359201) Homepage Journal

    If you think Ubuntu has the latest and greatest packages, maybe you should try it once. Most of the packages are outdated and I don't rely on the package manager if I want the latest version anymore.

    To be fair, Debian does do quite a bit more testing than Ubuntu. OTOH, Ubuntu does a lot more spit-and-polish integration than Debian and is unafraid to take controversial stances on things like binary drivers or distributing Firefox with Firefox branding (as opposed to Ice Weasel or whatever) or distributing some codecs that may be violating patents or using code from other distros (like system-config-printer).

    Debian is more about stability and reliability, while Ubuntu is more about the end-user experience.

    When you make a Linux distro, you have to make a few tradeoffs. The differences between Ubuntu and Debian are mostly about differences in decision-making regarding these tradeoffs.

  • Re:Good! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sancho (17056) * on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:40PM (#25359221) Homepage

    Ubuntu tends to have the latest and greatest packages up front. For example, 8.04 was released with a Firefox 3.0 release candidate. The trick is that they don't upgrade packages arbitrarily--they'll upgrade or backport for security fixes, but not for the newest version. You'll have to wait for the next major release if you want that.

    It's a nice compromise between bleeding-edge and stability. I'm sure that the process is only made more difficult by upstream developers mixing bugfixes with new features.

  • by WK2 (1072560) on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:40PM (#25359231) Homepage

    The above user does not want to install the packages unless they have a change he would interested in. Changelogs are only available in /usr/share/doc AFTER the package is installed. Although, I suppose he could manually download the .deb, unarchive it using ar, tar, and gz, and then see if it would have a changelog in /usr/share/doc that way.

    I have noticed something similar as the above poster; it might have the same cause. I will sometimes browse packages.debian.org/sid/package-name, and then click on changelog, and get a 404. I don't know why it happens.

  • by Slashdot Parent (995749) on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:43PM (#25359263)

    What I would like to have is a 4.1 release

    Well, don't project what you want unto the rest of the world.

    Debian stable is a server distro. Every time there is an upgrade, a full regression test must be done to the server. This is expensive and time-consuming. The whole idea of Debian stable is that it is stable and doesn't change often. No one running stable wants the latest and greatest. We want stability and security fixes. That's it.

    Clearly you already know about the testing and unstable releases, but did you know about backports and volitile? Volitile is great for things like anti-virus and anti-spam software that you really do want and need upgrades. Backports is a little different--it's basically upgrades for popular packages in stable, and you can pick and choose which ones you want.

    Stable means stable, and backports and volitile are great tools to help you. If you want the latest and greatest, that's what the testing release is for.

  • by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumay AT gmail DOT com> on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:46PM (#25359313) Homepage Journal

    Debian has no release date. It never had, and doesn't seem to have any plans on adopting release dates. Thus, Debian can't be "late", since being late implies on missing a release date, and Debian doesn't have that. Or, maybe I didn't repeat that enough, so let me tell you: Debian never made a compromisse on releasing any version on any exact day.

    What Debian does have is a list of bugs. Everytime testing is frozen, it is created a list with the showstopper bugs, and release happens when that list becomes empty. The list can increase if more bugs are found, or decrease if bugs are solved or some functionality removed.

    Debian also do have people betting when it'll be out. Those people give specific (or sometimes not very specific) dates, but that isn't a release date for the team, just a guesstimate.

  • Re:Good! (Score:2, Informative)

    by zero-point-infinity (918349) on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:48PM (#25359363)
    Sure, based on Debian Sid - a little ways back on the scale of stability vs current versions. So while, yes, Ubuntu is based on Debian, its choice of where to branch off cuts out some of Debian's QA process. How you feel about the advantages and disadvantages of that choice is of course a matter of taste.
  • Don't use Sarge (Score:5, Informative)

    by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:52PM (#25359399) Homepage Journal

    I still use Debian Sarge on my current server.

    Bad idea. Support for Sarge ended in April, so you haven't been getting any security updates since then, and there are some known weaknesses.

    You should upgrade to Etch, ASAP.

  • by idontgno (624372) on Monday October 13, 2008 @02:53PM (#25359415) Journal

    Red Hat marketing may not acknowledge point releases, but they do indeed exist [redhat.com]. And CentOS tracks 'em. That's why I know. (Too cheap for RHEL, too lazy for Fedora. I use Kubuntu for desktops, but the server has always been in the Red Hat lineage.)

  • Re:What else is new? (Score:3, Informative)

    by petermgreen (876956) <plugwash@@@p10link...net> on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:11PM (#25359679) Homepage

    The shortened release cycle seems to be working pretty well. Afaict thier current strategy is to aim for 18 months and be happy with 24. They achieved that with etch and it seems likely they will achieve it with lenny.

  • Re:Good! (Score:3, Informative)

    by X0563511 (793323) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:18PM (#25359759) Homepage Journal

    An extra-extra-plus-good bonus:

    If a new binary package comes along since your last build, the package manager will notice and suggest you update. You don't need to worry quite so much about your build getting stale.

  • Re:Good! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:24PM (#25359831)

    "testing" changes each release

    currently, stable points at etch and testing points at lenny

    unstable always points at sid

    oldstable, btw, currently points at sarge

  • Re:Good! (Score:5, Informative)

    by stevied (169) on Monday October 13, 2008 @03:55PM (#25360285)

    Depends. "Linux" in general usage = Linux kernel + critical userspace stuff (glibc, etc.) + apps / services.

    Stable kernel versions are generally very, very stable. Ditto the critical, foundation userspace stuff.

    As on most other platforms, the apps vary. Because we're talking open source here, unstable test versions are usually available, and often the bleeding-edge stuff the developers are still editing is available, too. Different distributions choose what to ship, depending on what their target audience is.

    Also, regardless of the stability of individual components, there are often issues that arise from the interactions between the components. That's actually where Linux distros are a huge win over other OSs: the developers test, patch, and integrate a huge swathe of free software alongside the core OS, in a way that commercial OSs don't (they may do the testing bit, but that's all.)

    Ubuntu, AIUI, made a deliberate decision to be slightly less anal about rock solid stability and nailing every last bug, in order to be able to ship more up-to-date versions of the applications that most people use day to day. Crashes are undesirable, but having features missing that you want to use is also undesirable. And having said that, Ubuntu is usually pretty bomb-proof too.

    "Linux" is a complex ecosystem, but it offers choice, and switching between different flavours once you've found your personal "sweet spot" is still much less painful than migrating between other OSs.

  • The problem is the kernel team aren't cooperating :(. They won't keep the -486 kernel slim enough and they won't sanction the creation of a seperate kernel flavor just for the floppy installer to use it.

    With etch the kernel had grown to the point that they had to kick everything that wasn't absoloutly essential (including USB floppy support) from the boot floppy.

    With lenny a couple of bad things happened. Firstly the UPX recompressor stopped working for current kernels. And then just as there was talk of fixing that the lenny kernel grew to the point that it just wasn't feasible to put it on a floppy at all.

  • Re:What else is new? (Score:2, Informative)

    by jonadab (583620) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @04:41AM (#25366149) Homepage Journal
    > I'm happy that the team is waiting until all the bugs are squashed.

    Well, I use Debian stable for a reason, so yeah, I'd prefer they get the bugs out before release if possible.

    On the other hand, etch is starting to be obsolete. It isn't yet to the point where it's a serious debilitating problem (like, for instance, was the case with woody in the last few months before sarge came out), and I don't think I'd even care if I only used it for servers, but already for workstations there are applications that simply are not available, even with backports, even if you compile it yourself, because fundamentally the basic system libraries in etch are too old. For instance, a lot of newer stuff doesn't support the old version of GTK that etch still has. There have been three things so far that I've wanted to install, but it turns out I have to wait for eenny.

    So, yes, I prefer that they wait until most of the bugs are out before releasing, because I don't want an unstable system. If I wanted bleeding-edge, I wouldn't run Debian stable, would I?

    But on the other hand, I hope it doesn't take *too* much longer. I mean, I can wait a month or two, for a more stable product, but let's have it before Christmas, eh?
  • >fresh installation
    Why are you doing this? Just upgrade in place, like everyone else, instead of reinstalling.

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