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Debian Aims For September Release Date 282

An anonymous submitter writes "Debian Planet has a good discussion of the most recent release update from the new Debian release managers. The most interesting point is the current hard freeze of base+standard and an optimistic but doable release date in September."
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Debian Aims For September Release Date

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  • Re:Debian... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Television Set ( 801157 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @01:55PM (#9870110) Homepage Journal
    Debian and Gentoo are similar in that they have a packaging/software installation system that is top notch (apt, portage), making it easiest to maintain, but a wickedly difficult installation method (dselect/tasksel) - however it is my understanding that the newer Debian will have a much easier installation setup. I look forward to trying it out.
  • Netinstall!!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Douglas Simmons ( 628988 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @01:58PM (#9870138) Homepage
    I *highly* recommend doing new installs with the 110meg iso net-installer that you can grab here: debian.org/devel/debian-installer [debian.org]

    It's beta 4 of Sarge but I think it lets you throw on Woody as well. Netinstalls are good obviously because it's a small DL, you end up DLing only what you need, and what you do download is fresh regardless of when you burnt the CD.

    Also, I'm batting a thousand with this installer as far as getting X video working without a hitch... I can't say that for the sound server, but as they say, if you're interested in sound, you shouldn't be running Debian. :)

  • Re:Debian... (Score:3, Informative)

    by andreyw ( 798182 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @01:59PM (#9870147) Homepage
    Its about as easy and painless as Slackware now. Which means they've got a user in me.
  • Re:Debian Noobie (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nasarius ( 593729 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:00PM (#9870160)
    to achieve their aims do they bug fix other peoples' code?

    Sometimes. Other times, they simply "backport" bug fixes to older versions.

    do they inform the original authors of a problem?

    Gentoo always sends its fixes upstream when appropriate. I would imagine Debian does the same.

    if so, what effects on code ownership does this have - does the Debian team become co-author?

    Depends on the author of the original code and the patch. Some will require you to assign copyright to them, others don't really care because it's all GPL'd anyway.

  • Re:Debian Noobie (Score:2, Informative)

    by narmer65 ( 598389 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:06PM (#9870222)
    To quote the Debian page:

    See the Debian FAQ [debian.org] for more information on what is "testing" [debian.org] and how it becomes "stable" [debian.org].

  • Re:Debian... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:11PM (#9870269)
    Debian and Gentoo are similar in that they have a packaging/software installation system that is top notch (apt, portage), making it easiest to maintain, but a wickedly difficult installation method (dselect/tasksel) - however it is my understanding that the newer Debian will have a much easier installation setup.

    Well, if you're willing to pay bucks, there's Libranet.. and if you're not, there's Mepis.
    Both are great distros based on Debian.
  • Re:Debian... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Short Circuit ( 52384 ) <mikemol@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:11PM (#9870275) Homepage Journal
    I've never installed Slack, but I can tell you a bit about the old Debian installer.

    It doesn't automate much more than keeping track of what stage of the install you're in.
    It figures out the most likely two or three things you'll want to do next, and puts them at the top of your list of options.
    Its questions are fairly straightforward (How do you want to partition your drives? What FS do you want? What partition should go with which mount point? What kernel modules do you want to install? DHCP? What IP address/netmask/gateway? etc.)

    Granted, a lot of people won't know what kernel modules they'll need the first time they install...
  • Re:Debian... (Score:5, Informative)

    by robochan ( 706488 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:12PM (#9870281) Homepage
    As always, those of you who whine about Debian being out of date have probably never looked at the packages available in unstable and testing. Debian is a very fine distro for even desktop use.

    And to top off including 13,000+ packages, they've even beaten [debian.org] the release times between Microsoft's barebones desktop OSes Windows XP [com.com] and Longhorn [3drealms.com]
  • Re:Debian... (Score:2, Informative)

    by andreyw ( 798182 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:16PM (#9870323) Homepage
    No clue.


    labels such as "Woody" or "Sarge" have no real meaning to me since I tell apt to use "unstable" anyways.

    Stable = Stale, unless you seek stability... or somthing.
    Unstable - Latest packages. NOT unstable but high quality releases. They HAVE been tested.
    Testing - this is the latest really unstable stuff. Installing from here will screw up your system eventually.
  • Re:Debian Noobie (Score:5, Informative)

    by lems1 ( 163074 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:20PM (#9870364) Homepage
    To really see the debian process at work one would need to be a member of one of the many mailing lists (depending on what your interests are) and/or participate in the IRC meetings or regular IRC chatrooms for many debian-based or debian-specific pieces of software.
    For instance, I usually hang out in the #debian-desktop channel, and i'm subscribe to the debian-gtk-gnome mailing lists. In there I get to help others fix their problems, help developers find bugs and re-do packages, etc.. etc... Usually all bugs reported to the bugs.debian.org bug repository or to the mailing list get sent upstream.
    After years of distro-hopping from various Linux distributions, I find Debian to be the one that gives me the most confidence in all senses: from a security point of view, from a non-vendor "lock-in" point of view, and even more importantly from a stability point of view.
    Surprisingly enough, I run debian "unstable" as my main workstation at work and at home, and I rarely see a piece of software that breaks (this is despite the fact that I have become an apt-get junkie! Which means that I usually update as soon as there is some new piece of code added to the "unstable" branch).

    The future version of Debian stable, code named "Sarge", is a very very solid distro as it is at this moment. I have started to exclusively install this distro on friend's and family's desktops as they move away from other OSes and welcome the Linux beauty into their lives. Out of 20 or so "upgrades" i have done, only one has gone back to the dark side after a month or so using it. Usually after they get to use a very well configured (and stable) desktop based on Debian, they never go back.

    My hope is that Sarge becomes a rock-solid, easy to install, modern OS a la Mandrake or Xandros, but totally royalty free. And so far I believe that very goal has been achieve, with a few things missing here and there that might be addressed in the near future. (Like the need for a GUI to the installer, and a way to manage drivers for hardware from a GUI).
  • Re:Debian... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dasaan ( 644170 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:23PM (#9870389)
    Almost but not quite.
    Stable = Stale, unless you seek stability... or somthing. [correct]
    Unstable - Latest packages. NOT unstable but high quality releases. They HAVE been tested.[inncorrect - this is testing]
    Testing - this is the latest really unstable stuff. Installing from here will screw up your system eventually.[incorrect - this is unstable]

    To recap its stable then testing and finally unstable.
  • Re:Debian... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Malc ( 1751 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:24PM (#9870395)
    Dselect and tasksel? I bypass that step of the installer and just apt-get things as I find I need them. Obviously I realize that this doesn't work for everybody ;)
  • Re:eh? (Score:2, Informative)

    by andreyw ( 798182 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:24PM (#9870403) Homepage
    Testing I agree. But unstable is pretty damn stable. Never broke any of my machines. Testing did though. The name scares people off. "Ooh its called unstable, thus it must be!"
  • Re:Debian... (Score:3, Informative)

    by JPDeckers ( 559434 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:25PM (#9870410) Homepage
    Euhms, since when did testing and unstable switch ?!

    Stable = Stable = Woody
    Testing = Stuff not in stable yet, but in the queue = Sarge
    Unstable = Living on the edge = sid (and will always be sid)

    http://www.debian.org/releases/ [debian.org]

  • (eh?)^2 (Score:3, Informative)

    by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:29PM (#9870450) Homepage Journal
    I think Debian is a fine project, but to be fair you have to admit that the unstable and testing distributions break far too often to use on a production machine

    Maybe the grandparent does, but I don't have to admit any such thing on my testing system. Been running testing since... Geez, I can't even remember. Sometime around when RedHat 7.0 came out. No more or less stable than any other distro.

    I'm sure that unstable is... wait for it... UNSTABLE. But testing? No problems.

    (/me knocks wood)
  • Nope (Score:5, Informative)

    by pavon ( 30274 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:42PM (#9870562)
    I have seen it with IE, Safari, and Firebird, using Windows 2k, OS X, and Slackware. 503 errors have nothing to do with the browser, just the server.
  • Re:Debian... (Score:4, Informative)

    by robochan ( 706488 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:43PM (#9870569) Homepage
    They are still debating if XFree 4.2 should be default.


    $ cat /etc/issue
    Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 \n \l
    $ dpkg -l xserver-xfree86 |grep ii
    ii xserver-xfree8 4.3.0.dfsg.1-6 the XFree86 X server
  • Re:eh? (Score:3, Informative)

    by lspd ( 566786 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @03:13PM (#9870833) Homepage Journal
    I personally use Unstable on 3 machines for desktop systems, and install it for others, and have very rarely had anything break.

    Odd.. I maintain 5 packages in Debian and another 4 outside of Debian, and I see things breaking every few weeks on Unstable. Normally such bugs just stop the install process, you wait until the package maintainer fixes the problem and try again, but I've seen many people get bent out of shape over trivial apt-get error messages. These are a fact of life with Unstable but completely absent from Stable.

    I use Debian Unstable on the three desktop systems in my office, but I've installed Debian Stable as a desktop system on my nephew's computer and the computers of anyone at the Houston LUG that wants to give Debian a try. Aside from the kernel, there are few real problems with the current version of Stable. KDE 2 and KDE 3 are virtually identical once you customize them. Mozilla has improved dramatically, and OpenOffice is absent from Stable, but you can pull these in through backports.

    Web servers are where Stable really rocks though. Once you have things set up, there is very little tweaking to do. Once the Sarge migration takes place you've still got a full year to update those Woody systems before Debian will drop support. Subscribe to debian-security-announce on lists.debian.org and you'll rarely need to mess with a working Debian Stable server, just watch for security alerts that affect software you're running. OTOH, if you want to do something with MySQL or Samba that demands the newest versions you'll have to turn to a backport again.

    For install-and-forget servers though, nothing beats Debian Stable.
  • by mE123 ( 140419 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @03:14PM (#9870837) Homepage

    How come I get 503 errors? I've been experiencing this for about 2 weeks now. Didn't seem to be happening before. It'd be one thing if it was all the time, but it's not. Is it slashdot, or my choice of browser (firefox)?

    long and the short of it.. someone at slashdot's end broke something... There isn't anything we can do but complain for now.

    2nd question is: how come sometimes there is text that renders as ^D^D^D^D^D^D sometimes. I think it's when someone tries to use a special character that my browser (again firefox) doesn't support, but I don't know how to fix this. Again, slashdot is the only place I experience this.

    '^D' is when people want to pretend to delete things... it's because on terms that doesn't support the backspace key that's what shows up (since that's the actual code that gets sent)
  • Re:Debian... (Score:5, Informative)

    by CoJoNEs ( 73698 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @03:19PM (#9870871) Homepage
    To be fair, you should also mention that Debian supports 10 architectures

    * Alpha
    * ARM
    * HP PA-RISC
    * Intel x86
    * Intel IA-64
    * Motorola 680x0
    * MIPS
    * MIPS (DEC)
    * PowerPC
    * IBM S/390
    * SPARC
  • Re:eh? (Score:3, Informative)

    by CoolHnd30 ( 89871 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @03:28PM (#9870929)
    Have you checked out apt-listbugs ? When using apt-listbugs, you know what issues you may have 99% of the time before actually installing the programs, and can say ,"no, I don't want to take a chance of that bug fsck'ing up my system." You can pin the old version, and go about your merry way until the bug is fixed, and you unpin it and proceed. Using apt-listbugs, I've really only had two issues in the past year when updating programs, and one of those was because I didn't pay attention to the bug notice. The other one was in a minor app I used often (krdc), but there were other alternatives (vncviewer), so it wasn't a showstopper by any means.
  • by Brando_Calrisean ( 755640 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @03:30PM (#9870953)
    Methinks you're thinking of ^H ...
  • by Stalin ( 13415 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @03:39PM (#9871054)

    The following excerpt is from an interview at http://www.pctechtalk.com/view.php?id=3230 [pctechtalk.com]. It seems people are not going to be able to bitch about the outdated releases for too much longer.

    technobeast: Why is the latest stable version of Debian outdated? And why is this idea with several releases? Any purpose to announce outdated versions as stable and currently usable as unstable/testing?

    Martin Michlmayr: Debian has traditionally had very slow release cycles. One reason for this is that Debian has often been used for servers. As it is being used increasingly for desktops, our release cycle is not adequate anymore. We know about this and are working on implementing faster release cycles which will meet the needs of server and desktop users. Another reason why Debian is often slow with release is that our system is very large. We have more than 10,000 packages and support 11 architectures. However, we are working on solutions which will allow faster release cycles. In this process, we are moving away from a feature based to a time based release. This will ensure predictable releases.

  • Re:Debian... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Homology ( 639438 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @03:45PM (#9871128)
    Agreed, far to many people critisize the outdatedness of stable. It is outdated because it is STABLE, that may seem obvious but most people just don't get it. I have NEVER had stable break itself with bad dependancies etc.

    Just because some software is _stable_ does not imply it's _outdated_, and vica versa, of course. It might not be _bleeding_ egde, but it's still fairly current.

    A couple of years ago, I bought the offical Debian 3.0 DVD. On the cover they says there are 8710 packages included. With so many packages, it's no wonder there are real challenges to keep this working. Even FreeBSD brag about the number of ports (over 10 000 now adays) available, but the honour is dubious.

    OpenBSD has a smaller number of packages (about 2000 or so), and have two releases every year. So many important packages are fairly/very current at the time of release. At desktop I run -current, but I've got far less hassle than SuSE Linux Pro that I used to run before. With exception of running propetirary software, of course...

  • Re:Debian... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @04:11PM (#9871443)
    I do the same thing, except I "apt-get install aptitude" and then do the rest in aptitude.

    Aptitude is the default apt frontend in Sarge - dselect is deprecated, although it's still available as an option in the new debian-installer for those who've got used to it.

    I can honestly say that if it wasn't for aptitude, I wouldn't be using Debian. I tried to try Debian a number of times in years gone by, and always failed to get through dselect without accidentally finalising on a set of broken packages - this despite years of Linux experience. But when the debian-installer betas came out, I tried again, and aptitude was usable enough to get me through. And I like it enough that my old SuSE skills are gathering dust.

    In short, Debian is no longer impossible to install. Let's hope more people who were previously put off by the bad old installation process feel inspired to try again come September.
  • Re:Debian... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @04:16PM (#9871503)
    It's important to note in this context that Testing does not recieve security updates.

    Incorrect: more accurately, Testing does not recieve security updates reliably.

    Right now, Testing is very stable and regularly updated. That's because Testing is Sarge, which is intended to become Stable within a month or two.

    But as soon as Sarge is released, Testing will become very unstable indeed.

    That's the reason it's inadvisable to track Testing ever. Track Sarge if you want Sarge, that way you'll get the newer software right away, and continue to get regular security updates when it's released.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @04:27PM (#9871600)
    The 'obsession' is due to the availability (or not) of security updates. 'Stable' releases have security issues dealt with in a timely manner.

    According to the Debian security FAQ [debian.org]:

    Q: How is security handled for testing and unstable?

    A: The short answer is: it's not. Testing and unstable are rapidly moving targets and the security team does not have the resources needed to properly support those. If you want to have a secure (and stable) server you are strongly encouraged to stay with stable. However, the security secretaries will try to fix problems in testing and unstable after they are fixed in the stable release.
  • by dmaxwell ( 43234 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @04:34PM (#9871684)
    Unstable doesn't mean "will crash if you so much as look at it incorrectly". It means "software dependencies and APIs change on a daily basis". A binary package targeted at Debian Stable can be counted on to install and run properly over it's supported lifetime. Stable releases are about three years apart and are supported for a year after new Stable releases.

    A binary package targetted at Unstable could fail to install and run tomorrow because dependencies have incremented upward in version.
  • by JJahn ( 657100 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @04:40PM (#9871738)
    Yes they will be including the new installer, but no graphical one yet. Anaconda works fine on x86, but it doesn't run on all of the 10 supported platforms for Debian releases. Makes it a lot harder to write an installer when it has to run on 10 different platforms ;-)

    With that said, the new debian-installer is pretty nice...if you're afraid of anything not GUIfied look elsewhere, but if you have intermediate-expert skill you'll love it.
  • Re:Netinstall!!! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mr.Ned ( 79679 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @04:48PM (#9871821)
    You'll need to boot with 'expert' or 'expert26' to load the select-the-mirror installer module which will let you do stable.
  • Re:Debian... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @05:24PM (#9872240)
    Interesting that you would whine and complain about unstable being, well, unstable; testing is the best mix of up-to-date software and stability for a regular desktop machine.

    Testing rocks.
  • by warriorpostman ( 648010 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @05:24PM (#9872245) Homepage
    When I set up a Debian box about 6 months ago, the installation didn't seem any more difficult than installing RedHat (which was the only distribution I had used up till that point). You don't HAVE to use dselect or tasksel. The Debian installer (for woody at least) provided some images of standard packages that a user might want when setting up an initial install. I hosed that up, but that was my own fault. I ended up just using apt-get to install specific packages I needed. It's just a web server, so I didn't need much.

    I've only used Redhat and Debian; Debian is WAY better with the package management then RedHat. I'm looking forward to converting my other RedHat box over to Debian as soon as I find the time.
  • by Lobo_Louie ( 545789 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @06:29PM (#9872860)
    I used it as well. I believe I had a working system in about 10 clicks.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann