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Debian Sarge Coming Soon 284

daria42 writes "The long awaited 3.1 release of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution - codenamed Sarge - is due out next week on the 6th of June, according to the project's release team. Around 50 release-critical bugs remain to be fixed. One more update to Debian 3.0 will also be released prior to that date. And it's about time - the last formal release was back in July 2002. Debian 3.0 will probably be supported with security patches for another 12 months."
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Debian Sarge Coming Soon

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  • by gowen ( 141411 ) <> on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @08:57AM (#12683081) Homepage Journal
    Who wants to enter our sweepstake for when Debian 3.2 will be released? Pick a date, and if you're the nearest, you'll win ... well, nothing.

    I take July 4th, 2007.
  • DNF? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ibag ( 101144 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @08:57AM (#12683084)
    Does this mean thaat Duke Nukem Forever is coming out soon too? Or just that hell has frozen over?
    • Sarge is only the 3rd sign of the Apocalypse. The first two were the release of Doom 3 and the Xbox 360. DNF should follow Hurd but before Open Source Windows and the Phantom Gaming Console.
    • No.

      But the devil has been rumoured to drive a snowplough to work. Apparently he is fixing bugs in autofs, mailman, hpa-tftp(d) [which in fact is a linux kernel UDP bug]. Add glibc compat module to this.

      To name just a few (from my "what do I follow and have tried to fix locally" list).

    • I hear that DNF will actually be shipping *with* Sarge...
  • And the point is? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by coolsva ( 786215 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @08:57AM (#12683086)
    Not to troll, but what is the main advantage of sarge vis-a-vis other distributions based on the debian unstable/testing tree (like knoppix/ubunto and a dozen other main ones)
    • by jhdevos ( 56359 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @09:02AM (#12683114) Homepage
      More supported arch's? Security support for the entire distribution, not just a subset?

    • Re:And the point is? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @09:21AM (#12683244)
      1) It guarantees a clean upgrade path for people still running 3.0.

      One of the nice things about Debian is you don't need to reinstall. Most of the problems you experience upgrading testing/unstable every day have been ironed out for anyone attempting the mammoth 3.0->3.1 upgrade.

      2) It will continue to do this.

      Third party distros come and go. Progeny? Corel? Ubuntu is developing at lightning pace right now, but as it diverges from Debian and acquires legacy maintenance baggage of its own development will slow. Sometimes users are abandoned. I believe this happens frequently to RedHat users.

      3) It's really really stable and it's really really big.

      Other distros shotgun packages as well as architectures. They're also not necessarily as anal about bugs.

      4) It's a concrete base and point of reference for third party distros.

      Debian Testing has basically been a slow moving Debian Stable (without Security support) for the whole last year. With the release out the way Testing will become more unstable again for a while and third party distros will likely base their efforts on stable again for a while. It's important for Debian's future that this is made possible.
      • FYI, the Corel Linux Distribution based on Debian was spun off (or acquired) by Xandros [].

        And Xandros is far from having "come and gone". AFAIC they've got one of the best distributions going for the desktop, workstation, and server.

        I think they've done the best in creating a Linux distribution with the user friendliness that most would claim does not exist in any Linux distro.

        Xandros seems to be largely overlooked by the /. community.
    • Stability, there's actually some form of QA process in motion. If it doesn't work very well then it doesn't get included.
      • Re:And the point is? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by grumbel ( 592662 )
        No, Debians QA process is more like "If there aren't any RC bug reports it gets included", unless there was some major change latly Debian doesn't test each and every package, which for less seldomly used packages means that even a completly non-working one (SEGFAULT at startup) can slip into a stable distribution, not much an issue of x86, but for the other archs there is quite a bit of stuff that will compile, but not work.
  • good stuff... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by professorhojo ( 686761 ) * on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @08:57AM (#12683087)
    Releasing Sarge will be hugely cathartic for Debian, it will get a monkey off of their back so they can move forward on the reduced platform list.

    People need to remember that Debian is not trying to be Fedora or Gentoo. There are already numerous distros providing the bleeding edge with various degrees of config assistance/packaging options etc. Debian is offering the "must work" (as opposed to "just work" which seems less mission-critical) alternative, and its useful for someone to perform the heavy testing and fixing they do.

    I am satisfied that the Debian crowd is making moves to keep itself relevant with a new team leader, a new set of targets, and a release in the bag. Having been burned in the past by the "maybe it works" distros in the past, I will be seriously considering their future offerings.

    On a slightly related tangent: just who do those Ubuntu guys think they are? They are releasing a Distro that claims to be Debian compatible, and yet their packages are not 3.5 years old. What's worse, they seem to be a popular distro. If this doesn't stop, we might have to cooperate with someone else in the Debian space! We might end up like (gasp!) Fedora, and have to deal with multiple repositories in a Bazaar-like fashion instead of doing things in the Cathedral-like fashion that we are accustomed to. Where will it all end?
    • From what I heard, debian is suitable for servers, due to its conservatism and insistence on stability, whereas ubuntu is focused on desktops, for which bleeding edge is OK.
      • Re:good stuff... (Score:4, Informative)

        by snorklewacker ( 836663 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @10:29AM (#12683812)
        > ubuntu is focused on desktops, for which bleeding edge is OK

        Only Debian could call six months of feature freeze from Debian's unstable repository to be "bleeding edge". It's the same release cycle as fedora, except nothing ever gets upgraded but for security patches. Firefox is still at 1.02 even though every security patch has been backported (which makes it exactly 1.04) because of the phobia of changing version numbers lest something break.

        Now on the pro- side: I was going to switch to Fedora myself, but these folks can't even be bothered to support my very common network hardware in their installer or port the ATI drivers to the current and only kernel version they support. Debian might move as slow as the tides, but they do lift all ships.
      • Stability isn't such a bad thing on a workstation (I don't do "desktops") install either.

        I haven't tried Ubuntu, I'm sure it's fine, but I've been really happy with Debian "unstable" in both server and desktop roles. It's not always necessary or even desirable to run the latest version of everything. Having the stable and reliable versions, with security fixes backported regularly, is ideal for many of us.

        • Re:good stuff... (Score:2, Informative)

          by anethema ( 99553 )
          You do realize that ubuntu freezes debian unstable every 6 months, works the bugs out, then releases it right? Its just like debain unstable, but stable and more of a 'it just works' type philosophy. Amazing hardware detection upon install thats for sure.
    • Why - because it allows for mass testing of packages, and therefore bugs that will pop-up in Debian. This will allow for speedier releases, and to continue their continued excellent quality distro.

      Yes, I know that Ubuntu isn't exactly Debian, but it's close enough to make my point valid.

    • Ubuntu is the reason why I did not switch to Mandrake. I still plan to switch back to Debian if they manage to speed up their release cycle by focusing on fewer architectures. Actually I think that Debian should be grateful that users like me have an option to stay in "Debian space" rather than leaving it for good.

      (No I don't contribute to FOSS, but others do)

    • Debian is offering the "must work" (as opposed to "just work

      I run Gentoo on most of my servers; x86, x64, and sparc64. I have yet to have a problem with a daemon crashing/segfaulting unexpectedly after an upgrade. In fact, I don't think that I've had any problems at all with it. Sure, if you script emerge -u world in a cronjob each night, you're likely to have problems. But if you just monitor the Gentoo alerts with glsa-check -l | grep '\[N\]' (why don't they make that any option?), update them as they

  • by Darren Winsper ( 136155 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @08:58AM (#12683089) that the original release date was around 33 B.C.
  • Wow ! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I can see herds of pigs flying over a completely frozen hell!
  • Could someone tell me how long until this trickles into the debian based distros?

    • Not sure if it does matter. Most of the distros are based off the testing and unstable trees. The main reason for the Debian standard release is compatiability with many architectures while other distros focus on x86 (I believe)
  • by guyfromindia ( 812078 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @08:59AM (#12683097) Homepage
    which runs on my desktop, at the moment.. after being 4 yrs with Debian..
    • Well, if you were running stable on your desktop, you do not understand its purpose. Even if this release is reasonably current *now*, it'd still be a mistake to put it on your desktop.

      Brief mapping debian <-> reality:

      Stable - Server
      Testing - Desktop
      Unstable - Testing

      I've been running debian testing now for a long time. The only open service on my box is openssh, and I can pay attention to any security fixes for that one myself. For a desktop, that is really the only concern. Application vunerabili
  • by jhdevos ( 56359 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @08:59AM (#12683099) Homepage
    here: []

    The June 6 date still depends on how fast the level will drop -- at the time of writing, it is at 17 RC bugs, it will have to be at 0 on June 3, so they have some work to do.

    Security support is already in place, though, so there is not really a reason to hold off upgrading :)

  • Now, if they could backport all the nice features from Ubuntu to Sketch... That would be awesome!

    As much as I like Ubuntu, I'd love an consolidated repository under Debian control.
    • Just to correct myself...

      When you read Sketch, I mean Etch... You know, from etch-a-sketch...

      It's morning, and I barely had my fist cup of coffee. Sorry.
    • Try MEPIS. It's an advanced distribution with all the nice stuff like Ubuntu, but it runs on the Debian testing repositories without compatibility problems.
  • Fedora Core 4 (Score:4, Informative)

    by mukund ( 163654 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @09:02AM (#12683115) Homepage
    Fedora Core 4 is also scheduled for June 6 [].
  • by MarkEst1973 ( 769601 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @09:04AM (#12683124)
    Munich, if you didn't know, is making a much publicized switch from Windows NT to Linux. They recently (April 18, 2005) announced to use a customized distribution of Debian for the 14,000 city desktops.

    You can read more about it here: Munich chooses Debian []

    • I'm dubious of any of these government-switches-to-Linux stories, until there are actual machines running actual applications for actual government employees. Before that time, it's just as much hot air as any government office, and the motives are just as likely political. They may just be trying to force Microsoft to a different price bracket, with no real intention of following through with the bluff.
      • You're right to be dubious in general as there is a depressing trend of governments using Linux to threaten Microsoft into reducing their prices (but, hey, whatever puts the squeeze on Microsoft is fine by me ;)), but the Munich thing is a done deal. Munich simply does not want Microsoft, and if they aborted their plans and went back to the bosom of MS, I would publicly eat my own head.
        • It could still happen in the (for Munich currently perhaps still not too likely case) of a change in local government. While the Social Democrats and Greens who currently rule in Munich are much in favour of the Linux migration, the Christian Democrats who currently are winning out all over Germany are definitely not.
  • by Tillmann ( 859300 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @09:04AM (#12683127)

    only 12 months of security support for the old Debian release, after a new release has come out?

    Isn't that a bit short? If Microsoft had stopped supporting Windows 2000 in 2002 (one year after Windows XP came out), everybody would have gone NUTS about it.

    Considering that Debian "stable" is targeted at users who are very conservative about upgrades, Woody should be supported for at least a few more years. IMHO.

    • Yes, but I've paid for Windows 2000. I can move to sarge for free with a simple dist-upgrade.
    • It's just a matter of issuing "apt-get dist-upgrade" on the console, and your Woody box will became a Sarge box.

      Sarge is the new stable, the migration should be transparent on most installations. For those few installations that are so customised, or that had some kind of problem, they're giving a 12 month period to adjust and migrate.

      Debian is not like Windows, you don't have to do a full installation to upgrade you system. The upgrades are a natural path if you keep your systems up-to-date with the repositories. That is one reason I love to use Debian.
      • apt-get dist-upgrade

        "What do you mean oracle wont start now???!!!!"

      • ### Sarge is the new stable, the migration should be transparent on most installations.

        Have you ever actually tried that? Its true that Debian might do a dist-upgrade better than any other distro out there, but its still *FAR* from being transparent, there is tons of stuff that breaks and works completly different with the new version. It might not be any issue at all in a @Home installation, but if you have a larger installation of Debian machines and a larger number of users you have quite a huge amount
      • should be transparent
        yeah, but until you've spent the time to make sure that it WAS transparent, you don't know, do you?

        in my experience, the cost of suppoorting an upgrade often outweighs the cost of the upgrade.

      • by DragonHawk ( 21256 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @12:28PM (#12684922) Homepage Journal
        "It's just a matter of issuing "apt-get dist-upgrade" on the console..."

        For individuals who don't have anything major to loose or anything special to worry about, sure. But not for large organizations with a support structure (help desk, local docs, procedures, etc.) that needs to be ramped up to support new changes. And not for anyone doing anything special or mission-critical that needs to test things before deployment. The rule in any production environment is "Test, test, test, and then test some more". You simply cannot just type "apt-get dist-upgrade" (or "yum upgrade" or any other variation on the theme) in the Real World, I'm afraid.

        In general, I find that this whole concept (which is a major part of the disipline called "configuration management") appears to be alien to Debian people. When your business/mission is on the line, answers like "Just pull from sid" or "Just apt-get the fix" and so on just don't cut it.
        • For individuals who don't have anything major to loose or anything special to worry about, sure. But not for large organizations with a support structure (help desk, local docs, procedures, etc.) that needs to be ramped up to support new changes. And not for anyone doing anything special or mission-critical that needs to test things before deployment. The rule in any production environment is "Test, test, test, and then test some more". You simply cannot just type "apt-get dist-upgrade" (or "yum upgrade" o
    • Well, the difference is that noone pays us Debian Developers to do the work. The security team is pretty small and their work is needed for the new stable release. But I'm sure that if you volunteer to do all the security fixes for 4-5 years, noone would mind too much (well, you'd have to pay for the diskspace too, of course, since this would mean that we'd probably end up with old-old-stable, old-stable, and stable...

    • That was exactly my thought when I read this. Even if Debian is planning on moving to a much faster release schedule, this goes directly against the extremely stable argument I often get in Debian's favor.

      I hate to hold Ubuntu up as an example every time Debian comes up, but they've at least got the right idea: A new release every 6 months, supported for 18 months. They also have plans for an 'Enterprise' release every 12-24 months, sporting Debian-like stability testing.

      Personally, I'd argue that even 18
      • So Ubuntu's releases are supported for 18 months. Debian Woody has been supported for 3 years, and still has another year left. If you really want to compare, Debian is supporting its release for 12 months after an upgrade comes out, and Ubuntu is doing the exact same thing.
      • The point that you, and the grandparent, are apparently missing is the fact that the 12 month support window is not for the new (Sarge) release, but for the old (Woody) release that came out in 2002. The support for Woody is thus approaching 3 years, and if the developers hold true to form Sarge is looking at approximately the same length of time for support. In any case, you can almost bet it'll be longer than 18 months.
    • Hi Till,

      If you want unpaid volunteers to support an already aged/creaking system for a few more years, you had better come up with something more persuasive than that!

    • The entire point of debian's wonderfully stable 'stable' releases is that you have no reason not to upgrade to the latest stable release of any deb, and you are extremely unlikely to have any problems whatsoever in doing so.

      /me touches wood.


      • that's the intent. but from my own experiences it's hardly ever the case. of the last 3 servers i upgraded:

        -one didn't upgrade PPP properly, leaving me with a machine without a net connection and unable to finish the upgrade (broken dependencies)
        -another didn't upgrade some modules at all, exim was broken, most perl modules weren't installed, mysql was broken, apache was broken, some libs were missing (gd), and the upgrade process installed the wrong version of php4
        -the last one worked

        i like debian, all o
      • I think the saying you are looking for is "knocks on wood".

        "Touching wood" has a totally different meaning.
    • The upgrade path to the new release is fully supported. Unlike Windows 2000 -> XP (or even unlike other distributions, such as Fedora or RedHat), a distribution upgrade is guaranteed to be smooth and flawless, and has been tested hundreds of thousands of times.
      • A valid argument, but it doesn't always - or even usually - work that way. Most companies that use debian (and support it, subsequently) will have a problem upgrading due to a 3rd party application or a specific application deployed in an uncommon configuration. This will undoubtedly cause problems resulting in delays: the 3rd party application will need to be fixed, or custom development will need to be done on linux libraries, etc. in order to get it working. It's all a big hastle.
    • Yeah, that's valid. I don't buy into the "well, they're doing it for free!" argument: it doesn't work, because without the longer security support for a distro (as is almost needed on a long-term-use distro like Debian), the 'stable' release is negligible in proportion: it takes a long time to upgrade a large infrastructure from one distro to another - much more than a year in many cases. Particularly when so much has changed from woody to sarge.
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @09:07AM (#12683141)
    I started playing around with colinux (a user mode Linux that runs on Win32) and needed a root_fs. Lo and behold I found a debian 3.0 root_fs. This was enough to get me going, but the packages are really ancient. So next I changed all the sources to Sarge, and grew a beard while updating. Now I have a spiffy Debian 3.1 all running at something like 90% native under Win32!

    The only problem was getting networking going, but that was more to do with colinux and the pain with trying to create TAP devices on Win32. I sure hope that MS ship with TAP-Win32 in their next release. They really, really should.

    • OT: coLinux (Score:2, Interesting)

      What version of Windows are you using? For me, the coLinux installer (0.6.2) created those for me. I might have told it to, but I had more difficulty getting my firewall to play nicely than configuring the networking.
      • Windows XP. CoLinux requires WinPCap to tap into ethernet connections, and things get a little complicated at that point depending on DHCP, bridged devices, and other factors. After a lot of reading the wiki, screwing around with various settings and reboots (of XP & Linux) I got it working, but it wasn't that easy.
  • by jdowland ( 764773 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @09:07AM (#12683144)
    Hmm 50 is an over-estimate (maybe it wasn't when the story was submitted); according to [] there are only 28.
  • by rhymesmith ( 528299 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @09:07AM (#12683145) Homepage

    To prevent some Debian trolling I want to clarify some facts about the release model used by the Debian project.

    Debian always provides a stable distribution. This distribution is guaranteed to, yes you guessed it, be stable. That is if you install Debian stable on a server you know that you won't have to update configuration files because the application has changed its internal format and suchlike.

    This does not mean that the stable distribution is never updated, in fact Debian has a security team that fixes security bugs and backports security fixes from newer versions of a package.

    The stable distribution has a quite slow release cycle, but there is no reason for a desktop user to run the stable distribution. You can run either the unstable distribution, that regardless of its name is quite stable, or you can run the testing distribution.

    The unstable and testing distributions have really large collections of packages and are updated each day, updating your distribution is as simple as typing:

    #apt-get update
    #apt-get dist-upgrade

    A desktop user can also opt to run a Debian-derivative like Ubuntu.

    • I've been running Debian 3.0 on my home desktop for about 18 months now. Yes, there are a lot of ancient versions on it. However, there are plenty of backports of popular packages available too. I've never been more than one minor release behind on Mozilla. I'm a little out-of-date on OpenOffice, but I'm certainly not stuck on 1.0. And I built GCC 4.0.0 myself from sources yesterday.

      In all that time, three things have broken and all of them were installed from sources other than Debian packages. I ha
    • The stable distribution has a quite slow release cycle, but there is no reason for a desktop user to run the stable distribution. You can run either the unstable distribution, that regardless of its name is quite stable, or you can run the testing distribution.

      There is a sad reason to not run testing: the testing distribution is the last one to get security updates; as I have understood this, unsecure packages from unstable can overwrite security fixed packages in testing. And I've seen people at debian-d
  • Hooray! (Score:3, Funny)

    by fr0dicus ( 641320 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @09:08AM (#12683155) Journal
    Finally I can upgrade my kernel:

    Linux debian 2.4.18-bf2.4 #1 Son Apr 14 09:53:28 CEST 2002 i686 GNU/Linux

  • The new installer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dmouritsendk ( 321667 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @09:17AM (#12683215)
    Does anybody know if it will allow creation of LVM2 volumes during install?
  • Finally (Score:5, Informative)

    by petteri_666 ( 745343 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @09:21AM (#12683243)
    After Sarges release there will be nice new things coming to unstable:
    KDE 3.4
    GNOME 2.10
    gcc 4.0
    xorg 6.8.2
    python 2.4

    Long live Debian ;)
  • Duke Nukem Forever will be relased shortly thereafter...
  • by flacco ( 324089 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @09:59AM (#12683550)
    ...they should have named this release "Godot".
  • The actual notice (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mr_Person ( 162211 ) <(gro.nosreprm) (ta) (nosrep_rm)> on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @10:30AM (#12683815) Journal
    For those of you that are curious, the actual email that Andi Barth sent out is here [].
  • by DaGoodBoy ( 8080 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @10:46AM (#12683968) Homepage
    Debian is a different kind of distribution compared to other popular distros. I wrote an essay on these differences here [] if anyone is interested. Bottom line in the essay; Debian continues to be more important as a community collection of tools and knowledge for building and distributing an operating system than as a standalone distro itself.

    The Sarge release is great, but Debian's success is also in its franchisees. I remember a press conference where one of the marketing types predicted that there would eventually only be two major distributions. Robin 'roblimo' Miller piped up and burst his grand vision by asking 'Debian and who?' He got a laugh and made a point that continues to be made today. Debian is a fantastic laboratory to grow operating systems and the knowledge on how it happens is right there in its mailing lists, utilities and documentation.

    Go Debian!

  • by jackstack ( 618328 ) on Tuesday May 31, 2005 @11:17AM (#12684251) Journal
    While many complain about the long cycle time for major debian releases, I'd just like to voice the opinion that I *like*.. no *LOVE*...the fact that it doesn't change often.

    As a hobbyist - I really enjoy *using* linux to serve webpages for recreational use, mp3s, ssh sessions, downloading torrents and learning about unix.

    If I have to keep up with a continual stream of what I feel to be cosmetic and superfluous updates, that leaves me less time to do the things I enjoy. As far as security updates, debian does a great job of notifying users of security updates with their mailing list, debian-security-announce. When ever I get an e-mail from that list - I just run apt-get update and apt-get dist-upgrade, and all is well.

    Then again, I'm the type of person who takes great delight in installing linux on a crusty old (but wireless enabled) laptop with no X and just alt-F[1-4]'ing for my 'window environment'. I don't *need* the latest release of gwingding or kflipflop depending on the latest libraries of whatever, so I am probably in the minority here.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A giant panda bear is really a member of the racoon family.