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Debian 4.0 'Etch' Released 245

An anonymous reader writes "Earlier today we discussed the possibility that Debian Etch might be released soon. Well, according to, it has already happened. Etch has been released: 'The Debian Project is pleased to announce the official release of Debian GNU/Linux version 4.0, codenamed etch, after 21 months of constant development. Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system which supports a total of eleven processor architectures and includes the KDE, GNOME and Xfce desktop environments. It also features cryptographic software and compatibility with the FHS v2.3 and software developed for version 3.1 of the LSB.'"
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Debian 4.0 'Etch' Released

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  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @01:29AM (#18660303)
    The question is: -

    Will I be able to have Debian perfectly handle [all] my basic multimedia requirements well by default? I would like to play Yahoo, CNN, ABC, BBC andd FOX video and audio by default. Let a slashdotter inform a soul.

  • by ZakuSage ( 874456 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @01:59AM (#18660407)
    I just put it together and installed Sarge yesterday, and I'd rather keep things running stable on it after all that work. Does Etch have any showstopping bugs that would stop a 'apt-get dist-upgrade'? Will it fuck up my apache, proftpd, sshd, or smb servers? Anything I should really know before letting some 600 or so packages change?
  • by fo0bar ( 261207 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @02:08AM (#18660425)

    etch ships with CONFIG_IP_ROUTE_MULTIPATH_CACHED (experimental) enabled in the kernel. This breaks the multipath route behavior in iproute. As the google search shows, it is wreaking havoc with anyone using multipath and dual-wan systems. Those who upgraded this morning to the new stable may be in for a ride. This is a known and documented issue but cannot be found in debian's bug tracking system. This issue is not unique to Debian but it should not have passed through the release engineering for the new stable release.

    So, this was reported for a different kernel on a different distro? What happened when you filed the bug report with Debian's BTS?
  • Is it 1997 or 2007 ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Muki ( 1083243 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @02:23AM (#18660485)
    As I was recovering from a spring flu, I was bored enough and decided to upgrade from sarge to etch on my trusty old 600Mhz 256MB Compaq Deskpro. For the most part it went smooth and nice, but what amazes me is why the X stuff is still somewhat awkward. Hardware is certainly not bleeding edge. Maybe I'm just without a clue after a decade of professional multiplatform unix administration, but it sure beats me why X stuff still needs to be this clumsy - we're in year 2007, aren't we - ? Recently I installed two Dell 2900's at work and with Fedora FC6 it was surely as smooth as ever could be. Now someone jumps in and tells that 'Debian is not intended to be easy'. OK, but how is this intended to boost anyone's productivity to battle with stuff that was perhaps ok back in the early 90's ? Debian is such a stable (pun intended) and rock-solid platform to run servers on, I sure like it, but I'd like to see some minor refinements in getting wheels to roll. Used to run sarge at work, used to set up sarge systems for friends small businesses and home use, but have since then moved on to Fedora due to these unnecessary issues. Beat the living daylight out of me but I just don't feel like attacking the xorg.conf or XF....conf with vi anymore "cool" these days. Especially on very common hardware. Other than that, thanks for the debian folks for the release !
  • by ljaguar ( 245365 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @02:26AM (#18660491) Homepage Journal
    i didn't know about it until i updated and things broke.

    as a debian stable user, there's a reasonable expectation that, after 21 months in development, they don't ship a kernel with experimental feature that is known to be broken?

    I don't mean this is an experimental feature that breaks sometimes. This feature is just clearly documented to be broken. As in it doesn't work.

    I only found out about the stuff that I posted because I updated this morning and all hell broke loose.

    I know I should have tested it on a test machine before bringing it into production. (or maybe waited a bit) But this is a small machine in an informal setting. I don't have a test machine. But I do have 20+ users with slow internet. and it's really not asking for too much to expect a thing so blatant.
  • by rbanffy ( 584143 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @07:31AM (#18661277) Homepage Journal
    The problem with rolling out my own kernel is that the more customized the machine gets, the more complicated it is to rebuild it.

    I had used my own kernel fresh from for ages, but then I realized it was so much more work than just running the stock kernel - that had all the problems and workarounds documented - in order to be on the bleeding edge (something hard to do with Debian stable, anyway). I just gave up on it. I thought that if there is a package manager, I should use it fully. "linux-image" is a package.

    I see heavily customized kernel machines or hand-installed software have more maintenance problems, take longer to rebuild on disasters and, in general, cost more to keep running than fully packaged ones.

    If running stock machines increases reliability and reduces cost, it's only my sense of adventure that kept me building my own kernels. It was nice to learn my way around it and is a handy knowledge if something really requires it, but, if the standard one does the job you, I advise you to stay with it.

    That said, I still prefer to install the "non-infrastructure software" on a given machine (Zope, Plone, JDK, Tomcat, Rails are the usual suspects) by myself, outside package management. I don't want to be surprised by apt if something breaks the hard way.
  • by krmt ( 91422 ) <therefrmhere&yahoo,com> on Monday April 09, 2007 @10:00AM (#18662389) Homepage
    We know it's a pain, and it's a major goal for the next release. The Debian X Strike Force burned the entire release cycle moving first from XFree86 to Xorg, and then from the monolithic Xorg to modular Xorg. By the time it all that was finished, about a year and a half had passed and there was a few months to polish things up for the release. During this time, essentially an entirely new team was built up (only one person from the team that worked on XFree86 in Sarge is still an active member) and there was huge changes as the entire codebase was repackaged for 7.0 and we moved from a private SVN repo to, which was no small feat while we did our best to keep the updates coming at a good pace.

    So expect to see some improvements to this stuff in the next year or so. A lot of work is happening at to improve autoconfiguration, and Debian is moving to help develop it and deliver it to the users. Lenny is going to be really exciting from this point of view.
  • by halovaa ( 774219 ) on Monday April 09, 2007 @12:12PM (#18664243)
    I have two friends, both of whom have recently switched to Linux for everything except a few games that can't be handled with Cedega. I didn't push them into it, they just grew frustrated with Windows and knew that there were alternatives. One installed Debian (AMD64 + ia32 chroot even!) and I elected to install Kubuntu (Edgy 32-bit) on the other's as I figured it would be more noob-friendly. The guy who uses Debian said "It starts off broken and you fix it, but then it stays fixed, while Windows starts off fixed but then breaks itself." He also liked that it would warn him about doing something stupid, but would trust him enough to let him do it anyway. He's now perfectly happy with it, rapidly flipping a Beryl/Compiz cube around to IM people while playing WoW. He uses Unstable, he runs beta software, he fiddles with things. Don't get me wrong, the Ubuntu friend definitely preferred it over his struggles with Windows. He told me, when he found himself booting into Windows to play WoW that he would ask himself "Why can't Windows be Linux?" The problems come because Ubuntu is just less flexible than Debian. First, it supports a much more limited set of packages officially than Debian. This requires adding the universe and multiverse repositories, because he didn't want only the most useful packages, he wanted to try anything that sounds interesting. Cedega wasn't working well with WoW and the three of us thought it might be because of the 8xxx series drivers being installed instead of the 9xxx series. Now the Debian versions of these were only available in Experimental, but with some help from me, the Debian guy was able to install them easily enough, and nothing broke. In Ubuntu however, only Feisty had the 9xxx series. From experience, I've learned that you can't just upgrade one or two packages to a newer version in Ubuntu like you can in Debian. Things like libc6 change versions from release to release, and the whole system has to be upgraded. I figured that Feisty should be near enough stable that upgrading to it wholesale should go pretty well. We even used the update manager provided with Ubuntu. Incompatible packages ended up installed, as versions were moved into and out of Feisty (I think), and right now his system is usable, but will require some extensive fixing by me to get apt working again. The lesson? Ubuntu is great if you do what they expect you to as a normal desktop user. If you want to do something less common, it's not as flexible as Debian and can get in your way.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.