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Debian Linux

Debian 6.0 Released In GNU/Linux, FreeBSD Flavors 250

itwbennett writes "After two years of work, the Debian Project has announced the release of Debian 6.0. 'There are many goodies in Debian 6.0 GNU/Linux, not the least of which is the new completely free-as-in-freedom Linux kernel, which no longer contains firmware modules that Debian developers found troublesome,' says blogger Brian Proffitt. And in addition to Debian GNU/Linux, Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is introduced as a technology preview. 'Debian GNU/kFreeBSD will port both a 32- and 64-bit PC version of the FreeBSD kernel into the Debian userspace, making them the first Debian release without a Linux kernel,' says Proffitt. 'The Debian Project is serious about the technology preview label, though: these FreeBSD-based versions will have limited advanced desktop features.' The release notes and installation manual have been posted, and installation images may be downloaded right now via bittorrent, jigdo, or HTTP."
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Debian 6.0 Released In GNU/Linux, FreeBSD Flavors

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  • by Anonymous Coward


    • Deb-i-aaaaaaaan...

      Debian, FUCK YEAH
      Releasin' again to save the motherfuckin' day yeah
      Debian, FUCK YEAH
      Freedom is the only way yeah

      Pity those who use Ubuntu
      Their purple desktops look like poo, yeah

      Debian, FUCK YEAH

      So lick my ports, and Squeeze my mouse ball,

      Debian, FUCK YEAH

      What you gonna do when we package you now,
      it's the dream that we all share
      it's the hope for tomorrow


      apt-get! FUCK YEAH!
      Free kernel! FUCK YEAH!
      Lackin' firmware! FUCK YEAH!
      New Site! FUCK YEAH!
      Space Fun! FUCK YEAH!

  • by aaaaaaargh! ( 1150173 ) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @09:31AM (#35117750)

    I used to run NetBSD on an old PP Mac booted from a zip drive in the nineties. It was running great but since then I haven't looked at it again. I know that the 3 free BSDs (open-, free- and net-) are security audited and support old hardware very well. But I wonder what advantages the kernel itself brings. So my potentially stupid questionis:

    What's the advantage of running Debian with a BSD kernel instead of linux?

    • A well, FreeBSD kernel is what I've meant, of course...sorry!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ZFS and DTrace come to mind, but those are only the easy examples.

    • by bk2204 ( 310841 ) <> on Sunday February 06, 2011 @10:13AM (#35117908) Homepage

      You can find some of the reasons here []. Among them are ZFS, jails, and pf. I've used Debian GNU/kFreeBSD in the past and found pf significantly easier to use than iptables and tc.

      • They also point to a benchmark [] made in Phoronix. here is an excerpt from the conclusions:

        Of the 27 tests that were carried out with our first Debian GNU/kFreeBSD benchmarking session, in 18 of the tests Debian GNU/Linux 32-bit was faster than Debian GNU/kFreeBSD 32-bit. However, with many of those 18 wins, the GNU/kFreeBSD results were very close to the GNU/Linux numbers. With the 64-bit versions, Debian GNU/Linux did even better and was in front 23 of the 27 times compared to 64-bit Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. Th

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by tomhudson ( 43916 )
        It's kind of funny that you talk about jails being an advantage ... from your link:

        the upcoming reiserfs and xfs, or

        definitely jailed, and a real killer :-)

        ... but don't you think you could come up with something a bit more recent? Linux has changed a bit since then.

      • by Morth ( 322218 ) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @12:02PM (#35118404)

        Are they using glibc or the freebsd one? Because one of the developer advantages of the BSDs are that kernel and libc are more in sync. Ie. there's no system calls in libc that are not in the kernel, and vice versa.

      • by Hatta ( 162192 )

        I like those advantages. What I really want to know is what the disadvantages are. Is all my software likely to work on Debian FreeBSD?

        • to answer that, we have to be like the audience on The Tonight Show, and yell "Which Software Is It!!??"

          so, what do you run?

      • Dunno about tc, but shorewall makes iptables nicer (but still not as good as pf, IMO)

  • Thanks to all the involved people, we have another cornerstone of the Free Software.

  • Good job Debian team (Score:5, Informative)

    by JackieBrown ( 987087 ) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @09:33AM (#35117758)

    This looks like a solid release. I only use stable for as long as it takes for the new queue to start start dumping back in Sid but I appreciate the hard work that has gone into this.

    And the new artwork really rocks. I was shocked to see plymouth working out of the box with my nvidia card. The consistency from grub to kde launch is really stunning and makes the whole bootup feel seamless.

  • I love it! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by no known priors ( 1948918 ) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @09:34AM (#35117764)

    I'm a Ubuntu user, but I know where it comes from. Debian has been the dream operating system of mine for ages. Easy to install thousands of packages, stable, safe, etc. The only trouble is, when I first tried to install it in 2007, I couldn't get it to work with my wireless card. Ubuntu just worked. I'm going to guess that it wouldn't work now either; my wireless card is one of those Intel ones with the locked up firmware so that I don't start spamming the airwaves... (If I recall correctly the software is ipw2200 [], or similar.)

    Anyway, one thing I note from the press release, is that it is still including 3.2.1. I wonder when they'll get LibreOffice (Ubuntu will get it in the 11.4 release).

    Great job Debian!

    • by vlm ( 69642 )

      I'm going to guess that it wouldn't work now either... (If I recall correctly the software is ipw2200 [], or similar.)

      So, you bothered to link to a page explaining in extreme detail both that it works, and exactly how to do it line by line, but you're guessing it wouldn't work?

      I think you're trying to write in a very complicated manner that you're not sure if your laptop has a ipw2200? I have second hand knowledge that the instructions on the wiki do work quite well if you're unfortunate enough to own a ipw2200 card.

      • Re:I love it! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by clang_jangle ( 975789 ) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @10:11AM (#35117896) Journal
        That's the whole reason Ubuntu exists though, for people who lack the time or ability or whatever to just install and configure Debian (which exists for people who lack the time or ability or whatever to just build gentoo, which exists for people who lack time or ability or whatever to just create their own private distro from scratch, which of course is for people who lack time or ability or whatever to just go ahead and code their own custom OS using vi or emacs...).
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Seumas ( 6865 )

          In other words (from personal experience):

          Slackware, Gentoo, Debian, etc - are especially great if you're a young geek who has plenty of time to enjoy debugging and playing with everything to get the simplest functionality out of your system (like sound or the right resolution to display properly on your screen).

          Ubuntu is especially great if you're an older geek and you need to be doing actual work rather than spending two entire weeks figuring out why an obvious LineMode configuration isn't working and you

          • by jgrahn ( 181062 )

            In other words (from personal experience):

            Slackware, Gentoo, Debian, etc - are especially great if you're a young geek who has plenty of time to enjoy debugging and playing with everything to get the simplest functionality out of your system (like sound or the right resolution to display properly on your screen).

            I installed Squeeze a few weeks back, and I didn't have to touch a thing to get sound and graphics to work properly. Same with Lenny before that, actually.

          • by Spykk ( 823586 )
            If you fall into the first category and you haven't tried Arch yet I can't recommend it enough. Arch is intensely customizable but is still backed by a solid package manager and a huge repository of user submitted packages. It is probably a little too bleeding edge for a production machine but if you want to try the latest releases on your personal desktop Arch is fantastic.
          • by deek ( 22697 )

            I'm a Debian user of around 15 years. I think you'll find that Debian has changed somewhat. Or maybe it's just the xorg system. It's much better than XFree was, at just working automatically from scratch. I haven't had to fiddle around with an X config file for years now. Sound also just works.

            While Ubuntu is definitely the more polished desktop experience, Debian has become very good at getting things to work automatically, and dare I say, it's much better at being able to customise a system to how yo

        • That's the whole reason Ubuntu exists though

          Afaict the main reason ubuntu exists is because shuttleworth had his ideas on where he wanted to take linux and unlike most people he had the resources to seriously take it in his own direction rather than just fiddling arround at the edges. Further at the time Debian was in a crisis of ever increasing release cycle length with some people seriously wondering if the sarge cycle would ever end so there were a lot of debian "refugees" to give him an initial userbase.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mmj638 ( 905944 )

      it is still including 3.2.1. I wonder when they'll get LibreOffice

      Debian's OpenOffice uses patches from Go-OO (now merging with LibreOffice) anyway, so in some ways it is already more similar to LibreOffice than to stock It opens .docx documents very well, for example.

      This is also true of Ubuntu's, and generally other distros' OpenOffice packages.

      LibreOffice itself came into existence too late for an actual LibreOffice version to make it into Debian 6.0.

      I expect it will be a

      • And if you really want to run LibreOffice there's nothing stopping you from download and install it yourself in /opt. It's a very simple process explained in the accompanying readme file. It's something like "cd into the directory and run dpkg -i *.deb".

    • Homer: Look Bart! A Fresh Release of Unprocessed Ubuntu!

      (I love Debian for servers, but for desktop Ubuntu is smoother)

  • Squeeze has significantly higher minimal install requirements than Lenny, to the point it wouldn't fit on my Dockstar or my Dt360. So if you are using Debian because it's small and light, don't upgrade.

  • by ornia ( 1225132 ) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @10:14AM (#35117912)
    It's interesting to note, that while Debian has traditionally supported more CPU microarchitectures than any other mainstream GNU+Linux distribution out there, they have decided to officially stop supporting multiple microarchitectures with the release of Squeeze. The dropped architectures are alpha, hppa, and arm, the latter of which is replaced by the new "Embedded" ABI of ARM, which Debian calls armel [].

    Although kfreebsd-i386 and kfreebsd-amd64 have been added, these are not true new CPU microarchitectures in and of themselves, as they are compiled to standard x86 and x86_64 respectively, but obviously with the fairly radical change of not using Linux at all with a different GNU libc requiring all packages to be recompiled. This is the same situation as we have traditionally seen in the never-officially-released hurd-i386 port of Debian (which makes sense to call Debian GNU I suppose, as the Hurd kernel is part of the GNU project already) which seems to be missing so far with Debian 6.0 so far, pending a decision to potentially drop it as well.

    All in all, amazing work by all in the Debian project. It remains an incredibly impressive feat that such a project can have no corporate oversight or ownership yet maintain such an impressively influential, relevant, and useful place in the operating system ecosystem. Even with dropping a couple of architectures, Debian still supports more computer types than most people even know exists, and continues to provide package updates that many many other operating systems base their repositories from. Also wonderful to see the website be updated []!!
    • by Nimey ( 114278 )

      In Debian's defense, there haven't been any Alphas built for many years, and I'd expect the same to be true of HPPA, which IIRC was replaced by Itanium.

      • If you're going to drop Alpha, why not drop m68k?

        What are we supposed to do with our old Alphas? Just set them on fire? Not that I have one any more.

        • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @12:54PM (#35118728)

          I'm guessing that there are more developers interested in maintaining the m68k port than the Alpha port. Or at least that's how that typically goes. Unless you've got a strange OS like NetBSD which is obsessed with running on absolutely every possible architecture from mainframes to wrist watches, some platforms tend to not have enough people with the hardware and interest to keep updating the branch.

        • m68k was dropped from the official release as of etch

        • What are we supposed to do with our old Alphas? Just set them on fire? Not that I have one any more.

          I think that's the point. As much as I like diving into old hardware, at some point I started getting rid of it because of space limitations and the simple fact that it's not feasible, even with new distro support, to do anything of consequence on it that can't be done cheaper (read: electric power) and faster on even the wimpiest of several year old cast off (free or nearly) servers and/or laptops.

        • If you're going to drop Alpha, why not drop m68k?
          They already did.

          There comes a point where the slow march of software "bloat" gets too much for older hardware and/or there is no longer sufficiant porters to keep the port in what debian considers a releasable state. It's sad but that is the way things go in a project like debian.

          Arm was a special case because they kept support for the majority of arm devices but did so through a new port due to some serious deficiancies in the old arm linux port. It was alw

      • the last PA-RISC (aka HP/PA) was built in 2008.

        Ah well, people running those can just switch to one of the BSD

    • If dropping support for or delaying the release of some obscure and outdated CPU architecture makes releases faster, I'd say that's great. Debian always supported more architectures than other mainstream distributions, but they clearly placed more emphasis on hardware that most people actually use. There is still NetBSD and some other niix-like distributions for people with more outdated hardware.

  • Are they mad at Debian? The thing that annoys most on Linux are the gnu-parts in the userland. Why should someone with a nice and well-designed bsd-userland use the gnu-tools instead?

    Or is this some kind of âoewe can do itâ?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Don't use it then. You're not forced to and you have a choice. Personally, I can't stand BSD's userland tools and prefer GNU's.

    • To be honest, that puzzles me as well. The big advantage that pretty much everybody else has over Linux is that they consider the kernel and userland to be tied together with only minor patching to the OS between releases. It makes it a lot easier to do performance tweaking and bug fixing if you have control over the entire base install. It also means that if you send into the mailing list with a problem you can concisely tell them what OS version you're running and they'll have a reasonable understanding o

  • by gringer ( 252588 ) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @12:42PM (#35118644)

    I'm amazed that they stuck this release freeze out long enough to get the RC bugs for the testing release down to what looks like the lowest since the graph [] began tracking testing in 2004 -- I would like to believe that this means squeeze will end up being the most stable/reliable release so far.

    Now that the release is done and the freeze is over, an upgrade of the Linux kernel (from 2.6.32 to 2.6.37) in unstable should be soon to follow. Also, Firefox (probably 3.5.9 -> 4) and LibreOffice (OOO 3.2.1 -> LO 3.3).

  • Just finished an upgrade from etch to lenny a few weeks back!

    • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )

      Yeah, me too. The machine in question is a lowly 700Mhz Celeron with 386Mb and has been humming away happily for the better part of a decade (2002) - the original install was migrated from an older 233Mhz w/ 128Mb (Debian 2 or 3, I think), and it's been upgraded since that point. This, IMO, is one of the biggest strengths debian has: upgrades are literally painless to the point of never really needing to worry about it.

      It's amazing how much longevity Debian releases have, even though they're considered 'old

  • by Anonymous Coward

    For the past few years I've been working on going the other way around from Debian/BSD. My system has a Linux kernel but a whole lot of BSD binaries (I've replaced GNU coreutils, tar, gzip, findutils, init, etc. with BSD versions).

    Not everything can be replaced, but a lot of the userland works pretty well with BSD versions: some programs stupidly assume GNU tools and need to be patched, but it's been working fine.

    • by godrik ( 1287354 ) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @04:47PM (#35120310)

      I actually see two main things coming out of the freebsd kernel on debian.

      1/ having a really good kernel without the stupid port system.
      I know that sounds like a troll. But I really elieve linux is a crappy kernel. It is supposed to be monolithic so everything got thrown in the kernel. And now, we realized it is not going to work, so we start using micro kernel types techniques such as network manager, udev, hal... That's not the way to go with a monolithic kernel.

      On the other hand freebsd has an awful packing system in my opinion. I need to install weird packages all the time and I don't want to spend so much time compiling everything. I think debian really rocks at having a lot of packages that are overall well compiled with appropriate dependencies. I expect a lot out of debian/freebsd

      2/ using a different kernel is likely to activate different code path. That's a great thing for debugging purpose. As parent said, that will help to find GNU dependent code and probably linux dependent assumption. That's a good thing for make our tools more reliable.

      Debian: here is an attaboy from me!

  • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @03:09PM (#35119628) Homepage

    I got really excited when I read this at first, but then I realized it's probably going to have many of the same bugs that the FreeBSD kernel has surrounding the various subsystems (jails) and drivers (recent Intel ethernet crashing, USB, etc. that still don't work for the better part of a year), as well as crippling limitations as it regards adaptability on filesystems (ext*, NTFS, NFS - all limiting) and the like.

    i wonder if they managed to get ZFS to work fully with the userland utilities written? That would be the biggest point that might pull me over to give it a go.

  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @04:03PM (#35119978)

    In the post scox-scam era, licensing is such a BFD. I have to wonder if there will any complications over conflicts between BSD and GPL licensing.

    • by Tacvek ( 948259 )

      With the exception of code under the old 4 clause BSD license, all BSD licensed code is fully compatible with the GPL, so I'm having trouble picturing any problems, especially since even the FSF (who generally interprets the concept of derivative works very widely) agrees that a kernel's licensing in no way affects the userland.

      • My understanding is that anything you put in GPL code becomes GPL. And GPL differs from BSD in that, BSD can taken and used in a closed source application.

  • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @09:12PM (#35122348) Homepage

    Thank you again, Debian team, for providing the most stable (in the no-unexpected-changes sense of the word) distro I know of.

    One question though:
    Grub 2 as default - for the love of all things good, why?

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission