is gearing up for
the release of Debian Lenny, the next stable release of the Debian
GNU/Linux operating system. This week we heard that Debian Lenny has been frozen
What does the freeze mean and when can we expect Debian Lenny to be
released? To answer the second question first, the release is currently expected in
September. While the testing branch is very close to what Debian Lenny
will be, there are still Release Critical bugs to squash and other work
that must happen before Lenny is pronounced stable. This Debian "lenny" Release
Information page gives some pointers to various progress pages where
you can find out more about the bugs that still need to be fixed.
Mostly what the freeze means is that there are no more automatic uploads
from Debian's unstable branch to the testing branch. Most Debian packages
start out in unstable, also known as sid. That gives people a chance to
test the packages and report any bugs. Assuming that these packages are
working well, they will be automatically uploaded to the testing branch
after a certain amount of time. Now though, testing is frozen, so a
release manager will need to evaluate each unstable package and manually
upload the package to testing, if it is judged suitable for Lenny. Chapter
of the Debian developers reference covers direct updates to testing, if
you are looking for more detailed information.
When Debian releases a stable distribution the user can be assured that
they are getting a very stable operating system. All the packages will
interact well with one another. It will not be the most up-to-date system
available, because stability is considered more important than new versions
of packages. Many Debian users agree. Some will continue to run Etch, the
current stable version, until several months after Lenny is released.
If you want a stable system, but need just one or two more current
packages, you might consider building those packages yourself. Backports.org is another way of getting a
few more current packages for your stable system. AptPinning allows you to run
certain packages from one version, say unstable, on your stable system.
There will be some risk with each of these methods, as newer packages may
require newer libraries or have other dependencies. The more you change
your stable system, the more instability you introduce.
The lenny package list will help you find out what packages are currently in Lenny.
Some digging through the sections there will show that Lenny includes
linux-image-2.6-486 (2.6.25+14), dpkg (1.14.20) and hal (0.5.11-2) are
among the Administration Utilities. The Python section lists python
(2.5.2-1) among the many related packages. To find out if Lenny has want
you are looking for, just browse through the sections.
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