As the latest Debian news reports -- after 21 months of development, Debian 4.0, aka 'Etch', has been released. Even if you don't use Debian this is an important milestone as the distribution forms the base of many others, including Ubuntu.
As the latest Debian news reports
-- after 21 months of development, Debian 4.0, aka 'Etch', has been released. Even if you don't use Debian this is an important milestone as the distribution forms the base of many others, including Ubuntu.
Considering many open source projects follow the release often, release early mentality the 21 months between versions for Debian is an eon -- but then Debian always been the distribution that emphasised structure and stability above all else, and the very reason it forms the base of popular distributions such as Ubuntu.
New features and updates in 4.0 include a long awaited graphical installer (translated into 58 languages, no less), support for encrypted partitions out of the box and, naturally, near-latest releases of KDE (3.5.5a), Gnome (2.14, and default) and XFCE (4.4). In fact there are now separate install images for your desktop environment of choice. Despite the focus on stability, it'd still be nice to see a later release of Gnome, with 2.18 being current at time of writing. Speaking of which, the kernel for Debian 4.0 is 2.4.18 based.
Also new is an update to apt to make it more secure and allow for quicker repository index updates by downloading only the difference between local and remote versions, which sounds similar to what Gentoo does with its portage tree sync system. This will not only be quicker, but also a bandwidth saver for server and client.
Finally, the much-maligned debate over official naming of Mozilla software rears its ugly -- and in my opinion, unnecessary -- head in Debian 4.0: Firefox 188.8.131.52 is included under the title 'Iceweasel' and Thunderbird 1.5 under the title 'Icedove'.
Moving on also big on the release calendar is the next version of Ubuntu, codenamed Feisty Fawn, currently at 7.04 beta and due later this month. As what is perhaps now the most popular end-user Linux distribution, this is a highly anticipated release. I, for one, am hoping many of the faults discussed in my 'Living in a Linux only world' series in APC will be fixed in this release and we might have, for the first time, a truly viable contender to Windows. I'll probably get flamed for saying this but Ubuntu 6.10, while being a great release overall, is still littered with many annoying bugs and design oversights that simply scream a lack of polish that hopefully we'll see addressed in the final release of Feisty. You can bet I'll be taking a thorough look at it when it arrives.
Grab Debian 4.0 here via Bittorrent
or more traditional download sources