It’s hard to turn a news item like this into a front page item, but I’m going to try anyway, because I think it’s pretty cool news. As we all know, Debian supports a number of architectures as ‘release architectures’, but what some of you may not be aware of is that Debian also supports a number of kernels other than Linux. One of those, the FreeBSD kernel, has been promoted to release status, putting it on equal footing with the Linux variant.
Debian supports a whole number of architectures as release architectures, namelyi386, amd64, PowerPC, SPARC, DEC Alpha, ARM, MIPS, HPPA, S390, and IA-64 (Itanium). Al these ports use the Linux kernel. Debian also has a number of ports using different kernels, such as Debian GNU/Hurd, Debian GNU/NetBSD, and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. This last one has now been deemed stable enough to join the various Linux architecture ports in release status.
“The Debian Release Team is pleased to announce that it sees the port of the Debian system to the FreeBSD kernel fit to be handled equal with the other release ports,” the Debian Release Team writes, “The upcoming release codenamed ‘Squeeze’ is planned to be the first Debian distribution to be released with Linux and FreeBSD kernels.”
The Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port will support the i386 and amd64 architectures. The ‘k’ in kFreeBSD refers to the way the system is designed; it uses only the FreeBSD kernel, but retains the GNU and Debian tools, and plasters those on top. The Release Team aims to provide as much choice of kernels as possible. They also do it to “include a kernel that provides features such as jails, the OpenBSD Packet Filter and support for NDIS drivers in the mainline kernel with full support”.
Debian squeeze is planned for spring 2010.