Home > Debian > Debian Sarge Release update Debian Sarge Release update Eugenia Loli 2004-08-05 Debian 28 Comments Steve Langasek of Debian is introducing the release schedule for a new Debian release. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 28 Comments 2004-08-05 6:41 pm Cause gnome 2.7… are in experimential, so gnome team would be able to pack that faster, than before and if frozen others can help, Kde Lispire want the 3.3.3 version in when they release, so here if they just reach outside their own little box for just a bit and look around.. Cause kernel 2.6.8 will probably be released with mandrake 10.1 Fedroa 3, and thus debian, but it may not… But I hope, or it will still be my best free server OS, and the most easy one to manage, but for my desktop, I`ll have to wait and se. Just delay the release for like 3 weeks and you`ll probably have what I mention over, just ask Gnome team,kernel team and Kde/linspire 2004-08-05 6:44 pm I’ve been using Sarge on one of my machines for a while, and have to say, it’s a good’un. the new installer is a breeze, it’s nice & modern. now i await the announcement of what sarge’s successor will be called 2004-08-05 7:15 pm Two years is waaay too slow a release cycle. In this respect Debian resembles NetBSD — both produce rock solid releases, but two years… For desktops the software in Sarge will become obsolete in less than six months. 2004-08-05 7:20 pm Now, wouldn’t it be better to get a stable release as soon as possible than to wait, wait and wait again for some new (unstable?) versions of constantly developing software? The good long time solution seems to be to change the Debian release system so that there would be Debian releases more often (e.g. once a year?) and thus the software versions in the stable release wouldn’t get so old when compared to most other distributions. Having too old software versions in stable release seems to be the biggest problem of Debian according to most people anyway (plus having practically no security updates for testing). Other major problems like the clumsy installer have already been worked on. There’s even been talk about Debian getting a centralized configuration tool alà YAST or Libraanet Adminmenu. That would be a Good Thing if Debian really wants to get to the desktops of ordinary (home) users too, and as long as such tools wouldn’t disturb configuring things the traditional way. 2004-08-05 8:05 pm Isn’t Stable intended for servers? I use Testing at home as a server/workstation, and it’s pretty damn stable. It’s had a couple of problems in the past six months, that’s about it. The central problem seems to be that Windows can produce a base system, then users install their apps over top. With the Debian style of packaging, users tend to stick within their release. (Even though experienced users can workaround these problems.) Right now, I am enjoying Debian Testing’s ability to update all my programs with a few simple commands, I’ll take the (very) occasional instability to have a great system with (relatively) current versions of all my apps. 2004-08-05 8:14 pm I welcome the new stable Debian Sarge. I have been running Sarge on several desktops for some time. It’s good, with KDE at 3.2.3 and Gnome at 2.6.2, Mozilla at 1.6, Firefox at 0.8, Thunderbird at .5, and OpenOffice at 1.1.2. Still, for at least some of my machines, I may be changing apt’s sources.list, removing “sarge” and replacing it with the more generic “testing.” That way, I hope my machines’ desktops will still progress, albeit at a conservative rate. The difference between the Woody of two years ago and the Sarge of today is considerable. Woody, even then, was barely viable as a desktop. With KDE 2.2, Gnome 1.4, and OpenOffice? What OpenOffice? The new Sarge will be way out of date in a couple of years, but it will still be a decent desktop. No-one has ever made such claims for Woody. 2004-08-05 8:42 pm the only problem is that people tend to talk about stable. the marketing division od debian (?) should change official names to: debian server (aka stable) debian desktop (testing) debian geek (sid) alsa afaik the commercial linux distros (suse, redhat) have their server releases also a bit outdated comparing to the their desktop versions. on desktop i was using sid and packages are usually a few days after the application release (well gnome or kde would be a little bit later for there’re hell more dependences). and there’re some nice apt-get addons like ‘listbugs’ which download bugs reports from the bug database so one can always cancel upgrade if there’re some critical problems listed. 2004-08-05 8:48 pm I use Testing at home as a server/workstation, and it’s pretty damn stable. I’m sure about the stability of Testing but you couldn’t use Testing on some mission critical machine as it gets security updates too slowly. If you read Debian security announcements, they usually always say when a security fix is available for Stable and Unstable, but there’s nothing about Testing. Testing does eventually get security fixes too, but it might be too late then. Or you would have to patch your software by yourself which would be too much work. Debian security team simply doesn’t have time to properly support Testing too. That’s why some people say that running Testing is actually the worst of the three options. Running a Stable Debian base with backports and a few pieces from Testing or Unstable would seem a more secure option. Or, running pure Debian Unstable as a desktop machine on a normal PC is actually not that bad an option either – as long as you are not a total newbie and are very careful with upadtes and upgrades (no automated blind upgrades). Afterall, Unstable does get security and and other fixes and upadates quite fast, sometimes even faster than Stable, and you get to run the bleeding edge versions of software if that’s your desire. 2004-08-05 8:50 pm Sarge will rock as a desktop, but just for 6 months. Maybe debian need to move to time based releases, like fedora. The stable debian could be released once a year, just to allow the developers to reach high levels of quality. I myself use sid, and I think it’s pretty good as a desktop, with very few issues to address. Don’t know why they call sid the “unstable” branch of debian… 2004-08-05 8:55 pm Your including experimental too right? Because Unstable is *NOT* the most up2date distro. 2004-08-05 9:20 pm I hoped that Slony-I 1.0 would reach Debian Sarge. It would be nice if it was released with this replication system for PostgreSQL. It might been to young. http://www.slony.info – “The big picture for the development of Slony-I is a master-slave system that includes all features and capabilities needed to replicate large databases to a reasonably limited number of slave systems.” 2004-08-05 10:57 pm I don’t care how fast Linux is improving. I don’t care if I don’t get the latest gnome desktop, x feature in the kernel, or anything like that. When I install an OS, I don’t want to have to upgrade it every 6 months. I simply want it to run as stable and securely as possible without me having to mess around with it all the time. I like Debian release cycles. They should be released at most once every 2 years (supported for at least and additional 3 years.) The only thing they could do is make a timeline of product releases and future improvements, but even Microsoft and Sun can’t do that and stick to it. 2004-08-05 11:08 pm The funny thing is that everyone is installing Red Hat on its servers. Debian should make some decisions and it should do them fast. I wonder if Progeny is showing the way to go for Debian. 2004-08-05 11:48 pm You are 100% correct that Testing gets security updates too slow and should not be used for workstations. However I dont agree with running pure Unstable for desktop usage. I think anyones best bet would be to run Testing and grab only security updates from Unstable (which are listed every week in the Debian Weekly News). I have tried multiple times running “pure” unstable, and every time it has resulted in an unbootable machine, of course YMMV. Also you cant really pick and choose applications from Testing and Unstable without having to update most of your base system, which means you wouldnt be running Stable anymore. 2004-08-06 12:37 am I think anyones best bet would be to run Testing and grab only security updates from Unstable (which are listed every week in the Debian Weekly News). An interesting option. I wonder if someone could even build a tool to automate that?? However, the same danger is there what you wrote above: you would gradually end up running Unstable, more or less, because of all the updated dependencies. Besides, Testing and Unstable are often not that different, the only difference of packages in Testing being “they must be in sync on all architectures where they have been built and mustn’t have dependencies that make them uninstallable”. I can’t know all the potential problems but my personal experience is that if you upgrade your Debian Unstable desktop carefully enough, checking all packages that apt/aptitude wants to update, before pressing OK, you should be quite fine. Also, Unstable is what many Debian developers run on their desktops anyway. Use of apt-pinning etc. can cause problems too. But why do people need solutions like apt-pinning, backports, mixed suources etc. so much in Debian? The main problem is that the software in the Stable release of Debian get old too soon. And IMHO the only solution to that is to move to faster time-based releases. Another good solution would be to provide official up to date security updates for Testing too, but there may not to be enough resources for that. Running pure Debian Stable may be a good choice, of course, even on desktops. But GNU/Linux desktop software just develops very fast, and still often needs that development too – so people just are not happy running old Linux desktop software that lacks new features and fixes. Especially as competitors (Fedora, Mandrake, SUSE, Slackware, Gentoo etc.) seem to keep up with faster release cycles much more easily than Debian. 2004-08-06 12:44 am “security updates from Unstable (which are listed every week in the Debian Weekly News)” Beware: monitoring just the DSAs is not sufficient, since advisories are only issued for security problems which affect the Stable distribution. Vulnerabilities that only affect more recent versions of the software (i.e. only in Testing and/or Unstable) are not covered at all. “I have tried multiple times running “pure” unstable, and every time it has resulted in an unbootable machine” Try installing apt-listbugs, which will prevent packages with release critical bugs (lol – something rendering the system unbootable would most certainly fall into this category) filed against them from being installed. Then you can fire up your browser to see whether or not the bug affects your setup. If it doesn’t, you’re golden and can safely install the package(s) regardless of the warning; if you *are* affected, you either wait for a fix (shouldn’t be long) or grab an earlier, unbroken version from Testing or from http://snapshot.debian.net. 2004-08-06 1:02 am how many CDs the next Debian stable release will contain? 2004-08-06 1:23 am Check out http://cdimage.debian.org/pub/weekly/ for yourself. It’s 12 – 14 CDs, depending on the architecture. 2004-08-06 4:31 am Try installing apt-listbugs, which will prevent packages with release critical bugs You assume that I wasn’t… apt-listbugs only works when the bug has been filed, which it obviously hadnt been. I think my problem was both times (shoulda stopped after the first) I tried dist-upgrade’ing I did it around 5pm EST which is when they seem to update the repositories. 2004-08-06 6:24 am Woody was 7, I think Sarge is going for 11. 2004-08-06 6:27 am I’m using sid as my desktop for my work, I had only some troubles moving from kernel 2.4 to 2.6. Now they are fixed. But I’m a newbie, so I could have done the upgrade not properly. I’m amazed by this, tho: http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2004/04/msg00025.html Experimental support for the 2.6 kernel, on i386 only. The 2.4 kernel remains the default and recommended kernel for most hardware. Does it mean that when sarge will be released it will install 2.4 ? I’d hate to install 2.4 and then upgrade to 2.6…. Sorry for the stupid question 😉 2004-08-06 7:30 am Andrea: When you first boot the debian-installer cd it gives you an option of selecting either the 2.4 or 2.6 kernel. Currently the installer is using 2.4.26 and 2.6.7. Also, I think they have 2.6 on more archs than i386 now, but not all of the archs support 2.6 properly yet. 2004-08-06 8:49 am Weird thing.. I’ve been running debian sid on my workstation since 2.0, and never ended up with an unbootable machine….. I see forward to the release of sarge for my servers though. Release cycle of once every two years may be a little slow, even for servers where SpamAssassin and some other tools is progressing too fast for stable to hang on.. 2004-08-06 8:58 am rename the stable to “server” rename the testing to “workstation” that should perhaps give more meaningful names to the different streams 2004-08-06 12:45 pm When will Sid finally have an AMD64 port? I’ve been waiting for months… Btw, I agree with whoever suggested that Debian’s releases should be renamed. Stable is for servers. A decent desktop should be able to run Testing with few problems. 2004-08-06 1:15 pm I run lots of Linux servers at work and I’m running Debian stable on only 1 server. The rest are a combination of testing or unstable. Why? Because Debian stable is useless to our work. What do people use servers for? Apps, file sharing, print sharing, mail servers. Well, nothing in stable is as good as whats in testing or unstable. Samba 3 kicks butt over Samba 2.2 and you can’t find Samba 3 in stable. PostgreSQL 7.2 is in stable while 7.4 is in testing and unstable. Actually our database server is running stable with a backported copy of PostgreSQL 7.4 on it. Our Mailserver is running testing. Need new releases of Postfix and SpamAssassin. Yes, Debian needs yearly updates to the stable series. But what they really need to do is figure out some way to differentiate between apps and core applications required by Debian. That way, the core can remain the stable version but you can have the ability to run the latest versions of certain applications. 2004-08-06 1:24 pm Nonsense, A server should not change more than every 2-3 years. I have no idea what your doing with your mail servers, but mine are a set-and-forget operation. And that’s how they should be. That’s the beauty of Debian. Why do you want a server to be on a bleeding edge? A server is supposed to be boring. Sit there and do it works. No bells and whistles. And sure Samba 3 is better than 2.2.7a or whatever you are running, but I have yearly uptimes on some of my samba servers so I really couldn’t care less. If it works,don’t fix it. 2004-08-06 7:04 pm I think my problem was both times (shoulda stopped after the first) I tried dist-upgrade’ing I did it around 5pm EST which is when they seem to update the repositories. Yeah, you can mostly forget dist-upgrade when running Debian Unstable. There are too many potential problems with constantly changing software in the Unstable repositories for automatic dist-upgrade to solve them. Only occasionally I try aptitude dist-upgrade after aptitude upgrade, but often I cancel it because it could cause too many headaches… Personally I mostly use just these 2 commands to update my Debian Unstable desktop: aptitude update aptitude upgrade And before I press OK and let aptitude do its thing, I doublecheck what it wants to remove, install etc. for potential problems. That’s, of course, also useful for seeing the recommended or suggested packages that aptitude can suggest you. I haven’t had any problems running Debian Unstable for some time now. But, yes, I do remember that when I blindly dist-upgraded my Debian Unstable in the past, I did manage to get an unbootable system too, at least once… I happen to like Debian nevertheless (truly community driven development model, lots of high quality packages, debconf & dpkg-reconfigure for package configuration, documentation, social contract etc.) – but I can understand why many people feel that other distros having more frequent releases and easier ways to install _new_ software might be better for them. The slow release cycle is a real problem that Debian should try to solve better if it wants to be a competitive desktop OS in the future too. Newer community driven distro projects like Arch and Gentoo Linux attract more and more users and developers because they seem to be more dynamic projects than Debian, and even the good ol’ Slackware has no problems in supporting new software versions.