Via LWN, we found a blog post of a Debian maintainer which announces a new package: EGLIBC, a compatible reimplementation of the GNU glibc which "which will soon replace the GNU C Library". Apparently the primary reason is the sadly famous bad maintainership aptitude of Ulrich Drepper, the main libc maintainer.
Two new architectures based on the FreeBSD-kernel have been added to the Debian Archive. This makes Debian the first distribution, and probably the first large OS, to support two completely different kernels at the same time. "The two new architectures (well, better named OS i think, as they use a different kernel) are available in unstable and experimental. We do start out empty, importing only what is needed to get a build running. For this reason you will not be able to directly use it immediately. Please wait until they catched up, which I expect to happen soon."
eWeek has reviewed Debian 5.0, and concludes: "Version 5 of the Debian GNU/Linux open-source operating system offers the same top management tools and processor support that previous versions of the Linux operating system have. There also are a host of updates to open-source components, and the Linux distribution is still a great fit for servers and a solid desktop choice. However, the top reason for upgrading from version 4 may be the relatively short three-year security fix window, less than the coverage time offered with Ubuntu and Red Hat Enterprise Linux-derived CentOS."
A few months later than expected, Debian 5 has finally arrived with a bundle of new goodies: Java is finally in the Debian repositories thanks to IcedTea and OpenJDK; Firefox (rebranded as Iceweasel) is now at 3.0; and official live images are ready for our downloading pleasure. TuxRadar has a detailed look at Lenny along with an explanation from Steve McIntyre, the Debian Project Leader, on why it was delayed. Earlier this week, we already detailed the new features in Lenny.
What a lovely holiday to release the latest and greatest creation brought to us by yours truly, Debian. February 14th marks Debian GNU/Linux 5.0's supposed release into the wilds of the world, nearly two years after 'etch,' lenny's predecessor. The date is set nearly in stone unless something very serious goes wrong in the final days of development or if one of the needed servers for download kicks the bucket at the wrong moment. Read on for the scoop on the most prominent of features.
"The developers behind the Debian Linux distribution are preparing for the upcoming release of Debian 5, which is codenamed Lenny. The decision to move forward with the release follows a contentious vote over whether to permit the inclusion of binary blobs in the new version of the distribution. Consensus coalesced around a controversial proposal to "assume blobs comply with the GPL unless proven otherwise."
iTWire interviews the newly-elected Debian Project Leader, Steve McIntyre. "A few days back, the project concluded its elections for the year and Steve McIntyre emerged as the victor in a three-cornered contest. McIntyre may well be the most watched elected official of a non-profit group - the direction the project takes is of vital concern to a great many businesses."
"I read about Steven J. Vaughan's article on which he tries to explain why you don't see as much corporate support in Debian as you see in other places. The conclusion of Steven's analysis, it seems, is that Debian is immature. I will attempt to respond to it from a Debian perspective."
"At a recent Australian Linux conference, Sam Varghese reported that two Debian developers pointed out that the Debian Project needs more corporate support for 'men, money and machines' to advance the operating system. They're right. It does. They also pointed out that many companies, such as HP, IBM, Silicon Graphics and Google, either use Debian Linux internally, or actually incorporate it into products. For example, HP uses Debian 'Etch' 4.0 in its new t5735 thin-client device. Right again. Debian, either directly or through related Linux distributions such as Xandros, is used both by Linux enthusiasts and Fortune 500 companies. Of course, you couldn't prove that by the vast majority of Debian developers who never see a thin dime from their Debian work. Or, I should add, get access to new hardware, travel expenses to Debian developer conferences and so on."
"The Debian project is pleased to announce the second update of its stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 4.0. This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustment to serious problems. Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away 4.0 CDs or DVDs but only to update against ftp.debian.org after an installation, in order to incorporate those late changes. Those who frequently install updates from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update."
"The Debian project has updated the stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 4.0. This update adds security updates to the stable release, together with a few corrections to serious problems. As always, the first point release also corrects a few issues that have been noticed too late in the release process to stop the release, but still should be fixed."
SimplyMEPIS, a very popular desktop Linux, is going to change back to using Debian Linux for its core from Ubuntu. In March of 2006, MEPIS founder Warren Woodford, decided to switch to Ubuntu from Debian for the next version of SimplyMEPIS, version 6.0. The plan was to use Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Long Term Service), a.k.a. Dapper Drake, as MEPIS' foundation. Things have changed.
FreeSoftwareMagazine takes a look at Debian as a desktop system, and they conclude: "I feel that Debian Etch is as good on the desktop as it is on the server. It has a long rich history, a strong community, is amazingly stable and is a great fit for both my servers and my laptop. I urge everyone to give it a go on the desktop."
Progeny Linux has shut down. The notice on the webpage reads: "We are sorry to inform you that Progeny Linux Systems, Inc. ceased operations April 30, 2007." OSNews reader m_yates informed us that the following email was sent to the Progeny mailing list: "We are sad to inform you that Progeny Linux Systems is ceasing operations. This mailing list that we are hosting will be closed and decommissioned later tonight, Eastern Daylight Time. If you want the list archives, please download them now. Thank you."
"LinuxDevices.com's survey results consistently show Debian to be the most popular distribution among device developers. For example, our 2007 survey indicated that Debian was used in device-related projects by 13 percent of the survey's 932 participants, roughly double the score of MontaVista, the most popular strictly-embedded distribution. In addition to Debian's 13 percent score, Ubuntu, which is based on Debian packages, jumped to 6 percent this year, its first year in our survey. In contrast, Red Hat, achieved a 5 percent score and Fedora came in at 6 percent, while SUSE scored just 2 percent. The complete results and analysis are here. Why do device developers prefer Debian?"
"How many developers run for the post of leader of the Debian GNU/Linux project and cite as part of their platform a desire to make Debian sexy again? None that I know of - except Sam Hocevar who won the recent election for leader of the project. One among eight who put forward their cases to the 1043-odd developers who are eligible to vote, Hocevar modestly puts his election down to 'luck'. He says it is a vote for change."
This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions about how to install the free VMware Server (version 1.0.2) on a Debian Etch system. With VMware Server you can create and run guest operating systems (virtual machines) such as Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, etc. under a host operating system. This has the benefit that you can run multiple operating systems on the same hardware which saves a lot of money, and you can move virtual machines from one VMware Server to the next one (or to a system that has the VMware Player which is also free). Also, VMware acquired the VDI provider Propero.
"For much of its history, Debian has been the major noncommercial, philosophically free distribution. Now, as Debian developers and users have deserted the distro for Ubuntu, does Debian have a purpose any more? Debian 4.0, which was released this week, represents a collective effort to answer that question. The philosophy behind the release is best summarized on the home page for the Debian on the Desktop subproject, which states, 'We will do everything we can to make things very easy for the novice, while allowing the expert to tweak things'."
"With Etch you get the best package manager around in APT, a rock solid stable system, and the ability to tinker with the desktop all that you want - without having the procedure become too arcane. If you are familiar with Linux then I would strongly recommend you try out Debian Etch - just an awesome release by the Debian group."
"The Debian Project is pleased to announce the official release of Debian GNU/Linux version 4.0, codenamed etch, after 21 months of constant development. Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system which supports a total of eleven processor architectures and includes the KDE, GNOME and Xfce desktop environments. It also features cryptographic software and compatibility with the FHS v2.3 and software developed for version 3.1 of the LSB. Using a now fully integrated installation process, Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 comes with out-of-the-box support for encrypted partitions. This release introduces a newly developed graphical frontend to the installation system supporting scripts using composed characters and complex languages; the installation system for Debian GNU/Linux has now been translated to 58 languages." Update: Debian 3.1r6 has also been released. Update II: Screenshots, and how to upgrade to it.