"The Debian project has updated the stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 (codename sarge). This update mainly adds security updates to the stable release, along with a few corrections to serious problems. Those who frequently update from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update."
Debian has without much fanfare released the beta 3 of Etch, the final release slated to take place sometime this year. This review looks at what Debian has for the Linux enthusiast with its latest offering.
Technologic Systems is offering a freely downloadable, Debian-based Linux OS image said to boot from an SD card in less than two seconds, on the company's ARM9-based SBC (single-board computer). The TS-7300 SBC targets embedded applications requiring "extreme design security, flexibility, and reliability", according to the company.
Debian.org reports - The Debian Installer team is proud to announce the third beta release of the installer for Debian GNU/Linux Etch. Major new features introduced with this release includes the option to install using a graphical user interface on i386 and amd64. OSDir has some shots of Etch Beta 3 graphical installer in the Debian Installer Etch Beta 3 Screenshot Tour.
"Most Debian GNU/Linux neophytes find that distribution's default installer a bit difficult and ugly. While developers are working on a new installer for Debian Etch, there is a fully baked command-line alternative today: debootstrap. Debootstrap creates a basic Debian installation, and can also be used for creating custom, minimal installations on embedded systems or for replacing a pre-installed Linux distribution with Debian on a co-located server."
It is a common belief that Ubuntu provides newer software than Debian. This is of course true when Ubuntu is compared to Debian stable. This is also true for specific software packages, like Gnome. But how does it compare in general? Also, the Debian Installer team has released the third beta of its installer for Etch, the next version of Debian. According to the announcement, there is now an optional graphical installer for the i386 and amd64 platforms, and you can now set up encrypted partitions during installation. Not all features are present yet in this beta release and those that are may not be stable.
Debian is a steadfastly noncommercial version of Linux. But Hewlett-Packard will give it a big corporate hug Monday with the announcement of a plan to provide support for the open-source operating system.
"Debian and Ubuntu. Ubuntu and Debian. How are they different? How are they the same? Well, most of the differences lie in the target userbase of the OSes. Debian is attempting the unattemptable by making a distro that's right for almost every use imaginable. Servers use it, workstations use it, monkeys I'm sure could use it too. That comes at a price." More here.
Lars Wirzenius wondered how usable Debian with GNOME is for the uninitiated, or more specifically, for someone who has been using Windows for a number of years, and switches to Debian. The experiment will continue for a couple of months. The first use went pretty well, with only a couple of real problems which he outlined.
"The OpenVZ project today announced its operating system-level server virtualization software technology is incorporated into Debian GNU/Linux giving users full access to OpenVZ software, which helps increase server utilization rates. At the same time, the OpenVZ project revised licensing terms for its user-level utilities under the GNU GPL license to comply with the Debian Free Software Guidelines. Also, OpenVZ software now conforms with the LSB/FHS."
"There is a great howto about installing Xen on Debian Unstable. It is really easy to do and it runs fine. Nevertheless, on production servers, that's not an optimal solution. Debian Unstable has too many updates and things change too often. On production machines, a Xen host system should be stable, secure and should not need much attention. That is where Sarge comes in. If you pull the Xen packages from backports and install them on Debian stable you've got the best of both worlds."
There is an update for the next Debian release plan. According to Marc Brockschmidt Etch will carry 4.0 as version number and should be released on December 4th, 2006. "Please note that as of now, RC bugs and problematic transitions are our main concern. There has been progress, but we still need to lower the number of release critical bugs further."
The Debian GNU/Linux project today admitted a hacker had compromised one of its internal servers. "Early this morning we discovered that someone had managed to compromise gluck.debian.org," Debian developer James Troup wrote in an e-mail to the Debian community. "We've taken the machine offline and are preparing to reinstall it," Troup continued, noting a number of key services were currently offline as a result.
"Ubuntu caused a lot of friction with and for Debian. In discussions with its founder, Mark Shuttleworth, and other Ubuntu developers during (and before) Debconf6, I was able to spell out the main criticisms from the Debian perspectives of the way Canonical/Ubuntu is handling things (without a claim to completeness). These criticisms mainly stem from discussions with fellow developers over the past 18 months, and I largely support all of them. I am publicising them here to help make the status quo more transparent."
The Debian Administration website gives a small tutorial in using the new desktop notification deamon included in GNOME to create simple desktop popups. "There are several times when you'll be writing a script, or a program, which needs to communicate with the desktop user and here we'll look at two of the more modern approaches."
"DebConf is best known as an annual gathering of Debian developers. But the Debian project likes the name so much that it uses it - give or take a capital 'C' - for the system used to configure Debian packages. Just as the conference is central to the social aspects of Debian, so the program is central to the package management system that is one of Debian's main technical advantages. Debconf gives users as fine a degree of control during configuration as they choose."
The Open Source Development Labs announced today that Debian has registered the Sarge release as compliant with its Carrier Grade Linux 2.0.2 specification. The move brings Debian in line with offerings from commercial vendors such as Red Hat, Novell, and Motorola.
The Elive project has released the first beta build of the upcoming Elive 0.5 Enlightenment live CD. "New live CD system - Elive has moved from Morphix to DSS; new kernel 2.6.15 with a lot more hardware support, also for wireless networking, take a look to the list of new drivers added; new installer features; Elive has new system of elive-skel, you can select 'night look' or 'elive look' in the boot of the live CD system; introductory tutorial to Enlightenment hot keys on E16; Unionfs version 1.1.4; Evidence doesn't crash any more; email client integrated with the system." There's a screenshot tour.
The spirit of the RISC OS desktop can now be easily be installed on Debian GNU/Linux systems, after the ROX desktop collection was released in a Debian package. The package came about after Dennis Tomas decided pull the suite into one place for users to download and install. The ROX desktop takes familiar user interface components from the RISC OS desktop, such as drag'n'drop and the filer, to create a more friendlier desktop for users of Unix-like operating systems. User Dan Macdonald told us: "It is now incredibly easy for people to install a full ROX (RISC OS on X) desktop, complete with auto-mounting of removeable discs, under Debian Linux."
Developers of the popular Debian Linux distribution are ramping up coding efforts as they plan to release the next version of their operating system in December this year. The schedule was today outlined in an e-mail to the Debian community from developer Andreas Barth, a member of the team which coordinates the process by which Debian is formally handed over to the public. "We expect to release Etch as planned in the beginning of December 2006," Barth wrote.