April 8, 2007

ChangeLog: Debian releases version 4.0 after several months' delay, also updates version 3.1

Author: JT Smith

The Debian project has released its long-awaited new stable version, Debian 4.0, code-named "etch." In development for almost 2 years, etch has several notable improvements, but as Andreas Barth, Debian's release manager, notes, some packages might need an update soon.

According to the press release, etch now supports AMD64 and Intel's EM64T microprocessor architectures, bringing the total number of supported architectures to eleven. Bundled as 21 CDs, the release packs over 18,000 pieces of software. Of note are KDE 3.5, GNOME 2.14, Xfce 4.4, X.Org 7.1, OpenOffice.org 2.0.4a, GIMP 2.2.13, MySQL 5.0.32, GCC 4.1.1, Linux kernel version 2.6.18, Apache 2.2.3. Due to a dispute over Mozilla's copyright and Debian's software distribution guidelines, etch carries unbranded versions of Firefox (called Iceweasel), Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5 (called Icedove) and Mozilla Seamonkey 1.0.8 (called Iceape).

Debian 4.0 also features cryptographic software and is compatible with the latest Filesystem Hierarchy Standard v2.3 and software developed for version 3.1 of the Linux Standard Base.

In his message to the Debian-devel-announce list, Barth posting on behalf of the Debian release team, writes, "there are already some packages known that will need an update in stable soon. Best known is the kernel, which has some annoying bugs with pending fixes."

Meanwhile, Debian has also released an update to the earlier stable release, 3.1, codenamed "sarge." The updated release only includes security updates and miscellaneous bugfixes to several packages in sarge.

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