debian 5, finally.

February 18th, 2009 by Andrea Matesi 9100 Views

Thanks to the community effort, debian 5 was finally born.

This is a stable release, code name "lenny", continuing the debian toy story naming tradition.

With this release, there are a lot of changes, well, not the kind of changes you would expect from a modern .6 Ubuntu desktop refresh, because one of the developer's aim is the combination of hardware and software stability (and so in fact the debian developers deliberately pick packages one by one and test them a lot, before releasing to the public), but it is, by the way, a message about "we are confident on those packages and we can build up on those".

Before this release, lenny was referred to as "testing" on the debian repository, now it has become "stable".

Debian is useful for System integrators, System Administrators and others interested on building something on top of it (generally servers), since the distribution is very prone to customization, it's normal to see packages like kernel 2.6.26, X.Org 7.3, K (KDE) 3.5.10, GNOME 2.22.2 etc.

Don't look at them like old packages, those packages are really and thorougly tested and debugged. If you really need a linux-based, fully featured desktop distribution, get Ubuntu instead: it is built around debian and the next minor update is going to offer some intersting new features and improvements; you may also wish to try debian squeeze (if you are a debugger/developer) or sid (if you are seriously confident with linux); you can do so just by editing /etc/apt/sources.list and changing all the "stable" keywords instances to "testing" for squeeze or "unstable" for sid (this is the edge of the edge of the new stuff, but dependencies sometime happen to break).

I suggest you to try debian64 for server-like production tasks and experiments; download debian from torrent sites to relieve some traffic from official servers and remember that, if you can spare some bucks, support the debian community by donating (especially if you make money on top of it).

Welcome debian stable!

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