Debian Updates, Code Names, Back Ports, Screenshots, and Derived

Debian GNU/Linux

Things have been anything but quiet on the Debian front lately. Between updating 5.0, naming 7.0, and officially approving backports this has been a busy week for Debian. In other related news, a popular distribution has released a version based on Debian while a Website helps users decide if they like the looks of potential applications.

On Friday, September 3, Neil McGovern wrote to the Debian Development Announce mailing list to remind developers of freeze rules. Seems there were a few hundred threads asking for unblocks. So, Neil wrote to say only fixes for critical bugs, if any changes to release goals, translation updates, and documentation fixes were allowed. Tacked onto the bottom of the post was the quick message that the codename for the future version 7.0 was decided. In keeping with the Toy Story motif, the name chosen for 7.0 is "Wheezy." Wheezy made his debut in In Toy Story 2 as the rubber penguin squeaky toy with the red bow tie.

The next day, September 4, Alexander Reichle-Schmehl wrote in to announced Debian 5.0.6, the sixth update to the long running stable 5.0. This release was primarily to address some security issues and a few serious problems. Reichle-Schmehl stated this didn't constitute a new release and folks needn't throw out their 5.0 disks. Although new images were uploaded to mirrors, he urged users to update their installs via APT. Some updates include a fix for stack-based buffer overflow handling of git-core, several fixes and hardware updates to the kernel, a change in makepasswd to avoid generating predictable passwords, and 41 security updates to various packages. Full information can be reviewed at Debian.org.

Then on September 5, Debian announced that the backports service previously hosted at backports.org is now an official Debian service that can be found at backports.debian.org. Backports.org was orginially started by Debian Developer Norbert Tretkowsk and later on developers Alexander Wirt and Jörg Jaspert signed on to beef up support for more packages and more architectures. Backports provide more recent and updated packages from the Testing branch compiled for Stable. This allows users to pull in a more recent software such as the Iceweasel browser or the OpenOffice.org suite without giving up their Stable system. The archive currently has 528 packages backported for Lenny and support for Squeeze is already in place. Bug reports will go through official channels as well from now on.

For users who would like to know what an application will look like before they install it, there is a service at screenshots.debian.net. Most screenshots are uploaded by developers, but others can contribute as well. Visit screenshots.debian.net to peruse current screenshots or to sign up to upload.

Last, but certainly not least, the Linux Mint project announced their latest effort on September 7. They have released a version of Mint based on Debian Testing to offer users another choice in Linux distributions and to provide the advantages of a rolling-release system. In a rolling-release distribution, users more often update their systems periodically through package management rather than performing fresh installs every six months or so. For now it is only available in 32-bit with a GNOME desktop, but it is 100% compatible with Debian. So other desktops can be installed from Debian repositories. Also, if their track record is anything to go by, there'll be 64-bit KDE, Xfce, and other versions before long. Official word is that this is an experiment to gauge interest. So only time will tell if this version will become a mainstay in the Linux distribution line-up.

______________________

Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.

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Anonymous's picture

what about debian 6.0?

auraham's picture

maybe someone can help me...what about debian 6.0 release? i dont know nothing about release date and i want it, because i dont like 5.0...somebody knows?? when will be unfrezze?? n_n

* Debian 5.0 'Lenny' (current

miksuh's picture

* Debian 5.0 'Lenny' (current stable) = The binoculars
* Debian 6.0 'Squeeze' (next stable) = The little green aliens
* Debian 7.0 'Wheezy' (next stable after Squeeze) = the rubber penquin

What's in a name?

akaSassinak's picture

Well, at least it's not sleaze, or sneeze....thought that might cover little green aliens ...;)

Explanation of a rolling release system?

Randy Kramer's picture

The following sentence was hard for me to understand--I wish it could be rewritten somehow:

"In a rolling-release distribution, users more often update their systems periodically through package management rather than performing fresh installs every six months or so."

let me try:

"In a rolling-release distribution, rather than performing fresh installs every six months or so, users refresh (update?) their systems (much?) more often using the package management system. With every refresh, ideally, all parts of the system are updated to the latest version of the system."

You might point out that if users try to do a selective refresh of the system (e.g., updating only kde but not accepting an updated kernel that might be part of the same update) they may get into a situation where something no longer works because of some (problematic) interaction with older parts of the system (which the user chose not to update).

Also, even a complete refresh of the system can possibly introduce bugs which will not necessarily be fixed immediately.

One question I'd ask about a rolling release system is, if you refresh the system and find a bug, is there a very easy way to revert the system to the way it was before the most recent refresh.

Re: Toy story naming convention

David Riley's picture

On Wikipedia they call them "Squeeze Toy Aliens" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Toy_Story_characters) and it seems to be about 50/50 on other sites between "Little Green Aliens" and "Squeeze Toy Aliens". I think they did their best on this one, as both "Little Green Alien" and "Squeeze Toy Alien" don't make the greatest distro names. On second thought, maybe they are awesome names, I don't know. Their real names from Pixar would be awesome. Been a Toy Story fan since the first movie and subsequent Super Nintendo game (begged for a year to get it) came out.

Back on topic, congratulations to the Debian team for keeping up the good work for all of these years.

PS. I actually did some real searching, and according to the Disney character profiles for the little green guys, their official title is simply "Aliens"

Toy Story naming convention

stlouisubntu's picture

I applaud the Debian team for continuing the Toy Story character naming convention with 7.0. The upcoming 6.0 "Squeeze" release seems to me to be the only time they have deviated from this. The little green aliens are not and have never been called "Squeeze." In my limited research online and watching of Toy Story films, the little green aliens have been referred to as little green aliens. The only place they are referred to as "Squeeze" is in the context of the Debian 6.0 release.

I challenge someone to prove me wrong with a comment including a authoritative Pixar Toy Story link.

All foolishness aside, I truly do applaud the Debian team for their dedication, hard work, and focus on quality. Keep up the good work!! I am a 64-bit lennyandahalf (rolled my own) user myself.

The complete Pixar's official

Debianero Rumbero's picture

The complete Pixar's official name is 'Squeeze Toy Aliens' (a.k.a. the Little Green Men or LGMs) but Debian releases names are a one-word-only thing always. Thus the squeeze name.

You can check out this at Disney's web sites.

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