Debian 6.0 on Track for December Release
After several delays and many months behind schedule, Debian 6.0 appears to be one step closer to release. As of August 6, the testing branch is now frozen except for fixes and translation updates. This puts Final on track to possibly be released by the end of the year.
Neil McGovern, Debian Release Team manager, wrote in from DebCon10 in New York to announce this milestone for Debian 6.0. Freeze had been delayed until Python 2.6 migration and updating Glibc was completed. Now only critical bug fixes, documentation changes, and translation updates will be accepted into the Testing branch as a general rule. This will give developers the opportunity to polish 6.0 for final release. The last two major versions have seen a four month stabilization period before final release, allowing estimates that 6.0 will arrive sometime in December.
It was over a year ago that Debian developers had announced a fixed release schedule much like other popular Linux distributions, but scheduling freeze dates every two years instead of release dates. 6.0 was scheduled to be frozen in December 2009 with final release estimated for Spring of this year. The freeze was delayed at that time due to a large number of critical bugs, and while the number has decreased, it is still quite high at 554 affecting Squeeze. That number could very well delay release until early Spring 2011.
The upcoming release will bring some exciting changes. Startup, Debian's version of Upstart, is a parallel booting system that will bring faster system starts. GNOME 2.30, KDE 4.4.5, Linux 2.6.32, X.org 7.5, GCC 4.4, and OpenOffice 3.2.1 are on the menu as well.
Live Squeeze Alpha2 was released July 22.