Blog Archives

Debian 5.0 “lenny” is now stable

Some of you may be used to the every 6-months release of a new stable version of Ubuntu GNU/Linux [1]. That’s quite a hard strategy to follow, as it seems that the important thing is to have the release out, even if not as perfect as desired. I see this approach as coming from the world of proprietary software companies, where the important thing is to reach the release date no matter what, so that the commercial department doesn’t need to re-print the leaflets or re-design the web page to change the release date of the product. This can lead into very very wrong decisions and situations: for example, shipping KDE4 in Kubuntu 8.10 even if the release of KDE4 shipped was lacking of lots of things (and then we have to read things like these [2] to justify the decision!!).

Debian GNU/Linux [3] uses a complete different approach. There are always 3 main version of Debian available at any time: stable, testing and unstable [4]. The stable version contains what the developers consider is a real stable version. The testing version contains usually latest releases of the upstream packages, and this version will be the one converting itself into stable in the next step. The unstable release contains all the testing-pending packages submitted by the Debian developers. In this approach, you always know that stability is assured in every stable release of Debian.

Lenny, from Toy Story

Lenny, from Toy Story

This is the main reason why a new stable version of Debian, like the Debian 5.0 codenamed lenny [5] is always a special event: it happens only when it must happen, and never before.