In the world of Linux, some distributions have a greater impact than others when new versions appear. This is the case of Debian, whose philosophy of building and influence are different from many other systems. We must say that Debian is the source of many other distributions, including the famous Ubuntu. Developers taking the time to achieve the objectives, we understand that the release of a new major version is still a small event.
Debian 5.0, aka Lenny, is now available after nearly two years of development. Unlike many other distributions, the goal of Debian is never to offer the latest editions of software and components typically found in distributions. Debian is focused on a coherent, even if it does not satisfy the new fans. It remains of course possible to update its system.
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Also, where there are now KDE 4.2 and GNOME 2.24 almost everywhere, both environments are only versions 2.22 and 3.5.10 with Debian 5.0. The choice is especially significant for KDE, since the developers are still waiting before making the leap to version 4. Other environments that can be installed include XFCE 4.4.2 and LXDE 0.3.2.1.
Here is a list of the main novelties:
- Kernel 2.6.26
- X.org Server 7.3
- OpenOffice.org 2.4.1
- GIMP 2.4.7
- Iceweasel 3.0.6 (for 100% free Firefox)
- Icedove 188.8.131.52 (for 100% free Thunderbird)
- MySQL 5.0.51a
- GCC 4.3.2
- Apache 2.2.9
- Samba 3.2.5
- Python 2.5.2 and 2.4.6
- Perl 5.10.0
- PHP 5.2.6
- Asterisk 184.108.40.206
- Emacs 22
- Inkscape 0.46
- Nagios 3.06
- Xen 3.2.1
- OpenJDK 6b11
- Automation & Security
Under "ease of use" has been expanded through the addition of various media such as automatic hardware configuration via X.org 7.3 and the full support of NTFS. The management of keyboards was improved with the support of almost all the multimedia specific buttons, while the distribution should work better on laptops due to the adjustment of the native frequency of the processor.
Security side, some choices were made so that the user is better protected "by default", ie with the initial settings. For example, the end of installing the system downloads and installs the latest security updates even before the first reboot. The number of software components and using the privileges of root was reduced and the number of ports open standard is less important. Several packages have been compiled with the options of strengthening GCC, and several applications were given additional protections (Apache compiled with Suhosin hardening patch for example).
Supported Architectures and Downloads
One of the major features of Debian is its large number of architectures supported: Sun SPARC (sparc), HP Alpha (alpha), Motorola / IBM PowerPC (powerpc), Intel IA-32 (i386) and IA-64 ( ia64), HP PA-RISC (hppa), MIPS (mips, mipsel), ARM (arm, Armel), IBM S/390 (s390) and AMD64 and Intel EM64T (amd64).
Downloading Debian 5.0 may be done in several ways. On different servers, you will find pictures CD, DVD, CD or Live images of type "net install (minimal system for selecting packages to install from the Internet). The simplest is to choose among the possibilities on this page, all the explanations given for each media type.