Debian 8.0 Jessie Debuts After Two Years of Effort
New Debian releases don't occur every day, or even every year. This past week, Debian 8.0 codenamed Jessie was released after nearly two years of development effort. Debian is the first major milestone update for the GNU/Linux distribution since Wheezy was released in 2013.
The big under-the-hood change is the shift to systemd.
"Jessie" ships with a new default init system, systemd. The systemd suite provides many exciting features such as faster boot times, cgroups for services, and the possibility of isolating part of the services. The sysvinit init system is still available in "Jessie".
Among the many reasons that make Debian a near unique distribution is the sheer number architectures that it supports. For Debian 8 there are 10 supported architectures including: 32-bit PC / Intel IA-32 (i386), 64-bit PC / Intel EM64T / x86-64 (amd64), Motorola/IBM PowerPC (powerpc for older hardware and ppc64el for the new 64-bit (little-endian)), MIPS (mips (big-endian) and mipsel (little-endian)), IBM S/390 (64-bit s390x) and for ARM, armel and armhf for old and new 32-bit hardware, plus arm64 for the new 64-bit "AArch64" architecture.
Debian also has a whole lot of packages, just over 20,000 in fact. Among the key packages is the Linux 3.16.7-ckt9 kernel which is at the heart of Debian 8.0
With this broad selection of packages and its traditional wide architecture support, Debian once again stays true to its goal of being the universal operating system. It is suitable for many different use cases: from desktop systems to netbooks; from development servers to cluster systems; and for database, web, or storage servers. At the same time, additional quality assurance efforts like automatic installation and upgrade tests for all packages in Debian's archive ensure that "Jessie" fulfills the high expectations that users have of a stable Debian release.
Debian developers are quite confident about quality in Debian 8.0 and with the help of Debian's security teams will now be supported for the next five years.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Linux Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist