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Debian Wheezy Linux Arrives on Time

  • May 6, 2013
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

It's not every year that we get to see a brand new Debian Linux release. In fact, it has been two years since Debian Squeeze release came out.

Debian has always been a distribution that only puts outs releases when they're done and now Wheezy is done.

With two years of development behind it, all the packages in the releases have been updated from Squeeze. Of particular not though is the new Multiarch support. Debian has long offered support for multiple silicon architectures, though mixing and matching 32 and 64-bit has been a problem, until now.

"Multiarch support, one of the main release goals for "Wheezy", will allow Debian users to install packages from multiple architectures on the same machine,"the Debian Wheezy release announcementstated. "This means that you can now, for the first time,install both 32- and 64-bit software on the same machine and have all the relevant dependencies correctly resolved, automatically."

In total, Debian Wheezy can be run on at least nine different silicon architecture including:32-bit PC / Intel IA-32 (i386), 64-bit PC /Intel EM64T / x86-64 (amd64), Motorola/IBM PowerPC (powerpc), Sun/Oracle SPARC (sparc), MIPS (mips (big-endian) and mipsel (little-endian)), Intel Itanium (ia64), IBM S/390 (31-bit s390 and 64-bit s390x), and ARM EABI.

Installation overall gets a boost with a support for UEFI on amd64, though Debian still does not yet support the Secure Boot technology that Microsoft has got many hardware vendors to enable for Windows 8.

The Debian Installer also get a major update with voice enabled installation. The first Debian release to include the graphical installerwas Sarge back in 2005.

"Debian can now be installed using software speech, above all by visually impaired people who do not use a Braille device," Debian's release announcement stated.

On Time

Debian release can sometimes take a good deal of time before they hit general availability. With Wheezy a number of step were taken to help ensure a high quality and stable release that was also released in a timely manner.

In March, Debian Wheezy had some 100 blocker bugs left to be fixed. A release process that did not allow the Addition of new 'spurious' bug late in the process as well as a threat to remove packages that sill have open RC bugs int them, proved to be strong tools in helping Wheezy out the door.

"As the release approaches, it's more likely that we will simply remove packages that have open RC bugs

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Linux Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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