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Debian “Lenny” released

Feb 16, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

After 22 months of “constant development,” the Debian project released version 5.0 (codenamed “Lenny”) on Valentine's Day. The release supports 12 processor architectures, a choice of four desktop environments, and broad standards compliance, the project said.

(Click for larger view of “Lenny,” captured from Pixar Animation's Toy Story trailer)

The list of new and improved features in Lenny is really quite impressive. Rather than recite the laundry list, we'll refer interested readers to the official announcement note.

We would like to call out just a few interesting features for embedded developers, however. Topping the list is the arrival of a stable armel branch, which adds support for the floating point hardware found in modern ARM cores. Another goodie is the initial arrival (in stable) of “emdebian” tools aimed at helping developers shrink source packages, and cross compile them for various architectures.

Speaking of architectures, Lenny supports no less than twelve. They include: Sun SPARC (sparc), HP Alpha (alpha), Motorola/IBM PowerPC (powerpc), Intel IA-32 (i386), IA-64 (ia64), HP PA-RISC (hppa), MIPS (mips, mipsel), ARM (arm, armel), IBM S/390 (s390), and AMD64 and Intel EM64T (amd64). Wow.

Interestingly, the very new LXDE desktop environment for netbooks has already been included in stable, a testament to its rapid development. LXDE was one of the revelations of last year's LinuxWorld, but was far from stable at that time. Other supported desktop environments include GNOME (the default), KDE, and Xfce.

Not surprisingly, given the current netbook craze, Lenny also offers specific support for several netbook models, including the pioneering Asus EEE PC. The support appears to include “out-of-the-box” support for frequency scaling of Atom processors.

Support has also arrived for Marvell's Orion platform, used in Myriad NAS servers. Specific installation support is also available for the QNAP Turbo Station series, HP Media Vault mv2120, and Buffalo Kurobox Pro.

Additionally, following Sun's open source license addition to Java, Lenny has all the components needed to run Java-based applications, allowing such applications to be organized within the distro's “main” repository for the first time. That could improve the profile and usage rate of open source apps based on Java, since most everyone has “main” in their repo list.

The release is dedicated to Thiemo Seufer, a noted Debian developer who died in a car crash during the holidays.

As noted, there's lots more… see the official release announcement to learn a bit more. Or, for a screenshot of the cool new “GoPlay!” graphical game browser, visit our sister site, DesktopLinux.

Availability

Debian 5.0 (Lenny) is available now, and can be installed from DVDs, CDs, USB sticks, floppies, or from the network. Blueray Discs are also supported for the first time, enabling the archive for an entire architecture to be shipped on a single disk, the project says.

The installation system support 63 languages, and the installer supports Braille readers. More details can be found at Debian.org.


 
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