Debian 6 "Squeeze" is finished
The developers of Debian have completed, Squeeze, version 6 of their distribution, having worked on this new stable version for 24 months. It provides Debian users with a wide range of new releases of common Linux software. With Debian, however, that does not mean that the software is brand-new; often, the software is a couple of version numbers old. But that is what makes Debian attractive: tested, stable versions are better than the latest fad. The developers' announcement provides details of which program versions are in the final OS release. The most prominent ones include Google's Chrome web browser, KDE 4 with Plasma Workspaces, GNOME 2.30, X.Org 7.5, OpenOffice.org 3.2.1, GIMP 2.6.11, Iceweasel/Firefox 3.5.16, Kernel 2.6.32 and Samba 3.5.6.
Squeeze also brings along the current Xen version 4, which is ready to install. The kernel, which has been adapted for operation as host (Domain-0), is based on pv_ops patches, however, and for this reason not every Xen function is available. At the moment, the distribution can also run experimentally with a FreeBSD kernel instead of with a Linux kernel; the developers then speak of "Debian/kFreeBSD" instead of "Debian/GNU Linux". The new Debian Linux kernels do not have any dubious firmware files; the developers have put all of these in separate packages and stored them in the "unfree" branch on freely accessible installation media. There are, however, instructions on how the files can be included during installation.
The developers describe Debian as a free all-around operating system. In addition to common PC platforms, it also runs in 32 and 64-bit versions on various other architectures, including PowerPC, Sparc, Mips, s390 and ARM. The installer no longer supports Alpha and PA-RISC. A number of other distributions are also based on the work done by Debian developers, such as Ubuntu. The derivatives previously known as "Custom Debian Distributions" are now called "Debian Pure Blends" starting with version 6. The Debian developers plan to expand the brand further.