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29 July 2009, 11:29

Debian to adopt fixed release cycle

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Debian logo So far, the rule in the world of Debian has been that a new version is released when it is finished. However, in future the Debian developers plan to, at least in part, follow the example of other major Linux distributions and adopt a more formal development cycle. The plans include freezing the development of Debian GNU/Linux every two years in December, stabilising the distribution and releasing a new version within the following six months.

By fixing a deadline for the freeze, but not for the release of the new version itself, the Debian developers are trying to strike a compromise between a predictable release cycle and their old "release when it's ready" principle. The relatively long two-year cycle (new versions of Ubuntu and Fedora, for example, are released every six months, OpenSuse is released every eight months) is designed to make room for fundamental changes between two releases of the distribution.

Deviating from the two-year cycle, the new version of Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 (Squeeze) is already scheduled to be frozen in December 2009, and the release is planned for spring 2010 – Debian 5.0 (Lenny) was only released last February. The developers have committed to providing those users of Debian 5.0 who don't want to update their systems after only a year, with a direct update to version 7.0.

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