Bits from Debian Installer Team

As we're now supposedly close to the release of Lenny, we feel the need to give news about the Debian Installer team.

During Lenny release cycle, we managed to release two beta versions and one release candidate.

As expected, it improved a lot during this release cycle: - New features: support for loading firmware during installation, SATA RAID support, early upgrade of packages wrt security fixes, support for "volatile", new boot menu for i386/amd64, support for hardware speech synthesis devices, support for relatime mount options, NTP clock synchronization, support for installation from Windows through win32-loader - Improved features: partitioner display for the graphical installer, better support for Live-CD media - New ports: armel, images for i386 Xen guests - New translations: Amharic, Marathi, Welsh, Irish, Northern Sami, Serbian

The next release candidate version is aimed at being the version used in the Lenny official release. This version will fix a few bugs discovered in Release Candidate 1 (RC1) and a few more which were listed in RC1 errata. It will also be based on the 2.6.26-12 kernel packages.

We intend to begin the final release process of Debian Installer RC2 in the very early days of January 2009.

In the meantime, we encourage users and developers to test daily builds of the installer that are available from the Installer home page [1]. We particularly encourage you to test less often used features more than straight installs. Please also test the localized versions of the installer and less common architectures.

About the Debian installer team: the team is currently lead by Otavio Salvador. However, the team "resources" are now very scarce. During the last two months, only Otavio, Frans Pop and Christian Perrier have been significantly active in the development list and IRC channel. A few other people brought valuable contributions, of course (for instance during the RC1 testing phase), but the situation of the team is still fairly critical and should be a concern for the project, for the squeeze release cycle.

We think we'll be able to release the RC2 needed for Lenny but, as soon as Lenny is released, we feel the need to get new blood in. If you're concerned about Debian having a good, up-to-date installer, please start thinking about this. In the meantime, please test the dailies!

[1] http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer