Etch and a half is the nickname for a project to add newer packages (kernel, Xorg drivers and debian-installer) within the stable Debian 'etch' release to increase its usefulness to users with hardware that requires updated drivers.


What is Etch And A Half

Etch And A Half is an additional set of packages that have been included in Debian Etch, since 4.0r4, to increase the amount of hardware supported by Debian 4.0 ('etch'). These packages are not replacements for any of the existing packages in Debian 4.0. Installation of new packages onto existing Debian 4.0 systems is not compulsory - this update presents no change to the support of previously available packages.

How can I install Etch-and-a-Half?


How to dist-upgrade from etch to etch and a half

Etch-and-a-half isn't a new distribution: it is a regular point release.
If you want to have improved hardware, you might want to manually install the new package (see below).

When was it shipped

Etch And A Half was released as part of a 4.0r4 point release (it is included in later point releases).

What packages would be updated
  • linux-2.6.24 (optional)

  • Xorg drivers
    • xserver-xorg-video-nv (version 2.0.3, available in proposed-updates. This has support for Geforce 8 series GPUs and new rudimentary dual-head support, which is only enabled with Option "Dualhead" in xorg.conf, and disabled by default).)

    • xserver-xorg-video-intel (add support for 965GM, 965GME, G33, Q35, Q33 and IGD_GM (pci ids 2A02, 2A12, 29C2, 29B2, 29D2 and 2A42)

  • debian-installer (based on Lenny beta 2)
What will not work with this 2.6.24 kernel

E-n-half development

Mailing List

A mailing list for the development of this project is available on The name of the list is project-etchnahalf (archive).


Kickoff Meeting 2007.10.31 @ 18:00 GMT in #debian-release

Minutes and log