New Features and other interesting stuff in Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 "Etch"
A list of more technical issues regarding the upgrade from Sarge to Etch is available at Sarge2EtchUpgrade. The Errata page for the installer may also be of interest to those who've installed Sarge and now want to try Etch
SecureApt (apt-key, gui-apt-key, debian-archive-keyring)
apt-get update -o Acquire::PDiffs=false
apt.conf.d and sources.list.d
-t release works on all actions e.g. source and build-dep
integration of base-config functionality into the installer
- graphical installer
- supports scripts with composed characters (sometimes called complex languages): Indic, Tibetan, Khmer, Thai
- encrypted partitions
- "default desktop environment" improvements
- update notification (using update-notifier)
- local deb install (using gdebi)
- printing support
- scanner support
- better artwork
- instant messaging (using gaim)
- partition management (using gparted)
- ... and more.
- UTF-8 environment by default on new installs.
udev by default on new installs
?DebTags in the Packages file; debtags smartsearch
RubyGems, a package management framework
New introduced Packages
(Just the most important ones.)
Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) (ltsp-server can be used to build an LTSP environment out of debian packages, rather than install foreign LTSP binaries)
- Eclipse in main
- Tomcat 5 in main (no more in contrib)
- TeX Live distribution (+350MB, yay)
- SER (SIP Express Router) and OpenSER, for advanced VoIP architectures
- SIL fonts e.g. Gentium, in main
- p7zip, p7zip-full
erlang (the Ericsson programming language) providing ejabberd (the most featureful open source Jabber/XMMP server), yaws (a high performance webserver), wings3d (a polygon mesh modeller) and manderlbot (an IRC bot)
OpenSync (update of Multisync) with packages multisync0.90 and multisync-tools and associated OpenSync library, utilities and plugins
(Just the most important ones.)
Note: A good way to obtain that information is by looking it up in Distrowatch: http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=debian (it might not be totally updated, though)
nota bene: splitted packages; you don't need to install everything, if you just need OpenOffice.org writer
- KDE 3.5.5a
- GNOME 2.14 (with cherries from 2.16)
- Xfce 4.4
- X.org 7.1
- nota bene: Brings not only new drivers, but also modularised packages (and with that no mega downloads for security fixes)
- Includes AIGLX, allowing accelerated compositing used by compiz
- Firefox 22.214.171.124
- Thunderbird 1.5
- nota bene: Due to tradmark issues, neither Firefox nor Thunderbird are currently shipped with those names - see 'Renamed and replaced packages'
- Apache 2.2
- Asterisk 1.2
- MySQL 5.0.32
- OTRS 2.0.4 (in package otrs2)
- PHP 5.2.0
- Postfix 2.3.6
- PostgreSQL 8.1 including Slony and PostGIS
- XSP / mod_mono 1.2.2
- Linux Kernel 2.6.18
- i386 and amd64 smp runtime support
- i386 bigmem image for up to 64 GB memory
- GCC 4.1 as default compiler
- libc 2.3.6
- support for 2.2 kernels has been dropped. libc will refuse to be installed on 2.2 kernels, the solution is to install a 2.4 (or a 2.6) kernel before the upgrade.
- udev 105 (/dev/ and hotplug management daemon replaces the old hotplug scripts)
- initramfs-tools early userspace (works with SATA, USB, RAID, LVM NFS, cryptoroot, ..)
mdadm 2.5.x: now requires an mdadm.conf file.
- NFSv4 support (optionally with Kerberos) for both client and server
What changed between the release of Sarge and the upcoming release of Etch, which might be interesting for users, even if it didn't effect them directly.
New python policy (see DebianPython/NewPolicy)
- Python 2.4
- New policy for web applications
- New policy for Java packages
- New policies for packaging Mono, other CLRs and CLI based applications and libraries
- New policy for dictionaries and stuff
- Updated menu policy
- mirror split
AMD64 arch (see DebianAMD64)
LSB 3.1 (see DebianLsb)
- FHS: Documentation under /usr/share/doc (no /usr/doc anymore)
- linux-2.6 common package builds linux-images
- conglomeration packages for the most common oot-modules are in place: users are not requiring to build them anymore when using Debian kernel images.
- Many packages with desktop files
- Better support for DRI
Common framework for database configuration when installing packages (dbconfig-common).
- This gives the admin a consistent interface for setting up packages which need database access in order to work.
many more cd-sets available for download
2.4 kernels are only supported for upgrade from sarge. Users should install a 2.6 kernel after (or before) the upgrade (please see the release notes on that).
- xfonts-base-transcoded (Etch is the first fully UTF-8 Debian release, so there's no version of xfonts-base with legacy encodings anymore)
- Mozilla, Firefox and Thunderbird (iceape, xulrunner, iceweasel and icedove as replacements; see below)
webmin and usermin (see 343897)
eGroupWare (see this discussion)
- ladspa-plugins (contents merged into ladspa-plugin)
latex-xft-fonts (see bug 402148)
libc5 (see thread)
Renamed and replaced packages
kernel-image-* packages renamed to linux-image-*
mozilla-firefox* packages renamed to iceweasel*
mozilla-firefox-locale-* packages renamed to iceweasel-l10n-*
mozilla-thunderbird* packages renamed to icedove*
mozilla renamed to seamonkey then renamed to iceape
ethereal renamed wireshark
cdrtools (cdrecord et.al) replaced by cdrkit
gimpprint renamed gutenprint
xserver-xfree86 replaced by xserver-xorg (a dummy still exists)
Some documents with releases goals; todo lists, etc..
Etch 4.0, Blockers and Goals, Arch status, kernel 2.4, etc.