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 * SIL fonts e.g. Gentium, in main

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.

internal changes

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
    • Python 2.4
  • mirror split
  • AMD64 arch
  • LSB 3.1
  • ..
  • internal development:
    • linux-2.6 common package builds linux-images
      • kernel-image-* has been renamed to linux-image-*
      • smp alternatives: for amd64 and i386 the SMP support is found on runtime
      • new kernel images with bigmem support up to 64 GB of memory.
      • new initramfs-tools early userspace (works with SATA, USB, RAID, LVM NFS, cryptoroot, ..) much more flexible
      • 2.4 kernels are only supported for upgrade from sarge. Users should install a 2.6 kernel after (or before) the upgrade.
    • GCC 4.1 as default compiler
    • libc 2.3.6
      • support for 2.2 kernels has been dropped (except for m68k). 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.

New Features

  • Secure APT (apt-key, gui-apt-key, debian-archive-keyring)
    • apt.conf.d and sources.list.d
  • apt-get update -o Acquire::PDiffs=false
  • ddtp (translated package descriptions) out of the box?
  • installer:
    • integration of base-config functionality into the installer
    • graphical installer
      • new languages through bidi support?BRIncorrect. The newt frontend has bidi support too (and thus supports e.g. arabic and hebrew); new languages are courtesy of support for composed characters (fjp). The usual way to mention these new languages we now support (Indic, Tibetan, Khmer, Thai scripts...) is complex languages. This is the terminology used in OOo (well, in OOo, this includes bidi also (bubulle)

    • encrypted partitions
  • "default desktop environment" improvements
    • update notification (using update-notifier)
    • local deb install (using gdebi)
    • printing support
    • scanner support (post beta-3 stuff)
    • better artwork (being discussed now)
    • 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
  • pcmciautils replaces pcmcia-cs
  • ...

New introduced Packages

(Just the most important ones.)

  • Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP)
  • Nexuiz ;)

  • xen and vserver kernel variants (no more patching)
  • Eclipse and Tomcat 5 in main (no more in contrib)
  • Mono
  • TeX Live distribution (+350MB, yay)
  • SER (SIP Express Router) and OpenSER, for advanced VoIP architectures
  • compiz
  • SIL fonts e.g. Gentium, in main

Updated Packages

(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)

Desktop

  • OpenOffice.org 2.0.3

    • nota bene: splitted packages; you don't need to install everything, if you just need OpenOffice.org writer

  • KDE 3.5.5
  • GNOME 2.14.2.1
  • Xfce 4.4
  • X.org 7.x
    • nota bene: Brings not only new drivers, but also modularized packages (and with that no mega downloads for security fixes)
    • Includes AIGLX, allowing accelerated compositing used by compiz
  • Firefox 1.5 (probably 2.0)
  • Thunderbird 1.5
    • nota bene: Due to tradmark issues, neither firefox nor thunderbird are no longer shipped in "mozilla-foo" packages

Server

  • PHP 5.1.4
  • MySQL 5.0.24
  • Asterisk 1.2
  • Apache 2.2

System

removed packages

  • Mozilla (perhaps seamonkey as replacement)
  • cdrtools (cdrecord et.al); replaced by cdrkit

(Might be mostly interesting for the release-notes? Some way to autogenerate such a list? ask tbm?)