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Revision 74 as of 2006-12-12 09:48:41
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Editor: meebey
Comment: added details about mono and added xsp / mod_mono to new server packages
Revision 75 as of 2006-12-12 10:28:56
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Editor: daniel
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    * conglomeration packages for the most common oot-modules are in place: users are not requiring to build them anymore when using Debian kernel images.
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 * mozilla-firefox-locale-* packages renmaed iceweasel-l10n-*

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 [http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/errata Errata] page for the [http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/ installer] may also be of interest to those who've installed Sarge and now want to try Etch.

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 (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
  • Updated menu policy
  • New policy for dictionaries and stuff
  • mirror split
  • AMD64 arch (see ["DebianAMD64"])
  • LSB 3.1 (see DebianLsb)

  • FHS: Documentation under /usr/share/doc (no /usr/doc anymore)
  • ..
  • 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.
      • conglomeration packages for the most common oot-modules are in place: users are not requiring to build them anymore when using Debian kernel images.
    • 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.
  • Many packages with desktop files
  • Better support for DRI

New Features

  • SecureApt (apt-key, gui-apt-key, debian-archive-keyring)

    • apt-get update -o Acquire::PDiffs=false
    • apt.conf.d & sources.list.d

    • -t release works on all actions e.g. source and build-dep
  • ["DDTP"] (translated package descriptions) out of the box?
    • nota bene: doesn't seem so, you'll need sid and ftp.de.debian.org for it to work
  • 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)
      • nota bene: Installation left me with GNOME and a blank desktop, i.e. no wallpaper/background and no such one could be selected in the menu
    • 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
  • pcmciautils replaces pcmcia-cs
  • ...

New introduced Packages

(Just the most important ones.)

  • Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) (ltsp-server and ltsp-server-standalone; note that the addition is just these packages that allow you to now setup LTSP by installing 1 package rather than previously a number of them)
  • Nexuiz ;)

  • xen and vserver kernel variants (no more patching)
  • Eclipse in main (not yet)
  • 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
  • p7zip, p7zip-full, lzma
  • Manufacturer provided PPD files for ?PostScript printers: linuxprinting.org-ppds, hp-ppd

  • 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)

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)


  • OpenOffice.org 2.0.4

    • 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
  • 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 1.5 (probably 2.0)
  • Thunderbird 1.5
    • nota bene: Due to tradmark issues, neither firefox nor thunderbird are currently shipped with those names - see 'Renamed and replaced packages'
  • Beagle
  • Banshee
  • F-Spot


  • PHP 5.1.4
  • MySQL 5.0.24
  • Asterisk 1.2
  • Apache 2.2
  • OTRS 2.0.4 (in package otrs2)
  • PostgreSQL 8.1 including Slony and PostGIS
  • XSP / mod_mono 1.2.1


  • Linux Kernel 2.6.18
  • mdadm 2.5.x: now requires an mdadm.conf file.
  • sun-java5 may appear in Etch, but see http://bugs.debian.org/370295

  • NFSv4 support (optionally with Kerberos) for both client and server

Removed packages

  • 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 (perhaps seamonkey or [http://www.gnu.org/software/gnuzilla/ Gnuzilla]? as a replacement)

  • cdrtools (cdrecord et.al); replaced by cdrkit
  • ladspa-plugins (contents merged into ladspa-plugin)

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

Renamed and replaced packages

  • mozilla-firefox* packages renamed iceweasel*
  • mozilla-firefox-locale-* packages renmaed iceweasel-l10n-*
  • mozilla-thunderbird* packages renamed icedove*
  • cdrecord replaced by wodim
  • cdrtools-doc replaced by cdrkit-doc
  • gimpprint renamed gutenprint
    • cupsys-driver-gimpprint renamed cupsys-driver-gutenprint
    • gimpprint-doc renamed gutenprint-doc
    • gimpprint-locales renamed gutenprint-locales
  • ?MultiSync libraries renamed ?OpenSync

    • libmultisync-plugin-evolution renamed opensync-plugin-evolution
    • libmultisync-plugin-irmc and libmultisync-plugin-irmc-bluetooth renamed opensync-plugin-irmc
    • libmultisync-plugin-palm renamed opensync-plugin-palm
    • libmultisync-plugin-syncml renamed opensync-plugin-syncml

Split packages

  • openoffice.org-gtk became openoffice.org-gnome and openoffice.org-gtk
  • ssh became openssh-client and openssh-server