Debian, the world’s largest Linux distribution (in terms of repository-size) and the mother of Ubuntu, is set to release its awaited next stable version on the weekend of 4th/5th May this year. Codenamed “Wheezy”, Debian 7.0 will bring a huge amount of changes to the table. Debian is known to make its stable releases under codenames based on characters of the popular animated trilogy Toy Story. It’s interesting to note that Wheezy was a stuffed toy penguin in Toy Story 2 that resembled the familiar Linux mascot Tux.

Neil McGovern announced, on the debian-devel-announce mailing list, in an email titledFINAL release update:

Once again, and hopefully for the final time for this cycle, we are writing to you with a release update. We now have a target date of the weekend of 4th/5th May for the release. We have checked with core teams, and this seems to be acceptable for everyone.

However, Neil further adds, “The intention is only to lift the date if something really critical pops up that is not possible to handle as an errata, or if we end up technically unable to release that weekend”.

Debian developers lay a huge stress on stability, and a major release is announced only when all preparations have been made to ensure well-tested and stable packages in their repositories. Due to this, releases take 1-2 years to mature, unlike how other major distros, like UbuntuopenSUSE and Fedora, make releases on a shorter cycle of 6-12 months.

Debian 7 brings in several changes:

  • ext4 is now the default filesystem for new Linux installations
  • As an option: systemd with journald
  • LibreOffice replaces OpenOffice.org
  • PackageKit replaces the previous graphical package management stack on GNOME
  • GNOME 3.4, KDE 4.8, XFCE 4.8
  • Perl 5.14, Python 3.2, Ruby 1.9
  • Support for UEFI installation on x86-64 (amd64) systems
  • FOSS solutions for various fields of science got vastly improved coverage

via Muktware