Chapter 2. What's new in Debian 9

Table of Contents

2.1. Supported architectures
2.2. What's new in the distribution?
2.2.1. CDs, DVDs, and BDs
2.2.2. Security
2.2.3. MariaDB replaces MySQL
2.2.4. A new archive for debug symbols

The Wiki has more information about this topic.

2.1. Supported architectures

Support for 32-bit PCs no longer covers vanilla i586

The 32-bit PC support (known as the Debian architecture i386) now no longer covers a plain i586 processor. The new baseline is the i686, although some i586 processors (e.g. the "AMD Geode") will remain supported.

Please refer to Section 5.1.6, “Minimum requirements for 32-bit Intel is now i686 (with a minor exception)” for more information.

The following are the officially supported architectures for Debian 9:

  • 32-bit PC (i386) and 64-bit PC (amd64)

  • 64-bit ARM (arm64)

  • ARM EABI (armel)

  • ARMv7 (EABI hard-float ABI, armhf)

  • MIPS (mips (big-endian) and mipsel (little-endian))

  • 64-bit little-endian MIPS (mips64el)

  • 64-bit little-endian PowerPC (ppc64el)

  • IBM System z (s390x)

You can read more about port status, and port-specific information for your architecture at the Debian port web pages.

2.2. What's new in the distribution?

 TODO: Make sure you update the numbers in the .ent file 
     using the changes-release.pl script found under ../

This new release of Debian again comes with a lot more software than its predecessor jessie; the distribution includes over 15346 new packages, for a total of over 51687 packages. Most of the software in the distribution has been updated: over 29859 software packages (this is 57% of all packages in jessie). Also, a significant number of packages (over 6739, 13% of the packages in jessie) have for various reasons been removed from the distribution. You will not see any updates for these packages and they will be marked as "obsolete" in package management front-ends; see Section 4.8, “Obsolete packages”.

Debian again ships with several desktop applications and environments. Among others it now includes the desktop environments GNOME 3.22, KDE 5.8, Xfce 4.12, MATE 1.16 and LXDE.

Productivity applications have also been upgraded, including the office suites:

  • LibreOffice is upgraded to version 5.2;

  • Calligra is upgraded to 2.9;

Updates of other desktop applications include the upgrade to Evolution 3.22.

Among many others, this release also includes the following software updates:

PackageVersion in 8 (jessie)Version in 9 (stretch)
BIND DNS Server9.99.10
Emacs2425
Exim default e-mail server4.844.88
Firefox45.5 (AKA Iceweasel)50.0
GNU Compiler Collection as default compiler4.96.2
Gnupg2.02.1
Inkscape0.480.91
the GNU C library2.192.24
Linux kernel image3.16 series4.8 series
MariaDB10.010.1
MySQL5.5removed
Nginx1.61.10
OpenJDK78
OpenSSH6.3p16.7p1
Perl5.205.24
PHP5.67.0
Postfix MTA2.113.1
PostgreSQL9.49.6
Python 33.43.5
Samba4.14.5
Vim78
 TODO: (JFS) List other server software? RADIUS? Streaming ?

Debian supports Linux Standard Base (LSB) version 4.1, with one explicit and Debian-specific derogation from the LSB 4.1 specification: Qt3 is not included.

2.2.1. CDs, DVDs, and BDs

The official Debian distribution now ships on 9 to 10 binary DVDs or 75 to 85 binary CDs (depending on the architecture) and 10 source DVDs or 59 source CDs. Additionally, there is a multi-arch DVD, with a subset of the release for the amd64 and i386 architectures, along with the source code. Debian is also released as Blu-ray (BD) images, 2 each for the amd64 and i386 architectures, or 2 for the source code. For size reasons, some very large packages are omitted from the CD builds; these packages fit better in the DVD and BD builds, so are still included there.

2.2.2. Security

For the stretch release, the Debian version of the GNU GCC 6 compiler now defaults to compiling "position independent executables" (PIE). Accordingly the vast majority of all executables will now have address space layout randomization" (ASLR), which is a mitigation for a number of exploits that are now probabilistic rather than deterministic.

2.2.3. MariaDB replaces MySQL

MariaDB is now the default MySQL variant in Debian, at version 10.1. The Stretch release introduces a new mechanism for switching the default variant, using metapackages created from the mysql-defaults source package. For example, installing the metapackage default-mysql-server will install mariadb-server-10.1. Users who had mysql-server-5.5 or mysql-server-5.6 will have it removed and replaced by the MariaDB equivalent. Similarly, installing default-mysql-client will install mariadb-client-10.1.

[Important]Important

Note that the database binary data file formats are not backwards compatible, so once you have upgraded to MariaDB 10.1 you will not be able to switch back to any previous version of MariaDB or MySQL unless you have a proper database dump. Therefore, before upgrading, please make backups of all important databases with an appropriate tool such as mysqldump.

The virtual-mysql-* and default-mysql-* packages will continue to exist. MySQL continues to be maintained in Debian, in the unstable release. See the Debian MySQL Team wiki page for current information about the mysql-related software available in Debian.

2.2.4. A new archive for debug symbols

[Note]Note

This section is mostly interesting for developers or if you wish to attach a full stack trace to a crash report.

Previously, the main debian archive would include packages containg debug symbols for selected libraries or programs. With stretch, most of these have been moved to a separate archive called the "debian-debug" archive. This archive contains the debug symbol packages for the vast majority of all packages provided by Debian.

If you want to fetch such debug packages, please include the following in your apt sources:

deb http://debug.mirrors.debian.org/debian-debug/ stretch-debug main

Alternatively, you can also fetch from snapshot.debian.org.

Once enabled, you can now fetch debug symbols for the package in question by installing pkg-dbgsym. Please note that individual packages may still provide a pkg-dbg package in the main archive instead of the new dbgsym.