Debian GNU/Linux 2.2, the "Joel 'Espy' Klecker" release, is officially released
August 15th, 2000
The Debian Project is pleased to announce the latest release of the Debian GNU/Linux Operating System. This release has been in development for approximately 18 months, and has been extensively tested by several thousand end-users and developers.
Debian GNU/Linux is a free Linux system. It is developed by roughly 500 volunteers from all over the world who collaborate via the Internet. Debian's dedication to free software, its non-profit nature, and its open development model make it unique among Linux distributions.
With the addition of the PowerPC and ARM architectures, Debian GNU/Linux now supports a total of six architectures -- more than any other distribution. Packages for all architectures are built from the same source packages. Debian GNU/Linux now runs on iMacs and Netwinders, and of course Intel PCs, Sun SPARCs, Alphas, and older Macintosh and Amiga hardware are still supported.
Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 features a more streamlined and polished installation, including automatic network setup via DHCP, a simplified software selection process (just indicate the tasks your Debian GNU/Linux system will be used for), and a simplified configurator for the X Window System. Debian GNU/Linux can be installed via CD, or from the network and a few floppies. It can be obtained via FTP from http://ftp.debian.org/debian/, and many mirrors, and will soon be available on CD-ROM from numerous vendors. CD Images may be downloaded now.
Upgrades to Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 from earlier releases are automatically handled by the apt package management tool. As always, Debian GNU/Linux systems can be upgraded painlessly, in place, with no downtime. For detailed documentation about installing and upgrading Debian GNU/Linux, please see the release notes.
Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 is based on the latest stable Linux kernel (2.2.16), updated with Alan Cox's patches expected to go into 2.2.17. The 2.2 kernel series includes significant improvements in usability and stability; it also includes more hardware support, for both older and newer products; laptop users will particularly notice improvements in the PCMCIA subsystem. Some other highlights of Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 from the nearly 800 updated packages include:
- C Library 2.1.3
- XFree86 3.3.6
- GCC 2.95.2
- GnuPG 1.0.1
- Perl 5.005.03
- Python 1.5.2
- PAM 0.72
- ncurses 5.0
- teTeX 1.0.6
- Emacs 20.7
- XEmacs 21.1.10
- GNOME 1.0.56
1200 new software packages have been added to Debian GNU/Linux 2.2. Some of the newly available software include:
- postfix A new secure mail transport agent
- openssh A free implementation of the secure shell
- openldap LDAP client and server packages
- w3m A new text-mode browser, with support for tables
- gdm The GNOME display manager
- cvsup An efficient mirroring system for CVS
- everybuddy An all-in-one messaging client
- reportbug A tool to report problems in Debian GNU/Linux
- zope A web application server for dynamic web sites
- xmms The X Multimedia System; an audio player
- kaffe A free, JIT-capable, virtual machine for Java bytecode
- gnapster An interface to the popular MP3 sharing service
- And last, but not least, 56 new games.
Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 incorporates not only a great deal of updated and new software, but many enhancements, such as:
- Widespread use of the Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM). With PAM, Debian GNU/Linux systems can be configured with standard Unix passwords or more secure options such as shadow and MD5 passwords, "smart cards", and one-time-password implementations.
- A new network configuration system, configured through the /etc/network directory, which improves support for multihomed hosts.
- Closer compliance to the Linux Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS), including a better separation between system-specific, architecture-specific, and architecture-independent data for use in heterogeneous environments.
- Better support for international users. Japanese support is integrated into the core Debian archive, and other non-Latin character encodings are also better supported through wider internationalisation (I18N) support. European languages are also better supported, with more and better translations to more languages.
The Debian Project has always hoped to serve as a base for more specialised distributions, and in the past year this goal has been realized, with the adoption of the Debian system as a basis for commercial Linux distributions. Corel Corporation, Libra Computer Systems, and Stormix Technologies are among the companies that currently distribute distributions based on Debian; others are on the horizon. In addition, Debian GNU/Linux CDs have been bundled with several Debian books. What remains the same, however, is the project's volunteer base, its dedication to the Debian Social Contract, and its commitment to provide the best operating system possible. Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 is another important step in that direction.
Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 is dedicated to the memory of Joel "Espy" Klecker, a Debian developer, unbeknownst to most of the Debian Project, was bedridden and fighting a disease known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy during most of his involvement with Debian. Only now is the Debian Project realizing the extent of his dedication, and the friendship he bestowed upon us. So as a show of appreciation, and in memory of his inspirational life, this release of Debian GNU/Linux is dedicated to him.