Debian decides to adopt time-based release freezes
July 29th, 2009
The Debian project has decided to adopt a new policy of time-based
development freezes for future releases, on a two-year cycle. Freezes will
from now on happen in the December of every odd year, which means that
releases will from now on happen sometime in the first half of every even
year. To that effect the next freeze will happen in December 2009, with a
release expected in spring 2010. The project chose December as a suitable
freeze date since spring releases proved successful for the releases of
Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 (codenamed
Etch) and Debian GNU/Linux 5.0
Time-based freezes will allow the Debian Project to blend the predictability of time based releases with its well established policy of feature based releases. The new freeze policy will provide better predictability of releases for users of the Debian distribution, and also allow Debian developers to do better long-term planning. A two-year release cycle will give more time for disruptive changes, reducing inconveniences caused for users. Having predictable freezes should also reduce overall freeze time.
Since Debian's last release happened on Feb. 14th 2009, there will only be
approximately a one year period until its next release, Debian GNU/Linux
Squeeze). This will be a one-time exception to the
two-year policy in order to get into the new time schedule. To accommodate
the needs of larger organisations and other users with a long upgrade
process, the Debian project commits to provide the possibility to skip the
upcoming release and do a skip-upgrade straight from Debian GNU/Linux 5.0
Lenny) to Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 (not yet codenamed).
Although the next freeze is only a short time away, the Debian project hopes to achieve several prominent goals with it. The most important are multi-arch support, which will improve the installation of 32 bit packages on 64 bit machines, and an optimised boot process for better boot performance and reliability.
The new freeze policy was proposed and agreed during the Debian Project's yearly conference, DebConf, which is currently taking place in Caceres, Spain. The idea was well received among the attending project members.
The Debian Project is an association of Free Software developers who volunteer their time and effort in order to produce the completely free operating system Debian GNU/Linux.
For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at https://www.debian.org/, send mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org>, or contact the Release Team at <email@example.com>.