back to article Debian 'Lenny' arrives: bigger, longer, searchable

There's something different about Lenny, the latest release of Debian that finally went live this weekend. No, it's not that Lenny is the largest ever release of Debian with 23,000 binary packages (6,000 more than predecessor Etch). It's the fact Lenny will be the first version of Debian that will let you search for specific …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    The last time I used Debian, Firefox, Thunderbird, Opera and CDR Tools weren't part of the default package collection, and were replaced with cheap knockoffs (Who the fuck wants to visit a website with their UserAgent set to "Iceweasel"?). I wonder if they've fixed that in this release -if you've ever tried to install packages outside of the package manager on Debian you'd know what an understatement "difficult" is.

  2. Didier Trosset


    The next version of Debian is codenamed Squeeze (not Stretch).

  3. Gordon Henderson

    Debian for Stability

    I've used Debian as a desktop and server since the very early days - and the one thing I've always enjoyed is stability. Sure, it's a bit "dated" in places, but that's OK for me - I'm no great fan of bloat and feature creep anyway. (And I'm only just now weaning off the fvwm window manager I've been using for the past 16 years onto xfce4...)

    I switched to Lenny in the testing stage just after the freeze last summer. Now running it on 2 desktops, 3 laptops (family+business) and looking to upgrade some servers to it over the next week or 2. Long life and long live Debian!

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Real Programmers use Lenny?

    Real programmers use Sid, with a custom kernel and various cocktails of packages pulled off experimental, a repository so cutting edge that you'd better have a really good reason to use packages from there.

  5. stizzleswick

    Missing the point

    @ Anonymous Coward from 07:56 GMT

    You're missing a few points, I think. Iceweasel and so on are not "cheap knockoffs" but are the real thing, only renamed in order to avoid copyrighted trademarks (like "Firefox" and "Thunderbird" and so on...). Since the Debian distro is very straight about being 100 % "open" and GPL-compatible, that is not something that is going to be "fixed" any time soon.

    So just replace the icon and rename the app, and you're where you are with other distros. *shrug*

  6. neil


    Oh come on, surely you can do better flamebait that non issue, or perhaps you do not have a clue what you are talking about.

    Trolls nowadays, I ask you, they don't even put the effort in.

  7. Robert Harrison

    @AC 0756

    "I wonder if they've fixed that in this release -if you've ever tried to install packages outside of the package manager on Debian you'd know what an understatement "difficult" is."

    Am I feeding a troll? Aww go on, have a little tidbit:

    Yes, however this is true of any software package with dependencies that you're trying to install on any platform, not specific to Debian. It's also an 'edge' case that you're not using the package manager, surely not an everyday thing. Although specific to the .deb system at least dpkg tells you what the required packages are + their version numbers.

  8. Daniel Free

    also thats what non-free is for

    been a while since i used a pure debian install. but there are repositories categorised as non-free where you can grab packages like firefox etc that dont conform strictly to the debian policies.

  9. Toastan Buttar

    Debian release names

    > The next version of Debian is codenamed Squeeze (not Stretch).

    I'm personally holding out until they deliver "Stinky".

    Tux, cos he looks a lot like Wheezy.

  10. Paul Clark
    Thumb Up


    Congratulations are due to the Debian team for getting this out; a mammoth effort. First I knew about it was when the automatic updater offered me 800+ new packages (I have my apt sources set to stable). One 'upgrade' and 'dist-upgrade' later I was running Lenny perfectly - just one voluntary reboot to switch to the new kernel and I was off. That's what I call an upgrade mechanism!

    Iceweasel = Firefox in all but name. Do some basic research before posting!

  11. Steve McIntyre

    Minor corrections

    Just a couple of minor places where Gavin and I may have mis-communicated. I'll cut him some slack here - when we were on the phone last week, there was a snowball fight going on around me and therefore a lot of background noise! *grin*

    The next Debian release will be Squeeze, again most likely due in another 18-24 months.

    We've had DVDs for a while now, but Lenny is the first Debian release to come with official Blu-ray (BD) images. We *just* about manage to fit an architecture on one: i386 this time was just over 19GB.

    Otherwise, thanks for the good reception. We're happy with the Lenny release and we're organising parties to celebrate this week. :-)

  12. A J Stiles

    Diffucult? Pah!

    Installing "non-managed" packages on Debian is no harder than on any other package-managed distro. All you have to remember is that when a source tarball (and that's the only sort of package you should ever install, apart from a Debian-supplied .deb package) *says* it depends on "foo", what it *really* means is that it depends on "foo-dev". So whenever you install a package using apt, look for the -dev version and install that. "foo-dev" invariably depends on "foo".

    Why do we have -dev packages? Because a long time ago, when the Internet used dial-up, disks were measured in megabytes and processor speeds were measured in MHz, someone decided to separate out files which were not essential for day-to-day use of a package but might be required by developers into special "developers'" packages. And unfortunately, nobody (except Gentoo) has noticed that the state of affairs which led to this situation no longer persists.

    Please, in the name of all that's sane and wholesome, let's drop -dev packages once and for all, and just put all the "developers'" files in the main package. Most people have the disk space to spare; and those who haven't, probably know what they're doing. I wasted more time learning about the need for -dev packages than I would have wasted by downloading ones I didn't need.

  13. David Hicks

    @Difficult AC

    Iceweasel *is* firefox with different branding, because the mozilla team don't allow custom builds of the source to use the FF branding, and debian make custom builds. What's the problem?

    And Icedove *is* thunderbird.

    Debian isn't that difficult, but if you're not geeky enough to know about these or even look them up on google then, well, sorry but I have to say it - STFU and GBT windose, n00b.

    Silly user, Debian's for geeks.

    And hooray for the Debian foundation, lenny is a great OS but this also means I get to move my machines to squeeze now :)

  14. Ian Rogers


    Developers use Debian, Users use Ubuntu - not too hard to remember! If you're finding Debian "difficult" then you're a user not a developer...

  15. Quirkafleeg

    Re: Diffucult? Pah!

    If the -dev packages are merged into the corresponding ‘main’ packages, that would make installation of libfoo1 and libfoo2 slightly tricky without diversions; and what if you need libfoo1's dev files for one thing and libfoo2's for another… no, leave it as it is. It's not broken.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Just about everyone else running Linux on the desktop (presumably on the desktop if you're running a browser) who has given any thought to what their UserAgent is set to has set it to either IE5.0 or something along the lines of "A VIC-20 with some killer add-ons" just because it gives them some perverse pleasure.

  17. Brian
    Paris Hilton

    23,000 packages


    I'm new to Debian 5 after using Ubuntu. I've also heard that Debian has many thousands of packages. So, how come I can't find Avidemux after searching for it in the default repositories of Synaptic Package Manager?

    Please consider explaining to newbies how to add repositories to the system so we can get all 23,000 packages.

    Also, There's no mention of the other included repositories:

    - DFSG-Compatible Software with Non-Free Dependencies

    - Non-DFSG-compatible Software

    What are they? Do they have the extra packages like libdvdcss?

    Thanks for your help.

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