back to article Debian 6.0 about to take flying leap off long term support cliff

2016 is a leap year so we're all blessed with an extra day to use. And the folks behind Debian Linux are using it to end support for the sixth version of the distro. The outfit's announcement reminds users that Debian 6.0 debuted back on February 6th, 2011. That little piece of history means the project's Long Term Support …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If my memory is correct, squeeze was the last version without systemD as default. Maybe they're trying to move everyone to wheezy and systEmd?

    1. gerdesj Silver badge

      "If my memory is correct, squeeze was the last version without systemD as default. Maybe they're trying to move everyone to wheezy and systEmd?"

      ... and your point is what?

      I assume that you don't like systemd but why bother anonymously posting inconsequential (and badly constructed) blather?

      I want to give you a right good kicking - give me something to work with.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If my memory is correct, squeeze was the last version without systemD as default

      Your memory is mistaken. Wheezy uses sysvinit by default

      So I guess we get to look forward to your same complaint in another two years

  2. Gray

    Never mind the secret sauce ...

    Ver 7 "Wheezy" obsolete, boo hoo, support ends. XP users got over it, you can too. Ver 8 "Jessie" going, going! ... support ends soon. Ver 9 "Obliterate" never happens! Ver 10 "SuckyTux" online for Suppository Upgrade track, with zombie renew Forced Download! feature ... 2.67 Gb and rolling now to a distro center near you ... !

    WHOA ... what a wild dream THAT was! Fell asleep in the recliner, MS Win10 Wonderful! Wonderful! commercial running on the TV ... wow, my head!

  3. gobaskof Silver badge

    What a ridiculous title

    I like the register, but I would rather slow news days were quiet rather than blowing tiny things out of proportion. I assumed the LTS was cancelled early after this headline, otherwise why would it be a story? If this really is a story how about:

    "Long term support of Debian Squeeze happens at time originally announced"

    "5 years have passed since Debian 6.0 was released, this marks then end of its support"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a ridiculous title

      Why do you read The Register if you don't like the funny titles?

      1. Captain Scarlet

        Re: What a ridiculous title

        To have arguments on the internet of course!

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    If 5 years isn't enough

    Then over on the RedHat [1] side of Linux, you get 10 years out of RHEL (paid) or CentOS (free).

    If you really have to avoid SystemD then CentOS 6 still has a few more years of updates. (2020 or thereabouts)

    [1] Yes I know that to some Debian diehards, R-H is the spawn of Satan especially for working with Microsoft on making their OS's work better in VM's and that SystemD is the R-H grand plan to get everyone locked into their tech. Personally, I don't have that opinion but everyone is entitled to their own.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: If 5 years isn't enough

      Or come over to the light and use FreeBSD.

  5. John Robson Silver badge


    I need to upgrade.

    Oh well, it had to happen some time I suppose. Need to go an check which the next LTS is...

  6. Adam 52 Silver badge


    As a dumb user, how do I upgrade? I found this page - - but that looks very scary, involves a whole load of command line stuff, intimate knowledge of the Debian mirror network and editing config files.

    1. Richard Crossley

      Re: Upgrading

      It might be worth reaching out to your local Linux user group, most have some sort of mailing list and some even have local meets where you can bring a PC.

      Info on UK specific LUGs can be found here:

      1. Joe Werner Silver badge

        Re: Upgrading

        It is really not that complicated, and usually works flawlessly. One caveat: It is a Bad Idea to skip version numbers when upgrading. I did that, it was a bad idea, and I had to reinstall - but then the system had been upgraded continously from about Debian 3.0 (or so) to 5.0, and the main (OS) harddisk had been moved into a new box at least once... it was time for a reinstall, and thankfully I did not break too much. The machine was our group's mail and web server (well, still is, though most of the stuff has been absorbed into the university's system by now)...

        Yes, I know, don't do such things on a production system, but with only a handful of users it is not problematic... and maybe I should also tackle the upgrade to the current stable soon-ish.

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Upgrading

      It's not that bad actually.

      There is a whole pile of stuff there that only applies if you already know about it...

      From memory I could just run:

      sudo aptitude dist-upgrade

      But that might be an ubuntu-ism, or deprecated since I last bothered.

      I can't even decide if I want to do a live upgrade, or just take the opportunity for a clean build...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Upgrading

      Don't know if booting from an ISO will offer you to upgrade more or less automatically (if it doesn't, it should) - the command line stuff is not so difficult, mostly pointing at the new repository and then upgrading (but there may be other steps, depeding on your configuration and installed software).

      Sometimes I do upgrade, sometimes I prefer a clean install and then move applications on the new ones.

    4. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Upgrading

      @Adam_52 Though it might look daunting it wasn't actually that scary when I went from Wheezy to Jessie.

      It's well worth reading up on the command apt--get and also on sources.list which defines where you pull updates from. Once you're ready to go it should be a question of:

      sudo apt-get update

      sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

      Though it will take a while it pretty much looks after itself from there on.

      1. Ian 55

        Re: Upgrading

        Memory is telling me that if you're running Dovecot for users to get their POP3/IMAP email, Squeeze to Wheezy was the one that involved redoing your config files - it went from having one-ish to several.

        Wheezy to Jessie is the one which has Apache 2.2 to 2.4 and you either need to change your websites' access control configs or use the 'let me use 2.2 syntax' module for as long as it's supported.

        But apart from that, it really is as simple as..

        .. change /etc/apt/sources.list to reflect new version

        .. sudo apt-get update

        .. sudo apt-get upgrade

        .. sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

        .. reboot into new version.

    5. Al fazed

      Re: Upgrading

      As another dumb user exhausted with software updates, I found the install process of Debian 6 far easier than Debian 4. I hope the devs haven't gone and overdone their deving in the name of the lard and taken us backwards in time in order to make the dumb user experience in line with user experience over at Microsoft or Apple.

      In fact, I am still curious as far as Linux developments are concerned, so I hope that I'll still be able to download an iso file via Bit Torrent using a link on the Debian web site. I'll then uncompress the iso file to some Bootable media that's compatible with the destination hardware. If all goes well I should have done the whole thing in about 20 minutes instead of 20 hours for MS 7/8 etc.

  7. vmistery

    I have only 1 box running Squeeze left and have greatly appreciated the LTS effort for it. It has meant I had much less of a migration headache than in previous cycles where you had to upgrade everything within a year. I know I could have popped over to the CentOS circles for longer support (and to be fair I have no problem with using either), the reason I historically stayed away from CentOS was RedHat always seemed to feel quite negative about CentOS until they took the project under their wing. With Jessie upgrades not going as smoothly as previous upgrades though now might be my time to migrate.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    use containers so you can upgrade your os without much ado

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: containers

      Sure, instead of upgrading one you need to upgrade n....

      1. MAF

        Re: containers

        No just the common layer for the OS & trust in the UnionFS...

  9. David Austin


    What is the oldest vendor supported operating system still out there?

    Windows Vista comes out of support in April 2017 after a respectable 10 1/2 years, but it's beaten by Red Hat 4 in ELS (11 years and counting).

    I'm suspecting there's another Linux build or a smaller *nic project that will have them both beaten, though.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    LTS is a joke

    Debian 6 supported up until now? Could've fooled me. Debian 7 seems rather neglected already. Want a supported version of PHP, y'know, with the endless security patches? Compile it yourself or use a 3rd-party repo like if you trust it. But that's not "support", not even "critical security support".

    FreeBSD is a more pleasant sysadmin experience, with up-to-date packages for PHP 5.5 and 5.6, and even slightly obscure stuff like Solr. "pkg install x y z", configure, done.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: LTS is a joke

      The main reason to use Debian is exactly being stuck into outdated but "safe", "secure" packages. Sometimes it's not so behind, sometimes it's very far behind.

      That's why Debian is the preferred distro by the lazy sysadmin who has at least five years before being forced to learn anything new.

      But my sysadmin (that's why this post is anonymous) has still machines running Debian 5. I'm afraid is not going to upgrade the 6 ones anytime soon....

    2. Lennart Sorensen

      Re: LTS is a joke

      Trying to maintain security while using PHP is a joke. The Debian LTS tries to do security updates pretty quick with limited resources. This means things like firefox (well iceweasel) are out (It is just hopeless to try and keep up with the security problems in that), and I can imagine PHP being neglected too given how fundamentally insecure it always is.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: LTS is a joke

        How hard is it to simply build a new package version every time PHP releases an update? They're not *that* frequent. And let's not single out PHP; most popular langs/libs/frameworks are nearly as bad. And the thing is, PHP and Wordpress are (tragically) the most widely deployed.

        The one that gets me is Debian's Wordpress package. It's all patched and rearranged and symlinked "the debian way" so the maintainer(s) have to reverse-engineer every upstream update. It takes them about a week, while the botnet attacks start in a matter of hours. Vanilla WP is simpler to install/configure/update and better than Debian WP in every way. Am I missing something, or is this utterly pointless?

        1. Lennart Sorensen

          Re: LTS is a joke

          Debian follows the FHS (File Hierarchy Standard) and any upstream that doesn't will be fixed before being packaged. Upstreams that think they know better than everyone else and go their own way are best avoided. Just too much of a hassle to deal with things that want to do it their own way.

          So no, the upstream wordpress is not better. It's wrong and actually hostile to proper packaging and installation.

  11. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    I've always fancied rolling my own Linux. I'd try and avoid all direct GNU and BSD components, not for any particular ideology but just to see whether it could be done. Probably use the open source CDE stuff, LLVM for compiler...

    That said, I'm nowhere close to good enough a Linux hacker to actually go further than this being a pipedream, so I guess I'll end up upgrading anyway...

    1. sisk

      My guess is that it would be an exercise in frustration anyway. Could it be done? Possibly. Could it be done in a usable fashion? Almost certainly not.

  12. Praxis

    Take a flying leap

    > Debian 9's still on the drawing board and hasn't earned a formal name. ®

    Actually, Debian 9 is code-named 'stretch', another moniker caged from Toy Story, a reflection, no doubt, of how unserious free software is compared to operating systems that cost a metric butt-load of money. IIRC, stretch was chosen before Debian 8 Jessie became the 'stable' version last April.

    Don't know how it is for them's that manage big steel, but for a desktop user the Debian release schedule actually makes all kinds of sense. Each stable edition is released 'when its ready', but basically every 2 years, same as ?buntu LTS versions. Introductions of newer versions of programs to the 'testing' edition are slowed down about a year before the stable release and frozen many months before the release date so maintainers can work out the boogs. By the time stable is released it is typically more polished and, well, stable than a 'buntu LTS release, and typically using less cutting edge software versions. So you don't get rushed in to new kit that isn't ready for prime time as often as you do with Shuttleware (I'm poking you with a stick, KDE4 & Gnome3). And the new stable release is supported for 5 years, so if you are unhappy with one release you can nurse the old version for another two years and do 2 upgrades in a row.

    And if you want all the glitz and glamour of new open sores software you can enable the 'backports' repository and get up-to-date versions of desktop programs like iceweasel (firefox), etc. I just got an updated version of Libre Orifice today (Setting up libreoffice (1:5.0.5~rc2-1~bpo8+1) ...)

    Upgrading Debian versions isn't Rockette science. If your repositories are denominated 'stable' just do a regular 'apt-get update & apt-get dist-upgrade' and if everything goes well you are upgraded shortly after the new version of stable is released. If not, just change the version name in you /etc/apt/sources.list file (and maybe in any files in /etc/apt/sources.list.d) and upgrade as usual. e.g.

    sed -i 's/squeeze/wheezy/g' /etc/apt/sources.list & apt-get update & apt-get dist-upgrade

    It would be nice if Debian had something like the 'buntu 'do-release-upgrade' script to plane off the sharper edges of an upgrade, but at least for the transition from Debian 7 to 8 I didn't have any significant issues. Going from 6 to 7 was a much rockier ride, though, involving a lot of CLI-fu. Eventually I realized that the Gnome packages were causing most of the pain and simply uninstalled them all before upgrading, then reinstalled them after I upgraded. Fortunately, that sort of nonsense is pretty easy to do with Debian.

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