Debian 5.0 Lenny released … [updated]

February 18, 2009 – 15:22 by Adnan Hodzic

Debian 5.0 Lenny was released on 14th this month. 22 months of development, I knew the exact release date long time upfront, but I didn’t plan that right on that day FoolControl will go through some downtime :/

Nevertheless, Lenny is out, and out of sudden I don’t have much stuff left to talk about on this very topic now :) I find Lenny to be one of the best releases Debian releases yet, I too contributed to this release as much as I could. Didin’t make into package maintainers, but it’s all matter of free time, and dedication really.

I’ve been with Lenny, well pretty much since Etch was released, I moved to Lenny. Since Lenny is stable now, and new testing is Squeeze, don’t jump on Squeeze right about now, since there aren’t security updates at the moment, since security team for Squeeze isn’t formed yet.

However, Lenny has been great for very long time, and I’d really enjoying sticking to it, but I believe I’ll move to next testing in no time, life on stable … it’s boring :)

Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 released

The Debian Project is pleased to announce the official release of Debian
GNU/Linux version 5.0 (codenamed “Lenny”) after 22 months of constant
development. Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system which supports
a total of twelve processor architectures and includes the KDE, GNOME,
Xfce, and LXDE desktop environments. It also features compatibility with
the FHS v2.3 and software developed for version 3.2 of the LSB.

Debian GNU/Linux runs on computers ranging from palmtops and handheld
systems to supercomputers, and on nearly everything in between. A total
of twelve architectures are supported: Sun SPARC (sparc), HP Alpha
(alpha), Motorola/IBM PowerPC (powerpc), Intel IA-32 (i386), IA-64
(ia64), HP PA-RISC (hppa), MIPS (mips, mipsel), ARM (arm, armel), IBM
S/390 (s390), and AMD64 and Intel EM64T (amd64).

Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 “Lenny” adds support for Marvell’s Orion platform
which is used in many storage devices. Supported storage devices include
the QNAP Turbo Station series, HP Media Vault mv2120, and Buffalo Kurobox
Pro. Additionally, “Lenny” now supports several Netbooks, in particular
the Eee PC by Asus. “Lenny” also contains the build tools for Emdebian
which allow Debian source packages to be cross-built and shrunk to suit
embedded ARM systems.

Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 “Lenny” includes the new ARM EABI port, “armel”.
This new port provides a more efficient use of both modern and future ARM
processors. As a result, the old ARM port (arm) has now been deprecated.

This release includes numerous updated software packages, such as the K
Desktop Environment 3.5.10 (KDE), an updated version of the GNOME desktop
environment 2.22.2, the Xfce 4.4.2 desktop environment, LXDE, the
GNUstep desktop 7.3, X.Org 7.3, 2.4.1, GIMP 2.4.7,
Iceweasel 3.0.6 (an unbranded version of Mozilla Firefox), Icedove (an unbranded version of Mozilla Thunderbird), PostgreSQL 8.3.6,
MySQL 5.0.51a, GNU Compiler Collection 4.3.2, Linux kernel
version 2.6.26, Apache 2.2.9, Samba 3.2.5, Python 2.5.2 and 2.4.6, Perl
5.10.0, PHP 5.2.6, Asterisk, Emacs 22, Inkscape 0.46, Nagios
3.06, Xen Hypervisor 3.2.1 (dom0 as well as domU support), OpenJDK 6b11,
and more than 23,000 other ready-to-use software packages (built from
over 12,000 source packages).

With the integration of X.Org 7.3 the X server autoconfigures itself with
most hardware. Newly introduced packages allow the full support of NTFS
filesystems and the use of most multimedia keys out of the box. Support
for Adobe(R) Flash(R) format files is available via the swfdec or Gnash
plugins. Overall improvements for notebooks have been introduced, such
as out of the box support of CPU frequency scaling. For leisure time
several new games have been added, including puzzle games as well as
first-person shooters. Also notable is the introduction of “goplay”, a
graphical games browser offering filters, search, screenshots and
descriptions for games in Debian.

The availability and updates of OpenJDK, GNU Java compiler, GNU Java
bytecode interpreter, Classpath and other free versions of Sun’s Java
technology, into Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 allow us to ship Java-based
applications in Debian’s “main” repository.

Further improvements in system security include the installation of
available security updates before the first reboot by the Debian
Installer, the reduction of setuid root binaries and open ports in the
standard installation, and the use of GCC hardening features in the
builds of several security-critical packages. Various applications have
specific improvements, too. PHP for example is now built with the Suhosin
hardening patch.

For non-native English speaking users the package management systems now
support translated package descriptions and will automatically show the
description of a package in the native language of the user, if

Debian GNU/Linux can be installed from various installation media such as
DVDs, CDs, USB sticks and floppies, or from the network. GNOME is the
default desktop environment and is contained on the first CD. Other
desktop environments – KDE, Xfce, or LXDE – can be installed through two
new alternative CD images. Again available with Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 are
multi-arch CDs and DVDs supporting installation of multiple architectures
from a single disc; and this release adds Blu-ray Discs, allowing the
archive for an entire architecture to be shipped on a single BD.

In addition to the regular installation media, Debian GNU/Linux can now
also be directly used without prior installation. The special images
used, known as live images, are available for CDs, USB sticks, and
netboot setups. Initially, these are provided for the amd64 and i386
architectures only.

The installation process for Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 has been improved in
many ways: among many other improvements, support for installation from
more than one CD or DVD has been restored, firmware required by some
devices can be loaded by using removable media, and installations via
Braille display are supported. The installer boot process has also
received much attention: a graphical menu can be used to choose
front-ends and desktop environments, and to select expert or rescue mode.
The installation system for Debian GNU/Linux has now been translated to
63 languages.

Debian GNU/Linux can be downloaded right now via bittorrent (the
recommended way), jigdo or HTTP; see Debian GNU/Linux on CDs [1] for
further information. It will soon be available on DVD, CD-ROM and
Blu-ray Disc from numerous vendors [2], too.

Upgrades to Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 from the previous release, Debian
GNU/Linux 4.0 (codenamed “Etch”) are automatically handled by the
aptitude package management tool for most configurations, and to a
certain degree also by the apt-get package management tool. As always,
Debian GNU/Linux systems can be upgraded painlessly, in place, without
any forced downtime, but it is strongly recommended to read the release
notes [3] for possible issues, and for detailed instructions on
installing and upgrading. The release notes will be further improved and
translated to additional languages in the weeks after the release.


Of course, I wouldn’t be sirindji if I wouldn’t include some hate into this release itself :) Lenny was originally scheduled for September, it’s ~5 months late … now it’s time to start hating of course. After release of Etch, it as said that Debian release cycle will hold its stance, that is “it’s going to be released when it’s ready” but there was some sort of agreement that after Etch, every new stable will be released when it’s ready, but if there has to be some time cycle it should be around year and half (1.5 years).

Now, you can “defend” Debian on many different ways for being late for 5 months, but let me just say one thing. IMO Lenny is absolutely stable for last year or so, but why isn’t it used or even reffered as “mainstream/stable” release. Mostly because of it’s name … “testing”. It scareds people away, just as “unstable” or “experimental” creeps fear into my spine … but when packages from those same two repositories(unstable and exerimental) are put into Ubuntu and labeled as Ubuntu x.xx it’s considered to be stable release right away.

Yea … excatly, there’s support part as well, but it’s name that’s … freaking you all out if you ask me.

I really find Debian (after all possible distro I tried and hopped from) to be just perfect from your server system to your desktop system … but. I find that Debian stable (doesn’t matter codename/version is your pick) is just too stale and too stable. For servers, perfect pick, for so many reasons! From being incredibly stable to incredibly secure and just working, there’s that support part.

But on Desktop, I really believe you should go for testing, now you may be dismayed when it comes to this option, mostly since it prolly stands for developers, hackers and other creepy bunch. This is how and why I came up with Havoc idea. I really believe that even Debian Havoc, is less scarier and acceptable then Debian Testing …

Furthermore, there’s even a thing called Sidux, it’s based on unstable branch but it work perfectly on your desktop … why not? There’s even this most popular distro Ubuntu, but I do believe that Ubuntu is kind of going the wrong way when it comes to what I’d want, Ubuntu is awesome and it has its target audience and all but …

All I’m saying is that Debian Testing in future should be more throughly or nicely if you want to put that way presented to all the users. I talked to Gustavo Franco (stratus) about this, and the idea is to reswamp the Debian on Desktop page and try “bringing” it to people like you and I.

Goal what needs to be done is completely clear, how to acomplish this task is another topic.

Feb 22 – update | Problems

System slow down, sound breaking up

I’ve noticed that after some time, Lenny just starts … going crazy, it usually happens on my other “non-default” machine, when after certain uptime sound starts breaking up and whole system basically slows down. This is a dual core system, and both cores get a load of almost 100% and what’s even worse there isn’t any process that makes it obvious why this is happening.

Sometimes it will just happen after not even half an hour of uptime, I have a friend with same problem on Lenny and we both have “high definition” sound card, which is btw definitely the worst sound card ever.

absinthe@havoc:~$ lspci | grep -i audio
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)

I first thought it was a kernel issue, then I thought it was flash (non-free) or samba problem, but what I’ve figured out is that, it’s most certainly xorg problem, since once I had my xorg configured propely (moved from vesa) it all works fine. Below you can see how my current xorg.conf looks like for this machine:

absinthe@havoc:~$ cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf
# sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

Section "Files"
# path to defoma fonts
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi:unscaled"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi:unscaled"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/X11/Type1"
FontPath "/usr/local/share/fonts"

Section "Module"
Load "i2c"
Load "bitmap"
Load "ddc"
Load "dri"
Load "extmod"
Load "freetype"
Load "glx"
Load "int10"
Load "vbe"
Load "dbe"

Section "Extensions"
Option "Composite" "Enable"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
Driver "kbd"
Option "CoreKeyboard"
Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
Option "XkbLayout" "us"
#key board section
Option "XkbOptions" "altwin:super_win"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Configured Mouse"
Driver "mouse"
Option "CorePointer"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "Protocol" "ImPS/2"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Synaptics Touchpad"
Driver "synaptics"
Option "SendCoreEvents" "true"
Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
Option "Protocol" "auto-dev"
Option "HorizScrollDelta" "0"

Section "Device"
Identifier "Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller"
Driver "i810"
BusID "PCI:0:2:0"
VideoRam 131072
Option "AccelMethod" "XAA"
Option "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"
Option "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps" "true"

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Generic Monitor"
Option "DPMS"

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Device "Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller"
Monitor "Generic Monitor"
Option "AddARGBGLXVisuals" "true"
Option "DisableGLXRootClipping" "true"
DefaultDepth 24
SubSection "Display"
Depth 1
Modes "1024×768" "1152×870" "1280×800"
SubSection "Display"
Depth 4
Modes "1024×768" "1152×870" "1280×800"
SubSection "Display"
Depth 8
Modes "1024×768" "1152×870" "1280×800"
SubSection "Display"
Depth 15
Modes "1024×768" "1152×870" "1280×800"
SubSection "Display"
Depth 16
Modes "1024×768" "1152×870" "1280×800"
SubSection "Display"
Depth 24
Modes "1024×768" "1152×870" "1280×800"

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "Default Layout"
Screen "Default Screen"
InputDevice "Generic Keyboard"
InputDevice "Configured Mouse"
InputDevice "Synaptics Touchpad"
Option "AIGLX" "true"

Section "DRI"
Mode 0666

After I had my xorg.conf configured I haven’t ran into any problems with either my sound breaking up or anything slowing down, both cores running at normal speeds/load. Also under “Device” section you can use either “i810” or “intel” as your driver, see which one suits you better.

Google Earth problem

This is not a Debian problem, this is solely GoogleEarth problem. Google Earth is incredibly slow! After my xorg.conf configuration it still remained slow, also there was a problem with

./googleearth-bin: relocation error: /usr/lib/i686/cmov/ symbol BIO_test_flags,
version OPENSSL_0.9.8 not defined in file with link time reference

This problem would occur when on this same machine another user would try to run GoogleEarth. Really rookie mistakes Google, way to go, I see Microsoft has been your rolemodel for awhile ;)

I even tried installing it both from making my own .deb package to installing it via loki installer, same results.

Resolution: Open your GoogleEarth > View > Athmosphere (uncheck) and that’s it, now it works fine.

Another user cannot run GoogleEarth from same machine?

Resolution: If you used .deb to install your GoogleEarth then your googleearth is in “/usr/lib/googleearth/“, if you used loki then it’s in “/opt/googleearth/

Now cd either of those where you put your googleearth under and:

# mv
# ln -s /usr/lib/

That’s all when it comes to problems I’ve encountered with Lenny so far.

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