It could easily be argued that what I am about to present is “old news”, and based on the fact that the information I am about to present was announced toward the end of February, that would not be without warrant. However, as slow as the wheels of progress spin in the development world of Debian, and as slow as this site has been, I figure it’s information still worth mentioning, just in case you haven’t heard.
First, let’s talk about the current stable version of Debian: Squeeze. The latter part of February introduced the latest update to this rock-solid, albeit somewhat outdated, distribution. Add in the backports and proposed updates repositories, and certain aspects get a bit more current, but it is still using a much older version of Gnome, and you can still choose to load the (in my opinion, wonderful,) old version of GDM, rather than the (in my opinion, garbage,) newer version that is utilized by most other distributions. Version 6.0.7 offers little difference, other than security patches and minor relatively unnoticeable tweaks over previous releases of Squeeze, and if you need a good stable environment, that’s quite all right.
Next, shortly before 6.0.7 came out, Debian announced the first release candidate for version 7.0, codenamed, “Wheezy”. Overall, I am excited that Wheezy is finally starting to move toward an official release. Don’t get me wrong, there are things I will miss about Squeeze, (the aforementioned older GDM module, for one), but on the whole, it’s about time Debian moved forward. From what I’ve seen, they are still taking a very careful approach to what is natively in the system, and if you want newer versions of some software, backports and proposed updates are again, likely to be a must. Wheezy is, however, the closest thing to a modern release that Debian has produced in a long time.