Debian 9 'Stretch' Offers Improved Security on Multiple Architectures

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Debian 9 'Stretch' Offers Improved Security on Multiple Architectures

In the world of Linux operating system distributions, Debian has been one of the most popular choices for more than two decades. On June 17, the Debian 9 distribution, code-named "Stretch," debuted. The new distribution marks the first major milestone release of Debian since the Debian 8 "Jessie" release in April 2015. Debian Stretch improves security thanks in part to the Reproducible Builds project that aims to help establish the authenticity and integrity of a software build. While Debian 9 is a notable distribution in its own right, Debian has long been used by other Linux distributions as the base on which they build. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some of the highlights of the Debian 9 release.

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Reproducible Builds Improve Debian Software Security

With Debian 9, more than 90 percent of the source packages have been verified with the reproducible builds effort. "Reproducible builds are a set of software development practices that create a verifiable path from human readable source code to the binary code used by computers," the Reproducible Builds project explains.

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Mozilla Firefox Returns to Debian After a Decade Hiatus

Debian 9 marks the official return of Mozilla's Firefox to Debian. Debian developers for the past decade had opted to use the rebranded version of Firefox called "IceWeasel" rather than Mozilla's default branding.

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Software Options Abound

Among the greatest strengths of Debian are its vast software repositories that include more than 51,000 application packages. In an effort to provide Debian developers with insight into which software packages are the most commonly used, Debian has an anonymous application called "popularity-contest" that provides statistics on application usage.

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Users Can Choose Different Desktops

Debian 9 provides users with a choice of open-source desktop environments, including GNOME, Xfce, KDE, Cinnamon, MATE and LXDE.

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Debian Support 10 System Architectures

Debian 9 supports 10 different architectures, including 64-bit PC / Intel EM64T / x86-64 (amd64); 32-bit PC / Intel IA-32 (i386); 64-bit little-endian Motorola/IBM PowerPC (ppc64el); 64-bit IBM S/390 (s390x) for ARM, armel and armhf for older and more recent 32-bit hardware; s arm64 for the 64-bit "AArch64" architecture; 32-bit mips (big-endian) and mipsel (little-endian); and mips64el architecture for 64-bit little-endian hardware.

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Powered by Linux 4.9

At the core of Debian 9 is a Linux 4.9 kernel.

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A Stable Base for Other Linux Distributions

Debian 9 is set to be supported by the Debian community for the next five years, providing a stable base both for Debian and the myriad distributions that use Debian as a base.

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New Tails 3.0 Privacy-Focused Linux Based on Debian 9 Stretch

A new milestone release of the privacy-focused distribution Tails Linux used by Edward Snowden, updates software and security.
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