Debian 4.0 Finally Arrives

After months of delay, Debian, the most important of the community Linux distributions, has finally delivered on the promise of a new version.

At long last, the Debian project team released Debian GNU/Linux Version 4.0—code-named Etch—on April 8. The release follows "21 months of constant development," according to the team.

This anxiously awaited update will benefit not only users of "Debian GNU/Linux," but also those of a rich assortment of Debian-derived distributions that utilize the projects Linux kernel and other software packages.

/zimages/4/28571.gifThe editor of attempts to install an Etch desktop on an old ThinkPad. How does it turn out? Surprisingly well! Click here to read more.

According to the projects Web site, Debian forms the basis of over 30 Linux distributions, although more certainly exist. Among the more prominent of these are (alphabetically): Freespire/Linspire, MEPIS, Knoppix, Ubuntu and Xandros.


Debian 4.0 supports 11 processor architectures and includes a choice of three major desktop environments: KDE, GNOME and Xfce.

The distribution features "cryptographic software and compatibility with the FHS v2.3 and software developed for version 3.1 of the LSB," the team said in the release announcement. In addition, "using a now fully integrated installation process, [it] comes with out-of-the-box support for encrypted partitions."

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