Update: This post has been made “sticky” until Lenny is released. I will update the RC bug count on a periodic basis.

Debian Lenny finally released

Could there be any better gift for Debian fans than getting to download the brand new shinny Lenny on Valentine’s day? I doubt….

Yes, Debian latest stable release a.k.a Lenny was released on 14th Feb. 2009.

You can read more information of this release here.

Lenny deep-freeze as on 2/1/2009 – Release date announcement :

Lenny has moved one more step closer to it’s final release. Yes, Lenny now is in a deep-freeze state and the release date has been set to the weekend of 14th Feb. 2009. Lenny went into deep-freeze state soon after the release of debian-install RC2.

On 1/28/2009 80 RC bugs

– 5 fixed in “unstable”

– 26 have patch

– 4 are marked pending

Total RC bugs keeping Lenny to be released: 52

On 1/12/200999 RC bugs

– 26 fixed in “unstable”

– 15 have patch

– 12 are marked pending

Total RC bugs keeping Lenny to be released: 49

On 12/12/2008166 RC bugs

Here is Debian’s unofficial RC bug count website and here is how you can get the count.

Original Post:

If you are wondering, like me, what happened to the Debian’s upcoming release a.k.a Lenny/5.0, here is a short story for you curious types.

The Story: Debian Lenny was slotted to release earlier this September 2008 as per the release goals. However due to a large number of RC (Release Critical) bugs which were not fixed the release date has been push forward. Right now the release date is not set. Although it looks like it will get release as soon as the RC Bugs are fixed. Lenny has been frozen since July 2008.

The latest RC Bugs stats can be seen here and a graph here. As of this writing, there are still 160 RC bugs which still needs to be fixed. Debian is one of the few (or perhaps) the only community supported Linux distro which often sacrifices the release date for quality and this philosophy of Debian is perhaps the most liked by it’s followers. Debian is undoubtedly known as the “rock solid” distribution in the Linux world. Now you can see why.

Efforts to fix Lenny

  • Alexander Tolimar Reichle-Schmehl, a Debian developer and a spokesman and event organizer of Debian project, has set up a page calling for help from people in order to release Lenny as soon as possible.
  • Also people who would like to help in Lenny release should refer to this. A bug sprint was also organized in October to squash out the RC bugs.
  • Also a script was developed to sort the RC bugs by their package popularity to further speed up the release process.


As of now there was has been no word from the Debian Project Team regarding the release of Lenny although some websites are estimating that we might see Lenny only after June 2009. For now let’s hope that more and more people (including the regular average user) contribute in the release of Lenny and cross our fingers.

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