Finally, Debian folks have decided to come up with a time-based release policy than their current “whenever it is ready” policy. This is a very good step that the Debian project has taken and it will give a huge sigh of relief to users and corporation who are devoted fans of Debian – no more pro-long delayed wait for stable releases. Debian has been quite infamous in the Linux community for their releases but some time I think for a distribution that is rock solid it might be worth the wait especially for server folks which already have long upgrade cycles.

So let’s see how the policy works…

Now going forward in December of every odd year a freeze will occur and the following spring (or somewhere in first half of following  year) a stable release will happen. Basically that means that every two-year we will have a stable release of Debian. Yay!

Freeze every odd year (December) & a Release following Spring

Year

Debian 6.0 (Squeeze) freeze Dec 2009
Debian 6.0 (Squeeze) release Spring 2010
Debian 7.0 freeze Dec 2011
Debian 7.0 release Spring 2012

and so on.

Theoretically, Debian 6.0 should not be released in Spring 2010 because Debian 5.0 Lenny was released in Spring 2009 so that violates the new two-year freeze/release policy. But in order to set the new time schedule an exception will be made this year so that the new policy can be followed going forward. There is also some talk about Debian skipping the upcoming Debian 6.0 squeeze release and straight away go to Debian 7.0 which would mean that Debian users might have to wait until 2012 to get a new stable release. We will see how this unfolds.

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