Debian Lenny Deep Freeze: February Release?
The countdown for Debian Lenny has begun with the project team putting the code in deep freeze. The release of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 is expected mid-February.
This past weekend the Debian installer team froze the second release candidate for Lenny. The community should give it one more thorough test and only packages with bug fixes will be accepted from now on. The Debian team calls this second phase the deep freeze, in constrast to the previous test freeze that still allowed some exceptions.
Be prepared for a Valentine's Day release: "The weekend of February 14th is going to be our tentative target for release," according to the Debian developer mail. Furthermore, "We've checked with all the involved teams (which are many!), and the date works for all of them."
Only really critical bugs will hold things up, and "every other fix that doesn't make it in time will be r1 material." An example of a fix candidate might be the archive key, which failed to make the installer images. Similar to Debian Etch, a "Lenny-and-a-half" might appear about midway through the next release cycle.
Preceding the deep freeze a hefty debate had raged over the inclusion of proprietary software in the free Linux distro. The resulting vote of confidence from the community came in January, paving the way for the current countdown.