Etch and a Half

Feb 04, 2008

The new Debian "Etch and a half" sub-project is looking to improve hardware compatibility with kernel updates and drivers for Debian 4.0 Linux.

The project members are looking to add kernel packages and possibly X drivers to the current stable version of Debian. They would preferably like to introduce the brand-new kernel 2.6.24, however, as there are some doubts on its stability, kernel 2.6.22 has been adopted as an alternative.

The project will not be introducing updates for reasons other than improving hardware compatibility. For example, it will not be introducing updates for the desktop environment. The reasons for this, according to the project's leader Dann Frazier, are the scope of the changes that this would entail, the lack of transparency for users, and the risk of instability. Apart from this, any package that imrpoves hardware support could be posted on the etch and a half mailing list. "Etch and a half is not limited to kernel packages” Frazier explained.

Besides Frazier's blog entry no further information is available on the project. The idea of introducing updates between releases was coined in the late summer of 2007. There is a page on the Debian wiki, but this only covers the status of the kick-off meeting in late October 2007. The project's activities are currently almost entirely restricted to the mailing list created for the purpose.

Debian developer Dann Frazier is actively involved as the Release Assistant for the stable version of the Debian project.

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