Road to Debian Stretch

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The next Debian Linux release (9.0/Stretch) is fast approaching, due to be released this Saturday on June 17. For me, the path to Stretch has been quite exciting, as this release marks a bit more than two years of contributions to Debian. With last minute bug fixes* rolling in (including one of my own just 6 days before the upload deadline!), I am eager to see these years of work make its way to a greater public.

Some of my personal highlights, in no particular order:

  • GnuPG 2.1 (package: gnupg) is now the default gpg version in Stretch, bringing vastly improved subkey support for those wanting to work with PGP on multiple machines.
  • You can now stare into infinity without any third party downloads…

    The new, cross-platform rendition of OBS (package: obs-studio), a popular video recording/livestreaming tool, debuts in Debian with Stretch.

  • TigerVNC (packages: tigervnc-standalone-server et. al) is a modern, free software VNC (remote desktop) stack, and it officially enters Debian with Stretch. Compared to other variations (tightvnc, vnc4, etc.), TigerVNC implements much better support for Xorg standards, which in itself can fix a mass of bugs (e.g.
  • KDE Plasma 5 & LXQt (packages: task-kde-desktop and task-lxqt-desktop): the Qt side of the desktop environment camp has seen a lot of love these couple of years, with Plasma 5 replacing KDE 4 and LXQt introduced in Debian for the first time.

Thanks to all of Debian’s developers and volunteers for their continued hard work!

*Debian’s freeze cycle involves a period of full freeze, where all new changes for the upcoming stable release (a.k.a. testing) require manual approval from the Release Team. Consequently, their mailing list gets incredibly busy during this time, as new requests flow in daily.

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