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Old 07-13-2008, 08:16 PM
Frans Pop
Default Avoiding misconceptions about Etch+1/2... (was: Debian release versioning)

Russ Allbery wrote:
> To me, this argues for continuing to use 5.0r1, 5.0r2, and so forth for
> stable updates and using 5.1 for the -and-a-half release, with 5.1r1,
> 5.1r2, and so forth for additional stable releases based on it. That
> means we'd probably never use 5.2, but it follows the versioning that
> makes sense for CD-ROM vendors. The -and-a-half release *does* make
> their CDs potentially out of date since the -and-a-half release may be
> able to install on hardware that the original release can't.

This isn't quite true. The normal CD sets that will be released with
etch+1/2 still just use 2.6.18 and install 2.6.18. The basic requirement
behind Etch+1/2 was after all that stable should remain stable. That's
what users expect of us. Etch+1/2 is an _option_.

It is *only* when you either
1) manually upgrade the kernel to 2.6.24 _after_ installation, or
2) use any of several "special" installation options that both use
and install .24
that you actually "get" etch+1/2. A "normal" installation of Etch after
the next stable release essentially still just gets you 4.0r4.

This is slightly less true if you look at the for the "compatibility with
2.6.24" updates and new X.Org drivers that have been accepted in
proposed-updates for etch+1/2, but the essence of etch+1/2 is the newer

So from that PoV the regular CD sets for 4.0r4 will still really just be
4.0r4, and only those "special" installation options could actually be
classified as 4.1r0. I'm not sure that is sufficient to hang a new
version on...

To clarify. The "special" installation options are:
1) using the "etch+1/2 netinst CD": this is the only real etch+1/2
installer as it contains the Lenny D-I + stable base system
2) using the "lenny beta2 businesscard CD" and boot with 'suite=etch':
this can also be done now, but it won't yet have the 2.6.24 kernel
available, so would currently just install 2.6.18; after etch+1/2
is released and 2.6.24 kernels are in the stable archive, it will
automatically use those during base system installation
3) using a "lenny beta2 netboot" image: essentially the same story as
for 2, except that additional D-I components are loaded from a mirror
(testing) rather than from the CD

The netinst image (option 1) can optionally be used as "CD0" of the 4.0r4
full CD/DVD sets: you boot of CD0 and, after base-installation, you also
scan CD1-CDx (or DVD or the KDE/Xfce CDs). The option to scan and use
multiple CD/DVDs _during_ the D-I installation is new in Lenny.

Even better, you don't even strictly need the 4.0r4 CD set. You could just
as easily install from the etch+1/2 netinst + any number of CDs from the
4.0r0 set + a mirror to get etch+1/2...

We have chosen this system for the following reasons:
1) it keeps 2.6.18 as the normal kernel and thus keeps stable==stable
2) it avoids having to build 2 full sets of CD/DVDs which would seriously
overflow our CD mirroring capacity
3) it avoids CD-vendors suddenly having to create loads of extra options
on their websites; instead they can just add the netinst CD as a
"bonus" to the sets they already have
4) it avoids having to create a full branch of D-I just for Etch+1/2
(which would be more work than anyone would want to do and would
probably require infrastructure changes that FTP-masters would not have
been happy with)

Hope this explains.


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