Debian Project Releases Debian 8 “Jessie”


The latest Debian stirs up controversy with the systemd init daemon.

The Debian Project has announced the arrival of Debian 8 “Jessie.” The latest release of the great Free distro was two years in development. The team pledges to maintain this version for five years.

The vast Debian project includes more than 20,000 packages and supports a total of 10 architectures, including the usual Intel equivalents, as well as MIPS, IBM S/390, 32-bit ARM, and even the new arm64 AArch64 architecture.

The change that has received the most attention is the presence of systemd as the default init system. The Debian project says systemd will provide “many exciting features, such as faster boot times, cgroups for services, and the possibility of isolating part of the services.” The move to systemd was controversial, however, with many old guard Unix and Linux veterans preferring the classic SysVinit system and suspecting that commercial vendors like Canonical influenced the switch. (The SysVinit system is still available for Debian 8 – it just isn’t the default option.)

The Debian package repositories contain all the popular Linux deskops, as well as user applications, network server applications, and development tools. Installation images are available for CD, DVD, USB stick, Blu-ray, and network installation. Debian also provides a pre-built image designed for the OpenStack cloud. Debian 7 users can upgrade to Debian 8 using the apt-get package management tool.
Debian isn’t as much in the public eye as it used to be, but the massive project is still extremely influential as a background distro that forms the basis for several popular Linux alternatives. Ubuntu, Knoppix, Mint, and many other Linux distributions are based on Debian.


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