Debian, the base for many popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu, KNOPPIX or Damn Small Linux reached, after 22 months of development, version 5.0. Debian Lenny features Linux kernel 2.6.26, bringing support for read-only bind mounts, a kernel debugger and greatly improved webcam support. This kernel also features a built-in memory tester, KVM ports and many other small improvements. The NTFS-3G driver that allows fast and secure reading/writing of NTFS partitions is now a part of Debian.
On the desktop side of things, the default window manager is GNOME 2.22.2, with all its known features, except some packages (nautilus, gnome-panel and libgnome) that remained at 2.20. The GNOME 2.22.2 also brings an experimental WebKit support in Debian through Epiphany-WebKit. Printers will be automatically configured when plugged in and ISO files will be better supported. Lighter desktop alternatives are present in the form of Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE) 0.3.2.1 and XFCE 4.4.2 for less powerful machines.
The server version of Debian 5.0 features MySQL 5.0.51a, PostgrSQL 8.3.6, Apache 2.2.9, Samba 3.2.5 Horde 3.2 and webmail IMP 4.2. Virtualization is handled by libvirt virtual machine management (with support for KVM, Xen 3.2.1, QEMU, KQEMU, a graphical interface plus other tools) and Xen 3.2.1.
Other highlights of Debian 5.0:
· KDE 3.5.10;
· OpenOffice.org 2.4.1;
· GIMP 2.4.7;
· Iceweasel 3.0.6;
· Default support for multimedia keys;
· Default CPU frequency scaling for notebooks;
· gParted 0.36;
· A large fonts database;
· GNU Java compiler;
· Python 2.5.2 and 2.4.6;
· Icedove 126.96.36.199;
· Emacs 22;
· New "Debian MoreBlue Orbit" artwork featuring beautiful blue colors and swirly shapes;
· X.Org 7.3 with RandR 1.2 support on ATI, Intel and several G80 boards.
The Debian installer also received a lot of improvements, the most important being the ability to apply all security patches during the installation process, before the first boot, and the option to install Debian from within a Windows platform (both 32 and 64-bit versions are supported). It can also handle multiple CDs/DVDs and supports BluRay images.
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