The Debian developers announced a few of months back that they intended to make Debian 6 an LTS release. The period for this extended release has now begun.
Debian 6 is the first version to benefit from the LTS treatment, which is actually very commendable because the current stable release is Debian 7 “Wheezy.” The support period for Debian 6 has been extended until February 2016, making this a very long-lived distribution.
“We would like to thank the volunteers who joined the LTS team and the organizations which expressed their interest to contribute to the LTS initiative: AD&D - IntarS Austria, Deezer, Électricité de France, Freeside, Offensive Security, Positive Internet, Seznam.cz, Sipwise, Univention, University of Oxford and all the others who will join them in the coming months.”
“However, to ensure its success and cover more packages, more help is needed: organizations benefiting from the extended support period are encouraged to contribute manpower to the LTS team. Should Debian 6 LTS be a success, it would be repeated and generalized so that Debian 7 (wheezy) and Debian 8 (Jessie) would also benefit from Long Term Support,” said the developers in an announcement.
Before getting excited about all the updates, users should know that these are security updates and nothing more. This means there won’t be any new features or major changes pushed along with system upgrades. In fact, users will only see kernel upgrades, for example, when they are security related.
The latest point update for Debian 6.x was back in February, but you have to keep in mind that this branch was initially launched back in January 2011. This means that it will benefit from six years of LTS support.
Debian 6.0.9 provides support for a number of major platforms, such as 32-bit PC (i386), 64-bit PC (amd64), EABI ARM, PowerPC, SPARC, Intel Itanium IA-64, MIPS (little endian), kFreeBSD 64-bit PC (amd64), kFreeBSD 32-bit PC (i386), IBM S/390, and MIPS (big endian).
The bad news is that Debian LTS will only be maintained for 32-bit PC (i386) and 64-bit PC (amd64). The rest of the users who employ any of the other architectures mentioned above will have to upgrade to Debian 7 for continued support.
Users who already run a Debian 6.0 installation won't have to reinstall the system all over again. They just need to perform a regular update and everything will be brought up to date. You can download Debian 6.0.9 right now from Softpedia.