Debian 10 'Buster' Linux arrives

Over two years in the making, the latest version of Debian Linux arrives.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Debian, the most important, truly independent Linux distribution, has just released Debian 10 "Buster"

Apart from Debian, there are many important community Linux distros such as Fedora and CentOS and openSUSE, which is SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)'s bedrock. Debian, however, stands alone. Its support comes purely from its community of users, not a company. At the same time, it is the core operating system for other important Linux distributions such as Canonical's Ubuntu. This means any Debian release is a big deal.

That's not to say Debian is a cutting-edge Linux. It's not. If you want the bleeding edge, you want Fedora. But if stability is what you value, Debian is for you. For example, while the Linux 5.2 kernel has just been released, Debian 10 comes with October 2018's Linux kernel 4.19.

Debian also supports no fewer than 10 different hardware architectures. These are: 64-bit Intel; 32-bit Intel; Motorola/IBM PowerPC; 64-bit IBM S/390 mainframe; both 32-bit ARM, and 64-bit ARM; and the almost obsolete 32-bit MIPS and 64-bit MIPS architectures. 

Buster also comes with better Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) support for the x86 32 and 64-bit architectures and ARM 64-bit. With this, Debian should work out of the box on most Secure Boot-enabled machines. 

The new Debian also comes with improved security. AppArmor, a mandatory access control (MAC) framework for restricting programs' capabilities by defining per-program profiles, is now enabled per default. AppArmor is preferred by some security-minded Linux sysadmins over the better known, but harder to manage, SELinux

Thinking of security, Debian has replaced the venerable iptables firewall with the newer nftables. This was done because iptables had scalability and performance problems. If you're moving for the first time to nftables, there are tools to migrate from one firewall system to its successor.

Debian also comes with the new, improved CUPS printing system. With this new "driverless" printing model, you will be able to print to most modern printers without the need for printer drivers.

Debian, while often used in servers and on clouds, is well known for its desktop use. This newest release comes ready to run on most of the popular Linux desktops. These include Cinnamon 3.8, GNOME 3.30, KDE Plasma 5.14, LXDE 0.99.2, LXQt 0.14, MATE 1.20, and Xfce 4.12. By default, Debian uses the GNOME desktop. Under this, it relies on the Wayland display server instead of the Xorg display server. If you're still attached to Xorg, it's also installed, and you can choose Xorg to use it.

There are many easy ways to install Debian on your PC or server. The new Debian is also available on most of the better known public cloud platforms. Debian has also made pre-built OpenStack images ready for your private amd64 and arm64 clouds.


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