Debian release may slip to March

Upcoming version of the Linux distribution still has considerable issues to address
Written by Richard Thurston, Contributor

The release of the upcoming version of Debian may slip to March, according to one of the two release managers for the Linux distribution.

If that happens, the release of the upcoming version of Debian — the fourth major revision, code-named Etch — will have been delayed three months past its planned release date of 4 December last year.

The Debian Community last month voted in a poll that asked when they thought Etch would be released. Nearly half of those predicting a date said it would be most likely to happen during February, with 28 percent saying March would be the release month. Many declined to name a month for release, saying there shouldn't be pressure to release Etch until it is completely ready.

Now Steve Langasek, one of the two developers working on releasing Etch, has revealed a more accurate timescale. He told ZDNet UK on Monday: "I have to side with the 44 percent of poll respondents who say it will be released when it's ready. It's plausible that we will still be able to release Etch in February, but given outstanding issues, it's by no means guaranteed."

Debian has a prolonged history of being delivered later than planned, which is one of the reasons why Langasek and his co-release manager Andreas Barth are being paid up to $6,000 (£3,100) each to work full-time to complete the project. Some developers have been unhappy about payments being made to developers and, according to Barth, have slowed down their work.

The Debian distribution is popular among many open-source business users, and the Ubuntu distribution, which is based on it, is one of the most popular Linux distributions according to DistroWatch.com.

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