Debian Sarge Status Update
Posted on: 12/26/2004 07:12 AM

Andreas Barth has posted a status update on the next Debian release:

After almost three weeks since the last update, the status of the release is as follows. We would have liked to present sarge as a Christmas present, but regrettably that didn't work out. We still hope that those of you who celebrate Christmas have a Merry Christmas, and we wish you all a Happy New Year.

Blocker number 1 is still that testing-security is not available. Please see the last release update for details of what needs to be done to make it available. Since then, a raw patch for the most urgent changes in katie (the archive maintenance software) has been produced. This patch is currently being refined, and some more testing needs to take place. Once this change is done, the most urgent blocker for bringing up testing-security will be solved. Testing-proposed-updates will be fully usable at about the same time as testing-security.

The most recent kernel security fixes inadvertently introduced a kernel ABI change, with implications for the sarge installer. The kernel and installer teams are still in the process of working through this issue; we expect there will be a minor update to d-i RC2 before sarge's release to incorporate these kernel security fixes once they are finalized. This installer update will also include other small fixes for bugs found in RC2, but should not require a complete d-i development cycle as previous installer releases did.

The transition of GNOME 2.8 into sarge has been finished. It was the smoothest transition ever seen for a change of its magnitude.

The KDE maintainers have presented a plan for getting KDE 3.3 into testing that meets the release team's requirements for avoiding temporary breakage of testing in the process. As a result, a final upload of kdelibs 3.3.1 is expected soon, after which the path should be clear for all of KDE 3.3 to enter testing within a week or two.

Another minor change of the toolchain for ia64 is pending. Gcc-3.4 started to use libunwind, but its internal version was buggy, so the libunwind shared library had to be built from the libunwind sources. Since we don't regard introducing new base packages for sarge as an option (due to debootstrap considerations), the shared libunwind library had to be included in libgcc1 and libgcc's shlibs dependency had to be tightened to reflect this change. The unwind patches have been backported to gcc-3.3, and a new glibc will follow, once the new gcc upload is finished. The bad news is that the current situation blocks testing promotion for quite a few packages; we recognise this as a problem, and fixing it is a high priority.

There has been some work regarding potential upgrade kernels (or backports of packages) on some architectures, but these investigations are not finished yet.

Package uploads for sarge should continue to be made according to the following guidelines:

- If your package is frozen, but the version in unstable contains no changes unsuitable for testing, upload to unstable only and contact if changes need to be pushed through to testing.

- If your package is frozen and the version in unstable includes changes that should NOT be part of sarge, contact with details about the changes you plan to upload (diff -u preferred) and, with approval, upload to testing-proposed-updates. Changes should be limited to translation updates and fixes for important or RC bugs.

- If you need to do a bug fix directly in sarge, you will need to upload to testing-proposed-updates as well, with the same requirements as for frozen packages.

- All other package updates should be uploaded to unstable only. Please use urgency=high for uploads that fix RC bugs for sarge unless you believe there is a significant chance of breakage in the new package.

If you want to increase the urgency of an already uploaded package, please speak with the release team; this can be sorted out without the need for another upload.

Andi Barth
Debian Release Team

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