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Debian Installer Lenny Beta1

The Debian Installer team is pleased to announce the first beta of
Debian Lenny's Installer.
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The Debian Installer team is pleased to announce the first beta of
Debian Lenny's Installer.

This is the first release since Etch and the whole team has been hard
at work during the past 11 months to make this release full of new
features and bugfixes.

We do need your help to find bugs and further improve the installer,
so please try it. Installer CDs, other media and everything you else
you will need are available at our web site:

http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/

Main improvements
=================

The comprehensive changelog of what has changed since the release of
Etch is available on the wiki[1].

Support for CD/DVD sets is back
- ——————————-

Support for loading additional CDs or DVDs from a set (a feature
missing in Etch) has been added again. As language-related packages do
not all fit on the first CD, this greatly improves the situation for
non-English speakers performing installations without internet
connectivity.

Clock synchronization using NTP
- ——————————-

By default, the installer will now attempt to synchronize the system
clock using the Network Time Protocol (NTP) when a network connection
has been configured. The hardware clock will be updated before the
system is rebooted.

This ensures a valid system time during installation, preventing odd
behaviors with cryptographic signatures or filesystem checks.

Support for “volatile” has been added
- ————————————-

The installer now supports adding the “volatile.debian.org” repository
when adding additional APT sources. In the same way as
security.debian.org, it will be configured by default when the
“stable” distribution is installed.

In addition, it is now possible to disable the security and volatile
sources when the installer is run in expert mode and
security.debian.org will be configured by default for installations of
“testing”.

Please read the debian-volatile homepage[2] for more information about
the volatile project.

Starting the installer from Microsoft Windows
- ———————————————

Since the integration of the win32-loader package[3], it is now
possible to start the installer directly from Microsoft Windows
without the need to change BIOS settings. Upon insertion of a CD-ROM,
DVD-ROM or USB stick, an autorun program will be started, offering a
step-by-step process to start the Debian Installer. A few installer
settings (including language) will be preconfigured from this process.

Experimental support for Serial ATA RAID (dmraid)
- ————————————————-

As previously announced[4], the debian-installer now includes
experimental support for installing Debian on systems with Serial ATA
RAID as supported in Linux via the dmraid utility. Please see the
dedicated wiki page[5] for more information.

Other noteworthy changes
- ————————

* The installer has been updated to use Linux 2.6.22
* Various changes have resulted in reduced memory usage
* Rescue mode now supports LUKS encrypted partitions
* Various code cleanups, reorganizations and refactorings have been done
* A new language, Amharic has been added (to graphical installation)

No longer supported
===================

* DECstation (mips) and RiscPC (arm) machines are no longer supported
* The sparc32 architecture is no longer supported as kernel support
for it was dropped[6]

Known issues in this release
============================

* Support for the “relatime” mount option has been added, but is
currently broken. See #460824
* i386: kernel oops during installer startup on Thinkpad T41. See
#470522
* mips: the installer won't start on at least SGI O2[7] and qemu[8]
* arm: this release doesn't support Netwinder[9]
* s390: the “tape” installation method is unusable due to a kernel
issue. See #466906

Plans for next Beta release
===========================

The next beta will be focused mainly on getting an installer version
working with Linux 2.6.24.

Other contributors have nevertheless spoken about working on non-free
firmware support[10], improvements on the partioner[11], locale support
and mirror selection[11] and improvements to the graphical
installer[12].

The debian-installer team is still looking for active contributors for
new features, bug triaging and squashing, improvements on the manual
and the developer documentation. If you want Lenny to release on time,
please join and help[13]!

References
==========

1. http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/HumanReadableChangelogs/LennyBeta1
2. http://www.debian.org/volatile
3. http://packages.debian.org/win32-loader
4. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2007/07/msg00008.html
5. http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/SataRaid
6. http://lists.debian.org/debian-sparc/2007/07/msg00049.html
7. http://lists.debian.org/debian-mips/2008/02/msg00056.html
8. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2008/03/msg00190.html
9. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2008/02/msg00920.html
10. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2008/02/msg00274.html
11. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2008/02/msg00285.html
12. http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2008/03/msg00121.html
13. http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/Contrib

- –
Otavio Salvador
Debian Installer Release Manager
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