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Bits from the Debian Installer team

As we're now supposedly close to the release of Lenny, we feel the
need to give news about the Debian Installer team. During Lenny release cycle, we managed to release two beta versions
and one release candidate.
As we're now supposedly close to the release of Lenny, we feel the
need to give news about the Debian Installer team.

During Lenny release cycle, we managed to release two beta versions
and one release candidate.

As expected, it improved a lot during this release cycle:

- New features:
support for loading firmware during installation
SATA RAID support
early upgrade of packages wrt security fixes
support for “volatile”
new boot menu for i386/amd64
support for hardware speech synthesis devices
support for realtime mount options
NTP clock synchronization
support for installation from Windows through win32-loader

- Improved features:
partitioner display for the graphical installer
better support for Live-CD media

- New ports: armel, images for i386 Xen guests

- New translations: Amharic, Marathi, Welsh, Irish, Northern Sami, Serbian

The next release candidate version is aimed at being the version used
in the Lenny official release. This version will fix a few bugs
discovered in Release Candidate 1 (RC1) and a few more which were
listed in RC1 errata. It will also be based on the 2.6.26-12 kernel
packages.

We intend to begin the final release process of Debian Installer RC2
in the very early days of January 2009.

In the meantime, we encourage users and developers to test daily
builds of the installer that are available from the Installer home
page [1]. We particularly encourage you to test less often used
features more than straight installs. Please also test the localized
versions of the installer and less common architectures.

About the Debian installer team: the team is currently lead by Otavio
Salvador and 183 people have commit access. However, the real team
“resources” are now very scarce. During the last two months, only
Otavio, Frans Pop and Christian Perrier have been significantly active
in the development list and IRC channel. A few other people brought
valuable contributions, of course (for instance during the RC1 testing
phase), but the situation of the team is still fairly critical and
should be a concern for the project, for the squeeze release cycle.

We think we'll be able to release the RC2 needed for Lenny but, as
soon as Lenny is released, we feel the need to get new blood in. If
you're concerned about Debian having a good, up-to-date installer,
please start thinking about this. In the meantime, please test the
dailies!

[1] http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer

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