As you’re probably aware, we recently released the latest point release
of the stable distribtion, lenny, as 5.0.4. We thought this would be a
good opportunity to reiterate and clarify a few aspects of point releases and stable updates.
Updating your package in stable
If you believe that a bug should be fixed in (old)stable, please prepare
a diff against the version of the affected package currently in stable /
proposed-updates and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org together
with an explanation of the bug. The diff should only include changes
related to fixing the bug.
As a general rule of thumb, a patch is likely to be acceptable for a
stable update if it:
* Fixes a bug of severity Important or higher, filed in the Debian BTS
* Has been thoroughly tested in unstable
If you’re unsure whether a stable update would be appropriate, please
feel free to send a mail anyway.
For security-related updates, the Security Team should be the first
point of contact. If they decide that a security issue does not warrant
the issuing of a DSA then it will often be possible to fix the issue via
a stable update.
When a package destined for “stable” is uploaded, dak automatically
moves it in to the “p-u-new” queue. The Release Team regularly reviews
the content of the queue and accept or reject packages from it. The
current state of the queue is always reflected on .
Once a package is accepted, it will move in to the “proposed-updates”
distribution and be submitted to the buildd network for auto-building.
At this point, the package is publicly available from Debian mirrors by
adding a line such as
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ lenny-proposed-updates main contrib non-free
Testing of packages in proposed-updates is appreciated, as it increases
the chances that any regressions or new bugs introduced by the update
will be found and corrected before the actual point release. Please make
sure to carbon copy bug reports to email@example.com to
keep us in the loop and aware of problems.
All of the above also applies to oldstable, replacing “stable” and
“lenny” with “oldstable” and “etch”.
Security support for etch is in the process of ending; the ability to
update etch through oldstable-proposed-updates will also end soon. There
will be a final point release incorporating all available updates from
security.debian.org and oldstable-proposed-updates, before etch is moved
Although a date has not yet been set for this point release, it is
likely to take place in either late March or early April.
Appointment of a new Stable Release Manager
Adam D. Barratt did an incredible job of getting the last Point Releases
into shape and I’m thus very happy to announce that he has been appointed
as a new Stable Release Manager alongside the existing ones.
New blood wanted
If you are interested in keeping stable a rock-solid release and have
some time to spare on this, we always appreciate help. An easy way to
get started is to subscribe to firstname.lastname@example.org and
look for any problems in the patches submitted for stable updates.
Philipp Kern, Adam D. Barratt
for the Debian Release Team
 For stable: http://release.debian.org/proposed-updates/stable.html
For oldstable: http://release.debian.org/proposed-updates/oldstable.html