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Debian Installer etch RC1 released

The Debian Installer team is proud to announce the first release candidate 
(RC1) of the installer for Debian GNU/Linux Etch.

Improvements in this release of the installer include:
  * This new version of the installer uses and installs the 2.6.17
    kernel which is now the default for all architectures.
  * The installer will now create ext3 partitions with important options
    like resize_inode and dir_index enabled by default; the first means
    that on-line resizing of ext3 partitions is supported.
  * The 2.6.17 kernel should support installing from most CD-ROM/DVD
    drives in systems with a SATA controller. However, there are known
    issues in 2.6.17 with some controllers that have been fixed in 2.6.18.
  * Guided partitioning now also supports setting up the system on an
    encrypted LVM partition.
  * Because of the previous change, the user interface for guided
    partitioning was modified: users are now asked first for the type of
    guided partitioning to be done and next for the disk to be used.
    This change also affects preseeding [1].
  * Improved support for fully automated installations [1].
  * It is now possible to partition multiple disks with software RAID
    (levels 0, 1 and 5) using preseeding [1].
  * When configuring the network using DHCP, the installer will send
    vendor-option-string "d-i". Using this the DHCP server can be set up
    to tell the installer which preconfiguration file to use [1].
  * Because SELinux has been made standard priority, newly installed
    systems will have SELinux support. However, to actually use SELinux,
    this needs to be enabled manually after the installation.
  * Architecture specific:
    - i386: installation from floppy disk is supported again;
    - arm: the Linksys NSLU2 has switched to the generic ixp4xx kernel
      and now uses APEX as the 2nd stage boot loader; using APEX allows
      to work around the NSLU2's 1 MB kernel limit;
    - arm: support for the sub-architecture IOP32x has been added;
      the first device that is supported is the GLAN Tank, see also
  * Added the following languages (for the graphical installer only):

No longer supported:
  * Installation using a 2.4 kernel.
  * The following languages have been dropped because their translations
    were not sufficiently complete to be included in the Etch release:
    Belarusian, Gaelic (Irish), Georgian, Icelandic, Kazakh, Malagasy,
    Northern Sami, Persian, Welsh, Xhosa.

Known issues in this release (see the errata [2] for details):
  * Partition resizing using partman may result in data loss if the
    starting sector of the partition is not at the start of a cylinder.
    This has been observed in particular for NTFS partitions created
    during installation of Windows Vista Beta 2. Resizing of NTFS
    partitions created by earlier Windows versions should still work.
    Because of this resizing of NTFS partitions containing Windows Vista
    has been disabled.
  * There are some usability issues for S/390 installs.
  * There are still various issues for some powerpc subarchitectures.
  * For sparc32 CD-ROM support is broken in the esp kernel driver; use
    the netboot installation method instead.
  * For SGI Indigo2 systems (mips) keyboard support may still be broken
  * Known issues for the graphical installer:
    - some tasks (e.g. the File server task) may not install correctly due
      to bug #282147;
    - switching consoles will crash the frontend on amd64;
    - support for keymaps other than US has improved, but there are still
      some issues (deadkeys and combining characters do not work);
    - limited support for creating encrypted partitions;
    - touchpads may not work correctly; use an external mouse instead;
    - should work on almost all PowerPC systems that have an ATI graphics
      card, but is unlikely to work on other PowerPC systems.

Note that at least one more release of the installer is expected before 
Etch is released; this next release of the installer will use the 2.6.18 

Our thanks to everybody who has contributed to this release. Special 
thanks to Sylvain Ferriol for his work on 2.6 based installation floppies 
for i386.

Installation CDs, other media, detailed errata and everything else you'll 
need are available from our web site: 

For the Debian Installer team,
Frans Pop

[1] See the appendix on preseeding in the installation guide for details:
[2] http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/errata

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