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Debian Installer etch RC2 released

The Debian Installer team is proud to announce the second release 
candidate (RC2) of the installer for Debian GNU/Linux Etch. Unless 
release critical issues are discovered, this will be the version of the 
installer that will be included in the release of Etch.

There are no real major changes in this release, but we have been able to 
use the time since RC1 to fix quite a few important and minor issues.

Improvements in this release of the installer:
* This new version of the installer uses and installs the 2.6.18 kernel.
* Resizing Windows Vista NTFS partitions is now supported.
* Both the regular (newt frontend) and graphical (gtk frontend) installer
  now offer a theme using high-contrast colors and increased font size for
  visually impaired people. This theme can be activated by adding the
  parameter "theme=dark" when booting the installer.
* There have been several important bug fixes and usability improvements
  in the graphical installer. Most importantly, it is now possible to
  switch consoles on amd64.
  Information about the graphical installer and the most important
  differences between the graphical and regular installer has been added
  in an appendix in the installation guide.
* In expert mode or by using preseeding it is possible to select the FTP
  protocol instead of HTTP to access a Debian mirror. The hostname of an
  FTP mirror can only be entered manually, selection from a list is not
* The time-out when searching for a security mirror has been reduced
  significantly. This may mean that a security mirror will not be found if
  the network connection is bad, but it also means that the time spent
  waiting if no security mirror is available at all is now acceptable.
* It is now possible to blacklist a (driver) module by setting a special
  parameter when the installer is booted. This may help to work around
  buggy or conflicting kernel modules. See the installation guide for
* Architecture specific:
  o arm: there have been several improvements for the NSLU2:
    - the kernel now uses the Ethernet driver developed by Christian
    - the kernel also adds LED support and fixes real time clock support
    - selection of the correct timezone during installation
  o powerpc: RAID installation with macintosh partition tables should now
  o s390: most usability issues from RC1 have been fixed
* The following additional languages are now supported: Belarusian,
  Kurdish; and only in the graphical installer: Georgian, Malayalam.

No longer supported as of this release:
* The boot parameter to enable the `auto mode' for preseeding has been
  changed from auto-install/enabled to auto-install/enable for consistency
  with rescue mode. The auto alias and boot option remain valid.

Known issues in this release:
* The installer is currently not able to resize ext3 partitions that have
  the dir_index and/or resize_inode features enabled. This includes ext3
  partitions created with the Etch installer.
  It is possible to manually resize ext3 partitions from a shell during
  the installation.
* The sky2 network driver is known to be broken in kernel version
  2.6.18.dfsg.1-11 and may cause kernel panics.
* There are still a few issues for some PowerPC subarchitectures.
* For sparc32 CD-ROM support is broken in the esp kernel driver; use the
  netboot installation method instead.
* Known issues for the graphical installer:
  o some non-US keymaps are not fully supported (deadkeys and combining
    characters do not work);
  o touchpads should work, but support may not be optimal; if you
    experience problems, you should use an external mouse instead;
  o limited support for creating encrypted partitions;
  o should work on almost all PowerPC systems that have an ATI graphics
    card, but is unlikely to work on other PowerPC systems.

See the errata [1] for details and a full list of known issues.

New CD/DVD images
With this release of the installer, Debian also offers some new types of 
CD/DVD images:
* a full CD that installs a KDE desktop environment by default
* a full CD that installs an Xfce desktop environment by default
* a multi-architecture CD for i386/amd64/powerpc and one for
  alpha/hppa/ia64 that effectively behave like a netinst CD (the images
  contain the base system for all three architectures)
* a multi-architecture DVD for i386/amd64/powerpc which also includes
  source packages; this makes the image ideal for promotion purposes at
  trade shows and other events

Our thanks to everybody who has contributed to this release. Special 
thanks to Attilio Fiandrotti who is the lead developer behind the 
graphical installer.

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

For the Debian Installer team,
Frans Pop

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

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