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Debian Installer 7.0 Alpha1 release

The Debian Installer team[1] is pleased to announce the first alpha
release of the installer for Debian Wheezy.

Improvements in this release of the installer

Network configuration
 * Add WPA support to installer (#327309).
 * Improvements in link detection and DHCP configuration, which
   should improve reliability for systems with flaky network
   cards (#496647, #414117, #606515).
 * Release DHCP lease at the end of the install, to work around
   problems with non-RFC compliant DHCP servers (#610553).
 * The requirements for hostnames have been clarified, and the
   parser tightened up to avoid letting through some really
   dodgy names (#399071).
 * Added Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) support.

Linux Specific
 * Kernel version has been updated to 3.2.16.
 * Default filesystem changed to ext4.
 * Allow Btrfs /boot partition (GRUB 2 and LILO).
 * Add support for Network Block Devices (NBD).

kFreeBSD Specific
 * Kernel updated to version 8.3.
 * Option to use new 9.0 kernel during install.
 * Detect LVM devices.

Operating system probing
 * Add detection for Windows 8, support for BSD systems, MeeGo,
   Linux From Scratch and Haiku on BeFS partitions.
 * Improve Windows and MS-DOS detection.
 * Fix Gentoo detection on OS probing.

 * Add PXE functionality (#607417).

USB stick installs
 * Add choice of ISO image to use when multiple images are found
   on the installation medium (#564441). This includes a full
   rewrite of the state machine in the iso-scan component. This
   work was contributed by Frans Pop and Frédéric Boiteux.

 * New language supported: Uyghur.

Behavioral changes in this release

 * Make sure to put "hda" into the CoLo config file instead
   of "sda" since CoLo only knows about the former (#614839).
 * Remove 5 second sleeps when debootstrap finds additional
   required dependencies. d-i just got that much faster.
 * Use SHA checksums.
 * Re-enable ZFS on kfreebsd-i386.
 * Allow stripped ZFS for root filesystem.
 * Mirror and RAID-Z support on ZFS filesystems.
 * Redesign ZFS pool management, new features include:
    - Support for pools with multiple physical devices.
    - Support for multiple filesystems within a ZFS pool.
    - Support for legacy filesystems using ZFS volumes (ZVOL).
    - Arbitrary names for ZFS pools, filesystems and ZVOLs.
 * Switch espeakup language around language selection (#630477).

Hardware support changes

 * Support AMD CPU family 20 (LP: #676838).
 * Add support for:
    - Buffalo Linkstation LiveV3 (LS-CHL) (#612167).
    - Buffalo Linkstation Mini (LS-WSGL).
    - Toshiba AC100.
    - MX53 LOCO board.
    - OMAP4 Pandora.
    - armhf architecture.
    - Genesi Efika MX nettops and smarttops (#612376).
 * Blacklist snd-aoa to allow snd-powermac to work.
 * Install mmc-modules if no disk is found, since some devices
   may not have hard drives, but SD slots instead (#593108).
 * Increase the number of attempts to detect new disk devices on
   some SCSI subsystems with long driver/disk initialization
   time (#611314).
 * Include ahci module for the QNAP TS-419P+ (#613497).
 * Add niu network driver for sparc, needed by T2+ Sparc
   systems (#608516).
 * Recognize /dev/duart* as a serial console.

Known issues in this release

 * The prompt when installing GRUB mentions other operating systems
   (like Windows), but only Debian is actually offered after install
 * GRUB installation fails with RAID+LVM (#662086).
 * Linux kernel installation fails on some x86 processors (686 without
   PAE) (#672611).
 * Mirror list might be slightly outdated; choose-mirror will be
   updated in a later release.
 * Missing fonts for Burmese, Tibetan, Dzongkha and Sinhala
   languages (#672635).

See the errata[2] for details and a full list of known issues.

Not yet known issues in this release

We do need your help to find bugs and further improve the installer,
so please try it. Installer CDs, other media and everything else you
will need are available at our web site[3].


The Debian Installer team thanks everybody who has contributed to this

 1. http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/Team
 2. http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/errata
 3. http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer

Cyril Brulebois
on behalf of the Debian Installer Team

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