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Debian breaks commitment to support Lenny until after Wheezy is released

In an announcement[1] from 2009, Debian promised to support Lenny at
least until the release of Wheezy:

"To accommodate the needs of larger organisations and other users with
a long upgrade process, the Debian project commits to provide the
possibility to skip the upcoming release and do a skip-upgrade
straight from Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 ("Lenny") to Debian GNU/Linux 7.0
(not yet codenamed)."

Now Debian announces[2] that it stops security support for Lenny.

We are a mid-sized University subnet, with Debian Lenny on almost
every computer.  That's about 150 workstations and a couple of dozens
of servers, both user-accessible and infrastructure.  It generally
takes us two or three months to implement, test, and deploy a release
upgrade.  We have lots of stuff that requires special attention when
moving to a new release, like auto installer, configuration management
system, 7GB of locally managed software in /usr/local/, etc.  On top
of that, we usually do distribution upgrades in the summer, between
the terms, because we have students and instructors relying on our
systems almost year round.

We chose not to upgrade from Lenny last summer, for various reasons,
knowing that we should be safe because there should still be support
for Lenny at least all the way until Wheezy.

Debian dropping support to Lenny so unexpectedly is an enormous
problem for our organization.  This means that we need to live without
security updates in the time being, drop all of our other projects on
the floor, and start working on upgrading to Squeeze between the
Winter and the Summer terms.  On top of that, we will be upgrading to
Squeeze for only a year, because it is likely that Wheezy will be out
by this time next year, so we'll have to spend a couple of months next
year as well on another release upgrade.

We are quite surprised by and upset with Debian deciding to terminate
support for Lenny.  We know that there are other networks at our
university affected by the latest announcement just the same way we
are.  I am sure that there must be other organisations out there who
are stuck in the same situation.

I wonder what it would take to make Debian reconsider their decision
with regards to termination of Lenny support, and stick with the
promise from 2009.

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-announce/2009/msg00009.html
[2] http://www.debian.org/News/2012/20120209
Arcady Genkin

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