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Re: Debian breaks commitment to support Lenny until after Wheezy is released

On 15/02/12 09:12, Arcady Genkin wrote:
> 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)."

Like you I read that announcement with great interest - I also made note
of the context (which I requote here for clarification):-

"Since Debian's last release happened on Feb. 14th 2009, there will only
be approximately a one year period until its next release, Debian
GNU/Linux 6.0 (codenamed "Squeeze")."

And subsequently noted that Squeeze was *not* released when anticipated.
I presumed that meant the upgrade from Lenny to Wheezy would not be
happening. (I'm cynical about release schedules and "skip" upgrades)

I've lost the original reference - but the quote I put in a memo at the
time is from Steve McIntyre, from one of the Debian Mailing lists, on
the subject of that "skip" upgrade. (dated late July - so his statement
would have been prior)

"There isn't a need for supporting the
skip-upgrade. That's not to say that it *won't* work, but it's not
something we are going to commit to."

Given the changes Squeeze brought to KDE we were reluctant to upgrade
unnecessarily, but after reading that I began testing to move to Squeeze
(like many others) in early August, and finished migrating in early

NOTE: this subject has come up many times on various Debian lists over
the last year. I'm truly sorry you've not been aware of it.

I'm not sure there wasn't an official announcement subsequently - or
that the "skip" upgrade is no longer going to be available. I also don't
understand your concern - Squeeze still has plenty of life, we don't
intend beginning the process of testing moves to Wheezy for another year
as we like to wait until teething problems are sorted first.

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

AFAIK it was always going to be the case that Lenny support would end
two years after it's release.


> 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.

No where in the original announcement was an extended support lifetime
for Lenny discussed - only a "skip" upgrade *if* Squeeze was released early.

> Debian dropping support to Lenny so unexpectedly is an enormous 
> problem for our organization.

I am saddened to hear of your dilemma.
And I can't account for why you did not know of the Lenny end of support


> I am sure that there must be other organisations out there who are
> stuck in the same situation.

Perhaps, I definitely don't know all the major support companies - but I
don't personally know of any other support companies that wasn't keenly
aware of the Lenny end of support date. Most were unwilling to bridge
the unsupported gap between the end of Lenny support and the
"anticipated" release date for Wheezy.

> 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.

This would be the wrong list to ask. Perhaps the Debian-release list?

Kind regards

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