Greg wrote:

> I am guessing... Debian users knew this: Woody revision 1 is out.

Actually, no. Debian users would be, for the most part, about the last people you'd expect would care. Let me explain:

These things are snapshots, taken occasionally, of a particular named Debian branch's contents on the mirror sites, on some day when it was thought to be in a pretty good state. The Debian Project makes ISO images of those contents, assigns them the next release number ("Official Debian n.n release n"), and makes them available to CD-pressing companies.

Such a new set of CD images is a starting-point option that can be used by those constructing new Debian systems, which gets added to the large array of existing options, which include leading-edge, regenerated-daily unofficial images ( for the "testing" and "unstable" branches, as well as a significant number of well-known installation images frequently updated by individuals.

If you need to do a fresh Debian installation onto some hardware, basically any Debian-compatible installation media will do (including Libranet, Progeny, Stormix, and Xandros Desktop), provided it supports enough of your hardware to complete basic installation and let you pull further packages from on-line Debian package mirrors. And that's really not much of a challenge, unless you have key hardware that's either extremely new, extremely exotic, or very problematic.

And, more to the immediate point, if you're a Debian user, you rarely spend any time installing it, in the first place. You install it once; it doesn't need to be installed again, and new releases are irrelevant: E.g., by the time those Official Debian 3.0r1 ISOs make it out to CD makers, your Debian 3.0/woody ("stable" branch) systems already have newer packages than are on those ISOs -- and your Debian sarge (currently the "testing" branch) systems have much newer packages.

So, the existence of new installation images tends to be pretty much a non-event for most Debian users, whether those are official or unofficial ones -- because they already have installation images that solve hardware problems they're likely to face, and because such an installation image is rarely used as a destination in itself, but rather just as a means to gain access to the package mirrors. If anything, one could argue that they're more newsworthy to people who do not have Debian installed, but who would like to, as it gives them an additional option. (But they, too, have plenty of other serviceable ones.)

People who might really welcome a new official image release are those who intend to install from CD alone, in circumstances where bandwidth is unavailable or very expensive. But they'll face a chicken-and-egg problem, since pulling down seven 660MB ISOs (for the complete set) is also a serious bandwidth draw, and since CD vendors are likely to be still unloading their back inventory of 3.0r0 and 2.2r-whatever disks (or unofficial images of their own devising) for quite some time. (Beware of CD vendors: If it doesn't say explicitly "Official Debian 3.0r1", assume it's something different and older.)

I do happen to install a fair amount of Debian for people. But if I were in a no-bandwidth situation, I'd probably be installing Debian sarge (current "testing" branch) from my own home-made CD set, constructed using Jigdo ( and rebuilt occasionally to track the moving target. So, in short, I have little need for 3.0r1. I think I have a seven-CD set of 3.0r0 in my installation kit, but am not sure, since I doubt I've ever had occasion to need them.

Rick Moen

If you lived here, you'd be $HOME already.