Distro terminology

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Debian Releases

  • Stable (currently "Etch") = this is the latest official release of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. This is stable and well tested software, which changes only if major security or usability fixes are incorporated. This release is considered by many too old to be used as desktop environment, it is used mainly for servers and mission critical systems.
  • Testing (currently named "Lenny") = contains packages that are intended to become part of the next stable distribution. There are strict criteria a package in unstable must obey before it can be added to testing.
  • Unstable (always "Sid") = development branch of Debian. Contains the most recent packages in Debian. Once a package has met our criterion for stability and quality of packaging, it will be included in testing. Packages in unstable are the least tested and may contain problems severe enough to affect the stability of your system.

Ubuntu Releases

A new version of Ubuntu is released every six months, and each release has both a code name and a version number. The version number is based on the year and month of release. For example, the very first release of Ubuntu, 4.10, was released in October of 2004

  • 4.10 -- Warty Warthog
  • 5.04 -- Hoary Hedgehog
  • 5.10 -- Breezy Badger
  • 6.06 LTS -- Dapper Drake (SimplyMEPIS 6.x is based on it). LTS = Long Time Support: Canonical offers 5 years support for this version.
  • 6.10 -- Edgy Eft
  • 7.04 -- Feisty Fawn
  • 7.10 -- Gutsy Gibbon
  • 8.04 LTS -- Hardy Heron (versión actual)
  • 8.10 -- Intrepid Ibex

Apt-get terminology

  • Update or Reload in Synaptic = getting information about the current packages available on the Debian and MEPIS servers.
  • Upgrade = getting and installing new version of a package.

Distribution Production Stages

Alpha = "The first testing stage of a new program. The alpha stage occurs before a program becomes a beta version." Sometimes is used for stages of the product that are tested inhouse, not released for outside testers.

Beta = "The last software testing phase before a production rollout." "A version of an application that is made available prior to the official release for the purposes of testing."

Other explanations for the terms used:

  1. Snapshots/Experimental -- it represents a sneak peek only.
  2. Alpha = represents the first stage of development (intended for experienced users that want to test and hunt for bugs).
  3. Beta = represents the second stage of development, usually contains less bugs than Alpha (intended for curious public, but not to be used in "production").
  4. RC (Release Candidate) = proposed final product, feature complete, it is going to be released after final testing and fixing any minor bugs.
  5. Final or stable release -- Final. Gold. A general release to the public.
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