After almost 24 months of constant development the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 8 (code name "Jessie"), which will be supported for the next 5 years thanks to the combined work of the Debian Security team and of the Debian Long Term Support team.
"Jessie" ships with a new default init system, systemd. The systemd suite provides many exciting features such as faster boot times, cgroups for services, and the possibility of isolating part of the services. The sysvinit init system is still available in "Jessie".
The UEFI ("Unified Extensible Firmware Interface") support introduced in "Wheezy" has also been greatly improved in Jessie. This includes workarounds for many known firmware bugs, support for UEFI on 32-bit systems, and support for 64-bit kernels with 32-bit UEFI firmware (with the latter being included only on our amd64/i386 "multi-arch" installation media).
Since the previous release, members of the Debian project have also made important improvements to our supporting services. One of these is a browsable view of all source code shipped in Debian currently available at sources.debian.net. Of course, with over 20,000 source packages, it can be quite daunting to locate the right file. Therefore, we are also very pleased to present Debian Code Search, available at codesearch.debian.net. Both services are complemented by a completely rewritten and more reponsive package tracking system.
This release includes numerous updated software packages, such as:
an updated version of the GNOME desktop environment 3.14
GNU Compiler Collection 4.9.2
Icedove 31.6.0 (an unbranded version of Mozilla Thunderbird)
Iceweasel 31.6.0esr (an unbranded version of Mozilla Firefox)
KDE Plasma Workspaces and KDE Applications 4.11.13
MariaDB 10.0.16 and MySQL 5.5.42
Python 2.7.9 and 3.4.2
Tomcat 7.0.56 and 8.0.14
Xen Hypervisor 4.4.1
the Xfce 4.10 desktop environment
more than 43,000 other ready-to-use software packages, built from nearly 20,100 source packages.
With this broad selection of packages and its traditional wide architecture support, Debian once again stays true to its goal of being the universal operating system. It is suitable for many different use cases: from desktop systems to netbooks; from development servers to cluster systems; and for database, web, or storage servers. At the same time, additional quality assurance efforts like automatic installation and upgrade tests for all packages in Debian's archive ensure that "Jessie" fulfills the high expectations that users have of a stable Debian release.
A total of ten architectures are supported: 32-bit PC / Intel IA-32 (i386), 64-bit PC / Intel EM64T / x86-64 (amd64), Motorola/IBM PowerPC (powerpc for older hardware and ppc64el for the new 64-bit (little-endian)), MIPS (mips (big-endian) and mipsel (little-endian)), IBM S/390 (64-bit s390x) and for ARM, armel and armhf for old and new 32-bit hardware, plus arm64 for the new 64-bit "AArch64" architecture.
Want to give it a try?
If you simply want to try Debian 8 "Jessie" without having to install it, you can use a special image, known as a live image, available for CDs, USB sticks, and netboot setups. Initially, these images are provided for the amd64 and i386 architectures only. It is also possible to use these live images to install Debian. More information is available from the (https://www.debian.org/CD/live/) Debian Live homepage.
If, instead, you want to install it to your computer's permanent storage, you can choose from a range of installation media, such as Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, CDs, and USB sticks, or from the network. Several desktop environments — GNOME, KDE Plasma Desktop and Applications, Xfce, and LXDE — may be installed through (https://www.debian.org/CD/ ) CD images; the desired one may be chosen from the boot menus of the CDs/DVDs. In addition, multi-architecture CDs and DVDs are available which support installation of multiple architectures from a single disc. Or you can always create bootable USB installation media (see the Installation Guide for more details). For cloud users Debian also offers pre-built OpenStack images, ready to use.
The installation images may be downloaded right now via bittorrent (the recommended method), jigdo, or HTTP; see Debian on CDs for further information. "Jessie" will soon be available on physical DVD, CD-ROM, and Blu-ray Discs from numerous vendors too.
Upgrades to Debian 8 from the previous release, Debian 7 (codenamed "Wheezy"), are automatically handled by the apt-get package management tool for most configurations. As always, Debian systems may be upgraded painlessly, in place, without any forced downtime, but it is strongly recommended to read the release notes as well as the installation guide for possible issues, and for detailed instructions on installing and upgrading. The release notes will be further improved and translated to additional languages in the weeks after the release.
Debian is a free operating system, developed by thousands of volunteers from all over the world who collaborate via the Internet. The Debian project's key strengths are its volunteer base, its dedication to the Debian Social Contract and Free Software, and its commitment to provide the best operating system possible. Debian 8 is another important step in that direction.