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Debian 9 "Stretch" released
After 26 months of development the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 9 (code name "Stretch"), 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.
Debian 9 is dedicated to the project's founder Ian Murdock, who passed away on 28 December 2015.
In "Stretch", the default MySQL variant is now MariaDB. The replacement of packages for MySQL 5.5 or 5.6 by the MariaDB 10.1 variant will happen automatically upon upgrade.
Firefox and Thunderbird return to Debian with the release of "Stretch", and replace their debranded versions Iceweasel and Icedove, which were present in the archive for more than 10 years.
Thanks to the Reproducible Builds project, over 90% of the source packages included in Debian 9 will build bit-for-bit identical binary packages. This is an important verification feature which protects users from malicious attempts to tamper with compilers and build networks. Future Debian releases will include tools and metadata so that end-users can validate the provenance of packages within the archive.
Administrators and those in security-sensitive environments can be comforted in the knowledge that the X display system no longer requires "root" privileges to run.
The "Stretch" release is the first version of Debian to feature the "modern" branch of GnuPG in the "gnupg" package. This brings with it elliptic curve cryptography, better defaults, a more modular architecture, and improved smartcard support. We will continue to supply the "classic" branch of GnuPG as gnupg1 for people who need it, but it is now deprecated.
Debug packages are easier to obtain and use in Debian 9 "Stretch". A new "dbg-sym" repository can be added to the APT source list to provide debug symbols automatically for many packages.
The UEFI ("Unified Extensible Firmware Interface") support first introduced in "Wheezy" continues to be greatly improved in "Stretch", and also supports installing on 32-bit UEFI firmware with a 64-bit kernel. The Debian live images now include support for UEFI booting as a new feature, too.
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