Version 6 of Debian GNU/Linux, the popular open-source project that bills itself as “the universal operating system,” hit the Internet on ‘Superbowl Sunday’, packing a trove of updated applications and a pair of new editions to burnish its universal billing.
The distribution, which already stands out for its broad processor architecture support — spanning 12 architectures — branches out in version 6 with 32- and 64-bit editions based on the FreeBSD kernel. These new editions, while rough around the edges, open new opportunity for technology sharing among separate open-source operating systems and indicate that the project that gave birth to Ubuntu Linux continues to drive open source in new directions.
Debian 6.0 can also work well in a desktop role, particularly for users who wish to closely control the versions and configuration of the software on their machines. Debian is known, in its stable branch, for lagging behind the cutting edge in the versions of the software it ships, but once you become familiar with the distribution, it’s possible to mix in applications from the project’s testing, unstable and experimental branches to tune one’s environment.
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