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I am eagerly awaiting the final release as I'm going to build a new PC next month & would really like to have Etch on it. I wouldn't want to install the RC as I experienced a few annoying (though not serious) bugs on my laptop.
keep in mind while you may not see any bugs in the i386 release, there may still be outstanding issues in one of the other 11 architectures that are officially supported by Debian. everything needs to work in all the architectures before the release will be finalized. This is one of the reasons the releases for Debian take longer than most other Distros.
Whether you see this as a blessing or a curse, I think it's great that theres still distros out there that fully support architectures other than just i386 and AMD64.
You don't need to study Debian very hard to figure out that the emphasis with Debian is on stability and security. No fixed twice-in-a-year release schedules with the latest and greatest in applicationland that makes paid developers break their heads on how to implement that promised feature without breaking a desktop-manager or something, just the simple philosophy of releasing it properly designed and when thoroughly tested. Yes, that takes time but it does earn Debian the well-deserved reputation of the best community distro out there!
I sure haven't seen any bugs ... annoying, serious or otherwise.
The weekly etch release that I torrented on 1/10 had a broken install script for gnome-applets that crashed out partway through. The desktop still ran, although I didn't try out every function. I think it's been fixed since (a dialog in a Synaptic update noted the problem, and used the new script to fix it). Bugs do continue to surface and be squished.
Personally I stick to the RC1 installer, only select a standard system and apt my way up. It works so no need to risk a weekly installer build.
Dutch Master, thats why Debian is the best of any distro although I have been compleatly unable to use Debian with a PowerPC, partly because quite a few codecs are i386 & AMD64 only, and partly because I couldn't install java. though I suspect Java will be ported fairly quickly to everything just as soon as its fully GPLed.
Who cares? Install stable and continously update it.You will have etch this way pretty much the minute it is released.
This is debian for heavens sake.There is no problem with upgrading once a new version is out.
Go for unstable anyway - who cares about stable except ppl running mission critical servers?
Works nice most of the time and if it doesn't things tend to get fixed real quick.
I wouldn't recommend installing Sarge if Etch is so close to being stable. Normally it might not be that big of a deal, but with the whole Xfree86 to Xorg switch, things are messy. Just go with Etch because for all practical purposes it already IS the new stable release.
I tried to dist-upgrade from Sarge to Etch a few months back and it WAS NOT pretty. Maybe I just have bad luck but I wouldn't recommend going that route.
Debian testing (which is etch right now) always was messier than unstable (funny ain't it?).
Anyway - by the time etch is out it will be stable and I am quite confident that going from sarge to etch wont be a big deal.
I have been compleatly unable to use Debian with a PowerPC, partly because quite a few codecs are i386 & AMD64 only, and partly because I couldn't install java. though I suspect Java will be ported fairly quickly to everything just as soon as its fully GPLed.
the nspluginwrapper will address some of those issues, by allowing you to use 32bit i386 browser plugins on other architectures, doesn't address everything, but it's a start..