Debian 9, codename Stretch, was released on June 17, 2017. It contained a major Linux Kernel upgrade, going from version 3.16 to 4.9. It also introduced LibreOffice 5.2, Plasma 5, and Qt 5.7, among many other things. Looking at Debian’s release history, it’s clear that releases are made roughly every two years, which means that Debian 10 will likely be released in mid-2019.
In a recent announcement, the Debian team stated, “In order to minimize the freeze length, we have shortened the transition freeze by one month.” As such, the transition freeze of Debian 10 is planned on January 12, 2019, with Buster’s soft-freeze scheduled for February 12.
“We do not have a fixed release date, but, given the cadence of previous releases, it is likely that the release date will be some time mid-2019. We certainly hope to improve the length of the full freeze, and you can help with that by ensuring that you are ready for these milestones,” added the Debian team in the same announcement.
Debian 10 New Features
So far, it seems that Buster will be one of those releases without many new user-facing features but with plenty of background improvements.
Buster will have a new Linux Kernel with support for encrypted SMB3 shares mounted via CIFS/SMB. SMB3 debuted in Windows 8, representing a significant update from the previous version. It will also support the automatic installation of security upgrades through the pkgsel component.
The Debian Installer Buster Alpha 2 release bought support for many single-board computers, including FriendlyArm NanoPi M1 Plus, Marvell 8040 MACHIATOBin, A20-OLinuXino-LIME2-eMMC, Marvell Armada 8040 DB, Solo/DualLite, SolidRun HummingBoard, Olimex, and it’s likely that the support for even more single-board computers will be added in future alpha releases.
How to Try Debian 10 Right Now
If you’d like to try Debian 10 Buster right now, you can do so by updating your Debian 9 Stretch package repository to Debian Buster. Change your “/etc/apt/sources.list” to look like this:
deb http://httpredir.debian.org/debian buster-updates main
deb http://security.debian.org buster/updates main
Then update your package index:
Finally, upgrade to Debian 10 Buster:
# apt-get dist-upgrade
If everything goes according to plan, Debian 10 Buster will be with us mid-2019. To make the long wait more bearable, you can fire up a virtual machine and try Buster right now with a few simple commands. Once you have Buster installed, there are many ways how you can contribute to the Debian project and help make Buster a fantastic release.