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Up close and personal with Debian 5.0

May 25, 2009, 20:02 (0 Talkback[s])

"There's improved netbook support, including support for the Eee PC out of the box – this should also be really helpful for other netbook hardware. At the other end of the scale, the Orion platform (used in many storage devices) is also now supported and ARM support is improved with the move to the new Armel port and the inclusion of tools to produce packages for embedded ARM systems.

"As you may be aware, there were some issues around hardware support that delayed the release: specifically, there were concerns about the extent to which the binary 'blobs' released by some firmware manufacturers complied with free software guidelines (which Debian is fairly strict about).

"Binary blobs are bits of microcode that help drive hardware, and the licences under which the manufacturers release them vary and aren't always clear. The eventual decision was to prioritise getting Lenny out of the door and to avoid any radical reduction in hardware support that would penalise users."

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