Debian 12 “Bookworm”: A Glimpse into the Latest Release
Debian, the stalwart of the Linux world, has once again made its mark with the release of Debian 12 “Bookworm.” This highly anticipated release, under development for over a year, finally emerged on June 10th, 2023.
Reliability and Beyond
Debian isn’t a distribution designed to dazzle; it’s akin to a loyal friend, consistently reliable and steadfast. Unlike some cutting-edge distros, Debian will never give you up due to broken or conflicting packages and you can be confident that this distro will never let you down. This stability and dependability have led to the creation of numerous popular distributions like MX Linux, Deepin OS, and Ubuntu, all based on Debian’s rock-solid foundation.
Debian 12 introduces an array of prominent desktop environments tailored to diverse user preferences:
- Gnome 43
- KDE Plasma 5.27
- XFCE 4.18
- MATE 1.26
- LXDE 11
- LXQT 1.2
Notably, Gnome 43 stands out as a significant upgrade from its predecessor, Gnome 3.38, introducing features like horizontal workspaces for improved multitasking.
Here are some screenshots from the Gnome 43 DE:
Non-free Packages in the Installer
Debian has addressed a long-standing dilemma by including non-free firmware in its installer. This repository houses non-free packages, including proprietary drivers needed for essential hardware components like Wi-Fi cards. While not part of the Debian system per se, the installer can now enable these non-free packages by default using Apt 2.6.
Enhanced Performance and Responsiveness
Debian 12 boasts noticeable enhancements in performance and responsiveness. The boot process is swifter, and applications launch with commendable speed. Thanks to comprehensive optimizations, Debian 12 offers an overall improved user experience compared to its predecessor, Debian 11.
Outdated Software Concerns
While Debian 12 continues to uphold its stability ethos, it can sometimes mean utilizing older software versions. To address this, users can turn to Flatpak, enabling the installation of the latest app versions alongside stable native applications. Thus, the concern about outdated software becomes less pressing. The absence of GNOME 44, which couldn’t make the cut due to being released in March 2023, after the stable version freeze, is still a let down.
Removal of All FOSS ISO
In previous releases of Debian, there was a distinct ISO that exclusively featured free and open-source software along with compatible drivers. While this intention was noble, it did introduce some confusion for new users. However, it’s worth noting that the recent removal of this ISO might not entirely align with the preferences of staunch advocates of the Free Software Foundation’s principles. While not inherently integrated into the Debian system, the installer now has the capability to enable these non-free components.
Debian 12 “Bookworm” is a milestone release that further cements Debian’s status as a pillar of the Linux community. The iso file can be downloaded here, and I recommend all FOSS enthusiasts to try out this distro.