Debian 4.0 Tiptoes to Leading Edge

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Debian GNU/Linx is a popular Linux-based operating system with excellent software management tools and a development pace that is, depending on your perspective, saner or more plodding than those of its Linux distribution rivals.

WEEK Labs tested Debian 4.0, which recently hit FTP servers, and we were impressed to find that while the Debian project has not abandoned its overall conservatism, the team's latest release sports leading-edge credentials in some key areas. We're particularly impressed with Debian 4.0's support for full volume encryption as a basic installation option, and we're glad to see that Debian has expanded its embrace of Security-Enhanced Linux for tightening system permissions.

Debian is great fit for server deployments and is particularly well-suited for hosting applications that draw on popular open-source components, such as Apache or MySQL. Up-to-date versions of these popular Web and database servers, along with multiple alternatives for each and thousands of other applications, are available for Debian and ready for installation over one of the project's many repository mirror sites.

We've found that Debian works well in a virtualized setting, where the OS's very good text-based installer makes it easy to spin Debian into whatever arbitrary sort of Linux server we choose, often with the aid of configuration applets that come bundled with the packages.

Debian 4.0 can also work well in a desktop role.

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