Debian Forked, Ubuntu MATE Fabulous, and Fedora 21 RC1

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 28, 2014

Everybody went back to work today and there is so much news I hardly know where to start. The top story tonight is bound to be the official forking of Debian. In other news, says Ubuntu 14.10 MATE is "almost fabulous" and the Free Software Foundation released their 2014 gift buying guide. Mint 17.1 is almost here and a Fedora 21 release candidate has been released. Carla Schroder has an exclusive on about being a maker instead of a user and, finally, a bunch of too-good-to-resist tidbits.

They did it. Despite all the known challenges the "Init-Freedom lovers" who recently threatened to fork Debian did just that. Roger Leigh, a former Debian developer, posted Thursday of the official fork. He said that because the general resolution to give users a choice of init failed he and his fellow "Veteran Unix Admin collective" members feel it indicates an even deeper issue. Leigh wrote:

The problem is obviously the lack of common ground between diverging perceptions of the Debian project, its governance and its mission.

We believe this situation is also the result of a longer process leading to the take-over of Debian by the GNOME project agenda. Considering how far this has propagated today and the importance of Debian as a universal OS and base system in the distribution panorama, what is at stake is the future of GNU/Linux in a scenario of complete homogeneization and lock-in of all base distributions.

Therefore, looking at how the situation stands today: we need to fork.

The new fork, dubbed Debuan and said to be pronounced "DevOne," has a home at and a wiki at Besides a name and a home, they also have a plan. The site says they've started on the infrastructure and developmental tools and are planning the distribution itself as well. On the technical side a bit, it says:

The first package of Devuan is devuan-baseconf: a Debian installer with preseed of sysvinit-core and a couple of devuan packages containing a keyring, repository list files and pinnings. Once installed and updated this package avoids the requirement of systemd as PID 1 and adopts systemd-shim when strictly needed.

With the goal of protecting "the freedom of its community of users and developers. Its priority is to enable diversity, interoperability and backward compatibility." The new project hopes to have something by Spring 2015 so users can upgrade from Debian 7 to Devuan 1. One of their last statements says, 'Devuan will do its best to stay minimal and abide to the UNIX philosophy of "doing one thing and doing it well."'

Andre Robatino today announced Fedora 21 Release Candidate 1 on the Fedora project Test-Announce mailing list. The release schedule hasn't been updated in a while and doesn't list a release candidate. Nevertheless, Fedora fans and development watchers can now download RC1 from Fedora 21 is currently scheduled for release on December 9, 2014. See the full announcement for all the individual links.

Clement Lefebvre yesterday wrote that it would just be a few more days until Linux Mint 17.1. Updates have been coming periodically for Mint 17 users with a lot of KDE and base updates day before yesterday. He said, "The ISO images for the Cinnamon and MATE editions of Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” just passed QA testing and were approved for a stable release. This release should go public in the coming days." Those running the RC or version 17 can just update through the Update Manager.

In other news:

* Make Your Mark on the World With Linux

* Ubuntu 14.10 MATE edition - Almost fabulous

* The 2014 Giving Guide is here!

* Issue 10 of LinuxVoice Out Now

* Hands-on with the Raspberry Pi Model B+