Debian 11 Freeze Begins, Debian 12 Might Reduce Focus On i386 Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Debian on 13 January 2021 at 05:14 PM EST. 26 Comments
The Debian 11 "Bullseye" build-essential freeze is now in effect with the release team no longer entertaining transition requests. Meanwhile, architecture support for Debian 12 is in early stages of discussion with a possible reduction in i386 support for that follow-on release.

Debian 11.0 "Bullseye" will see its soft freeze for new packages begin on 12 February, the hard freeze beginning a month later on 12 March, and then the full freeze of Debian 12 to happen at some later point to be determined.

The Debian release team did determine that the architectures to be supported for Debian 11 are AMD64, ARM64, ARMEL, ARMHF, i386, MIPS64EL, MIPSEL, PPC64EL, and s390x. The only architecture dropped for this current cycle is the basic MIPS (the other MIPS variants as noted are continuing).

There will likely be more CPU support changes for the Debian 12 (codenamed "Bookworm") cycle that they will figure out once Debian 11 has been released. There are recent discussions around the state of the i386 architecture support and how to handle that moving forward. The release team thinks that the 32-bit x86 support will continue in some form but no decision has yet been made.

More details on the current state of affairs by the Debian release team via debian-devel-announce.

Debian 11 "Bullseye" should be released this year while Debian 12 "Bookworm" won't come until likely 2023, which will be interesting to see the i386 support and interest at that time. Debian 13 meanwhile is already codenamed "Trixie" for in turn a 2025 debut if the two year release cycle continues.
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