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Article from Issue 264/2022
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Debian 11.5 and Rocky Linux 9.0

Debian 11.5 (64-bit)

Debian releases only every couple of years, making each release a major event. The release of Debian 11 (Bullseye) in August 2021 was no exception. Not only was Bullseye's Homeworld theme unusually sophisticated for Debian, but the release also featured driverless printer and exFAT filesystem support, as well as reliable Bluetooth integration.

A year later, the 11.5 release is the latest enhancement to this firm foundation. Like all Debian releases, Debian 11.5 consists of bug fixes and security updates that have been issued since the last point release. In addition, the release includes bug fixes for dozens of packages, including dpkg, NVIDIA drivers, and the Debian installer.

Like all Debian releases, Debian 11.5 lacks the newest software, but it compensates by providing stability and security that is second to none. With almost two-thirds of active distributions being based on Debian, even a point release is an influential event in software.

Rocky Linux 9.0 (64-bit)

Rocky Linux is less than two years old, but it is rapidly becoming a major RPM distribution rivaling Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) in popularity. To date, Rocky Linux has had two general releases, although their numbering continues on from CentOS, emphasizing its role as a successor.

Rocky Linux is one of the distributions forked from CentOS when CentOS development was stopped in favor of CentOS Stream. As its homepage says, Rocky Linux is designed to be "100% bug-for-bug compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux." Both are constructed from the same source code. The main difference is that, while both are popular enterprise solutions, Rocky Linux emphasizes community development in a way that RHEL does not. For many, corporate and home users alike, this is an essential difference.

However, technical differences are slowly starting to emerge. Rocky Linux 9.0 introduces Peridot, a tool for building Rocky Linux from scratch and for easily extending the source code. More differences are likely to emerge in the next few years. Meanwhile, Rocky Linux 9.0 will be supported until 2032.

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