Warren Woodford, founder and lead developer of MEPIS Linux, had previously complained that Debian 5.0 "Lenny" didn't ship with a long-term support Linux kernel, and so the latest release of MEPIS breaks form with Lenny only days after its release by shipping with a newer kernel - something that could potentially make MEPIS less compatible with software certified for Debian. We asked Warren what kind of thinking was behind the switch, and also about his favourite new features in MEPIS 8.0...
"Using one kernel or another is a judgment call which I've had to make for a few years now. Some kernel releases focus on bug fixes and consolidation of previous changes. Other kernel releases tear things apart with the intention of making big long term improvements to the kernel. The most important question is whether a newer kernel contains changes that are incompatible with external software. For example, the introduction of the new block drivers back around 2.6.18, caused lots of problems."
"In this case, I looked at the differences between 2.6.26 and 2.6.27 that were described at lwn.net and, in my opinion, it was desirable and safe to use 2.6.27. Then I researched on Google and watched for reports of problems. The only serious problem was the temporary glitch with the e1000 nics that caused grief for Ubuntu for a while. In other words, I applied common sense and caution."
When asked about his favourite features in the new MEPIS 8.0 release, Warren responded, "I'm really happy with the contributions by the community. They did the desktop theme, user manual, autorunning intro on the CD, and some updates to the Assistants. That was a big help!"
MEPIS 8 is available for purchase or download.
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