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Release Notes

Release Notes: aptosid 2010-03

Contributed by slh on Dec 27, 2010 - 01:16 AM

Now that kernel has entered the archive with many KMS related bugfixes, we have the pleasure to announce the immediate availability of the final aptosid 2010-03 "Ἀπάτη" release, shipping in the following flavours:

  • KDE-lite, amd64, en/ de, ≈595 MB.
  • KDE-lite, i686, en/ de, ≈590 MB.
  • KDE-full, amd64+i686, en/ de (el, es, fr, it, ja, pt, pt_BR, ro, ru through liveapt) ≈2.0 GB.
  • XFCE, amd64, en/ de, ≈500 MB.
  • XFCE, i686, en/ de, ≈490 MB.

aptosid is a full featured Debian sid based live CD with a special focus on hard disk installations, a clean upgrade path within sid and additional hardware and software support. The ISO is completely based on Debian sid, enriched and stabilized with aptosid's own packages and scripts.

Release notes for Ἀπάτη

New features in aptosid 2010-03 "Ἀπάτη" are in particular kernel and numerous integration and stabilization fixes after the rename. Kernel doesn't only improve and stabilise hardware support for newer devices, it also features improved KMS support for ATi Radeon and Intel graphics cards and performance improvements for Intel Westmere graphics chipsets. Wlan support has been consolidated, with rt2x00 now supporting RaLink rt28x0/ rt30xx/ rt35xx officially, as well as ath9k_htc gaining support for Atheros AR7010 USB wlan chipsets and minstrel_ht providing a generic 802.11n/ HT rate control algorithm.

As usual, a large number of individual functionality enhancements and bugfixes have been applied to the full package line up and aptosid's own packages, in order to improve the general distribution infrastructure. The past months have allowed to take special care of the small aspects in many packages, to improve general policy compliance and functionality.

Although this release happens within the middle of the freeze leading towards Debian 6.0 "Squeeze", it is still based on Debian sid as of this day and is not meant or suited as an alternative way to install "Squeeze". Many security sensitive packages in aptosid (Debian sid) already sport a higher version number than their corresponding version in "Squeeze".

While Debian testing is frozen in order to release Debian 6.0 "Squeeze", major new upstream versions of non-leaf packages or libraries are not getting published in Debian/ sid. Even though it might be tempting to pull new versions of KDE4 or iceweasel from snapshot repositories or experimental, we can neither recommend nor support doing so and suggest sticking to Debian/ sid and aptosid instead. Aptosid continues to provide fixes and upgrades to aptosid specific packages as usual.

Due to large namespace overlaps after renaming to aptosid and upcoming packaging changes in Debian, initial crossgrade support can only be provided until the end of the year (2010-12-31). Already crossgraded, existing, installations continue to be supported, but the initial crossgrade path, as announced in the aptosid 2010-02 "Κῆρες" release notes, is limited to 2010. Starting with 2011, installations preceeding aptosid 2010-02 "Κῆρες", which have never been upgraded between September 2010 and December 31st, cannot be crossgraded– and won't be supported anymore; a clean installation of a current aptosid release is recommended in these cases.

Our special thanks go to the aptosid art- and manual teams and especially all mirror hosters for their efforts regarding aptosid.

Minimum system requirements:

  • amd64:
    • CPU requirements:
      • AMD64
      • Intel Core2
      • Intel Atom Series (2xx/ 3xx, N4xx/ D4xx/ D5xx; the N2xx series does not support EM64T)
      • VIA Nano
      • any x86-64/ EM64T capable CPU
      newer 64 bit capable AMD Sempron and Intel Pentium 4 CPUs (watch for the "lm" flag in /proc/cpuinfo or use infobash -v3).
    • RAM requirements:
      • KDE: ≥512 MB RAM (≥768 MB RAM recommended), ≥1 GB RAM for liveapt.
      • XFCE: ≥256 MB RAM.
    • VGA graphics card capable of at least 640x480 pixel resolution.
    • optical disk drive or USB media.
    • ≥3 GB HDD space, ≥10 GB recommended.
  • i686:
    • CPU requirements:
      • Intel Pentium pro/ Pentium II
      • AMD K7 Athlon (not K5/ K6)
      • Intel Atom Series (Z5xx/ Z6xx, N2xx)
      • VIA C3-2 (Nehemiah, not C3 Samuel or Ezra)/ C7
      • any x86-64/ EM64T capable CPU or newer
      the full i686 command set is required.
    • RAM requirements:
      • KDE: ≥384 MB RAM (≥768 MB RAM recommended), ≥1 GB RAM for liveapt.
      • XFCE: ≥192 MB RAM.
    • VGA graphics card capable of at least 640x480 pixel resolution.
    • optical disk drive or USB media.
    • ≥3 GB HDD space, ≥10 GB recommended.

Now to the interesting topics, like what's on the menu for now:

  • Debian sid, as of 2010-12-26.
  • kernel (smp, hard preemption).
  • 7.5 (xserver-xorg-core 1.7.7).
  • enable KMS support for ATi and Intel based graphics chipsets.
  • DRI (3d) support for ATi Radeon chipsets up to r7xx (refer to non-free sources and Drivers).
  • KDE 4.4.5 (en + de).
  • Iceweasel 3.5.16
  • new, SVG based, art theme created by the aptosid art team.
  • offline manual for en + de directly on the disc, online manuals for more languages online at and available via apt; a big thank you goes to the documentation and translation teams!
    Please note that the offline manual is only available on the running live CD or the installed system.
  • many changes for the manual.
  • ath5k support for 54/ "108" MBit/s Atheros wlan cards (AR2425, AR5210, AR5211, AR5212, AR5213 and AR5414).
  • ath9k support for 802.11n Atheros wlan cards (AR5418+AR5133, AR5416+AR5133, AR5416+AR2133, AR9160, AR9280, AR9281 and AR9285).
  • ath9k_htc support for 802.11n Atheros USB wlan cards (AR7010/ AR9271).
  • ar9170usb support for 802.11n Atheros USB wlan cards (AR9170 "otus").
  • b43/ b43legacy support for Broadcom wlan cards.
    OpenFWWF 5.2 opensource firmware for the following Broadcom AirForce 802.11b/g wireless cards:
    • BCM4306
    • BCM4311 revision 1
    • BCM4318
    • BCM4320
    experimental support for LP-PHY, non-free firmware images (firmware-b43-lpphy-installer) required.
  • iwl3945 support (Intel Pro Wireless 3945 chipsets).
  • iwlagn support for IPW 4965 and the IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n part of the Intel Wireless WiFi Link 1000/ 5xxxAGN/ 6000/ 6050 family.
  • iwmc3200wifi support for Intel Wireless Multicomm 802.11.
  • rt2x00 support for RaLink rt2400, rt2500, rt2570, rt61 and rt73 802.11b/g cards.
  • support for RaLink rt2770, rt2870 and rt3070 802.11b/g/n USB cards through rt2x00.
  • support for RealTek RTL8180L and RTL8185 PCI/ cardbus wlan cards.
  • support for RealTek RTL8187 and RTL8187B USB wlan cards.
  • memtest86+.
  • OpenJDK 6 as part of the kde-full variant.
  • support kvm (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) for kde-full; kvm depends on hardware virtualisation support (AMD pacifica virtualisation extensions "svm" or Intel IVT (vanderpool) virtualisation extensions "vmx")
  • access point support for many mac80211 based wlan cards through nl80211 and hostapd (optional).
  • client support for network booting over PXE/ NBD.
  • the CFQ I/O scheduler regression has been fixed and dpkg performance improved.
  • the installer has been fixed to no longer truncate sources.list entries when adding non-free sources.
  • Ceni has switched to completely wpasupplicant based scanning and configuration, employing nl80211 if supported.
  • rework block device/ file system detectiong.

Frequently asked questions


It is recommended to set keymaps, locales and timezone before booting the live system to be installed, by selecting them from the boot menu [F2], [F3]. This way, locale settings propagate to all required places for the installed system and don't require cumbersome changes at several places.


While grub2 offers increased flexibility for installations, like supporting new filesystems (ext4) or advanced installation options like LVM2 and improved detection capabilities for other distributions and operating systems, right now it is limited to a textmode menu. A new theming effort is currently under development and will be available in the future. Even though support for plain wallpapers would be already supported by grub2, it is still fragile and prolongs the system boot. Internally the configuration system for grub2 uses scripts snippets under /etc/grub.d/ to create its configuration file "grub.cfg" in a way that allows many self updating features, such as automating fromiso support with the help of "grub2-fll-fromiso" (optional).


With isolinux supporting gfxboot, it is possible to use isohybrid, which allows writing an ISO directly to USB storage or sd/ sdhc/ mmc memory sticks to make these bootable. isohybrid adds an MBR to the ISO and sets up a partition table with one active entry, the partition containing the ISO. This allows writing aptosid ISOs directly to USB storage devices of sdhc memory cards in addition to the well known possibility of using "install-aptosid-to-usb" (install-usb-gui). This option is particularly useful if there is no existing aptosid installation available and if an installation medium needs to be created from another distribution or operating system. It is important to note that this method overwrites the whole USB medium and restricts the available storage to the size of the aptosid ISO; install-usb-gui is not subject to these limitations and therefore the recommended option in case an existing aptosid system is available. Further partitions can be added to allow access to the unused part of the storage device.

cat /path/to/aptosid-*.iso > /dev/USB_raw_device_node

Further information about the aptosid install is available from the aptosid manual at Installation options.

Wireless regulatory domain settings

The regulatory domain framework for cfg80211 based wlan cards requires crda to allow access to wireless channels above ch11 (2.4 GHz or their 5 GHz equivalents), without crda only the "world domain" (channel 1-11) is available. Previous hacks using module parameters ("ieee80211_regdom={US,EU,JP}") are no longer available and prevent cfg80211 from loading, please remove possible module-init-tools overrides ("grep -R ieee80211_regdom /etc/modprobe.d/" to find them) manually.

# apt-get update
apt-get install crda

Network booting aptosid

Network booting aptosid over PXE (Preboot Execution Environment) and NBD (Network Block Device) is supported, the required settings can be configured from within the boot menu [F4]. Instructions about how to set up an example PXE+NBD boot server can be obtained at aptosid netboot introduction.


A special feature of kde-full releases is the ability to select other languages than German or US English from the grub menu (F4), which automatically installs localisations for the desktop and many applications while booting. This ensures they are also present after installing aptosid, while only installing the required languages for the given system. The amount of memory required for this feature depends on the language and aptosid may refuse to install the given language packs automatically with insufficient RAM and the boot sequence will be continued in english language but with the desired locales-settings (currency, date/ time format, keyboard charsets). 1 GB memory or more is supposed to be safe for all supported languages, which are:

  • English (GB, AU)
  • Greek
  • French
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese (BR and PT)
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Spanish

The language selection depends on the availability of aptosid-manual translations, get involved to add your language. Levels of up-to-date translation completeness of the following languages has dropped below the quorum for inclusion at this moment:

  • Bulgarian
  • Croatian
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • Hungarian
  • Polish

Additional help is urgently needed for these languages, before their translation status degrades too much.

Hints for Upgraders:

aptosid tries hard to provide seamless upgrade path for debian and aptosid's own packages, nevertheless a few things remain that could be improved with manual interaction.

Crossgrading from "sidux"

A seamless crossgrade path from sidux to aptosid can only be provided until 2010-12-31.

Please follow these steps to do a manual crossgrade to aptosid.

  • drop previous "sidux" mirrors from "/etc/apt/sources.list" and delete "/etc/apt/sources.list.d/sidux.list".
  • download the new aptosid-archive-keyring Debian package from and install it manually with "dpkg -i aptosid-archive-keyring_*_all.deb".
  • Create a new "/etc/apt/sources.list.d/aptosid.list" by using one of the primary mirrors, example contents can be found at
  • followed by a regular, complete, dist-upgrade.

nouveau in Debian prefers xserver-xorg-video-nouveau over xserver-xorg-video-nv since xorg 1:7.5+6, which unfortunately can't be supported by aptosid until it leaves the staging section and gains a stable ABI between kernel- and userspace. Therefore we recommend users of nvidia graphics cards to purge xserver-xorg-video-nouveau, so xserver-xorg-video-nv — which doesn't suffer from incompatible ABI changes — can take precedence again.

# apt-get remove --purge xserver-xorg-video-nouveau

We will offer nouveau support as soon as it can be done in a responsible way.


hal-cups-utils has been replaced by system-config-printer-udev, to automatically detect and configure USB printers.

# apt-get update
# apt-get install --purge system-config-printer-udev

In order to influence the detection and pursue further configuration, it is suggested to install system-config-printer-kde (KDE desktop environment) or system-config-printer (GTK2 based desktop environments) as well.

Obsolete packages

As part of the continuing development of aptosid, a number of packages have been replaced by better alternatives or become redundant.

  • grub-gfxboot
    Starting with aptosid, grub-gfxboot has been dropped from the distribution in favour of grub2, which provides better support for contemporary operating systems, kernels following the updated bootloader policies and filesystems. Upgrading legacy systems does now pull in grub2 automatically, by keeping the existing MBR and chainloading grub2 from it. After confirming that grub2 does indeed work, manual
  • Transitional or obsolete packages when upgrading from sidux
    The preferred way to identify obsolete packages left over from crossgrading to aptosid, is by making use of deborphan and apt-show-versions as described below. A complete list of obsoleted packages can be found in the Κῆρες release notes.
  • Legacy Artwork
    Due to hardcoded artwork names within user configuration, legacy packages can not be automatically updated to aptosid. Installing the following packages will pull in aptosid equivalents for the current release (Ἀπάτη), manually interacting will still be needed to use them:
    • aptosid-art-kde (KDE releases)
    • aptosid-art-wallpaper
    • aptosid-art-xfce (XFCE releases)

Transitional packages and obsolete libraries can often be identified by "deborphan". While this tool is very convenient for ongoing system cleanup, its results should always be checked before using it as input for removals.

$ deborphan

The following command is able to find packages not available from any active apt repository and may hint at obsolete packages, be careful about manually installed packages though. apt-show-versions is a separate package and isn't necessarily preinstalled. For using apt-show-versions, it is absolutely mandatory to fully dist-upgrade the system before.

$ apt-show-versions | awk '/No available version in archive/{print $1}'


This is experimental software. Use at your own risk. The aptosid project, it's developers and team members cannot be held liable under any circumstances for damage to hardware or software, lost data, or other direct or indirect damage resulting from the use of this software. If you do not agree to these terms and conditions, you should not use or distribute this software.

How to get involved

Getting involved in aptosid is easy, just join us at our Forum or even better on IRC (, port 6667, channel #aptosid) and discuss your patches/ proposals or additions.

We will gladly discuss any dfsg-free patches and contributions, especially regarding alternative window managers (GNOME, LXDE), general janitorial tasks or translations/ localisations.


Please understand that the following roadmap is a rough estimate regarding our release schedule and is affected by the status of upstream Debian sid, major system components like, KDE, the linux kernel and our own developments and is subject to changes.

  • Γῆρας
  • Ἡμέρα
  • Πόνος
  • Θάνατος

Special thanks go to the entire aptosid team.


Rick Battle (detaos)
Joaquim Boura (x-un-i)
David Creedy (klaymen)
Bernard Gray (cleary)
Chris Hildebrandt (slam)
David Kalnischkies (DonKult)
Aedan Kelly (etorix)
Stefan Lippers-Hollmann (slh)
Kel Modderman (kelmo)
Nicolas Poniros (edhunter)
Dinko Sabo (vibora)
Ferdinand Thommes (devil)
Trevor Walkley (bluewater)
Niall Walsh (bfree)

Documentation and Manuals:

Jose Tadeu Barros (ceti)
Alpha Mohamed Diakite (alphad)
Stefan R. Eissens (eislon)
Roland Engert (RoEn)
Alessio Giustini (alessiog75)
Markus Huber (hubi)
Philippe Masson (LjanA)
Mutsumu Nomura (muchan)
Nicolas Poniros (edhunter)
Dinko Sabo (vibora)
Dorin Vatavu (dorin)
Trevor Walkley (bluewater)

Art Team:

Rick Battle (detaos)
David Creedy (klaymen)
Bernard Gray (cleary)

Web design Team:

Bernard Gray (cleary)
Chris Hildebrandt (slam)
Stefan Lippers-Hollmann (slh)
Dinko Sabo (vibora)
Ferdinand Thommes (devil)

Vital Support:

Chris Hildebrandt (slam)
Ralph Hokanson Jr. (piper)
David Kalnischkies (DonKult)
Ferdinand Thommes (devil)

Thanks to Hetzner Online AG for sponsoring

On behalf of the aptosid team:
        Stefan Lippers-Hollmann (slh)