[cut-team] Draft announcement for CUT 2011.03 release candidate 1

Michael Gilbert michael.s.gilbert at gmail.com
Mon Feb 28 00:23:52 UTC 2011

Hi all,

Based on Stefano's feedback, I have reworded the draft announcement.
If you like it, please respond with a +1.  If not, -1 and feedback.  See

Best wishes,


Subject: Call for Testing: Unofficial Debian Monthly Testing Snapshot
Release Candidate (version 2011.03rc1)

Hello world,

I am pleased to announce the very first unofficial Debian monthly testing
snapshot release candidate (version 2011.03rc1). This release is
currently available in two flavors, i386 and amd64, as mini iso images
(16 Mib each) downloadable from:

These files can be written to CD or DVD media or directly to a USB
stick. Instructions for USB installation can be found here:

The testing period will be 5 days, and if no showstoppers are found in
that time frame, this will be the 2011.03 final release, which is
currently targeted for March 6th. Since this is not a stable release, a
much reduced subset of bugs will be considered showstopping (a
different criteria than stable's release critical bugs). These only
1.  Failure to install from scratch using default/common options
2.  Failure to boot into a graphical environment

There may be more criteria to be identified in the future.  If you
think an issue qualifies as a showstopping bug, please send a message
to cut-team at lists.alioth.debian.org, and we will determine whether it
is worth delaying the release.  If showstopper bugs are indeed found,
then the previous month's nightly generated media will be bisected to
find the one prior to introduction of the bug.  That will be the second
release candidate, and there will be another announcement and 5 day
testing period for that.

Note that these monthly snapshot releases will be guaranteed to be
upgradable (all new releases will have >= package versions compared to
the previous release). However, there is no guarantee that there won't
be breakages or regressions in particular packages between upgrades.
This may be somewhat solvable via automated piuparts upgrade testing in
the future.  This will need someone interested to work on this
particular problem.

IMPORTANT: release candidates will not necessarily be upgradable since
subsequent versions may include packages that are older than those in
the previous version. Please consider this carefully before installing from
release candidate media on important machines.

Note also that there will be no inherent security support for these
snapshot releases.  The images do automatically set up testing-security
as an apt source during installation, so any DTSA's (Debian Testing
Security Advisories) will be automatically applied to snapshot
installations. However, the security team does not issue many updates
this way anymore (optioning instead to primarily use unstable uploads
as a means to fix testing). This is another area that could potentially be
improved if there are volunteers interested in this problem. For more
information on current testing security processes, see:

Ideally for those wishing to have a mostly security supported system,
the snapshot media will simply be a constantly working stepping stone
to install testing proper. One can use the testing snapshot media
followed by an "apt-get dist-upgrade" to testing proper, which does
receive quasi-official support from the security team (i.e. uploads to
unstable that transition to testing).

This is an unofficial project since it does not come with the backing
or support from Debian as a team, but hopefully that will change in the
future as the concept is proven out.

Anyway, enjoy!  And send feedback to cut-team at lists.alioth.debian.org.

Best wishes,
Mike Gilbert

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