Debian 12.1 released with bug fixes aplenty and excitement still in short supply

The next version, 'Trixie', is starting to take shape and boasts an additional official CPU architecture

The first point release in the Debian "Bookworm" series is here, but version 12.1 is a modest bugfix. It might be time for even the ultra-cautious to start taking a look.

Debian "Bookworm" got its first point release with the launch of version 12.1 last weekend. When we covered the release of version 12.0 in June, we called it excitement-free, and we meant that the good way: if you're managing Linux boxes in production, a lack of excitement is exactly what you want.

Over on Mastodon, we received a gentle telling-off for this: a veteran penguin-wrangler reminded us that experienced sysadmins do not deploy point-zero releases of anything anywhere, except in testing. If you want boringly predictable, you wait for at least version point-one. It's a fair argument, and that has long been our general policy with macOS releases: let the early adopters get their fingers burned, and wait for things to settle down.

Well, they are settling down. Looking at the release notes, 89 packages have been updated, including the CUPS printer package, Nvidia drivers, and both GNOME and MATE desktops, as well as 26 security updates.

We updated our Lomiri test VM, and while it went perfectly smoothly, the prototype converged desktop environment is no more usable in 12.1 than it was in 12.0. That's to be expected in a Debian point release, which generally just contain bug fixes and updates, not whole new versions of components – a point which sometimes causes some angst among even the most noted software authors.

For that, you will have to wait for Debian 13, which will be code named "Trixie". Although there's a placeholder page for its release notes, there is no version 13 to install as of yet – it's not expected until 2025 or so. However, a significant piece of info about the next major version was announced by developer Aurélien Jarno the day after 12.1: "Trixie" will officially support 64-bit RISC-V.

Even though there's nothing to install yet, the riscv64 port's status page is starting to get some information. The plan is to start with a base set of about 90 core source packages, and work up from there.

This is separate to the 32-bit RISC-V port, although that page notes that as most 32-bit RISC-V hardware is extremely low-end, it may not be usefully able to run Debian at all. ®

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