But the emergence of Lenny, or version 5.0, on Saturday, February 14, will be tinged with some sadness as well, following the death of a developer in a tragic accident last year.
Debian project leader (DPL) Steve Mcintyre said: "We will be dedicating the Lenny release to our long-term contributor and friend Thiemo Seufer, who was tragically killed in a car accident in Germany on December 26 last year.
"He was responsible for much of the work on the Debian MIPS ports and was always happy to help, sharing his technical excellence and good humour with many of us over the years. Thiemo's tireless efforts in Debian and many other projects will be sorely missed."
Mcintyre said Lenny had much newer versions of all the major packages: GNOME, KDE, OpenOffice, the kernel, etc. "We've added a lot more improvements into our own projects like the installer, and (my own favourite, because I did the work!) for the first time we will be shipping Blu-ray images of Debian. Of course, there are a *huge* number of new and updated packages for our users to play with and I can't hope to do them all justice here," he said.
Asked whether he would be running for DPL again after having experienced a few stressful months when the project went through some major discussions about free software,, McIntyre said he was still undecided.
The discussions ended in a vote which resulted in the project secretary Manoj Srivastava resigning.
"The job is rewarding, but very stressful from time to time. I'm happy that I have achieved the goals I set out for myself when running as DPL for the first time, but I never really found enough time to take on the later things I was hoping for. Ask me again in a month or so when I've had more time to dither," McIntyre said.