Debian GNU/Linux runs on computers ranging from palmtops and handheld systems to supercomputers, and on nearly everything in between. A total of twelve architectures are supported.
Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 Lenny adds support for Marvell's Orion platform which is used in many storage devices. Supported storage devices include the QNAP Turbo Station series, HP Media Vault mv2120, and Buffalo Kurobox Pro. Additionally, Lenny now supports several Netbooks, in particular the Eee PC by Asus. Lenny also contains the build tools for Emdebian which allow Debian source packages to be cross-built and shrunk to suit embedded ARM systems.
This release includes numerous updated software packages, such as the K Desktop Environment 3.5.10 (KDE), an updated version of the GNOME desktop environment 2.22.2, the Xfce 4.4.2 desktop environment, LXDE 0.3.2.1, the GNUstep desktop 7.3, X.Org 7.3, OpenOffice.org 2.4.1, GIMP 2.4.7, Iceweasel 3.0.6 (an unbranded version of Mozilla Firefox), Icedove 184.108.40.206 (an unbranded version of Mozilla Thunderbird), PostgreSQL 8.3.6, MySQL 5.0.51a, GNU Compiler Collection 4.3.2, Linux kernel version 2.6.26, Apache 2.2.9, Samba 3.2.5, Python 2.5.2 and 2.4.6, Perl 5.10.0, PHP 5.2.6, Asterisk 220.127.116.11, Emacs 22, Inkscape 0.46, Nagios 3.06, Xen Hypervisor 3.2.1 (dom0 as well as domU support), OpenJDK 6b11, and more than 23,000 other ready-to-use software packages (built from over 12,000 source packages).
With the integration of X.Org 7.3 the X server autoconfigures itself with most hardware. Newly introduced packages allow the full support of NTFS filesystems and the use of most multimedia keys out of the box. Support for Adobe® Flash® format files is available via the swfdec or Gnash plugins. Overall improvements for notebooks have been introduced, such as out of the box support of CPU frequency scaling. For leisure time several new games have been added, including puzzle games as well as first-person shooters. Also notable is the introduction of goplay, a graphical games browser offering filters, search, screenshots and descriptions for games in Debian.
The availability and updates of OpenJDK, GNU Java compiler, GNU Java bytecode interpreter, Classpath and other free versions of Sun's Java technology, into Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 allow us to ship Java-based applications in Debian's main repository.
Further improvements in system security include the installation of available security updates before the first reboot by the Debian Installer, the reduction of setuid root binaries and open ports in the standard installation, and the use of GCC hardening features in the builds of several security-critical packages. Various applications have specific improvements, too.
Debian GNU/Linux can be installed from various installation media such as DVDs, CDs, USB sticks and floppies, or from the network. GNOME is the default desktop environment and is contained on the first CD. Other desktop environments — KDE, Xfce, or LXDE — can be installed.
The installation process for Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 has been improved in many ways: among many other improvements, support for installation from more than one CD or DVD has been restored, firmware required by some devices can be loaded by using removable media, and installations via Braille display are supported. The installer boot process has also received much attention: a graphical menu can be used to choose front-ends and desktop environments, and to select expert or rescue mode.