Today, July 4, 2016, Cyril Brulebois from the Debian Project has announced the release of the seventh Alpha build of the installer for the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” operating system.

The Debian Installer Stretch Alpha 7 release comes one and a half months after the sixth Alpha build, which hit the streets at the end of May, moving the development cycle forward to a final launch. And by the looks of it, there are some various exciting things implemented in this version.

Let’s start with the improvements, as Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” Alpha 7 Installer moves the Linux kernel support from 4.5.0-2 to 4.6.0-1, and it bumps the support for the kfreebsd kernel to version 10.3. Moreover, it implements two beeps for scenarios when booting the OS with the GRUB bootloader, informing users that they need to use the GRUB way to edit entries in the boot menu.

The hardware support has been greatly improved

As expected, the newly integrated Linux 4.6 and kfreebsd 10.3 kernels have brought support for many hardware devices. For example, there’s now a u-boot configuration script to support the Seagate Personal Cloud and Seagate NAS devices, there’s support for several Linkstation devices on the ARM port, and it looks like the MIPS64el (MIPS 64-bit Little Endian) hardware architecture is now officially supported.

Furthermore, EFI detection has been added for the ARMhf (ARM Hard Float) port of the installer, the fb-modules package has been implemented in the ARM64 (AArch64) port and the ata-modules one to the MIPS port. On the other hand, some of the old hardware devices are no longer supported by the Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” installer, and among them are MIPS-based Cobalt machines and NSLU2 network-attached storage (NAS) devices.

Last but not least, a total of 75 languages are available in the Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” Alpha 7 Installer, which early adopters can download and test right now. However, please try to keep in mind that this is a pre-release version, which means that it’s not stable enough to be used in production environments. More details should be available in the official announcement.

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