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The next version of Debian - the basis of Ubuntu - could arrive this weekend, five months late and just as it's been hacked into phones running Google's Android.

The weekend of February 14 has been penciled in as a "tentative target" for the long-awaited Lenny release of Debian, the project team has said.

Coming in the wake of past busted Lenny deadlines the Lenny team promised they'd stick to this weekend's date saying they'd only shift if something really critical popped up that can't be handled as an errata, or if they end up unable to release during the weekend because of a technical problem.

Lenny has been in "deep freeze" since the second release candidate was posted on January 31, with the team testing packages in the release as they stand, without major new features or code changes added.

The Debian team last December said it expected a "good number" of bugs to affect the Lenny RC but a short list of bugs that "must absolutely be fixed" would be drawn up.

Others would be shifted to a later date. Already, the Lenny team has promised an update release called "Lenny-and-a-half" that will add drivers needed for newer hardware.

If the Debian team stick to the plan, then the good news is at least Lenny beat the worst expectations of its release. Debian Bastian developer Venthur last October calculated it would take a further eight to nine months to bring Lenny up to release quality. The acid test will be in the reception Lenny gets this weekend, and whether people like what they get or feel bugs important to them went unfixed in order to hit this weekend's latest deadline.

Among the planned Lenny features are support for full IPv6 support, Network File System (NFS) 4 and Large File System (LFS), and Asus EEE hardware.

Ahead of that, it seems enterprising hackers (here and here) have put Debian on T-Mobile's G1 cellphone, running Android. The hackers said they got fully fledged Debian on their G1 Android phones, and were able to access the "full plethora of programs available in Debian" while continuing to use the phone to make and receive calls.

One claimed his installer and bootloader could get you up and running in 10 minutes. The trick is the fact Debian already supports ARM EABI architecture used by Android.

Android purists, meanwhile, can stick with what they know. Google Monday released the Android 1.1 SDK here

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