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Debian GNU/Linux FAQ
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5.6.1 What about "testing"? How is it `frozen'?

When the "testing" distribution is mature enough, the release manager starts `freezing' it. The normal propagation delays are increased to ensure that as little as possible new bugs from "unstable" enter "testing".

After a while, the "testing" distribution becomes truly `frozen'. This means that all new packages that are to propagate to the "testing" are held back, unless they include release-critical bug fixes. The "testing" distribution can also remain in such a deep freeze during the so-called `test cycles', when the release is imminent.

We keep a record of bugs in the "testing" distribution that can hold off a package from being released, or bugs that can hold back the whole release. For details, please see current testing release information.

Once that bug count lowers to maximum acceptable values, the frozen "testing" distribution is declared "stable" and released with a version number.

With each new release, the previous "stable" distribution becomes obsolete and moves to the archive. For more information please see Debian archive.

Debian GNU/Linux FAQ
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