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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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2.1.6 The frozen distribution

When the testing distribution is mature enough, it becomes frozen, meaning no new code is accepted anymore, just bugfixes, if necessary. Also, a new testing tree is created in the dists directory, assigned a new codename. The frozen distribution passes through a few months of testing, with intermittent updates and deep freezes called "test cycles". (The recent Woody release process did not create a symbolic link frozen/, so frozen was not a distribution but just a development stage of the testing distribution.)

We keep a record of bugs in the frozen distribution that can delay a package from being released or bugs that can hold back the whole release. Once that bug count lowers to maximum acceptable values, the frozen distribution becomes stable, it is released, and the previous stable distribution becomes obsolete (and moves to the archive).

Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire