Debian Jessie Enters End of Life Phase

If you’re still running Debian Jessie as of today, then you might not be as secure as you were just 24 hours ago. Debian GNU/Linux 8, better known as Debian Jessie, has stopped receiving regular security updates with the last of these having come out on June 17.

Released back on April 25, 2015, Jessie has been considered the so-called oldstable branch of the popular Linux distribution ever since the ninth edition was released just one year ago. The eighth OS implementation reached end of life on the anniversary of this release.

The good news is that security support has been handed over to the Debian Long Term Support (LTS) team, so users will continue to receive updates for some packages. While these updates will only be offered for a limited number of packages, the list of priority updates will more than likely consist of the most important pieces of software involved in networking and web browsing.

Since these packages are those that usually need to be patched the most often, users are still reasonably safe under the LTS team. Additional support is available for at least the following architectures:

• i386

• amd64

• armel

• armhf

Users who have installed Debian on machines built on any of these architectures should continue to receive at least some updates until June 30, 2020. Enterprise environments that need to run mission critical applications on Jessie after this date can elect to receive Extended Long Term Support (ELTS) updates.

This service is commercial, however, and it only works with i386 and amd64 devices. LTS support for machines running Debian GNU/Linux 9, which is also known as Stretch, will last until June 2022, which makes it an attractive option for those who want to upgrade in advance to avoid any problems with the retiring release.

If you’ve deployed Debian Jessie on something other than one of the CPU architectures that receive LTS updates, then you’ll need to consider upgrading as soon as possible. As well as the aforementioned architectures, Debian Stretch should securely work with armd64, mips, mipsel, mips64el, ppc64el and s390x machines. This is welcome news to those running certain types of server units that need to keep things as locked down as possible.

John Rendace
John is a GNU/Linux expert with a hobbyist's background in C/C++, Web development, storage and file system technologies. In his free time, he maintains custom and vintage PC hardware. He's been compiling his own software from source since the DOS days and still prefers using the command line all these years later.