Debian 9 (Stretch) and MX-16

With the release of Debian Stretch as the new Stable, many users have begun to wonder how that relates to MX Linux. These Questions and Answers are designed to respond to that understandable reaction.

Q: When will MX Linux change its base to the new Stable?
A: The official change will occur with the release of MX-17, tentatively scheduled for the end of 2017.

Q: Why don't you start now?
A: MX Linux will utilize three resources for the development of MX-17: the new Debian Stable, Xfce 4.14 and antiX-17. Both Xfce 4.14 and antiX-17 are still in development at this time.

Q: Why does it take so long?
A: Many packages and procedures change when a new Stable is released, the new Xfce will have ported everything over to some newer version of gtk+ 3 (perhaps Stretch's 3.22), and antiX-17 will be bringing new items. Those changes require careful testing, since MX Linux stresses stability over novelty.

Q: Is the old Stable (Jessie) now going to be unsupported and disappear?
A: No. You will continue to receive all security upgrades, first from Debian Security itself and then from Debian Long Term Support until April 2020. Furthermore, the MX Linux Forum will continue to support users using Jessie the same way it has with MEPIS 12 and MX-14, both based on Debian Wheezy.

Q: Won't all the packages now become way out of date?
A: MX Linux has been constantly backporting from Stretch before it became the new Stable. As a result, many of our packages are at least up to Stretch, if not beyond. Some of the libraries and proprietary drivers may present problems that will have to be worked out.

Q: Can I just switch to the new Stable myself?
A: Technically, yes. We have provided instructions along with known problems in a Wiki article.

Be aware that things will break. You will be doing this at your own risk and MX Linux will not be able to support you in any official manner, though you can check the Forum for a possible Community topic.

Q: Why do you say that things will break?

A: Debian Stable can be upgraded in place from version to version automatically as long as the Debian Stable repos are used exclusively. MX uses its own programs and libraries that can interfere with Debian's dist-upgrade path, and users often install programs from outside the MX and Debian repos that might have dependencies problems.