LinuxCNC has been accepted into the main Debian distribution. This means it is now possible to install a fully functioning LinuxCNC system, including a Preempt-RT realtime kernel suitable for running real hardware, entirely from official Debian package repositories.

This is a huge milestone and I’m very grateful to Steffen Möller and Petter Reinholdtsen from the Debian project for joining us and providing extensive help and support in this effort.

LinuxCNC is currently in Debian’s “unstable” distribution (aka “sid”, the kid who breaks your toys). We’re expecting to transition into “testing” (aka “bookworm”) in the next few days, and possibly into “stable” (“bullseye”) some time after that.

We at will continue to provide up-to-date packages for older distributions (ie buster and older), and hopefully for newer distributions at some point in the future. You can continue to get the latest packages from our buildbot.

The version of LinuxCNC that got into Debian is our 2.9 prerelease, from our experimental master branch. We should look towards stabilizing this branch and making a real 2.9 release (or 3.0, or something) this spring and summer. It will be relatively straight-forward to update the version of LinuxCNC that’s distributed by Debian, now that the initial heavy lifting has been done.