The goal of this transition is to ensure that 32-bit architectures in trixie (whether they are currently release architectures, or out of archive, etc) will be capable of handling current and future timestamps referring to times beyond 2038. (…) The implementation of this plan (…) involves mass-NMUs of > 1200 library packages to rename them for (presumed) ABI-breaking changes.

Here’s a glibc roadmap 1 of one possible solution, which sounds pretty sensible to me. It’s not clear to me whether Debian is doing that, something else, or a combination.

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  1. DRAFT: Y2038 Proofness Design
  2. First draft of the Y2038 design document
  3. 64-bit time_t transition in progress


  1. From mailing list.