Bug#468573: Default sources.list should use release names, not 'stable'
It's almost a daily occurence on #debian for people to come in with
broken systems because the installer has given them a sources.list
with 'stable', and they've unintentionally upgraded partially to a new
release by doing a simple packaging operation. It seems that it would
be better for the installer to use explicit release names instead of
Of course, the fact that people are having trouble with something
doesn't necessarily mean that it's wrong. Even so, I can't see the
upside of using 'stable'. An oldstable->stable upgrade is not simple
enough that it makes sense for it to happen as a natural result of
using the packaging tools as opposed to because the admin has made a
deliberate decision to upgrade.
In the case of people who simply aren't aware of the idea of
oldstable->stable upgrades, I think it makes more sense to leave their
systems as the originally-installed release indefinitely than it does
to let them partially upgrade (or do an attempt at an upgrade with
dist-upgrade). I think the chance that they'll figure out that the
apt output they're seeing means that they need to go to
www.debian.org, read the release notes, and then follow them carefully
in order to upgrade their system, is quite small.