Re: Can I stay in testing without going etch?
On Sat, May 20, 2006 at 11:10:13AM -0500, Owen Heisler wrote:
> On Thu, 2006-05-18 at 23:37 -0400, Roberto C. Sanchez wrote:
> > Adam Hardy wrote:
> > >
> > > You mean 'testing' and 'etch' are interchangeable as far as the
> > > sources.list entry goes?
> > >
> > >
> > lrwxrwxrwx 1 200 200 4 Jun 06 2005 testing -> etch
> > The stable/testing/unstable names are just symlinks to the actual
> > codenames. So for now, testing and etch are the same. Once etch is
> > released, the symlinks will be upadted and testing will no longer be etch.
> > -Roberto
> I have been following this thread as I am working on switching to
> Debian, and have just these questions:
> If I install Debian stable and have "stable" in the sources.list file,
> will updates keep happening, even across releases?
'stable' is just that -- stable. It doesn't change much. Except not
wnd then, when the stable distribution is hopelessly out-of-date, it is
replace by another whole distribution, when that has been debugged
enough to be considered stable in its own right. The day that happens,
if you have 'stable' in the sources.list file, your system will start
upgrading to the new stable. The change may be traumatic. It may go
wrong. It may replace well-loved programs that you rely on by their new
versions that don't do quite what you want, or may be incompatible with
software you have written and compiles yourself, requiring (at the
least) recompilation. The new versions may require different
configuration from the old ones.
All of this is manageable, but it is not something you want to happen to
you when you are working to a project deadline. It is something you
want to plan and schedule for a convenient time.
Therefore, I now specify "sarge" on my machines that run stable. I
regularly update them with security upgrades. And when "etch" becomes
stable, I perform a dist-upgrade them at a convenient time, after making
sure I have adequate backups. (I consider a complete, running copy of
the system in separate partitions adequate for this purpose. If the
upgrade fails, I reboot into the backup system. Yes. I test the backup
system by actual use *before* the upgrade.)
So the short anwser is, yes, what you propose will work,
But be prepared for a disaster to hit at an unexpected time if you do
> I think it would be
> great it I never had to reinstall, yet could still have a completely
> up-to-date system.
You don't have to reinstall unless you somehow *really* badly damage
your system. Debian is designed to not have to be reinstalled.
> Also, is the same true for unstable and testing?
However, with testing the shoe is on the other foot. testing is
continually updated. So tracking testing will involve frequent small
updates, occasional minor breakage that you can address in the context
of a mostly working system. And when a new distribution becomes stable,
the new stable distro is effectively a copy of testing; The next time
this happens, a copy of etch will be the new stable, a new name will be
chosen to replace the name 'etch' for testing.or etch,
and testing while testing itself goes on changing gradually.
If you subscribe to testing, it will go on changing gradually. If you
subscribe to etch, at that time your system will stop tracking testing,
and will track (the new) stable.
> Thanks for clarifying.
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