Re: How to keep debian current??
Thanks for the comprehensive reply, it's like you just whipped up a new documentation for this problem ;)
I think it's best for me to run lenny with backport. My need is actually only a stable home system. I do favor current apps though; I often use betas (but not alphas), but I can live with old apps.
From: Wolodja Wentland <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 15 May 2010 13:55:55
Subject: Re: How to keep debian current??
On Sat, May 15, 2010 at 10:12 +0000, RyanJB wrote:
> After much considering, I think I'll stick to lenny but I will install
> some package from sid..
That is probbaly the worst way to deal with your "need" for newer
software, as it is quite hard to keep a mixed stable/sid system that
could be considered "stable" as defined by Debian.
Given that you claim to be inexperienced with Debian and/or .deb based
distributions in general I would suggest one of the following ways to
cure your "shiny new shit syndrome" ;)
1. Stable + backports
This is probably the easiest way to get newer versions for packages
given that they have been backported. You can find instructions on how
to use backports on:
2. Stable + backports + simple sid backports
If you "need" packages from sid that have not yet been backported, you
can try to backport them yourself given that their dependencies can be
satisfied in stable. The basic way to deal with this is:
a. Add ONLY a "deb-src ..." line for sid to your sources.list.
b. apt-get update / aptitude update
c. aptitude install build-essential
apt-get build-dep packagename
apt-get -b source packagename
d. Install the resultant debs.
This last two approaches work well if you just need the newer version
for a couple of packages, for example if the version of apache2 shipped
with lenny does not support a feature you need.
I am not sure if that is enough for you, but you might want to ask
yourself first what you are trying to achieve eventually. *Why* do you
need newer versions? What are you doing with your computer? What are
your usage patterns? What features are missing from lenny that you
If you need them, just because you *always* want the newest upstream
release, you can consider one of the following approaches:
3. Run testing or sid
I think that running testing or sid is what you *might* actually want,
but you have to prepare yourself for the occasional problem you have to
fix yourself and you might need a sound understanding of Linux and
Debian packaging in order to fix *some* of the problems that you might
That being said, I want to point out that I have been tracking testing
for some time now and rarely faced an issue I could not fix. Moreover
testing (and sid?) is actually quite stable (in the sense of "not
breaking your system") and might be the best choice for your.
In particular I have made good experiences with the following scheme:
1. Track stable for 6-12 months after the release
2. Track testing until it is released as stable
3. Goto 1
4. Use a different distribution
Why don't you use one of the Debian-based distribution until you are
more comfortable with Linux and Debian administration and therefore able
to fix the occasional problem you might run into yourself?
Don't get me wrong here - I don't want to argue against Debian, but
there might actually be distributions that are developed with users like
you in mind and you might actually be happier using one of those.
Having said all that, I would suggest the following:
Run stable and familiarise yourself with Debian and Linux, by reading
the following manuals: (excerpts from the dpkg bot on #debian)
1. Debian Reference
The Debian Reference will answer most of your questions about Debian. The
latest version (v2) is at http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debian-reference/ .
Read it after installing Debian and before asking for support, as it is the
closest thing Debian has to a manual. You can install this too, the package
name is debian-reference: 'aptitude install debian-reference'
2. Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition.
A fantastic book that is available at http://rute.2038bug.com/, can be
purchased at Borders, or install the rutebook package from non-free. It covers
Linux in a very non-distribution specific method. The start of the book is
"Binary and Octal" and ends with "Security Auditing".
Once you are familiar with Linux and Debian upgrade to testing and enjoy
the pleasures of a rolling release.
.''`. Wolodja Wentland <firstname.lastname@example.org>
: :' :
`. `'` 4096R/CAF14EFC
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