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Re: Stable vs Etch

[I accidentally posted this to russ directly, posting to list now]
On 2/3/06, Russ Cook <russcook@mbo.net> wrote:
> I am currently running a 64-bit system, using Stable in my apt sources.list.
> I find that some packages are unavailable to me (as expected).  I understand
> that amd64 is not an official part of the archives yet, but all the
> ramifications
> are unclear to me.
Not all packages are available in testing, and unstable either. If you
want to run a package not in the amd64 archive (such as openoffice,
flash and so on), you'll have to install a 32-bit chroot.
See this howto:

> Is Etch the current unstable source tree for amd64,
> or is
> it testing, and is unstable more unstable than testing, or vice-versa?
Dist name association is (http://www.debian.org/releases/)
Stable: Sarge
Testing: Etch
Unstable: Sid

It doesn't matter which architecture you run, the dist name
association is the same.
You can refer to the distribution either as "etch", either as
"testing" (for example).
So you can put "testing" in your apt sources, and even when another
release appears, you are going to use the new "testing" distribution.
If you say etch, then you are going to use the etch distribution, even
when it becomes stable, oldstable and so on.
If you say unstable, or sid you are going to use that, as "sid" is
always the name of the unstable distro.
I hope I explained this clear enough.

> I want to be able to play and write dvds, run Azureus, etc, but I don't want
> to take any more risks than necessary of my system crashing due to
> experimental packages.  I'm will to take some risk, but I'd like to know the
> relative levels with the various packages.
I am using the unstable distribution on amd64, and didn't have
crashes. I was using the unstable distribution on i386 too. I didn't
notice 'unstable on amd64' being "more unstable" than 'unstable on
i386'. Of course since you are currently using stable I recomend
staying with it. Upgrade to testing  though, if you have hardware that
is not supported by stable.

>  I guess what I'm really
> asking is
> what is the correspondence between degress of stability with stable,
> unstable, testing, experimental, and what dist names are associated with
> these levels - Sid, Sarge, Etch, etc?

See my answer above

> What does debian-marrilat offer that the other mirrors don't?
I don't know, perhaps somebody else can shed some light on this.


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