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Bug#885878: Bug #885878: net-retriever : backports support


Just to summarize what I have found about backports support in debian
installer (did I miss something important ?) :

As you pointed out previously, it may be useful to build netboot images
of the debian installer with a newer kernel - and even some newer udebs
from backports.

May I ask if your message :


reflects the current state of the efforts to merge backports support ?

I found bug reports #345408, #345419, #389430 about a general support of
multiple udeb sources in anna, and #562398 and #801161 about multiple 
udeb versions in Packages files (#885866 should possibly be merged 
with #801161).

Reading your message and the thread, I see three different use cases :
1 : kernel only : no udebs from backports but kernel modules and image.
2 : everything from backports : udebs from backports are preferred to others
(that's what you implemented, if I understand correctly)
3 : mixed : some udebs from backports are included, but some other not.

In the second case (everything from backports), dependencies should be 
satisfyied in the union of stable and backports. The question was if udebs 
from backports should be unconditionnally preferred. Or does the usual rule :
 'install the package with the newest version number' 
hold in this case ? 

As there is no such a mechanism as apt_preferences shipped with net-retriever,
how the dependencies between downloaded udebs should be resolved in the third 
case (mixed) is not clear to me. Is this of practical relevance ?

At the time of writing, five udeb packages for amd64 have versions in both 
stretch and stretch-backports :

brltty-udeb 5.4-7 5.5-2~bpo9+1
btrfs-progs-udeb 4.7.3-1 4.13.3-1~bpo9+1
debootstrap-udeb 1.0.89 1.0.92~bpo9+1
libudev1-udeb 232-25+deb9u1 234-3~bpo9+1
udev-udeb 232-25+deb9u1 234-3~bpo9+1
(brltty-udeb, libudev1-udeb and udev-udeb are included in the netboot image,
btrfs-progs-udeb and debootstrap-udeb are downloaded by net-retriever)

Neither btrfs-progs-udeb nor debootstrap-udeb have versioned dependencies 
which must be found in stretch-backports.

I hope it will help !

JH Chatenet

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