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Re: Debian Update Cycle

On Thu, Mar 24, 2022 at 10:27:42PM +0100, phil995511 - wrote:
> Hello,
> Don't you think it would be smart to integrate all the updates contained in
> the Backports directory with each new minor update of our favorite OS ? For
> example for the versions 11.3, 11.4, etc ?

In my (limited) view: no, this would not be a useful idea if we wanted
to maintain some degree of stability / backwards compatibility between
point releases.

The packages in backports generally are less general they are also very
much less tested. The net effect would be to render each point release
(roughly every three months or so) potentially less stable than the last.

> This would make Debian easily compatible with all the new devices
> available, without having to use the line of code too much... it would
> therefore make Debian more accessible to all non-experienced Linux users.

It generally takes quite a time to make sure that Debian works on new
devices - certainly longer than a point release. Updates once every two
years on a major release seem sensible. [And some new devices never
achieve Debian support - that's in the way of things, especially, say
some with minority architectures].

> This would also facilitate the work of updating packages such as the Linux
> kernel, which would hardly need to be in the LTS version to be used on
> Debian and therefore maintained for many years by the Debian and Kernel.org
> maintainers.

You need a kernel maintained for about five years by the time you reach the
end of ELTS: "shiny new stuff" is always sligthly problematic.

> It would seem to me to strengthen the overall security of Debian, with less
> effort/labor.

Sadly, the same amount of labour to package and increased amounts of labour
to maintain distribution-wide I fear.
> Best regards.
> Philippe

All the very best, as ever,

Andy Cater

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