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About non-Stable files in Cloud images: create a Blend ? Distribute image builders on ftp.debian.org ? More liberal Stable updates ? (Re: Debian images on Microsoft Azure cloud)

Le Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 04:01:50PM +0100, Thomas Goirand a écrit :
> Unfortunately, "driven by technological necessity", or the size of
> changes, isn't a point of argumentation (see my previous mail). All of
> the packages must be taken from stable, unchanged, and if some are taken
> from backports, this must be explicit, and the image shouldn't be called
> "stable Debian". Official, yes, but not stable (maybe stable + some
> backports would be ok...).

Hi Thomas and everybody,

in practice, the Debian "Stable" images for AWS and now Azure contain bits that
are not from Stable, for instance the cloud-init backport.  Thus, the current
consensus is to call Debian "Stable" the images where all extra additions are

I agree that it is not ideal, and that it would be much simpler if "Debian
Stable" meant that 100% of the system originates from the material present or
referenced in <http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/stable/main/>.  In the case
of a standard Debian installation, this point is true since Debian-Installer
itself is distributed under the above URL (although if I remember correctly,
its sources are not).

Would it make sense to mimick this for image generators like bootstrap-vz and
the like ?  I am not sure if it would be a good idea since it would give extra
work and complications (for instance, who decides when an update is adequate,
etc.).  What do other people think ?

Remains the case of packages pulled from stable-backports or even unstable.
Calling the resulting system "Stable plus backports" would be misleading, since
this does not convey the information that the amount of backported packages
is kept to the strict minimum.

In the end, I start to think that it would be a good idea to create a Blend as
suggested earlier on this list.  It can not be a Pure Blend, since they only
contain packages from a single release.  However, there is a good example of a
non-Pure blend that is almost like Stable, with only minimal differences
(perhaps they even have been now reduced to zero): Debian Edu.

So if the needs of cloud images on various platforms are similar enough, how
about creating a non-Pure blend called "Debian Cloud" ?  This is much more
self-explanatory than "Stable (plus backports)", and it could start as just a
page on www.debian.org explaining what images are available, and what the
differences are compared to Stable.  What do other people think about this ?

Lastly, a more radical solution would be to allow Stable updates of key
packages, even when they do not conform with the usual policy for Stable
updates.  In the case of cloud-init for instance, I think that it would be
possible to coordinate such updates on this list, without rushing and with
giving all needed attention if there is feedback requesting to not do the
updates.  This may open the possibility to have 100 % Stable images.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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