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testing to be implemented on ftp-master

On Wed, Dec 13, 2000 at 12:26:20AM +0000, James Troup wrote:
> Well, it wasn't quite days[1], but ftp-master is now using package
> pools.

And, days later, we're ready to roll out "testing" too.

For those who haven't been following closely, "testing" is an automated
way of keeping a suite (potato, woody, etc) in an essentially releasable
state: packages are installable, don't have release critical bugs, and
are consistent across all the architectures we're planning on releasing.

The "about" page is currently at:

Some past discussion is at:


Some coverage is at:

So, how will this actually work, since we have package pools? Basically,
we'll end up with something like the following:

	stable:   potato
	testing:  woody
	unstable: sid

When woody is released, this will become:

	stable:   woody
	testing:  sarge
	unstable: sid

New packages will be uploaded to unstable, added to the pool and initially
only referenced by sid. After 14 days, and assuming no problems are
found, and it's successfully recompiled on all appropriate architectures,
and so forth, a new package becomes a candidate for testing, and will
get added into it as soon as anything it depends on is also added (with
appropriate handling for mutually dependant packages).

In order to make sure testing starts off on the right foot (ie, with
fewer RC bugs rather than more, and with consistent packages across
architectures, woody will be rolled back to being the same as potato
(ie, 2.2r2) before having the testing scripts applied to it.

In addition, unreleased architectures will only appear in unstable (sid),
not testing.

What this means is:

	* if you want to stay on the bleeding edge, point apt at unstable,
	  rather than woody, and you'll stay there.

	* if you're using an unreleased architecture (hurd-i386,
	  hppa, etc) point apt at unstable (*not* woody), at least until
	  it's ready to be released.

	* if you want a taste of what the next release will be like,
	  without the risk, you will be able to point apt at testing,
	  or woody. [0]

	* if you stay pointing at woody, many of the packages you've got
	  installed will remain newer than those that'll be available,
	  until various problems in the packages themselves get worked


[0] This can only be a taste, though, since atm glibc 2.2 isn't suitable
    for release yet (since it doesn't build on m68k and arm), which has
    a flow through effect to most of the last couple of month's package,
    most notably X 4.
Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

     ``Thanks to all avid pokers out there''
                       -- linux.conf.au, 17-20 January 2001

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