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Bugfix/hardware support updates to stable releases?


About a month ago I inquired here as to what Debian is doing regarding backported updates for stable releases. I did get some good responses to that thread, and I see why Debian doesn't expend too much energy making significant updates (like new GNOME, Xorg, etc etc) to *stable* releases - it would make them *un*stable.

However, this still leaves the question of bugfixes and hardware support updates - things that, while not necessarily "new-toolchain" complexity, are mostly excluded by the current updates policy. As of now, there is no way for stable users to get many bugfixes or support for hardware released recently (basically anything since fall of last year) without resorting to installing testing/unstable packages or unsupported packages, all of which are not security supported. 

In my case, this has been quite a pain, as I have had to backport the kernel and about 5 auxiliary packages from testing/unstable to get reasonable functionality on my machine (a MacBook).  I've also had to backport libgksu to get a fix for a problem which causes there to be an extremely high amount of CPU wakeups when gksu is used (as that kills battery life).

Is there any plans to work on supporting such issues in the stable release, either through -volatile or the release updates?  It would be nice to be able to - for instance - easily install using  a new kernel with better driver support when running on a recent machine.  This may not be a HUGE issue now, but it will be a year from now - witness the issues with Sarge and various SATA chipsets to see what can happen.  If developers are working on this, I'd love to help as I can - it's by far the most significant issue holding me back from using any form of (GNU/)Linux.

Yes, I know that users can always run testing or unstable, but not everybody wants that - things *do* break, and you end up with large-scale upgrades to the toolchain and core packages occurring quite often.  That's fine for a Debian developer or power user, but not for everyone.  Personally, *I* can run unstable, but would prefer to have a stable OS in addition to a development machine.

Anyway, I'd love to hear what developers have to think on this....

Thanks once again for the great distribution,


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