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Re: mixing testing with stable

On Tue, 2003-09-30 at 10:37, Rod Rodolico wrote:
> I need MySQL 4.x on my server (some new things that are a "must have" for one of the apps I
> wrote), but was burned pretty badly by putting testing on a production box. But, I do like the
> idea of letting apt or something keep track of what I have on the machine, especially with the
> security updates.
> So, is there any way to get MySQL from testing, but keep the rest of the box on stable? Is
> there an apt-get command or something?

There are a few options;

1) use MySQL and anything it requires from testing

Just add testing to your /etc/apt/sources.list, create a
/etc/apt/preferences to pin your system to "stable", then use "apt-get
<package>/testing" to install the package. This will raise errors about
unmet dependencies for other packages needed from testing. Just add
these packages with "/testing" on the end to the command line until it
works, or use aptitude to see and resolve the dependencies.

The problem with this is stable is so old you will end up pulling in
heaps of packages from testing to meet the dependencies. After doing
this you might find your system so close to testing that it is better to
just upgrade to testing than deal with a mixed system.

2) build a stable MySQL from testing source.

This will require that you install everything needed to build MySQL.
I've forgotten the exact command line, but there is a tool and/or option
(apt-get build-dep ?) that will install all the build-dependencies,
download the source, and build the package.

The problem with this is you install heaps of additional packages to
support the build, and you are likely to find that you need to build
other packages from testing to meet all the dependencies. You might even
find you need to build packages to meet the build-dependencies.

3) find an unofficial repository for stable backports of MySQL.

These are simply builds done as per 2), but done by someone else so you
don't have to install/meet all the build-dependencies and deal with any
breakages :-)

In my experience 1) works OK, 2) is a PITA, and 3) is OK if you can find
a repository that is maintained.

In my experience testing is pretty good. It breaks less than unstable,
and is more up-to-date than stable. The biggest problem is security
updates, and occasional missing packages. The solution I've found is to
mix testing with either stable (particularly stable-updates) or unstable
(or both, but make sure you increase apt's Cache-Limit to about

Donovan Baarda <abo@minkirri.apana.org.au>

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