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Re: Debian Updates?

> Hi all,

> Ok, I'm a little confused on how updates to the Debian system are
> supposed to work.  I hope someone can help me figure it out

Well, let's at least giveit a try =)

> So what determines an "r" release?  The Debian pages say the current
> release is at 2.1r2.  How do I know if I have an "r2" release?  Are 
> "r" changes automatically rolled into the "stable" dist online?

I *think* r releases affect the install process only, since the 
updates must be making it in the apt-available updates. For example, 
Slink was delayed because of troubles on the install-floppy. If those 
problems had some leftovers discovered only after slink was released, 
we'd put up a 2.1r1 release. Though I'm not rock-certain on that one.

> What about security updates?  I've added "deb
> http://security.debian.org/ stable updates" to my sources.list file 
> I see that not all the security updates are in "security.debian.org" 
> rather some (like procmail) are still in "proposed-updates".

a) Security.debian.org is kinda pretty new. So, it might just not yet 
be up-to-date, or some packages might have been uploaded to 
proposed-updates before security.debian.org was created.

b) security.debian.org deals on SECURITY. Holes that hackers can use, 
things that can have malicious users to abuse your comp. Etc. (READ: 
Things that'll make your boss mistrust his employees). It has been 
created to deal with with these issues as quick as possible. Not to 
resolve 'normal' updates to Debian.

> How does "proposed-updates" differ from "unstable"?

Proposed-updates are going to stable distrib. Unstable aren't.

> Speaking of unstable.  What if my favorite package of "foo-1.0" gets
> updated to "foo-1.1".  Will that package ever make it back into the
> "stable" tree or will is belong to the "unstable" tree until that 
> tree becomes the next stable release?  If it's going to remain in the
> "unstable" tree is there a way to automatically get apt to show it,
> *and* offer me a choice of the "unstable" foo-1.1 or the "stable"
> foo-1.0?  I assume that if I add an 'unstable' entry to my 
> file I will have essentially initiated and "update" to the "unstable"
> tree - I don't necessarily want that (yet).

Most of the time, some major changes occur in unstable. For 
slink->potato, we change the libc6 package from glibc2 to glibc2.1 
Although a minor version number, it has introduced lot of changes in 
real life, and warrants on its own a new Debian distrib. (IMHO) The 
problem being, almost every single package depends on that one. So, if 
you would want to update foo1.0 to foo1.1, you might have to update 
libc6 as well. (And since glibc2.0->2.1 isn't always source 
compatible, there's some real chances you WILL have to update) Once 
you updated to glibc2.1, you might have to update other packages, etc. 
etc. etc. 

> I hope you'll excuse my meandering confusion with this question.

> Thanks,
> Marc
> --
> Marc Matteo
> Web Engineer, The Sacramento Bee
> http://www.sacbee.com
> "We're a newspaper, we don't actually own any bees."

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