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backporting Questions


I've been reading this list for months, over and over again I see that we (users) are discouraged from running mixed environments, many good reasons have been given for not running mixed environments. Often the alternative of backporting the application from testing or unstable has been provided as a solution. I have a number of questions about backporting. Please snip and don't top post in your responses (makes it more readable)

1) when you issue the command "apt-get -b build-dep" what exactly does the build-dep do, does it install dependencies from the branch your trying to install the package from? 1a) when it lists the files to be installed, what happens if they have dependencies, do you have to keep drilling down?
1b) is there a script out there to automate the drill down?
1c)do you end up with a system at testing or unstable by stealth, because it has recursively installed so many products?
2) will these dependency files overwrite existing files?
3) can you remove these dependant files after you've managed to install your package, as one email I found indicated? 4) if a package is very easy to backport, why isn't this done as part of the original build process? 5) In one email I saw this command " apt-get -b build-dep packagename/testing", this format didn't work for me as apt tried to find packagename/testing instead of packagename in the testing branch. Is this suppose to work?



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