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Probs Installing Testing pkgs on Woody stable

Hi All,

I'm a Debian newbie.  Please be gentle.

I've installed Woody stable and now find that I need to install:
for a project I'm working on[1].  I think these packages are only available in 
Debian's Sarge/Testing, but I'm not entirely clear on how to tell that for 
sure.  When I try to dpkg --install them or apt-get install them I get errors 
to the effect that I'm going to screw with other packages if I install these.  
Sorry, I'm at home now and don't have the command lines I issued nor the 
error messages.

I've read parts of the apt howto, installation manuals, man pages for apt and 
dpkg, etc. and am feeling a little swamped with a lot of information.  I'm 
hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

I think my problems are, and hope for help with:
- I'm confused about apt-get vs. dpkg, when to use which and what they can and 
can't do.  I thought that one or both would magically handle the dependencies 
for me, installing what is needed for me even if it meant replacing packages 
with newer, testing, versions.
- Should I up[grade|date] my entire installation to Sarge/Testing?  If so, 
how?  The best I could find on Debian.org said that I should burn a minimal 
CD and then install from the net.  Burning the CD is no trouble but, when I 
tried to take this approch when installing Woody, it was not clear to me how 
to specify a network install and from which site[s] the deb packages should 
- Should I just install these packages in non-debian form (from sources)?

Ultimately, I only need to compile the hostap modules along with the custom 
kernel I'm building so that both will play nicely together.

Any tips, pointers to specific and helpful docs, debian/apt/dpkg zen are 

Thanks in advance and best regards,


[1] I'm building a Soekris Net4521[2] appliance using the Pebble[3] version of 
Debian, but I need to compile a custom kernel for some procfs software[4] 
I'll be writing.
[2] <http://www.soekris.com/net4521.htm>
[3] <http://www.nycwireless.net/pebble/>
[4] <http://www.linuxjournal.com/article.php?sid=6827>

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