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Re: i think I switched to Etch without knowing it

Guillaume TESSIER wrote:
> Apt doesn't know about binaries. It only looks at the version number.


> This means : the package-2.0 is my system (taken from the testing 
> repositories at (BIG-SWITCH -4)) could be different than the package-2.0 
> in the stable repositories.

No that is incorrect.  This is the big point of your confusion.  Stop
now and put this thought out of your head.  Continuing in that
direction leads to madness and the dark side of the force.

In the Debian archive across all of oldstable, stable, testing,
unstable a package-2.0 is exactly the same package-2.0 in all of them.
If there is any change to the package no matter how small then it must
have a new release number associated with it giving it a new filename.

Packages enter unstable and when the package meets the criteria to
move to testing then that package moves to testing.  Not a different
package but the same package.  This is the way packages get into
testing is by being put into unstable first.  Therefore a package in
testing cannot be different than the same package in unstable.

When Debian releases the testing release becomes the stable release.
Therefore packages do not enter stable without going through testing,
which enterred originally in unstable.  Therefore a package in stable
cannot be different than the same package in testing.

Stable is long lived and there are minor releases prepared for stable
on a regular basis.  These are all hand delivered outside the
automated part of the system into stable.  Unique packages must have a
unique version number such that proper upgrades are assured.  The
release managers ensure the proper behavior here.  The number of those
packages is very small by comparison to the entire archive.

> And APT won't see it and won't upgrade this package. Therefore it
> seems it's not possible to fully upgrade from a Sarge testing to a
> sarge stable.

That is incorrect because of the incorrect assumptions.  Since all
packages do have proper version numbers APT will be able to do the
right upgrades as needed.  Fear not.

You can prove this to yourelf.  Pick a package that has the same
version number in two different releases.  Pick say 'coreutils' right
now which is the same in both stable and testing.  Do it quick because
this is definitely a package that will change before the next
release.  But right now it is the same.

  editor /etc/apt/sources.list  # set to testing
  apt-get update
  apt-cache show coreutils | grep -E 'MD5sum|Version'
  Version: 5.2.1-2
  MD5sum: 3f03887392dd97b02a72959d4082324a

  editor /etc/apt/sources.list  # set to stable
  apt-get update
  apt-cache show coreutils | grep -E 'MD5sum|Version'
  Version: 5.2.1-2
  MD5sum: 3f03887392dd97b02a72959d4082324a

You will always see the same md5sum associated with the same package
version.  Go to the package tracking page.


You will see the list of uploads in the latest news section.  Select
the one that matches stable.  Unfortunately there is no static URL to
point to here.  But in that upload message (the .changes file) you
will see the md5sum for the resulting binary deb package.

   3f03887392dd97b02a72959d4082324a 2580586 base required coreutils_5.2.1-2_i386.deb

That md5sum matches the version the end up in the release tracks.  It
is comforting to know that the accounting balances.


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