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Re: Which version

Russell L. Harris wrote:
> You are running the "stable" release. Most people should be running
> the "testing" release of Debian, which currently is "Etch".

That "most people" is a bit loaded, but he's probably correct that you'd
be happier with Etch.

The way you'd upgrade to Etch, is like he says, run "apt-get (or
aptitude, preferred by many, including myself) update" followed by
"aptitude dist-upgrade", AFTER changing your source file. (It doesn't
hurt to do it before, but it won't do any good.)

Your source file is at /etc/apt/sources.list. You'll probably have one
to five lines referring to http or ftp; the "stable" in these lines need
to be changed to "etch". (You could change them to "testing", as "etch"
and "testing" are the same thing right now, but when "etch" turns
"stable", "testing" will suddenly see a lot of new activity/flux and you
stand a good chance to see broken-ness real quick pop into your system
if you're tracking "testing" instead of "etch".)

Alternatively, you could track "unstable" (aka "Sid" - "Sid" is always
"unstable"; he was the kid next door in "Toy Story" that broke all the
toys; some folks think of "Sid" as "Still In Development"). The
advantage of "unstable" and "testing" over "stable" is that you get new
and shinier toys, at the risk of broken-ness; "stable" tends to be
rock-solid. "unstable" is likely to see more broken-ness, more often,
than does "testing", but its advantage over "testing" is that when
broken-ness does occur, it tends to get fixed quicker than it does in
"testing", within a day or three. When broken-ness happens in "testing",
the fix usually can 10 days or so to arrive.

Right now, as a newbie, you'd probably do best to track "Etch".

> However, if you are new to Debian, you really should
> be using Synaptic for package management, in order to avoid pitfalls.

Synaptic is GUI-based, and requires X. If your X system is broken, you
won't be able to use Synaptic. But as long as Synaptic works for you, it
might be a bit easier to do things with as a newbie. I personally found
it confusing when I tried it several years ago; perhaps things have
changed since then. (I also find "aptitude" in menu-mode confusing;
command-line mode (like as used above) is the way I usually do things.)
I believe Synaptic is not installed by default, so you'll need to
"aptitude install synaptic". (Oh, that reminds me; "aptitude" may not be
installed by default on Sarge, so you might need to "apt-get install

Kent West
Westing Peacefully <http://kentwest.blogspot.com>

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