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Re: Possible/reasonable to switch from unstable to etch at this point and track etch/stable going forward?

On Tue, Jan 02, 2007 at 10:43:23PM -0500, Roberto C. Sanchez wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 02, 2007 at 04:49:16PM -0800, RParr wrote:
> > I have sid/unstable installed at the moment.
> > 
> > I would like to change this to etch, and stick with etch/stable for awhile.
> > 
> > What, if any, differences are there between etch, unstable, and sid at 
> > the moment (as Debian gears up for the next stable release)?
> > 

Now is possibly a good time to switch: unstable -> testing first -> 
then change apt sources list to reference etch and therefore follow 
through as etch becomes stable.

The differences at the minute are fairly small: obviously the pressure 
is on to release etch and therefore not to allow new packages into 
unstable and thence to testing.  There aren't major desktop changes and 
so on forecast immediately.

> > Is it possible / reasonable to change my sources.list entries from sid 
> > and/or unstable to etch at this point?
> > 

That depends on a whole host of factors: it is usually possible to go 
from unstable -> testing just by waiting long enough for updates to 
percolate down. On machines that were "unstable" and not updated for a 
few weeks, changing to "testing" essentially caught up to date.

There was one incompatible change to a newer version of initscripts / 
sysvutils a short while ago which wasn't propagated to etch because of 
the freeze. I think that's the only package that might cause problems.

> Generally, downgrading is not supported by individual packages.  Trying
> to downgrade the whole distro might be a tall order.  I did once on a
> machine a long time ago.  Much of your success will depend on your
> particular combination of packages.  It is hard to be any more precise
> though as there are far too many variables to consider.
You can use change the sources.list then use apt-get upgrade and dselect 
to see which packages will change. Packages in current "unstable" and 
not in testing will show up as optional/locally installed.

If you can, build a sacrificial machine, put the packages on that you 
have on your current machine (dpkg --get-selections and dpkg 
--set-selections help here) and try it out.

All the best,


> Regards,
> -Roberto
> -- 
> Roberto C. Sanchez
> http://people.connexer.com/~roberto
> http://www.connexer.com

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