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Re: Debian (Stable Version)

On Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 08:08:37AM +0200, Daniel Ngu wrote:

> I've always been a Debian stable user, using Gnome as my desktop manager,
> currently using Etch and have always wondered about the following:
> Sometimes there are software that I want to use but they are not yet
> in the Debian stable repositories.
> I can compile them from source into .deb package and install it that way.
> However, most often the libraries needed to compile the software
> will be newer than that in the repositories.
> In which case there are two options really:
> I can try and compile those libraries and use them parallel to
> stable version for those software that I wanted to use in the first
> place (which could potentially be a lot of work since who knows in
> the worst case scenario I might need to compile a newer version of
> the compiler or even system dependant libraries like gnome
> libraries), basically the list goes on due to dependencies.  Or
> alternatively scrap stable version completely and use the testing
> version of Debian instead.
> Any suggestions of what have been your solution in the above scenario?

It depends on what you are using your computer for.  If you need an
absolute stable system that should be available 24 hours per day I
would stay with stable and resist the temptation to install newer

As long as the underlying libraries can handle it, you could point the
'deb-src' lines in your sources.lst to the newer distribution and use
something like 'wajig build' to packages from the newer tree.  The
problem come when this process starts to complain about libraries that
are not installable.  To a point you can then build that libraries in
the same way but that can break other stuff.  Then it might be a good
time to upgrade.

It also depends on which packages you want to upgrade.  I, for
example, use f-spot for photo-management and because it is not a very
mature program at the moment, I want to upgrade to new versions as
soon as they are available.  I will then try and build new f-spot and
the underlying mono-packages and as they are not part of the core
functions of my PC it is a low risk operation and I can fall back to
the older versions when necessary. 

On a normal desktop computer I normally run testing and in one
instance I have used sid for a few years.  On my testing PC I have my
deb-src-lines pointing to sid.

Johann Spies          Telefoon: 021-808 4036
Informasietegnologie, Universiteit van Stellenbosch

     "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the 
      life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, 
      yet shall he live."                 John 11:25 

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