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Re: Using a package from unstable if stable has a bug?

On Wed, 5 Aug 2009 15:49:39 -0700
Kushal Koolwal <kushalkoolwal@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Let's say the package "watchdog" in Lenny has a bug which probably
> got fixed in the later upstream versions of watchdog in Debian Sid.
> So I pulled in the sources for watchdog package from Debian Sid on my
> Lenny system and compiled the watchdog package and it built without
> complaining about anything.
> What are some of the ramifications using a compiled package from Sid
> in Stable?

The only big issue would be the lack of automatic updates for watchdog
from now on. However, for such packages, I check up on the updates of
said packages by doing an RSS on this type of page
http://packages.qa.debian.org/w/watchdog.html (not that I use
watchdog). That page should inform you of any new updates that the
maintainer has done on that package, and you can decide whether you
want that update or not.

> Is there any elegant way to workaround the situation? How about
> backporting? Or with the above process that I just described, did I
> just backported the package?

You have backported watchdog.

I'd advise you to check the build dependencies for any future updates.
Do an "aptitude -s build-dep watchdog/unstable" before doing the
"apt-get -t unstable source watchdog", just in case there are any build
changes (which might end up showing new build depends or that the
updated build depends can't be met by your Lenny from now on... in
which case you'll have to either build those new/updated build depends
{how much more work are you prepared to do to keep up?}, install the
packages directly from Testing or Unstable {not recommended, but can be
done if very careful} or upgrade your system to Testing or Unstable).
If the changed build depend or depend is optional (and not needed by
you) during compilation, then you could edit the debian/rules file to
remove that dependency during compile time (google about debian/rules
if you want to learn more about that sort of thing). Another file to
look at is the debian/control file, too.

Actually, it's worth looking up apt-src, too.


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