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Re: Un/Safe mixtures for Debian releases and suites [was: Re: Vulkan with Radeon RX 5700 XT]

On 2021-07-11 at 03:31, Andrei POPESCU wrote:

> On Sb, 10 iul 21, 14:38:39, The Wanderer wrote:
>> On 2021-07-10 at 14:18, Andrei POPESCU wrote:

>>> It depends :)
>>> In my opinion I'd say the order from less to more dangerous
>>> would be:
>>> 1. stable + select packages from stable-backports
>>> 2. oldstable + select packages from oldstable-backports-sloppy
>>> 3. testing + select packages from unstable
>>> 4. unstable + select packages from experimental
>> I'm a little surprised to see that you don't even mention the mix
>> which I've been running for the last decade-plus: stable + testing,
>> which works out to testing + select packages from stable (the ones
>> which are no longer available in testing).
>> Do you consider that to be so dangerous as to not even be worth
>> mentioning?
> What I forgot to mention was that outside the common scenarios above
> you are pretty much on your own and you should have a good
> understanding of APT priorities and pinning (or be prepared to deal
> with problems).
> The danger level also varies greatly on which is your "main"
> release.
> While your testing + stable as needed mix is pretty simple[1] the 
> reverse mix stable + select packages from testing requires adequate 
> pinning and can quickly become problematic for anything but the
> simplest packages packages (no or very few dependencies) pulled from
> testing.

I can see how it could become an issue for someone who's trying to stick
mainly with stable, but that's never been my goal. As soon as you
dist-upgrade against the combination of testing and stable, you're
primarily on testing, with stable present only as an "in case of
removal" backstop.

> You should be using -backports instead or backport packages yourself
> if necessary[2].

I hope this is general/generic "you", and not directed at me
specifically. I first read this as chiding me against running this mix,
and that came across as mildly offensive.

> [1] No pinning required, unless you want to have *very* good control
>  over what you install from stable. A similar reasonably safe and
> easy setup is unstable + testing as needed, which is probably a good
> idea anyway, even if not well documented.

I used to track testing + unstable, which worked out to unstable +
select packages from testing.

That's the setup which blew up under my feet into an inconsistent,
unrepairable Debian installation, as I've mentioned elsewhere in this

However, I do not blame that on the fact of running a combination of
suites. I blame it on the fact of tracking unstable at all.

I absolutely do not recommend tracking sid on a production system, ever.
Installing specific packages from sid, carefully and only as needed, is
one thing; dist-upgrade against sid is something I very strongly
recommend against.

   The Wanderer

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man.         -- George Bernard Shaw

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