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Bug#544481: apticron: apt-get dist-upgrade pulling required packages from unstable

> We can argue now that mixed systems aren't supported, but in the
> middle of a dist-upgrade from old-stable to stable the system is also
> a mixed system -- and, if we really would not support it, why does the
> user have different archives in his sources?

I have often seen package maintainers suggest just using a package from 
testing or unstable on stable systems when it is known to work (the 
dependencies work and it's expected to function) rather than backport 
packages. For example: this is the standard recommendation of the 
debian-kernel team when someone wants a newer kernel on their stable system.

> aptitude is pretty independent from apt and can make decisions on his own.

Well that might be true, but they are both part of Debian and while this 
behavior isn't something you'd expect to be defined in debian policy, I 
think users would expect them to function the same where possible.

> As said, such an option will exist in the future - but i don't think it is a
> good idea to be used by an other application as this will lead to the
> situation that apticron output differs from the "normal" output apt has and
> therefore confuses the user without (good) reason -- but i don't know how
> the output looks like and how the information is acquired,
> so i am maybe wrong.

apticron is designed run "apt-get -s dist-upgrade" once a day and if there 
are packages pending then send mail to root with a report. Because of the 
current apt-get behavior it means root gets email every day, despite the 
system up to date with stable.

Can you think of another way that apticron could determine if things are 
needed? Or possibly a work around that people using mixed sources could 
use? (like something in preferences perhaps)


Matt Taggart

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