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Debian "unstable"

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Does anyone have some link where i can read about the problems, or true experiences, of using an "unstable" version of Debian? I tried googling, but haven''t found anything interesting enough. Thanks, Victor.

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In reality, Debian unstable is sort of like Red Hat 8.0 or 9.0. Debian tends to lag their "stable" title behind. Many people use unstable with minor or no issues.

Check this link for more info though.

http://www.debian.org/releases/

Interim

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Debian unstable is like rh 8 or 9?? Why do you think so? From what i''ve read (not much), seems like running unstable is full of troubles and all...

I''m asking it because i''m thinking about using a unstable version for a while. But if i''ll be in trouble, then maybe it''s better not to do that.

Victor.

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Debian unstable only accepts stable software releases (no "in development" type of stuff, for the most part). Once Debian has decided that a package doesn''t cause too many problems, works everywhere with the desired results, and is properly packaged (there are strict guidelines for this): it makes its way to Debian testing. So, Debian unstable is like other distributions'' stable releases: it''s all stable software, but it isn''t tested all that much yet.

I run Debian unstable on my desktop. The only problem you might find is when a large change is being made to Debian, because it happens in unstable over a couple days (or a week or two, for large collections of packages: like when Debian''s KDE was moving to 3.x from 2.x).

For example: certain packages couldn''t be installed for a day or two when the C++ ABI shift was taking place since something they rely on had updated and they hadn''t, or vice versa. This isn''t that big of a deal (especially since nothing really large is happening right now to Debian), it''s just an inconvenience if the package you want to install happens to be broken today; you can get an earlier release from testing or the Debian archives, or wait a day or two for it to be fixed.

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Thanks for the comments, Null and Void.

One more thing: in my sources.list i have only respositories for unstable. I didn''t want to put the stable/testing repositories because i think the mix of them will give me some trouble, which i don''t want, so i use only the unstable repositories.

That means that i can only download unstable packages, isn''t it? I mean, once a package gets stable, it won''t be avaliable (the stable version) at the unstable repository, am i right?

Victor.

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"unstable" will always have software that is at least as updated as, or more updated than, software in stable. Eventually, the current "unstable" branch is renamed "stable", the old "stable" branch is thrown away, and a new "unstable" branch is created (copied over from the new stable, mostly). "unstable" and "stable" are different versions of debian, not categorizations of packages. Thus, you should only have unstable sources.


How appropriate. You fight like a cow.

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quote:
Original post by -vic-
One more thing: in my sources.list i have only respositories for unstable. I didn''t want to put the stable/testing repositories because i think the mix of them will give me some trouble, which i don''t want, so i use only the unstable repositories.

I only keep one official respository in my sources.list at a time, but mostly because the official repositories'' package lists are pretty large (and when I update everyday, it just adds up). There''s little reason to add additional repositories to your sources.list (except for maybe Debian''s experimental repository: but those packages normally aren''t in unstable for a good reason ).

There are methods of telling apt which repository to prefer for multiple copies of a file, if you did want to have more than one repository in your sources.list file.

quote:
Original post by Sneftel
Eventually, the current "unstable" branch is renamed "stable", the old "stable" branch is thrown away, and a new "unstable" branch is created (copied over from the new stable, mostly). "unstable" and "stable" are different versions of debian, not categorizations of packages. Thus, you should only have unstable sources.

Unstable never becomes stable (it''s always "Sid"), but testing does (testing is "Sarge" now, it used to be "Woody" among other names; stable is currently "Woody"). Although, if you consider the piece-by-piece transfer of unstable to testing, I guess you could say unstable becomes stable over time .

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quote:
Original post by Null and Void
Unstable never becomes stable (it''s always "Sid"), but testing does (testing is "Sarge" now, it used to be "Woody" among other names; stable is currently "Woody").

Not true. I remember when Potato was unstable. Then Potato was stable, and Woody was unstable. Codenames remain with a particular release, whereas designations such as "stable" and "unstable" are sliding.


How appropriate. You fight like a cow.

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quote:
Original post by Sneftel
Not true. I remember when Potato was unstable. Then Potato was stable, and Woody was unstable. Codenames remain with a particular release, whereas designations such as "stable" and "unstable" are sliding.


I can''t comment on what was done historically, but the next stable release will be ''sarge'', which is currently ''testing''. ''sid'' is ''unstable'' and will be the stable release after next.

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True, the methodology has changed. My point was that a particular codename (Sid, Woody, Hamm, etc) is not indelibly tied to a classification (stable, testing, unstable), which NaV had seemed to imply in his last paragraph.


How appropriate. You fight like a cow.

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quote:
Debian FAQ 5.5
sid or unstable is the place where most of the packages are initially uploaded. It will never be released directly, because packages which are to be released will first have to be included in testing, in order to be released in stable later on. sid contains packages for both released and unreleased architectures.

That seems to reaffirm what I''m trying to say. Sid has been unstable for as long as I''ve been following Debian (which, I admit, hasn''t been that long, but long enough to remember Woody becoming stable and Sarge becoming testing).

quote:
Original post by Sneftel
Not true. I remember when Potato was unstable. Then Potato was stable, and Woody was unstable.

Are you sure you aren''t confusing unstable with testing? When Woody was testing (and Potato stable), Sid was still unstable.

quote:
Original post by Sneftel
True, the methodology has changed. My point was that a particular codename (Sid, Woody, Hamm, etc) is not indelibly tied to a classification (stable, testing, unstable), which NaV had seemed to imply in his last paragraph.

I didn''t mean to imply that.

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quote:
Original post by Null and Void
Are you sure you aren''t confusing unstable with testing? When Woody was testing (and Potato stable), Sid was still unstable.

Yup. Woody/Potato was the point at which they started the "testing" branch; before that, IIRC, it had just been stable and unstable


How appropriate. You fight like a cow.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Debian unstable is like rh 8 or 9?? Why do you think so? From what i''ve read (not much), seems like running unstable is full of troubles and all...

I''m asking it because i''m thinking about using a unstable version for a while. But if i''ll be in trouble, then maybe it''s better not to do that.

Victor.


Debian unstable really is like the latest given RH release in terms of stability. RH and friends tend to release stuff to end-users that is untested and unstable like it is the norm, Slackware and Debian however tend to hold off and get as many issues resolved as possible before giving a package the ''nod''.

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Heh,

For generic server purposes ( mail, www, dns, etc etc ) if I''m using Linux ( I have a friendly mix of Solaris, Irix, OpenBSD, Debian Linux, Win2k/WinXP for various purposes ) I use the stable release and compile from source if lag is an issue ( which it usually isn''t ).

For my desktop and my laptop I use unstable. If things do break, they are usually fixed the same day. Overall, unstable is pretty damn awesome and you want it for sure if you''re using it as your desktop for the all the Gnome2 stuff, anti-aliased fonts, etc etc. For the label of testing/unstable it is very stable, and that''s with quite a lengthy experience of running both sources of multiple releases. Like anything though, draw your own conclusions by experiencing it for yourself


.zfod

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
RH and friends tend to release stuff to end-users that is untested and unstable like it is the norm,


I can tell you for a fact that this statement is FALSE. RH & friends actually test (to the best of their staffing and funding abilities) all elements that go into their releases and refreshes. They generally lag behind the bleeding edge in what they deliver (look at their supported kernels versus where the current development kernels are at). They tend to be a little ahead of Debian though because they are a tight knit group that can make blanket quick decisions about interoperability and inclusion/exclusion of certain technologies. There isn''t a time consuming decision making process like there is in Debian.

RandomTask

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