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Monder

Woody, Sarge and Sid

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I''ve just installed a new Debian Woody system. But as I''ve now found out most of the packages in it are rather old (even if they''re stable ). Would it be a good idea to grab either Sarge or Sid and upgrade? Or does it really not matter that much?

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I used Sid for my personal desktop/development machine. If you don''t upgrade it every day you be able to miss most of its so-called "unstable" properties (the unstable refers to the packaging, not the software packaged).

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quote:
Original post by Null and Void
I used Sid for my personal desktop/development machine. If you don''t upgrade it every day you be able to miss most of its so-called "unstable" properties

Mostly, but not totally. Unstable (sid) is usually pretty good, but you have to know your stuff if/when something goes wrong.
quote:
(the unstable refers to the packaging, not the software packaged).

That''s mostly correct, but not totally. Software in unstable is more likely to itself be bleeding edge than the stuff in stable. I think "unstable" also refers to the rate of change of packages. Woody changes very infrequently, sid changes everyday and is in that sense unstable.

If you''re not too familiar with linux I''d avoid going unstable until you are - if something major goes wrong (has happened to me once - they do their best to avoid it, but still something might break) it''ll take reasonable knowledge to get it working again. Testing is often quite good, and is probably the correct middle ground. Sometimes packages get hung-up in unstable but there''s always a good reason for it.

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I''ll think I''ll go for sarge then, I''d like some more modern packages, but I don''t need everything being the latest version. Thanks for the advice guys.

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If you know just which packages you would like newer versions of you could use Woody with backports.

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Just on Note:
Woody packages should *never* be updated. (Updateing in the sense of ned versions)

The only thing that changes once a debian distro went to stable are bugfixes to existing versions, no version updates.

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I just wanted to post my experiences moving my laptop from Stable to Testing.

For some time I was used to stable. My system NEVER crashed. But I was getting tired of not having at least some kind of up-to-date Gaim. The bugs that weren''t getting fixed for it were annoying, but I managed. Also, Mozilla was still pre-1.0 and OpenOffice.org had to be backported, which was frustrating because I would have to specify non-official apt sources that changed on me.

So I decided to finally move to testing. My system didn''t boot after finally updating all the packages, even though I was sure I reran lilo. Luckily I had a set of boot-floppies images on my other system, so I created the first floppy, and it gave me the option of booting with the laptop''s own file system. I reran lilo, rebooted, and I haven''t had a problem since. Gaim has sound and looks better, Mozilla Firebird is available, OpenOffice.org 1.1 is not sneakily installed on my system, etc.

Well, occasionally I find that something didn''t transfer right. For instance, spell checking in OOo, which existed in the backport of stable, was not exactly translated into testing, mostly because of the way OOo 1.1 handles things as opposed to the 1.0 backport. I had to make sure it understood where my fonts were by installing fontconfig, which was new.

I think that Defendguin is slightly different (runs default at full screen now for some reason), and I don''t know why some games/packages were installed (specifically Chromium, which is a great game but runs dog slow on my 300MHz laptop). Maybe I can''t say I haven''t had a problem...

So yeah, if you were going to install testing, I would suggest you try to do so before you get used to stable, to minimize issues, both technical and psychological. If you already have a stable setup that you have been using for some time, expect that some packages will be removed without being updated, that some packages will be installed for no apparent reason, and you NEED to run lilo after everything is done, because even if you did it during the update process, it didn''t work for me. YMMV.

And use sid at your own peril. I hear mixed results about using it, but you should always expect that sid will need to be blown away and reinstalled.

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quote:
Original post by GBGames
And use sid at your own peril. I hear mixed results about using it, but you should always expect that sid will need to be blown away and reinstalled.


Well, I wouldn''t go that far. Sid isn''t all that flaky, but you''re right, there is no guarantee that something won''t be borked that you''ll have to fix. It''s worked for me so far.

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i installed woody r2, base system.
no tasksel or dselect.
just downloaded & compiled all the newest software...
everything up & running without any problems.

kernel 2.6.1
xfree86 4.3.0
kde 3.14
mplayer, gaim, k3b, samba, smb4k, ...

much more comfortable than any packaging system... but takes some (and some more) compile-time :D

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