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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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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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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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quote:
Original post by uNiQue0815
much more comfortable than any packaging system... but takes some (and some more) compile-time :D



About 8 years of linux packaging system development refutes that...

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quote:
Original post by C-Junkie
About 8 years of linux packaging system development refutes that...


one bad thing about packaging systems is, that they depend on EVERYTHING being installed with them.
if one doesn''t always do so, the whole packaging system doesn''t work properly any more. so many unmet dependencies, alhtough every single needed is properly installed (some by source, some by package)...
let the system do a dependency check & "repair" ?? HA HA.

so what to do, if there''s no up-to-date software package ?
or if there''s no precompiled package for your system ?


the only drawback of source-installation, i''ve experienced so far, is (for some apps) a lot of compile time [XFree86, KDE !! :D].


but, hey ! i''m young ! i''ve got time ! :D

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quote:
Original post by uNiQue0815
one bad thing about packaging systems is, that they depend on EVERYTHING being installed with them.
if one doesn''t always do so, the whole packaging system doesn''t work properly any more. so many unmet dependencies, alhtough every single needed is properly installed (some by source, some by package)...
let the system do a dependency check & "repair" ?? HA HA.

so what to do, if there''s no up-to-date software package ?
or if there''s no precompiled package for your system ?



er, ever tried debian?

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quote:
Original post by uNiQue0815
one bad thing about packaging systems is, that they depend on EVERYTHING being installed with them.
if one doesn''t always do so, the whole packaging system doesn''t work properly any more. so many unmet dependencies, alhtough every single needed is properly installed (some by source, some by package)...
let the system do a dependency check & "repair" ?? HA HA.

so what to do, if there''s no up-to-date software package ?
or if there''s no precompiled package for your system ?


the only drawback of source-installation, i''ve experienced so far, is (for some apps) a lot of compile time [XFree86, KDE !! :D].


I think I know what you''re saying. You''re problem is that if you compile some base libs/program yourself instead of installing the package then any package that depends on what you compiled cannot be installed as it has missing dependancies.

If there is no up-to-date? That is a problem - you might check the experimental repository, but usually there is a good reason if the package hasn''t been updated.

If there is no package at all? Then compile it yourself as depending packages don''t exist and don''t matter.

I think you''re wasting you''re time for no real benefit.

Image loads when I''m online since I''m too lazy to find a permanent host.The following statement is true. The previous statement is false.
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Heh,

If you want to do things mostly by source, go for Gentoo or OpenBSD.

If you want a fairly up-to-date desktop system go with Debian unstable/testing and update every now and then, or go with Fedora.

The only time I''ve been bitten in the ass by Debian unstable/testing is by using the packaged kernels, which had some issues between some features I was using in a previous version -- all of which could''ve been corrected easily by just building everything manually.

Also, your question about deviating from package management and the actual details involved in ''notifying'' the package management system about your ''installed from source instead of via the package manager'' isn''t an issue under Debian ( nor most package managers if you know them well enough ).


.z

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quote:
Original post by C-Junkie
er, ever tried debian?

well... i think my first posting answered that question already...



quote:
Original post by Doc
If there is no up-to-date? That is a problem - you might check the experimental repository, but usually there is a good reason if the package hasn''t been updated.

If there is no package at all? Then compile it yourself as depending packages don''t exist and don''t matter.

I think you''re wasting you''re time for no real benefit.


yes... sure... you''re right about that. but even back "in those days" when i had to use debian''s packages, ''cause i didn''t know how to compile anything, i had lots of problems with the packaging system...


... now i''m used to compiling everything myself... and i think i''ll stick with that.

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Heh,

Lets put it this way, I have had the least issues with Debian packages out of every single package manager on every *nix I''ve ever used ( probably RPMs being the notorious shit-can of all package managers IMO ) -- and believe me that is quite a few package management systems. No, this doesn''t count ''ports'' from *BSD or Gentoo ( although any OS without binary updates can keep on walking, nothing like compiling your whole OS from source when you have some security patches to apply, etc -- no thanks ).

Damn near the only packages I ever had issues with on Debian, were just compatibility issues between features and that basically boiled down to me being lazy and not compiling my own / using make-kpkg ( as I semi-stated above ).


.z

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