Sun Dec 28 23:15:29 PST 2003
Quoting Modus Operandi (firstname.lastname@example.org):
> To clarify my intent, I'm currently tracking stable. I've heard so
> many wonderful things about the testing and unstable branches, but
> I'm curious to know what dpkg/apt issues might have to be resolved
> on a jump from woody to sarge.
The ultra-cautious person's approach would be as follows:
1. Do "apt-get update ; apt-get dist-upgrade" to bring fully up to
date your existing Debian-stable setup.
2. Change "stable" to "testing" in /etc/apt/sources.list. Add
a Debian Security Team line for "testing" to the one you
should already have for "stable". Resulting sources.list
should be as follows (not allowing for your preference for
some particular local mirror, and not including any other
unofficial package sources you might use):
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
deb http://non-us.debian.org/debian-non-US testing/non-US main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org stable/updates main contrib non-free
3. Do "apt-get update". This fetches entirely new available-packages
catalogues from the repositories.
4. Upgrade the most-crucial packages to Debian-testing versions, first:
"apt-get install perl libc6 dpkg apt apt-utils debconf"
5. Upgrade the rest:
6. Using the available-packages browser of your choice (aptitude,
synaptic, dselect, etc.), examine the "kernel-image-*" packages
to find what's best for your needs and your hardware. Remember:
Debian never switches kernel versions on you, without your
specific approval. E.g., if you've left the original installer's
kernel in place, then that's one administrative error you're overdue
> Just looking for a heads-up on any gotchas I should prepare for before
o Are you still running XFree86 3.x? If so, you might want to junk
your X setup before upgrading. I mean, it'll still work, but
you're better off starting afresh with the new development track's
4.x setup and software, unless for some reason you really love 3.x.
o Do you have any locally installed software that dpkg/apt doesn't
know about, e.g., under /usr/local or /opt? Since apt knows
nothing of that software's dependencies, the dependencies may
break unless you take measures to ensure they don't.
o Are you still running an incredibly ancient kernel? You might
want to fix that first.
> To shed further light, I'm wondering about the difference between a
> version jump from stable to testing, and one between stable and
Damned little. Figuratively, the version jump seems proportionately
about like this:
stable --------------------------------------------------- testing unstable
(Picture unstable as teetering on the edge of a chasm marked "bleeding
edge". Somewhere off to the right, hanging in mid-air, is the track
That's why apt-get installing packages from either testing or unstable
onto a Debian-stable system often causing problems by bringing along a
big gang of other software from the later branch, leaving you with a
system uneasily split between the two -- whereas, being on testing but
pulling selective packages from unstable tends to work well.
> Care to help illuminate the best transition path?
I hope the above helps.
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