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Debian Etch Installer Betas

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  • Debian Etch Installer Betas

    A bit late to discussing it, but the third Beta for Debian Etch is now available.

    There are quite a few major features and changes with this release, that are definitely worth checking out for Debian users.
    Michael Larabel

  • #2
    Hopefully it'll be released as a stable soon...I *really* need the new OOo 2.0.3 and setting it up independently is a PITA on Xubuntu.


    • #3
      The Debian Etch Freeze has been delayed due to bugs; more at Phoronix News.
      Michael Larabel


      • #4
        Originally posted by 1c3d0g View Post
        Hopefully it'll be released as a stable soon...I *really* need the new OOo 2.0.3 and setting it up independently is a PITA on Xubuntu.
        There is no reason why you can't switch over now.

        What Debian considures stable and what other distributions considure stable are two entirely different things.

        Debian stable is much more like Redhat Enterprise. It's for long term setup. It's big and boring and it's designed so you don't get big updates. No new functionality. No new updates. No new functionality. You just get major bugs fixed and security updates.

        Debian Testing is about as stable as Ubuntu or Fedora core. You get big updates every once of a while.. but they've already gone through a extensive testing procedure.

        It goes.. A package is created in Debian Experimental.
        After basic sanity checking it is submitted for inclusion into Unstable.
        If the package is approved by the ftpmasters then it is uploaded into Unstable mirrors.
        In there the package is installed and tested by developers using Debian and by end users that want to have the newest stuff.
        After that then the package if it hasn't had any problems then it is uploaded into the Testing mirrors.
        Then it sits in testing till a newer package comes along or until Debian releases a new stable.

        Also since your tracking a moving target you remove the need to do monolythic updates like you do with Ubuntu or Fedora Core releases. Instead of one big update every 6 months or so you just update tiny peices at a time all the time. Peronally I've tracked both Debian Testing and Unstable and I've had installs outlast multiple computers over a period of 3 years or so. It's pretty nice not having to do a big upgrade.

        I figure most people familar with Debian that want to use it as a desktop operating system for personal use will end up tracking Testing.

        Also for users of both Ubuntu and Debian there are tricks to using Debian's package management.

        For instance you say that you want to have a newer version of then what is offered by your current Ubuntu install.

        Well it's a simple thing to backport specific programs from newer versions of Debian operating systems to older versions.

        I am familar with Debian so I'll use that, but it should work for Ubuntu to just swap out the 'testing' for 'edgy' or whatever the hell those names are.

        There are two methods to doing this:

        1. is to use 'pinning'. You configure your /etc/apt/sources.list with repositories pointing 'stable', 'testing', and 'unstable'.

        Then you edit your /etc/apt/preferences to give highest priority to your specific version, say 'stable'.

        Then when you do regular updates or whatever it will only track the updates for stable. However you can use apt-get to select which branch you want to install from... like:
        apt-get -t testing xmoto
        or whatever.

        That way it'll try to install the package from testing onto your stable without updating everything else.

        The downside is that if a program has dependancy requirements newer then what you have then you have to manually install it's dependancies from testing also. so you end up with a sort of hybrid stable/testing setup.

        2. The second method is backporting using source packages.

        I use the 'wajig' tool because I forget how to do with apt-get and such. Wajig is just a handy front-end for all the different apt-get and dpkg and aptitude tools.

        So you want to backport..

        Well you then just add the deb-src line for testing or unstable or whatever in your /etc/apt/sources.list file.
        Then run apt-get update and upgrade and all that.

        Then you download and compile a new package... so you go like:

        mkdir ~/tmp
        cd tmp
        wajig update
        wajig upgrade
        (to make sure everything is up to date)
        wajig build-depend xmoto
        (this will download the dependancies and tools needed to compile the package)
        wajig build xmoto
        (this will download the sources and compile the package)
        then you just install the resulting *.deb files.

        Pretty simple stuff once you do it a couple times. Sometimes you have to update a few dependancies and the solution to do that is just to recompile those also.

        That way you cause mimimal disruption to your current setup. When you upgrade later to the next stable or whatever the package numbers will still match up and things will get updated naturally and you shouldn't have any major issues.

        Should work fine also for Ubuntu if you want to pull packages from the beta version or whatever is currently in development.

        You can find more about it at
        It's the 'Debian Desktop Survival Guide'.

        It goes into a lot of different subjects.

        For instance it goes into compiling optimized packages ala Gentoo with apt-get and such. Or if you want to make a change to a program and it requires a recompile it'll show you how to do that with using reuglar deb-src files.

        Both Debian and Ubuntu are a gold mine for power users. Once you get used to having to deal with the package management tools you can do all sorts of neat stuff.