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parent's_basement 10-23-2008 07:26 PM

apt pinning /etc/apt/apt.conf

I think I'm getting a better idea of how apt pinning works. Something that I'm still confused about though is the file /etc/apt/apt.conf

First of all, I had to create the file myself; why wasn't it already there?

Second, I've been reading about including "target release" in apt.conf. Here is an example I found on line:

APT:: Default-Release "stable";
APT:: Cache-Limit "25165824";

What exactly is specifying the default release doing for me?

Many Thanks,


j.todd 10-23-2008 08:49 PM

Just create the file yourself, just do

# touch apt.conf
while in /etc/apt/ . Specifying the default release is for running a mixed system, usually testing/unstable or testing/unstable/experimental. It's generally a bad idea to mix stable and anything, the DD's did a lot to make stable stable, and adding anything from testing or unstable or especially experimental defeats the purpose. If you want to use a package from testin/unstable, use backports or compile it yourself.

parent's_basement 10-23-2008 11:19 PM

Thanks for the reply. I did in fact create apt.conf when I saw that it wasn't there. ;-) My preference is to run testing and pin sid. But again, I'm not sure what "target release" in apt.conf does. Thoughts/insights?



j.todd 10-24-2008 03:03 PM

Do you mean default release, not target release? If so default release makes sure you don't get updates from sid if you're running testing/unstable.

parent's_basement 10-26-2008 04:23 PM

Yes, thanks. I did mean default release. If my default install is testing but I have several packages installed from the unstable repository, how can I update those unstable packages pulling from the unstable repository all at once via aptitude?



j.todd 10-26-2008 06:50 PM

I think this would be fine, it would upgrade the package to the newest version from unstable (came to this conclusion from apt_prefences man page):

Package: Package name
Pin: a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 500

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