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Old 02-17-2004, 02:48 PM   #1
rmdl
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Debian Packages (apt-get) not up-to-date?


I'm relatively new to Linux, and I apologize if this has been asked before (I searched the forum and came up empty).

I wanted a distro that easily allowed me to easily update any software that needed updating. Someone told me about Debian and it's apt-get update/upgrade and how it would solve things entirely for me.

Well, I've installed my system using the minimal vanilla install ISO (about 10 megs if I recall, downloaded the base-system from an FTP), but noticed everything is not up-to-date. I did an apt-get update and apt-get upgrade and it said that everything I had was the latest, which isn't so.

GCC shows 2.95 when it should be 3.4.0 (latest) and Apache is 1.3.26 when the latest is 1.3.29. Furthermore, the highest kernel I can get via apt-get is 2.4.18 when the latest is 2.6.2. The system installed with only a 2.2.20 kernel, but after asking a few people, they told me that it's supposed to be an older version and that you need to update *everything* after install, which doesn't make sense to me, but decided not to question it as there's probably a logical reason why such an old kernel is included in the installer (the bf/woody said it was "experimental" [?]).

Is it possible that the source I picked during system install hasn't properly updated their packages? Am I doing something wrong?
 
Old 02-17-2004, 02:53 PM   #2
synaptical
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you probably have to change your sources.list entries in /etc/apt. under where it says Debian and Non-US, change "stable" to "testing," run update again, and then upgrade.

e.g., should look like this:

deb ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free
deb http://non-us.debian.org/ testing/non-US main contrib non-free
 
Old 02-17-2004, 02:57 PM   #3
asb
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debian is known to have the stable version packages a bit behind the times. Try changing your source.list to include the testing packages, they are more up to date. Update and upgrade only look into the source.list file and update/upgrade packages that are changed in those ftp/http, and do not include the packages from different releases of debian. For the kernel, if you read the initial install page, it tells you to type in bf2.4 or something, and that will get it to install with kernel 2.4.X. Apt-get is great, but if you really want the most up-to-date stuff, be prepared to do alot of it manually.
 
Old 02-17-2004, 03:15 PM   #4
maillion
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The stable version is called "woody" and that is what is on the primary install. If your source.list contains only stable pacakges, like Synaptical and Asb said, then you will only be able to get "woody" paclages. If you change the source.list to "unstable" you will get packages that will upgrade you to "sarge". If you change it to "testing" you will get "sid". Debian does a lot of work on new stuff before they affix a category to it, thus "testing" is the fairly new stuff that they have worked on some, so it is usually a bit closer to stable than other distros. "Unstable" for Debian is often as stable as other distros "stable" stuff...
 
Old 02-17-2004, 03:20 PM   #5
synaptical
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actually, testing is sarge, and unstable is sid. "testing" is theoretically more stable than "unstable." i think you might have just transposed those accidently.
 
Old 02-17-2004, 04:46 PM   #6
Strike
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Quote:
"testing' is theoretically more stable than "unstable"
But practically speaking, it's really not. It's either fine and dandy and relatively static for a while, or it's in the midst of a huge slew of packages hitting testing and causing problems.
 
Old 02-17-2004, 05:10 PM   #7
maillion
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Quote:
Originally posted by synaptical
actually, testing is sarge, and unstable is sid. "testing" is theoretically more stable than "unstable." i think you might have just transposed those accidently.
Oops! Sorry! (I thought that "testing" was more unstable than "unstable", but you are perfectly correct! (I based my thinking on the names, rather than checking the site! To me, testing would be something they just started working on... Oh well, learn something new everyday!

Last edited by maillion; 02-17-2004 at 05:18 PM.
 
Old 02-18-2004, 10:11 AM   #8
rmdl
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Thank you very much. Changing all the "stable" in the sources.list (there were several with Debian/Non-US) to "testing", it let me get the latest version of everything!

Also... why are they so slow to call something stable? If Apache releases 1.3.29 and calls it stable, then it's stable. Why not include it as something that can be updated?

This seems to me that the updating portion of apt-get is unreliable. This means that if I were to use Woody and rely solely on apt-get, there'd be holes in almost all of my stuff. If I'm not mistaken, the past 3 versions of apache from .27 to .29 have had security fixes. They had to have been somewhat important security fixes to warrant an entirely new version to be released.

It's confusing why they call it "stable/unstable/testing". It's not like Beta versions of any software was uploaded to them. Either it's stable or it's not, right?
 
Old 02-18-2004, 01:15 PM   #9
Strike
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Quote:
Originally posted by rmdl
Also... why are they so slow to call something stable? If Apache releases 1.3.29 and calls it stable, then it's stable. Why not include it as something that can be updated?
Because they are focusing on the WHOLE distribution being stable. They want to make sure something is going to work no matter what else you have going on. Just because Apache says 1.3.29 is stable doesn't mean that it will work well with every other component in the system perfectly.

Also, the stable branch doesn't get any updated versions of anything (generally speaking), that way stability is insured even further.

Quote:
This seems to me that the updating portion of apt-get is unreliable. This means that if I were to use Woody and rely solely on apt-get, there'd be holes in almost all of my stuff. If I'm not mistaken, the past 3 versions of apache from .27 to .29 have had security fixes. They had to have been somewhat important security fixes to warrant an entirely new version to be released.
Your perception is incorrect. Security fixes are backported. Check out http://security.debian.org for more details. (note: in the event that there's a security problem so severe that it requires a version increase, this package is either dropped from the stable distribution or it is a one-time exception and is allowed a version increase)

Quote:
It's confusing why they call it "stable/unstable/testing". It's not like Beta versions of any software was uploaded to them. Either it's stable or it's not, right?
No, you have to view it from an entire branch/distribution standpoint and not an individual software packages standpoint.
 
Old 02-18-2004, 01:20 PM   #10
rmdl
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Excellent, that definitely shines a new light on things and makes me feel a lot better about using this distro.

Another question while we're on the topic of auto-updating: I heard Gentoo has the same type of feature called "emerge". How does this differ from apt-get? Is it better/not as good, or does it just boil down to personal preference?

Thanks a lot for all your help, I appreciate it.
 
Old 02-22-2004, 07:53 PM   #11
dudous
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The main difference between Debian and Gentoo package tool is that the first uses pre compiled packages during installation and Gentoo compile the package at the time of installation.
Gentoo says it's better for performance because you have everything compiled to use your specific CPU. ok, if you don't mind to wait a lot everytime you install your packages. It is an interesting approach but a little radical.
Furthermore it seems that apt-get is more mature at the moment.
 
Old 02-23-2004, 09:04 AM   #12
ghight
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Quote:
Originally posted by dudous
The main difference between Debian and Gentoo package tool is that the first uses pre compiled packages during installation and Gentoo compile the package at the time of installation.
Gentoo says it's better for performance because you have everything compiled to use your specific CPU. ok, if you don't mind to wait a lot everytime you install your packages. It is an interesting approach but a little radical.
Furthermore it seems that apt-get is more mature at the moment.
This is a very good response. Gentoo is a fine distribution, but suffers from "hot blonde" syndrome. It's a blast to show off and people are impressed and maybe a little jealous of you, but eventually you get tired of all the maintenance it requires and dump it or everything goes to hell and you are left with nothing. Better left to those that know what they are doing!
 
Old 02-23-2004, 09:59 AM   #13
dudous
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hehe. "Hot blonde" syndrome was great !
That´s exactly the point !!!
Well, I think if you "REALLY" want to improve performance, you don´t need to compile every single application on your computer. Just the critical ones that are most used at your tasks. If you have a heavy loaded web site for example, you can compile kernel, apache,db program and what else matters...
If you are a home user with X applications, why Gentoo´s level of performance would be so important ?
Why wasting hours to put X running, just to enter kde login 2 seconds faster ?
At least they provide the "Gentoo 2-CD LiveCD Set" where you can install all the apps like OpenOfice,Kde, etc from cd2 without compilation.
If they provide the option to "emerge" pre compilad packages too il will be one more interesting option.
 
  


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