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View Poll Results: Do you run Debian unstable?
Yes, related to helping the Debian project 2 5.56%
Yes, as a desktop system 18 50.00%
Yes, as a workstation 3 8.33%
Yes, as a server 1 2.78%
Yes, on a multi-purpose (combined) system 2 5.56%
No 15 41.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-07-2007, 08:54 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2007
Distribution: Gentoo
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Debian unstable for mortals

Do you run Debian unstable? Why?

Last edited by reverse; 08-07-2007 at 08:56 AM.
Old 08-07-2007, 09:06 AM   #2
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Registered: Feb 2002
Distribution: t2 - trying to anyway
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Is there another option?
Old 08-07-2007, 09:24 AM   #3
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
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Yeah, but I do it on purpose and carefully. Most people run into trouble when they accidently upgrade their entire system to Sid because they don't understand how the sources.list works.
Old 08-07-2007, 09:29 AM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: New York City
Distribution: Debian Sid 2.6.32
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Because it is the best Debian. It really isn't that unstable. I even recall a posting that suggested running unstable as a server is more secure than running debian stable, largely because unstable has the luxury of just releasing a new version when it is released, whereas the stable team has to modify the code to retro fit into an older package.

Old 08-07-2007, 12:39 PM   #5
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Clinton Township, MI
Distribution: Debian, antiX, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and many others
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Debian Sid (unstable) is the most up to date

Originally Posted by reverse
Do you run Debian unstable? Why?
While you run the (very) occasional risk of Debian unstable not having perfectly correct library dependencies, in general, everything is correct, and you most certainly get the latest packages in a timely manner.

I find Sid to be a very usable desktop environment, and I have seldom had issues with it.
Old 08-07-2007, 12:48 PM   #6
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Location: Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada
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No. I run Debian stable. I occasionally toy with the idea of upgrading to Lenny or Sid. My comments are not in any way a criticism of Sid, but rather a reflection of my own comfort level. I love that Etch keeps going and going, and going:-)
Old 08-07-2007, 12:59 PM   #7
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Europe:Salzburg Austria USA:Orlando,Florida;
Distribution: Debian
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i use lenny as a server with sid on the rest of my network....never had an unsolvable problem...
Old 08-07-2007, 01:07 PM   #8
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Registered: Apr 2005
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Distribution: Debian Sid
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I have ran Sid for almost 3 yrs now and only had minor issues that were easily fixed. Where else can you get the huge number of packages that Debian has, and run bleeding edge apps with few too no problems.
Old 08-07-2007, 01:46 PM   #9
Registered: Apr 2007
Distribution: Gentoo
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Originally Posted by rickh
Yeah, but I do it on purpose and carefully. Most people run into trouble when they accidently upgrade their entire system to Sid because they don't understand how the sources.list works.
Sorry, could you detail on that "accidently upgrade their entire system to Sid.." thing? I'm not sure what you mean.
Old 08-07-2007, 02:12 PM   #10
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Registered: May 2004
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Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
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People do incredibly stupid things to their sources.list ... Most commonly, they read a howto that tells them to get a certain application (maybe a video driver) from Sid. They add Unstable to sources list, and leave it there. At that point, they are one aptitude upgrade away from running Sid.

Normally, even that is not a disaster. As has been mentioned here several times, Sid is not usually terribly unstable, but some little thing is probably not going to work quite right and when they try to fix it, they get in very deep, very fast.

Last edited by rickh; 08-07-2007 at 02:15 PM.
Old 08-07-2007, 05:50 PM   #11
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: San Antonio, TX
Distribution: Debian-AMD64 Sid
Posts: 481

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Debian unstable for the reasons craig mentioned
Old 08-07-2007, 08:22 PM   #12
Registered: May 2006
Location: UK
Distribution: Debian
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Beside the usable Desktop thing, I also checked the "related to helping the Debian project" box. I've mentioned elsewhere before, but I like the trickle down effect, that submitting a bug report in unstable has.
Say you find a nasty bug that no one else has noticed, you report it. It gets fixed in unstable, the package moves to testing, eventually to stable. Besides helping Debian, you have indirectly helped most, if not all future versions of the distributions that use Debian (stable, testing or unstable) as a base, and that's a lot. Not only that, if it is proper, the bug will be forwarded upstream. It may get fixed there, so now all distributions that use that program now have the fix.

Personally, I think it's a great way for "mortals" to help out.

Of course most of the credit should go to the devs who actually fix the bug...hehe
Old 08-07-2007, 11:52 PM   #13
Registered: Feb 2007
Location: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Distribution: Fedora 8
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If you typically like to have the latest versions of software then Sid is the only way to go. There are occasionally problems but if they are Debian related they are usually fixed within days. The only two recent problems I have had (in months) is a python package was broken but it was fixed the next day and that the latest xorg was not compatible with the Nvidia driver at the time. Nothing to do with Debian but it also was fixed by a new driver release that week.
Old 08-08-2007, 05:42 AM   #14
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I use Sid as a desktop, but my server runs Stable.

I have never had any major issues with Sid in the 18 months or so that I have run it. Sometimes a package gets broken, but very rarely do things get badly broken.

Having said that, I have a dual-boot with Etch, just in case I have work to do and Sid dies . Etch is too boring for a desktop though.

Old 08-08-2007, 06:12 AM   #15
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Distribution: Debian Wheezy/Jessie/Sid, Linux Mint DE
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I run Stable on my servers and laptop. Lenny on most of my desktop machines (including the wife's). I hardly ever need the latest and the greatest software. I would hate that if I did a dist-upgrade just when Sid is in a -well- unstable state when packages or dependencies do not quite match. I am sure such problems are solved in a few hours or days, but I just don't want to spend another period of time to get my system in working order again. I put enough time (and that is more than I can afford) in keeping all my systems sound and upgraded. I can do without the additional risk Sid could cause.

Not that I want to start a flame war: Sid might be good, stable and usable. But I just want to avoid that slight additional risk.



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