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Old 11-06-2011, 07:16 AM   #1
TehGoat
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Question Whats the difference between "Debian Sid" and "Debian Testing".


I Was thinking of trying a Debian 7 prerelease. So whats the difference between "Debian Sid" and "Debian Testing".
 
Old 11-06-2011, 07:28 AM   #2
saivnoba
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Please read the FAQ at following link: http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/de...oosing.en.html
 
Old 11-06-2011, 07:38 AM   #3
TobiSGD
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Debian Sid/Unstable is the first branch (if you take aside Experimental, which isn't a full distro branch) that gets new versions of software or software that wasn't available before in Debian. It is the development branch of Debian.
If the software runs for a time in Sid/Unstable without having bugs filed against it it goes down to the next branch, Debian Testing (Wheezy at this time). Testing is the branch that will be the next stable. Some kind of a rolling alpha release. At one time the Debian developers will declare Testing as frozen, this is some kind of beta-phase. While Testing is frozen it will only get fixes for system critical bugs, no version updates. When the number of system critical bugs is low enough Testing will be released as the next stable.

So which version do you want to run? While Testing is pretty stable (more than some of the so called stable release of other distributions), Debian Sid can and will break. You should only run Sid if you can cope with that and are able to handle such situations. If you can't or don't want to do that I would recommend to go for Testing.
 
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:42 AM   #4
TehGoat
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Thanks. I Will try Testing. BTW, I am not going to put it on my main computer, I will just try it out in a VirtualMachine on VMware Player.
 
Old 11-06-2011, 11:19 AM   #5
widget
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For a guy running Ubuntu this may be of interest to you.

Ubuntu uses the Debian testing repo to base its LTS version on. Debian Sid (unstable) is what all other Ubuntu releases are based on. A lot of packages that 11.10 was released with came from the Debian experimental repo.

I use Debian testing as the OS I use daily. Am on it now.

Running in VM or VB does not test an OS for usability on your hardware. It testes its usability in VB, basically testing VB more than the OS when testing pre release OS's.

Also on this drive is an install of Sid. Both have been on here since this time last year and neither has ever been down.

Part of the reason for that is the installation of the package "apt-listbugs". This will not protect you against an unreported bug but any bug against a package will be listed when you run your update/upgrade cycle. You will have the opportunity not to install the package upgrades.

I am assuming that you are using some sensible package manager such as apt-get or aptitude. If you are using Update Mangler expect and be happy with breakage.

I do have some installs of Xubuntu 12.04-testing on an external enclosure. These, being the LTS version, are based on Wheezy (Debian testing). I can tell you that Wheezy runs great. 12.04 may run well eventually but sure doesn't now and the thing isn't, at this point anything but 11.10 with a little newer kernel.
 
Old 11-06-2011, 12:08 PM   #6
j1alu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
Debian Sid/Unstable is the first branch (if you take aside Experimental, which isn't a full distro branch) that gets new versions of software or software that wasn't available before in Debian. It is the development branch of Debian.
If the software runs for a time in Sid/Unstable without having bugs filed against it it goes down to the next branch, Debian Testing (Wheezy at this time). Testing is the branch that will be the next stable. Some kind of a rolling alpha release. At one time the Debian developers will declare Testing as frozen, this is some kind of beta-phase. While Testing is frozen it will only get fixes for system critical bugs, no version updates. When the number of system critical bugs is low enough Testing will be released as the next stable.

So which version do you want to run? While Testing is pretty stable (more than some of the so called stable release of other distributions), Debian Sid can and will break. You should only run Sid if you can cope with that and are able to handle such situations. If you can't or don't want to do that I would recommend to go for Testing.
This is all well put, and i sure would not have been able to. Hence i hesitate to post the following: While it is true that Sid ~can~ break really bad (like in being unbootable), it barely happens nowadays. And bugs get solved in Sid quite fast, while they ~may~ stay in testing quite long. One is fine with running Testing, but the best option might be to run a mixed testing/unstable system http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15612
(the best option for the ones who don't want to run stable or stable with backports)
Or simply run Sid and cope with the problems, in case they arise (like said, it really happens seldom. If one wants to run one of the big environments that is a different situation, sure).
It depends on a lot of things.

Last edited by j1alu; 11-06-2011 at 12:09 PM.
 
Old 11-06-2011, 03:04 PM   #7
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j1alu View Post
This is all well put, and i sure would not have been able to. Hence i hesitate to post the following: While it is true that Sid ~can~ break really bad (like in being unbootable), it barely happens nowadays. And bugs get solved in Sid quite fast, while they ~may~ stay in testing quite long. One is fine with running Testing, but the best option might be to run a mixed testing/unstable system http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15612
(the best option for the ones who don't want to run stable or stable with backports)
Or simply run Sid and cope with the problems, in case they arise (like said, it really happens seldom. If one wants to run one of the big environments that is a different situation, sure).
It depends on a lot of things.
You are right with that. I had my last install of Testing on my file-server with Squeeze, and it remained that way (means it is still running Squeeze). On my other systems I used a mix of Sid and Experimental, and I had breakages with that, not the "unbootable style", but major problems with graphics drivers and dependencies. But I can't make comments on the frequency of those breakages nowadays, since I switched all my systems to Slackware some time ago (except the file-server, was to lazy to switch until now and it simply runs without any problems).
 
Old 11-06-2011, 04:19 PM   #8
k3lt01
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I run Sid/Experimental and have had 1 breakage which was my fault anyway (ran the smxi script and it took a little to much out). I have never had any issue with Debian breakage that I, or through some research someone else, couldn't fix quickly. On the other hand distros like Ubuntu development can and do break for some people with monotonous regularity.

I like Debian Testing but I wanted Gnome 3 earlier than it would have been available and when it come in it was only available in Experimental. I guess the crux of the matter here is what do you want from your system and are you willing to put up with possible problems.
 
Old 11-10-2011, 11:17 AM   #9
widget
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What other distributions? If you are talking about Debian versions this is arguably true.

If you are talking about other actual distributions it is not.

Ubuntu 12.04-testing is on here right now. It is based roughly on Debian Wheezy (testing). I run Debian testing as my main OS and use Debian Sid (unstable) a good bit too just to see what is happening. I can tell you that, with out a doubt, that Debian unstable is much more stable than 12.04-testing.

As a long time Ubuntu tester I can also tell you that Sid will continue to be more stable than 12.04 for, at least, 2 months after the release of 12.04.

Would I use Sid as my production OS? No. An awful lot of others would answer that with an emphatic Yes.

It takes less care than running Ubuntu testing as your production OS. I did just that for just under 2 years. Now I am lazy and stick to Debian testing.

Most bugs do get fixed in Sid before they do in testing. You get advanced warning of bugs, in testing, as they are detected in Sid.

The main advantage that I see in Sid over Testing is that when testing becomes the new stable there has been a freeze going on for some time to stabilize it. I can tell you that the update/upgrade cycle the day when Squeeze was released as stable, in testing, was pretty scary and it was a huge dump of packages. I am sure this had bad effects on some folks system. It did not on mine.

In Sid, you will never get that kind of dump.

My transition from Gnome2 to Gnome3 and, of coarse, Gnome panels to Gnome Shell went very smoothly in Sid. I even had extensions for Gnome Shell in place (I put them there) a month in advance of ever getting GS. Worked as soon as GS took over.

Sid is not something I would recommend to a noob as their primary OS. I wouldn't recommend the stable Ubuntu releases for pretty much the same reasons.

The idea that Sid is more unstable than other distributions is a myth. It is more unstable than Debian stable (Squeeze). A lot of distributions are more unstable than Squeeze.
 
Old 11-10-2011, 12:17 PM   #10
k3lt01
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+1 Widget, I agree totally and wholeheartedly.

Even Sid/Experimental is more stable than Ubuntu testing and any new Ubuntu stable release at release time.
 
  


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