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I'm a long time user of Gentoo and I tried out Ubuntu and descided to put it on my secondary desktop. I like it a lot, how ever I do have some problems. One of them is how am I supposed to get the latest packages? I'm used to Gentoo where I can simply get the latest version when I want.
For example Inkscape 0.44 came out a week or so back and Amarok 1.4.1 came out recently. Gentoo had them recently and as far as I know Ubuntu doesn't have them. I understand that the Ubuntu respitories may not want to add the latest software, but is it possible to get the latest versions of certain packages in .deb format safely? I see a lot of third party packages and some of them fsck up Ubuntu while others work well. Is it possible for me to create my own .debs quickly and safely, and have them replaced by the official versions in the respitory when they come out?
Also I was wondering are there any good simple, user friendly distros that allow you to stay on the bleeding edge?
From my experience, no, you will not get bleeding edge packages in Ubunutu, and yes, adding 3rd party repositories can hose your system, or at least send you into dependency purgatory (from personal experience).
I ran Ubuntu to have a quick initial install and relatively stable system. I compile from source what I need to be bleeding edge (for me, it's freebob and its svn depedencies). The trade off is that I will not get the absolute bleeding edge version of everything out there.
It seems to me that Gentoo would be a whole lot easier to run than building .debs of everything new (unless you plan to be a ubuntu developer).
I am running Debian Sid, and i haven't ran into any problems so far, it doesnt seem to be so unstable and they make it out to but it can possbily be true on some bugs, but so far it is still going good for me. i was running testing, but i wanted to try unstable because of the latest software, so i went with unstable, i read somewhere to do aptitude dist-upgrade for each file upgrade.