Originally posted by tripmix
From what I read testing is newer than unstable
This is actually incorrect. Read on (I got this straight from Debian.org
The “stable” distribution contains the latest officially released distribution of
This is the production release of Debian, the one which we primarily
The current “stable” distribution of Debian GNU/Linux is version 3.0r3,
codenamed woody. It was released on October 26th, 2004.
The “testing” distribution contains packages that haven't been accepted
into a “stable” release yet, but they are in the queue for that. The
main advantage of using this distribution is that it has more recent versions
of software, and the main disadvantage is that it's not completely tested
and has no official support from Debian security team.
See the Debian FAQ for more information on what is “testing” and how it
The current “testing” distribution is sarge.
The “unstable” distribution is where active development
occurs. Generally, this distribution is run by developers and those who like
to live on the edge
The “unstable” distribution is called sid.
And more from Debian.org
release 3.0, a.k.a. the `stable' distribution
This is stable and well tested software, it changes if major security or
usability fixes are incorporated.
the `testing' distribution
This is where packages that will be released as the next `stable' are
placed; they've had some testing in unstable but they may not be
completely fit for release yet. This distribution is updated more often than
`stable', but not more often than `unstable'.
the `unstable' distribution
This is the version currently under development; it is updated continuously.
You can retrieve packages from the `unstable' archive on any Debian FTP
site and use them to upgrade your system at any time, but you may not
expect the system to be as usable or as stable as before - that's why it's
Hope this helps.