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Old 03-11-2014, 03:37 PM   #1
junior-s
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Mixing Debian Stable with Testing = Really that danger?


Hello,

I was using Arch, but due to it's common complications I've decided to use Debian Stable.
It would be the perfect system, but it doesn't have Steam on it's repos. So I decided to try SteamOS, but it's performance makes me wanna cry.

I tested this method and it works pretty nice! It just pulls some dependencies from Testing, such as libc6 for example.

But, as many here might know, people in the Debian forums tend to be very rude when questions like this are raised, specially the moderators. So I came here to know your opinion on this.

Is it really that bad? Should I dual-boot Stable with Testing? Will I be fine using the method I linked?

Regards,

Jr.

Last edited by junior-s; 03-12-2014 at 08:58 PM.
 
Old 03-11-2014, 08:21 PM   #2
Knightron
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Debian stable is not designed to be mixed with the other versions of Debian. It is possible though. If you know what you're doing and don't mind compromising your system then go ahead and do as you like, it's your computer. I suggest an alternative path though. Consider using Mepis. It's based off Debian stable yet many packages are updated within the third party repos.

Finally i'd like to add the reason people get very pissy about mixing repos. If you can deal with the consequences, then no one really cares. The issue is it is not a promoted thing to do by Debian because no one has tested the results. Noobs do it to upgrade foo package, and it works, but later on they end up with a broken system due to an incompatible upgrade, and then they go to the forums and either complain "I though Debian's supposed to be stable!" or they ask for help.
Complaining is simply obnoxious because they weren't using Debian stable, they were using an unsupported mixed system. Asking for help shouldn't even be needed. If you need help, then you obviously aren't experienced enough to have been mixing repos to begin with. No one can help because they don't actually know what's in your system causing issues.

Take a look at Mepis, i'd guess it would be the best option for you.
p.s.
I love Opensuse, what's wrong with it? I see you're using it.

Last edited by Knightron; 03-11-2014 at 08:21 PM. Reason: spelling error
 
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:12 AM   #3
k3lt01
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Have you tried using stable-backports?
If you really must mix stable and testing I, personally, would apt pin the testing packages that I needed and all other testing packages give a priority of 0.
 
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:34 PM   #4
junior-s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lt01 View Post
Have you tried using stable-backports?
If you really must mix stable and testing I, personally, would apt pin the testing packages that I needed and all other testing packages give a priority of 0.
Unfortunately Steam is not backported. As a developer said, "it's not backported because it requires a version of libc6 that will never enter Stable."

Is pinning safer than the method I linked?
 
Old 03-12-2014, 02:22 PM   #5
jdkaye
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Is there any reason why you don't simply use Debian testing (now called "Jessie")? That would be the most obvious and the simplest answer to your question.
jdk
 
Old 03-12-2014, 02:49 PM   #6
junior-s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightron View Post
Debian stable is not designed to be mixed with the other versions of Debian. It is possible though. If you know what you're doing and don't mind compromising your system then go ahead and do as you like, it's your computer. I suggest an alternative path though. Consider using Mepis. It's based off Debian stable yet many packages are updated within the third party repos.

Finally i'd like to add the reason people get very pissy about mixing repos. If you can deal with the consequences, then no one really cares. The issue is it is not a promoted thing to do by Debian because no one has tested the results. Noobs do it to upgrade foo package, and it works, but later on they end up with a broken system due to an incompatible upgrade, and then they go to the forums and either complain "I though Debian's supposed to be stable!" or they ask for help.
Complaining is simply obnoxious because they weren't using Debian stable, they were using an unsupported mixed system. Asking for help shouldn't even be needed. If you need help, then you obviously aren't experienced enough to have been mixing repos to begin with. No one can help because they don't actually know what's in your system causing issues.

Take a look at Mepis, i'd guess it would be the best option for you.
p.s.
I love Opensuse, what's wrong with it? I see you're using it.
openSUSE is great. Actually, is one of the finest distro's I've used, has the best KDE integration, best installation, YaST. But it still has issues that were reported in 2012, like sound/updates/repos, this is unacceptable IMO. I don't have the time to tinker it in order to make Left 4 Dead 2 work, for example.

I might consider dual-booting Testing with Stable, and using Testing only for Steam. But I'm not sure about it. Testing is the least secure of the Debian Family.

I tried SteamOS too. It's good, but not THAT good. Performance is a pain. I disabled the composer and it took me from 10 fps to 50, but still, other issues happen.
Then I disabled automatic login and logged as a regular account (with Big Picture disabled). Performance has then come to it's finest, but some games (like Team Fortress 2) experience Core Dumps.
 
Old 03-12-2014, 04:58 PM   #7
joe_2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdkaye View Post
Is there any reason why you don't simply use Debian testing (now called "Jessie")? That would be the most obvious and the simplest answer to your question.
jdk
...or any distro based on Debian Testing... http://distrowatch.com/search.php?os...&status=Active
 
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:02 PM   #8
joe_2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junior-s View Post
Testing is the least secure of the Debian Family.
Wrong. (See http://www.debian.org/releases/)

Plus it's probably still a lot more secure / stable than many other distros' stable branches.
 
Old 03-12-2014, 05:14 PM   #9
snowpine
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Sounds like (according to Steam web page) you don't actually need Debian Testing--you need Debian Jessie. While the two are currently synonymous, if you start now with your sources at 'jessie' (not 'testing') then you will follow it on the gradual journey as it moves from Testing to Stable.

If you stick with a mixed stable/testing setup, then probably what you will experience is relative stability for the next several months, then a BIG transition when Jessie replaces Wheezy as Stable, and Testing gets unfrozen.
 
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:26 PM   #10
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_2000 View Post
Wrong, there is another debian page that explains how Testing can be more unstable than Sid simply because each new package/bug fix has a time frame that it must go through before it can be upgraded. Sid on the other hand can have a bug fixed within hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_2000 View Post
Plus it's probably still a lot more secure / stable than many other distros' stable branches.
True.
 
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:30 PM   #11
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junior-s View Post
Unfortunately Steam is not backported. As a developer said, "it's not backported because it requires a version of libc6 that will never enter Stable."
And this is the overall problem and why I would, personally, just run Jessie/Testing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by junior-s View Post
Is pinning safer than the method I linked?
While there is no safe method for mixing stable and testing this is the method I would use if I was desperate simply because I can make it only use certain pacakes from testing. I doubt the method you linked to could be as precise as pinning is.
 
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:41 PM   #12
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lt01 View Post
And this is the overall problem and why I would, personally, just run Jessie/Testing.

While there is no safe method for mixing stable and testing this is the method I would use if I was desperate simply because I can make it only use certain pacakes from testing. I doubt the method you linked to could be as precise as pinning is.
I just realized that this is about replacing the glibc with a different version without updating the whole OS, which in general is not a good idea and can lead to all kinds of weird behavior. You should not do that in the first place, regardless where you get that glibc from.
 
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:07 PM   #13
junior-s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_2000 View Post
Wrong. (See http://www.debian.org/releases/)

Plus it's probably still a lot more secure / stable than many other distros' stable branches.
Security fixes can take up to a couple months to migrate from Sid to Testing.
https://www.debian.org/security/faq#testing

But you're right. Testing is much more stable then Ubuntu LTS, for example, even when Ubuntu LTS comes primarily from Debian Testing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
Sounds like (according to Steam web page) you don't actually need Debian Testing--you need Debian Jessie. While the two are currently synonymous, if you start now with your sources at 'jessie' (not 'testing') then you will follow it on the gradual journey as it moves from Testing to Stable.

If you stick with a mixed stable/testing setup, then probably what you will experience is relative stability for the next several months, then a BIG transition when Jessie replaces Wheezy as Stable, and Testing gets unfrozen.
You're right, although nobody knows when Jessie will become the next-stable. It could be a few months or almost 2 years. My fear is that it breaks and stays broken for months, which will never happen to Stable. So if I dual-boot Jessie and Wheezy, and Jessie breaks, I still have a 100% functioning system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lt01 View Post
And this is the overall problem and why I would, personally, just run Jessie/Testing.

While there is no safe method for mixing stable and testing this is the method I would use if I was desperate simply because I can make it only use certain pacakes from testing. I doubt the method you linked to could be as precise as pinning is.
Yes. After reading more about pinning, it's more then clear that it's more precise then the method said from me. The method I described pulls all dependencies from Testing, while pinning pulls only the absolutely needed packages (if set correctly, of course).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
I just realized that this is about replacing the glibc with a different version without updating the whole OS, which in general is not a good idea and can lead to all kinds of weird behavior. You should not do that in the first place, regardless where you get that glibc from.
I was thinking of ch-rooting SteamOS as this guy says, but I wonder if performance will be affected much.

I wish I knew how to solve my openSUSE + Left 4 Dead 2 audio problem. I might go into openSUSE's forums tonight. If I can fix it, I won't think twice before using it as my only distro.
 
Old 03-12-2014, 07:51 PM   #14
k3lt01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
I just realized that this is about replacing the glibc with a different version without updating the whole OS, which in general is not a good idea and can lead to all kinds of weird behavior. You should not do that in the first place, regardless where you get that glibc from.
Which is why I, personally, wouldn't do it.
 
Old 03-12-2014, 08:57 PM   #15
junior-s
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Well, I fixed the audio issue with Left 4 Dead 2. I won't mix Debian anymore

Thanks everyone, your help is much appreciated.
 
  


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