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Old 10-13-2008, 09:15 PM   #1
Registered: May 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA.
Distribution: debain freebsd
Posts: 483

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apt pinning


I'm new to apt pinning and have a question. I've been reading online but am confused. I'm running testing release but would like to be able to grab individual programs occasionally from unstable or experimental. My question is this (please see my /etc/apt/preferences file below): If I run aptitude upgrade, will it upgrade from testing and then all programs in unstable and experimental that are not in testing? The only time I want aptitude to bring anything over from the other two repositories is when I manually request it from the command line, for example: aptitude install iceweasel/unstable. Here is my /etc/apt/preferences file:

Package: *
Pin: release a=testing
Pin-Priority: 650

Package: *
Pin: release a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 600

Package: *
Pin: release a=experimental
Pin=Priority: 550

I of course have unstable and experimental repros in my sources.list file.

Many thanks,


Last edited by aquaboot; 10-13-2008 at 09:55 PM.
Old 10-14-2008, 03:25 AM   #2
David the H.
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Osaka, Japan
Distribution: Debian sid + kde 3.5 & 4.4
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I'm not an expert on this, especially with regards to aptitude (which I don't use), but it's my impression that you can't use the pin-priority on it's own to separate the behavior of the upgrade command from the behavior of individual package installation. All the priority does is determine whether the package gets installed or not at the current time.

If you want to ensure that a package only gets upgraded when you want it to, I think you should simply raise the pin priority to 1000. Then when you're ready to update it, temporarily change the priority or comment it out.

If there's some other option in apt-preferences or apt.conf or something that can do what you want, I hope someone will correct me.
Old 10-14-2008, 03:44 AM   #3
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Registered: Apr 2005
Location: OZ
Distribution: Debian Sid
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Safest thing to do would be to comment out unstable and exp before doing upgrade, although unless told to install from those aptitude will stay with testing.

You can be sure of that if you have /etc/apt/apt.conf APT::Default-Release "testing";


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