Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Debian
User Name
Debian This forum is for the discussion of Debian Linux.


  Search this Thread
Old 08-05-2008, 09:19 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2008
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 266

Rep: Reputation: 36
dangers of Lenny?

I've been running Etch quite a while, and have been considering installing Lenny. Etch is really slow, but I want to keep with Debian, Ubuntu doesn't seem to appeal to me.

How risky is it installing Lenny (Testing) on my computer? It's seldom connected to the internet, so I'm not hugely worried about security on the internet. I'm more worried about the state of my computer. Will it light my computer on fire? (Metaphorically, of course).

But seriously, is there risk of data loss? If I have it networked to other computers, or exchange data between them via USB or Ethernet, could it harm those computers?

How much computer knowledge do I need? I'm not a programmer, and am still a linux newbie, but I am getting more comfortable with cli and don't mind editing configuration files with an editor.

Also, is there any way to upgrade to Lenny from Etch without wiping my harddrive clean? I have a very small hard drive, so a dual boot is probably not in the question... though possible...

Old 08-05-2008, 09:33 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: BrewCity, USA (Milwaukee, WI)
Distribution: Xubuntu 9.10, Gentoo 2.6.27 (AMD64), Darwin 9.0.0 (arm)
Posts: 1,152

Rep: Reputation: 46
I'm not on debian but I've been running gentoo unstable for years without any serious problems. when a Linux version (especialy debian) is declared 'stable' it is expected to be rock solid. your not going to have any serious problems on a desktop system don't let the name fool you it's still not going to be anywhere near as bad as windows.
Old 08-05-2008, 10:45 PM   #3
LQ Guru
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Northeast Ohio
Distribution: linuxdebian
Posts: 7,243
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: 190Reputation: 190
Lenny is the Testing branch of Debian. It will be the next stable version when they finish it.

The main differences between Etch and Lenny is that lenny gets a LOT more updates than etch does. The packages in Lenny are newer, and since it's testing things may occasionally break.

Will it cause damage to other machines ? NO
Will you have to fix things (software wise) if the y break ? possibly
is it Stable ? Yes it's pretty darn stable

Can you upgrade from Etch to Lenny without re-installing ? Absolutely. You don't even need to download an .iso !! the short answer is edit your /etc/apt/sources.list and change all current entries from etch or stable to lenny. then aptitude update && aptitude dist-upgrade sit back and wait for your system to be upgraded.

Are there other things you need to do before you upgrade ? possibly. You should read the release notes about Lenny prior to performing the upgrade.. or just go for it depending on how adventurous you are.

and remember ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR DATA before making any major changes to your system like an upgrade..

can you roll back to Etch after you upgrade to Lenny ? No not without a complete re-install.

When lenny moves from testing to stable is there anything I need to do ? If you used lenny in your sources list.. your system will become the stable version automatically when lenny moves from the testing branch to the stable branch.

hope that helps clear things up. there are a LOT of people here running testing with no issues. I run lenny as my main system at work every day.
Old 08-08-2008, 08:16 PM   #4
LQ Guru
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Bonaire, Leeuwarden
Distribution: Debian /Jessie/Stretch/Sid, Linux Mint DE
Posts: 5,190

Rep: Reputation: 1037Reputation: 1037Reputation: 1037Reputation: 1037Reputation: 1037Reputation: 1037Reputation: 1037Reputation: 1037
I have been using the testing branches of Debian for years now and there was never even a slight event of possible data loss. THAT is not a drawback of running Testing.

The only thing which I see happening is that you dist-upgrade at some moment, things break and it takes some time before they are fixed.

For example, I am running Lenny on my laptop, I have to because drivers etc are simply not available in Etch.

Then after upgrading one package, ia32-libs needed upgrading. That broke Adobe reader. Upgraded ia32-libs-gtk. That broke something else. Decided to dist-upgrade. That brought a new kernel (2.6.25-2). With the new kernel my Nvidia driver doesn't install, and my wireless is not working. Both problems have bug reports and known workarounds, but given all the time I already spent with configuring this laptop I stick with kernel 2.6.24.

Dist upgrading in Etch only does security updates, and hardly ever breaks something.

So the problem is mainly in dist-upgrading. Once it is working, it is working, and as stable as a rock.

If you are on a desktop with mature drivers there are hardly any problems to expect. Just don't dist-upgrade if this is a production machine and you have to finish a report. In general I do recommend Testing.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Known dangers of installing Xdialog saywot Fedora 1 10-22-2006 03:40 PM
repartitioning; how? and dangers? andrewf8 Linux - Newbie 4 01-07-2006 01:09 AM
Dangers with lm-sensors? halfpower Linux - General 1 10-02-2005 04:44 PM
dangers of the ftp service baronlynx Linux - Newbie 6 01-18-2005 06:43 AM
Dangers of a duel boot? Quiber Mandriva 6 05-25-2004 07:10 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Debian

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:16 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration