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Old 09-03-2018, 10:57 PM   #1
un1x
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DontBreakDebian...


https://wiki.debian.org/DontBreakDebian

Quote:
Debian is a robust and reliable system, but it's still very easy for new users to break their systems by not doing things the Debian way. This page lists common mistakes made by new users. Some of the things listed here can be done safely, but only if you have enough experience to know how to fix your system when things go wrong.

The general theme to the advice here is that consequences are not always immediate, and can make future upgrades impossible without a complete reinstall. If upgrading without a complete reinstall is important to you, be careful not to make the mistakes outlined below.

One of the primary advantages of Debian is its central repository with thousands of software packages. If you're coming to Debian from another operating system, you might be used to installing software that you find on random websites. On Debian installing software from random websites is a bad habit. It's always better to use software from the official Debian repositories if at all possible. The packages in the Debian repositories are known to work well and install properly. Only using software from the Debian repositories is also much safer than installing from random websites which could bundle malware and other security risks.

Don't make a FrankenDebian

Debian Stable should not be combined with other releases. If you're trying to install software that isn't available in the current Debian Stable release, it's not a good idea to add repositories for other Debian releases. The problems might not happen right away, but the next time you install updates.

The reason things can break is because the software packaged for one Debian release is built to be compatible with the rest of the software for that release. For example, installing packages from buster on a stretch system could also install newer versions of core libraries including libc6. This results in a system that is not testing or stable but a broken mix of the two.

Repositories that can create a FrankenDebian if used with Debian Stable:

Debian testing release (currently buster)

Debian unstable release (also known as sid)

Ubuntu, Mint or other derivative repositories are not compatible with Debian!
Ubuntu PPAs

Don't use GPU manufacturer install scripts

Debian includes Free open source drivers that support most video cards. The Free drivers provide the best integration with the rest of the Debian system and work quite well for most users.

If you absolutely must have the proprietary closed source drivers, do not download them directly from the manufacturer's website!. Installing drivers this way only works for the current kernel, and after the next kernel update your video drivers will not work until they are manually reinstalled again.

Fortunately there is a Debian way to install proprietary video card drivers using packages in the repository. Installing the drivers the Debian way will make sure that the drivers continue to work after kernel updates.

AtiHowTo has instructions on using the Free open source drivers for ATI/AMD video cards.

ATIProprietary has instructions for installing ATI/AMD closed source drivers the Debian way.

NvidiaGraphicsDrivers has instructions for installing Nvidia closed source drivers the Debian way.

Don't suffer from Shiny New Stuff Syndrome

The reason that Debian Stable is so reliable is because software is extensively tested and bug-fixed before being included. This means that the most recent version of software is often not available in the Stable repositories. But it doesn't mean that the software is too old to be useful!

Before attempting to install the newest version of some software from somewhere other than the Debian Stable repositories, here are some things to keep in mind:

Debian backports security fixes and new features, judging software by comparing the version number of the Debian package to the upstream version number does not take this into account.
The latest version of the software you're trying to use might also have new bugs.

Installing software from places other than official Debian repositories are not covered by ?https://www.debian.org/security/.

. . .
 
Old 09-04-2018, 12:15 AM   #2
dugan
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Can confirm. I would always run Debian stable for a while, decide I want new software, install other repositories, and end up with a completely hosed system.
 
Old 09-04-2018, 08:18 AM   #3
jlinkels
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I should add that it is no use to be eager to install the latest and greatest software. Why should one want to replace 2016 version software with the 2018 version? If it was good enough in 2016, it still is today. Besides, in 2016 it was bleeding edge and people thought it was very important to have it. Wasn't it?

There are cases where you simply need the next version. For example when the next incompatible security protocol is implemented somewhere, or when a mainstream file format becomes incompatible. Or when a new development tools for websites has suddenly propagated to the mainstream web developers community. Rendering your browser useless for 20% of all websites. Apparently software developers severely suffer from the New And Shiny Syndrome.

In those cases it is not before long something appears in the Debian Backports to help you out of this incompatibility issue.

jlinkels
 
Old 09-04-2018, 09:54 AM   #4
hazel
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A good thread! We had a case here recently of someone whose apt system had got into a right old mess because she had added a lot of extra repositories.
 
Old 09-04-2018, 12:35 PM   #5
ondoho
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copypasta?
thread reported.
 
Old 09-04-2018, 01:51 PM   #6
jlinkels
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Ondoho, what is wrong with this thread?

jlinkels
 
Old 09-04-2018, 03:35 PM   #7
milomak
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isn't this the standard debian theme?

or something has changed?
 
Old 09-04-2018, 09:28 PM   #8
frankbell
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Quote:
I should add that it is no use to be eager to install the latest and greatest software.
I have not yet encountered a situation in which having the latest version of a piece of software added any functionality over the version I had installed on an up-to-date "stable" (Debian or other flavor) distro.

Of course, some of the examples jlinkels gave are quite valid, but they are more relevant to development/sysadmin usage than to desktop usage.
 
Old 09-05-2018, 11:26 AM   #9
hitest
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I am happy to run Debian-stable and use the provided software. Debian has rock-like stability.
 
  


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