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Old 01-22-2008, 06:45 PM   #1
449
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Lightbulb I just switched from Ubuntu to Debian, what do I need to know?


I feel like I've learned so much in the few days I've been on Debian. I even managed to break it, get frustrated and reinstall it. I just now read through some of Debian Post Install Sticky, and man I wish I had that information a long time ago. I am still confused about one big thing though, the apt repo. I'm confused about what I can and cannot have in their. When I broke my system previously I'm almost certain it was because I just copy and pasted someones source.list. I'm running Etch 4.0 so that means anything with "Etch/stable" in the name is completely safe? Now here's where I lost. Say I want to download the latest version of Deluge from apt. Where do I get right url for the repo? And I'm noticing that a lot of the packages that come with the system are old, like I have gaim instead of pidgin. Can I upgrade to the newer packages without breaking my system? Also how would I go about getting KDE? If anyone has any tips please share.

Thanks.
 
Old 01-22-2008, 07:01 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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If you want your system to absolutely not break, then stick to the default stable repositories (though I add debian multimedia to mine). You can try getting some packages from etch-backports.

Now, if you want to run something slightly newer, which is also pretty stable, you can try using lenny or sid. To do that, just change every "etch" or "stable" to lenny/testing or sid/unstable. In general, Sid is about what a brand new release of Ubuntu will be like. Newer software, a bit buggy, but still usable for everyday life. Occasionally a package upgrade will cause things to go awry, but if you wait a few days and upgrade it again, it'll be fixed. Testing is somewhere in between.

But typically you should stick with ONE version (stable, testing, or unstable) or you'll run yourself into dependency problems.

If you want to find a package, you can either search on the debian website or use apt-cache search string where string is whatever you're looking for. Then you can see details by doing apt-cache show packagename.

As to installing kde, just do aptitude install kde or if you want a slightly stripped down version of kde (i.e. with out all the extra kde specific programs) you can install kde-core instead.

If you want to learn your way around a debian system, I recommend this site. It's quite detailed and will explain a lot of the low level debian stuff.

I would also get familiar with the programs on this cheat sheet, especially module-assistant and dpkg-reconfigure.

Oh, and here's the debian reference guide.
 
Old 01-22-2008, 07:29 PM   #3
449
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Thanks for all that great info!

I tried switching the repo urls from etch to sid ,but synaptic gave me errors, so I switched back. I'm still confused on how to switch over. Am I forgetting something?

nvm I think I got it.

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/10...etch-to-lenny/

edit: Well using that guide I managed to earn myself a reinstall once again. I think I'm going to stick with Etch to keep my sanity...

Last edited by 449; 01-23-2008 at 01:15 AM.
 
Old 01-23-2008, 05:42 AM   #4
jlinkels
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Can I recommend to use Lenny instead of Etch. Etch is almost a year old (april 2007) and will be outdated soon. Lenny is pretty stable for desktop use.

Like pjvaldez said, sticking with the standard repos is safe and good enough but debian-multimedia is a must. Before you reinstall your system, copy all lines starting with 'deb' in your sources.list, but change the word 'etch' near the end by 'lenny'. (It can also read stable, change stable for testing)

Code:
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ etch main non-free contrib
add:
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ lenny main non-free contrib
I never managed to get aptitude working correctly, and I stuck with apt.

Do
Code:
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade -t lenny
If this fails, it is early enough to reinstall.

Since I am running Etch & higher I never experienced dependency problems. Never install a package from source unless you really know what you are doing and it is really, really necessary.

jlinkels
 
Old 01-23-2008, 08:47 AM   #5
sycamorex
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Quote:
I tried switching the repo urls from etch to sid ,but synaptic gave me errors, so I switched back
You might have got the errors regarding the security updates repos - sid doesn't have them.
 
Old 01-23-2008, 11:33 AM   #6
samael26
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Install apt-listbugs.
That will tell you if one package is buggy and give you the option not to install it.
It is a must on Debian testing or unstable.
cheers
 
Old 01-23-2008, 02:13 PM   #7
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by samael26 View Post
Install apt-listbugs.
That will tell you if one package is buggy and give you the option not to install it.
It is a must on Debian testing or unstable.
cheers
Wait...

I thought you couldn't mix stable and testing/unstable? Or does that just apply to the repos list?
 
Old 01-23-2008, 02:40 PM   #8
kabniel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 449 View Post
Wait...

I thought you couldn't mix stable and testing/unstable? Or does that just apply to the repos list?
You can run a mixed system, but you will run in to trouble if you are simply adding two different versions next to each other in your sources.list file.

Here's a good thread on two different ways to do it: http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?t=15612
 
Old 01-23-2008, 02:49 PM   #9
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by kabniel View Post
You can run a mixed system, but you will run in to trouble if you are simply adding two different versions next to each other in your sources.list file.

Here's a good thread on two different ways to do it: http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?t=15612
Ahh, I see. I think what happen when I upgraded to lenny was that so packages didn't work, but overwrote the etch packages. Leaving me with a broken system.
 
Old 01-23-2008, 03:01 PM   #10
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My advise: stick with stable until you're comfortable within the Debian environment. Then update to testing, if you want to (not obligatory ) Unstable is for experienced users, IMO...
 
Old 01-24-2008, 06:12 PM   #11
mikieboy
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Originally posted by 449:

Quote:
I tried switching the repo urls from etch to sid ,but synaptic gave me errors, so I switched back
Perceived wisdom is to upgrade in stages i.e. from Etch to Lenny, then Lenny to Sid.

As well as not mixing systems, it is also recommended that you don't mix package managers. For instance, if you started out with Synaptic then stay with it and don't use apt-get or aptitude.

In other words, don't make it over-complicated and you'll be fine. It is OK to run a mixed system if you know how to mend any breakages.

Last edited by mikieboy; 01-24-2008 at 06:13 PM.
 
Old 01-24-2008, 06:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikieboy View Post
Originally posted by 449:

As well as not mixing systems, it is also recommended that you don't mix package managers. For instance, if you started out with Synaptic then stay with it and don't use apt-get or aptitude.
I thought synaptic was a gui for apt...
 
Old 01-25-2008, 06:28 AM   #13
mikieboy
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Quote:
I thought synaptic was a gui for apt...
My mistake! You're quite right, I've never used synaptic since I prefer the command line apps.
I can assure you though, from personal experience, that apt and aptitude do not play ball! Especially during a dist-upgrade when one package manager will lock the cache against the other. I don't know if this would happen with synaptic but I still say it's best to keep it straightforward.

Originally posted by Jlinkels:

Quote:
I never managed to get aptitude working correctly, and I stuck with apt.
My point precisely. If you have previously used apt on your system, aptitude doesn't want to play nicely.
 
Old 01-25-2008, 11:25 AM   #14
samael26
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The piece of advice I gave you is quite useful. Bugs are listed in serious, grave, critical categories. And if you install apt-listbugs, each time there are updates, the script is run when you choose each package. With a little reading, you see if it is safe or unsafe to update. When there are no problems, the package simply installs and you're done.
At the moment, there is a whole bunch of gcc bugs that are listed. I simply don't update and wait until they're fixed. It is safe when you have a <done> message at the end of the line.
Stable is okay, but IMHO, apps are a bit outdated. Fine in a server environment, but not convenient in day-to-day use.
Now, it's up to you...
cheers
 
Old 01-25-2008, 12:07 PM   #15
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Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by samael26 View Post
The piece of advice I gave you is quite useful. Bugs are listed in serious, grave, critical categories. And if you install apt-listbugs, each time there are updates, the script is run when you choose each package. With a little reading, you see if it is safe or unsafe to update. When there are no problems, the package simply installs and you're done.
At the moment, there is a whole bunch of gcc bugs that are listed. I simply don't update and wait until they're fixed. It is safe when you have a <done> message at the end of the line.
Stable is okay, but IMHO, apps are a bit outdated. Fine in a server environment, but not convenient in day-to-day use.
Now, it's up to you...
cheers
Ok. so lets say that I wanted to try and go for a lenny upgrade again, with apt-listbugs it will tell me during the installation if it's buggy or not and I can simply choose no if it is and keep the older package?

I've learned to be ok with stable, but it would be nice to be able to update like you said how it's becoming outdated, I just don't need another reinstall right now...
 
  


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