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Old 10-02-2004, 06:46 PM   #1
Jmcatch742
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Is debian out of date?


I am thinking about getting Debian, but I have heard a lot of people say all the packages are out of date. And I went to the website and its been like 9 months since the last release, is that true? Are the packages out ofdate and should I just wait for the next release?
 
Old 10-02-2004, 07:22 PM   #2
ToniT
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Well,

Debian unstable is not out of date, newer. Newest packages are mostly under 24 hours old.
What comes to the stable release, the Sarge release is coming soon.
 
Old 10-02-2004, 07:31 PM   #3
Dead Parrot
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Debian is not like other distros. Debian has STABLE releases where software versions don't change after release, but it also has two development branches, TESTING and UNSTABLE, where software is constantly updated. See here for brief explanation: http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/Debian

To make it short, while software in the STABLE branch may be "out of date", software in TESTING is more "up to date" and software in UNSTABLE is quite "up to date". However, TESTING has more bugs than STABLE and UNSTABLE has even more bugs than TESTING.

But don't get too scared -- all software has bugs. The usual procedure goes as follows in OpenSourceSoftware: developers release software, then users test it and report any bugs they find, and then developers fix those bugs. In addition, Debian has its own Bug Tracking System where software packages are first tested in UNSTABLE branch, then sent to TESTING branch, and finally they are accepted to STABLE releases.

So, software in Debian's STABLE release has gone through a lot of testing and it's quite bug-free. But this takes time, and therefore software in STABLE releases tend to be "out of date" (but bug-free). However, you can use the less tested Debian branches, TESTING or UNSTABLE, where you get less tested (possibly buggy) software that is quite "up to date".
 
Old 10-02-2004, 07:32 PM   #4
zackarya
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Debian

Jmcatch742, the thing about debian is that they usually have three different releases, they have stable(woody), testing(sarge), and unstable(sid). Woody, which is the stable branch, is only released after it has been through the testing branch and found to be, well, stable. You can install any of the three you want though. You can get a much better idea by visiting http://www.debian.org/releases/
I run woody on one of my machines and while you don't get the latest packages, what you do get is a well tested collection of programs that will work well together. Also, if I wanted to I COULD install programs from any of the three branches regardless of which release I'm running. Of course, since I'm running the stable branch, installing something from testing or unstable is now going to put programs on my machine that have not been fully tested and known to work. So, you can have the latest packages if you want. Hope that helps.
 
Old 10-02-2004, 07:39 PM   #5
muxman
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Debian is very very focused on stability. There are always 3 different "versions" of Debian out at one time.

The stable version would be somewhat out of date compared to the release shedules of other distros. They don't make a release "stable" until they are sure that is what it is, stable. Stable means the packages are a little older and therefore are tried and true. I recommed this if you want a server with great uptime.

Testing is the next version. It's more up to date and running newer software. It's the version on it's way to being the stable release. They take their time with this process to make sure when it is released as stable that it lives up to the name and reputation for being a stable Debian release. I personally like this release. YOu get newer, but not the newest, software and a reasonably stable system. I have very little trouble if any running this as a server and as a desktop.

Unstable, or Sid, is the most current and up to date software. The "cutting edge" so to speak. It uses the latest and greatest of packages. Be ready for problems as there always are with the latest of everything. That doesn't meant it won't run well for you, but just be ready. When you're using the latest releases of software you can expect problems from time to time, that's why Debian takes it time and tests things well. They wait for software to lose it instability through time and testing and updates before they move it up to either of the other distros.

Once a stable release is made it does take a while for the next stable version to come out. But with testing and unstable you can always have newer or the newest packages since Debian update almost everyday.

Hope this helps explain Debian a little better.

BTW, with apt-get as Debians package manager you can't ask for easier updates, upgrades, package installs and NO, I repeat NO problems with package dependancies. I've been using Debian for a while and never have had problems with dependancies. Ever. Apt-get gets rid of a problem that linux still suffers and needs not to have, not after all this time and at the stage of development linux is in.

Debian is by far my favorite distro.
 
Old 10-02-2004, 07:41 PM   #6
CroMagnon
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Debian stable is woefully out of date, if having the newest software installed matters to you But don't let the name "unstable" fool you - it's not a system that crashes often, and it's much more up to date.
 
Old 10-02-2004, 07:50 PM   #7
Dead Parrot
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Quote:
Of course, since I'm running the stable branch, installing something from testing or unstable is now going to put programs on my machine that have not been fully tested and known to work. So, you can have the latest packages if you want.
This is not a recommended usage and it could easily break your system. Instead of randomly installing packages from all three "branches", you should mainly keep to only one branch (perhaps installing one or two packages from another branch). So stable/testing system is OK, and so is testing/unstable system. But stable/testing/unstable system is asking for trouble.

http://www.argon.org/~roderick/apt-pinning.html
 
Old 10-02-2004, 08:28 PM   #8
zackarya
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Debian

I didn't mean to imply that one should ranomly install packages from the different branches, sorry if it came across that way. I was just trying to point at that I COULD do so if I wanted to. But like the above poster said, it's not a good idea. Just wanted to clarify.

Zackarya
 
Old 10-03-2004, 12:28 AM   #9
darthtux
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It hasn't been 9 months since the last "stable" release, It's been 19! I have run Sarge and not had problems. Not that there can't be problems. But it is much more stable that Red Hat's official releases.

Some packages and libraries in Sarge are already frozen. It will become "offically" stable in the near future.

I am running Sid on another machine. So far so good.
 
  


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