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-   -   sources.list already has etch, change to stable now? (

gctaylor1 04-09-2007 02:30 PM

sources.list already has etch, change to stable now?
I've been running etch for a few months and my sources.list already has etch, like this.

deb etch/updates main contrib non-free
deb etch main non-free contrib
deb-src etch main non-free contrib

With the release of Debian 4.0 do I change etch to stable and just continue on as I have been?

There is no point in doing a dist-upgrade, right?


JimBass 04-09-2007 03:09 PM

You don't have to do anything with your sources.list setup like that. You can leave it as Etch, and it will be fine.

Although fine has a new meaning now. You'll no longer get anything along the lines of "new" software. All Debian stable gets is security updates. I would suggest waiting a few weeks, then changing Etch to testing or Lenny, then update followed by dist-upgrade.


gctaylor1 04-09-2007 05:11 PM

Thanks for the info.
Etch has been running great for me.

JimBass 04-09-2007 07:55 PM

That's great. It will continue to run great for you, but it will no longer get "new" software. You've been using Etch while it was the testing branch of Debian, which gets new things after problems get sorted out in unstable. It was the middle ground of Debian. Now that it has moved to stable, that same comfortable middle ground of some new things after the major bumps have been smoothed out by unstable, will again be in testing, which is now Lenny. For the time being, it is fine to stick with Etch, but that is now primarily a static server build of Debian. Soon something will come around, and apt-get/aptitude won't provide it for Etch/stable, but will for Lenny/testing. When that happens, you'll want to go back to testing.


kmack1023 04-12-2007 09:30 AM

considerable newb here...I just jumped on the Debian train when I heard about etch going to stable. I always thought stable was a good thing. After looking around these boards a little bit, I see now I'm wrong. Apologies in advance for a thread-hijacking that's about to occur, but I can't help but ask, what exactly is a dist-upgrade? I'm running Etch at home and I've gathered that I need to change my sources.list to Lenny, but what about this dist-upgrade? is that an apt command or something? I'd like to move into the testing (it's still secure and "some-what" stable right?) but I'd like to know exactly how to go about doing that... ;)

IsaacKuo 04-12-2007 09:58 AM

Don't get the wrong impression! Debian Stable is awesome! Yes, you will no longer get the latest and greatest versions of software--but if your software is already working, why change it? You still get security updates and other serious bug fixes, and that's what counts.

Personally, I always use Debian Stable unless I have a compelling reason to use Testing. I find it annoying when, say, Kaffeine gets updated and the user interface is now different than before.

I want software which just works, and Debian Stable is perfect for that.

JimBass 04-12-2007 10:37 AM

In regards to your hijack/question kmack1023, dist-upgrade is an apt-get command. Normally you simply do an apt-get update followed by apt-get upgrade. Apt-get however tries to keep your system as stable and functional as possible, so just changing your sources.list to Lenny from Etch won't grab many of the new packages right out. Here is a quote from the apt-get manpage about apt-get upgrade:

under no circumstances are currently installed packages removed, or packages not already installed retrieved and installed. New versions of currently installed packages that cannot be upgraded without changing the install status of another package will be left at their current version.
When you do "apt-get dist-upgrade", it tells apt-get to change all packages to the newest listed for your type of install, whether it is stable, testing, or unstable. In essence, it gives the most up to date setup of software for your machine and choice of Debian at the time.

What IsaacKuo wrote isn't at all wrong, it just isn't the way most people want their desktop. As mentioned above, you'll get security only updates to software from now on with Etch. New software won't be added. That seems ideal for a server to me, but not so much for a desktop. That being said, it doesn't bother me if they change an interface on kaffeine, as long as it still works. And with that being said, yes unstable (Sid) is still ahead of testing (Lenny) in terms of how new their software is. I believe a new package has to work for unstable for 10 days before it is introduced to testing. So you still are not the point of contact with the latest and greatest, unstable is. You have them clearing a path for you, and major bugs doen't usually get into testing. Testing is generally as stable and modern as most other distros. Unstable is a little ahead of the curve.


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