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pepperdreamteam 01-27-2013 09:33 PM

knoppix sources.list?
Knoppix is a debian-based, Linux live DVD.

I've liked the pre-installed packages in knoppix so much, that I've installed it to disk (several times now). My question is about /etc/apt/sources.list

in Knoppix, the sources.list file has MANY repo links, it includes links for stable, testing, unstable and experimental (lenny, squeeze, wheezy, sid...etc), all uncommented.

there's a copy of my sources.list file here:

the strange thing is that in the /etc/apt/apt.conf file, the
default release is's what it says:

APT::Default-Release "wheezy";

I'm wondering, should I COMMENT OUT or REMOVE all the links in my sources.list file that aren't wheezy/wheezy related? what is the advantage to having so many links?

pepperdreamteam 01-28-2013 12:48 AM

does anyone know knoppix here?

m.a.l.'s pa 01-28-2013 03:15 AM

I use Knoppix, but not installed. My opinion is that it's better to go with Debian for that. I looked over your sources.list, and you bring up some good and interesting questions.

This might not give you quite the answers that you want, but you might want to read the article "HD Install Warning not to do it":

The reason I suggest this article is because it discusses how and why the live CD contains packages from different Debian versions (stable, testing, unstable, experimental) and how this can be a problem when using Knoppix as an installed system:


This works out great for a Live CD where everything has been tested to work together well. It does not work out so well when you take that combination of carefully tested and balanced (and maybe hacked to fit) software and install it to hard disk, particularly if you ever install anything else or try to update any of the current packages. That makes the package manager do things that it is not intended to do with parts taken from the different versions.

pepperdreamteam 01-28-2013 11:53 AM

Well, unlike the article claims, I don't really think that this is rocket science. Basically it seems like knoppix is built on debian stable, but has the package manager set up so that it looks first to testing and unstable repos. I think there is no harm in eliminating lenny and squeeze from the sources.list file, and updating and upgrading everything. That being said what is left is a mixture of sid and wheezy (testing and unstable), which I guess is unsupported by Debian standards. If I'm wrong about any of this, I really do not mind being corrected.

There is one other pertinent file.../etc/apt/preferences, which reads
Package: *
Pin: release a=testing
Pin-Priority: 900

Package: *
Pin: release a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 800

I'm guessing this just means, first look to wheezy for the package, and if it isn't there, look in the unstable repos.

it SEEMS like a pretty cool way to set up debian, though perhaps more liable to break than just installing squeeze, isn't any debian configuration using the unstable or testing repos more likely to break than stable?

I definitely hear the advice about just installing Debian directly from sources rather than going through knoppix, and thank you for that. Maybe the more proper way would be to do a conventional debian install and then use dpkg to from knoppix build a package list for all of knoppix's cool, built-in packages?

Confusion like this makes me wonder why there are SO MANY linux distros, debian-based distros, gentoo-based distros, ubuntu-based distros, etc. If it's less stable/safe to install them, why should they even exist (instead of just existing as scripts that the user runs ONCE the main distro, whether it be debian, gentoo or ubuntu is properly installed)?

snowpine 01-28-2013 11:56 AM

What you describe is called "apt-pinning" and lots of Debian users do it:

m.a.l.'s pa 01-29-2013 07:13 AM


Originally Posted by pepperdreamteam (Post 4879177)
Well, unlike the article claims, I don't really think that this is rocket science.

Maybe not, but I guess there are good reasons why the Knoppix wiki section on hard drive installation ( has a link to this article highlighted in red letters.

I do see why someone would want to try it, though. Knoppix comes with some cool stuff. Looking at a live Knoppix session, there's obviously an option in the menu for installing it to a hard drive.

But it also seems that you could install Debian and still add all of the packages that you see in Knoppix.

Beyond my area of expertise, I guess. I've used Knoppix (and Debian) for years, but I use Knoppix only for live sessions. Great tool to have around, by the way!

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