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Old 02-18-2009, 12:13 AM
Paul E Condon
 
Default testing or unstable?

On 2009-02-17_13:02:38, Rodolfo Medina wrote:
> I've been using Debian for more than three years now, but always using the
> official DVDs of the most current stable version: first Sarge, and then Etch.
>
> Recently, many times I've been needing to use a testing/unstable Debian version
> for many applications that were too old in stable Debian, so now I'm thinking
> of switching to a testing/unstable Debian version for good.
>
> Now, my question is: which one is more advisable, testing or unstable?
>
> Excuse the basicness of my question, thanks for any reply
> Rodolfo
>
Rodolfo,
I have a different take on this issue. Rather than discuss the
relative merits of stable, testing, I think you should consider the
merits of lenny, squeeze. Using code names (lenny, squeeze, etc.)
allows you to choose when big changes in your system happen. I would
not run testing during the next several weeks because there was a
freeze on moving packages from unstable into testing in preparation
for the official release of lenny. As soon as lenny became stable, the
freeze was lifted and all sorts of flaky stuff that the release
manager wouldn't let into a product that was about to be released has
come flooding into testing. The point is that the stability of testing
is time dependent. Right after a release it can be somewhat
unstable. For a _long_ duration before a release, it is quite stable,
and much more modern than the official stable. I always use code names
in my sources.list. That way I am never hit with a bunch of changes
right after a release. In a little while, after the flood of held-back
packages abates, I will dist-upgrade to squeeze. Or, if there is a
persistent flood of questions about new packages in squeeze on
debian-user, I will defer the dist-upgrade until things settle down.

lenny, and squeeze are not the same as stable and testing. They change
at different times. Right now squeeze is rather unstable. Right now,
people who were running stable before the release are confronted with
a whole bunch of software that is new-to-them. Many of them may be
unable to deal with the learning _now_. They could have chosen the
time of the transition by running etch until they are ready to spend
some time on playing with a new toy. When they are ready, they point
sources.list to lenny. stable and testing are for developers. etch,
lenny, and squeeze are for timid users, like me.

--
Paul E Condon
pecondon@mesanetworks.net


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Old 02-18-2009, 12:15 AM
"Boyd Stephen Smith Jr."
 
Default testing or unstable?

On Tuesday 17 February 2009 07:02:38 Rodolfo Medina wrote:
> I've been using Debian for more than three years now, but always using the
> official DVDs of the most current stable version: first Sarge, and then
> Etch.
>
> Recently, many times I've been needing to use a testing/unstable Debian
> version for many applications that were too old in stable Debian, so now
> I'm thinking of switching to a testing/unstable Debian version for good.
>
> Now, my question is: which one is more advisable, testing or unstable?

All of it!

Example /etc/apt/preferences:
Package: *
Pin: release a=stable
Pin-Priority: 900

Package: *
Pin: release a=lenny-backports
Pin-Priority: 800

Package: *
Pin: release a=testing
Pin-Priority: 700

Package: *
Pin: release a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 500

Package: *
Pin: release a=experimental
Pin-Priority: 300


Example /etc/apt/sources.list:
# Debian
deb http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian stable main contrib non-free
deb-src http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian stable main contrib non-free
deb http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian testing main contrib non-free
deb-src http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian testing main contrib non-free
deb http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian unstable main contrib non-free
deb-src http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian unstable main contrib non-free
deb http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian experimental main contrib non-free
deb-src http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian experimental main contrib non-free

# Security
deb http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-security stable/updates main contrib
non-free
deb-src http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-security stable/updates main contrib
non-free
deb http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-security testing/updates main contrib
non-free
deb-src http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-security testing/updates main contrib
non-free

# Volatile
deb http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-volatile stable/volatile main contrib
non-free
deb-src http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-volatile stable/volatile main contrib
non-free

# Backports
deb http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-backports lenny-backports main contrib
non-free
deb-src http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-backports lenny-backports main contrib
non-free

# Multimedia
deb http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-multimedia stable main
deb-src http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-multimedia stable main
deb http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-multimedia testing main
deb-src http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-multimedia testing main
deb http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-multimedia unstable main
deb-src http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-multimedia unstable main
deb http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-multimedia experimental main
deb-src http://127.0.0.1:9999/debian-multimedia experimental main

Example /etc/approx/approx.conf:
# Here are some examples of remote repository mappings.
# See http://www.debian.org/mirror/list for mirror sites.

debian http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian
debian-security http://security.debian.org/debian-security
debian-volatile http://volatile.debian.org/debian-volatile
debian-backports http://www.backports.org/debian
debian-multimedia http://www.debian-multimedia.org/

# The following are the default parameter values, so there is
# no need to uncomment them unless you want a different value.
# See approx.conf(5) for details.

$interface lo
#$port 9999
$max_wait 30
#$max_rate unlimited
#$user approx
#$group approx
#$syslog daemon
#$pdiffs true
#$verbose false
#$debug false

--
Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. ,= ,-_-. =.
bss@iguanasuicide.net ((_/)o o(\_))
ICQ: 514984 YM/AIM: DaTwinkDaddy `-'(. .)`-'
http://iguanasuicide.net/ \_/
 
Old 02-18-2009, 03:41 PM
Eric Gerlach
 
Default testing or unstable?

On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 06:13:12PM -0700, Paul E Condon wrote:
> On 2009-02-17_13:02:38, Rodolfo Medina wrote:
> > I've been using Debian for more than three years now, but always using the
> > official DVDs of the most current stable version: first Sarge, and then Etch.
> >
> > Recently, many times I've been needing to use a testing/unstable Debian version
> > for many applications that were too old in stable Debian, so now I'm thinking
> > of switching to a testing/unstable Debian version for good.
> >
> > Now, my question is: which one is more advisable, testing or unstable?
> >
> > Excuse the basicness of my question, thanks for any reply
> > Rodolfo
> >
> Rodolfo,
> I have a different take on this issue. Rather than discuss the
> relative merits of stable, testing, I think you should consider the
> merits of lenny, squeeze. Using code names (lenny, squeeze, etc.)
> allows you to choose when big changes in your system happen. I would
> not run testing during the next several weeks because there was a
> freeze on moving packages from unstable into testing in preparation
> for the official release of lenny. As soon as lenny became stable, the
> freeze was lifted and all sorts of flaky stuff that the release
> manager wouldn't let into a product that was about to be released has
> come flooding into testing. The point is that the stability of testing
> is time dependent. Right after a release it can be somewhat
> unstable. For a _long_ duration before a release, it is quite stable,
> and much more modern than the official stable. I always use code names
> in my sources.list. That way I am never hit with a bunch of changes
> right after a release. In a little while, after the flood of held-back
> packages abates, I will dist-upgrade to squeeze. Or, if there is a
> persistent flood of questions about new packages in squeeze on
> debian-user, I will defer the dist-upgrade until things settle down.

I agree with this policy whole-heartedly. I just found out that I had a few
etch machines that had 'stable' in the sources.list. PITA.

My new standard practice for my desktop machines is to upgrade to the next
version when the green line drops below the blue line on this graph:
http://bugs.debian.org/release-critical/

Obviously, the green and blue lines are at roughly the same place right now,
because squeeze is just a copy of lenny. But give it a few weeks and the green
line will go rocketing up. It used to be that I'd upgrade once the RC number
got "low enough" (around 300 for my sarge->etch upgrade), but now they're
tracking stable RC bugs as well, which makes it easier.

Cheers,

--
Eric Gerlach, Network Administrator
Federation of Students
University of Waterloo
p: (519) 888-4567 x36329
e: egerlach@feds.uwaterloo.ca


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Old 02-19-2009, 01:17 AM
Paul Johnson
 
Default testing or unstable?

Rodolfo Medina wrote:
> I've been using Debian for more than three years now, but always using the
> official DVDs of the most current stable version: first Sarge, and then Etch.
>
> Recently, many times I've been needing to use a testing/unstable Debian version
> for many applications that were too old in stable Debian, so now I'm thinking
> of switching to a testing/unstable Debian version for good.
>
> Now, my question is: which one is more advisable, testing or unstable?

Go with testing. Packages don't make it into testing unless they've
gone a week without a showstopping bug, IIRC.
 
Old 02-19-2009, 11:03 AM
Rodolfo Medina
 
Default testing or unstable?

On 2009-02-17_13:02:38, Rodolfo Medina wrote:

>> I've been using Debian for more than three years now, but always using the
>> official DVDs of the most current stable version: first Sarge, and then Etch.
>>
>> Recently, many times I've been needing to use a testing/unstable Debian
>> version for many applications that were too old in stable Debian, so now I'm
>> thinking of switching to a testing/unstable Debian version for good.
>>
>> Now, my question is: which one is more advisable, testing or unstable?
>>
>> Excuse the basicness of my question, thanks for any reply



Paul E Condon <pecondon@mesanetworks.net> writes:

> Rodolfo,
> I have a different take on this issue. Rather than discuss the
> relative merits of stable, testing, I think you should consider the
> merits of lenny, squeeze. [...]


Thanks for your contribution.
But, if I understand well, the `unstable' option is excluded from your point of
view, that only considers the alternative between stable and testing.

Rodolfo


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Old 02-20-2009, 07:58 PM
"Michael M. Moore"
 
Default testing or unstable?

On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 5:02 AM, Rodolfo Medina
<rodolfo.medina@gmail.com> wrote:
> I've been using Debian for more than three years now, but always using the
> official DVDs of the most current stable version: first Sarge, and then Etch.
>
> Recently, many times I've been needing to use a testing/unstable Debian version
> for many applications that were too old in stable Debian, so now I'm thinking
> of switching to a testing/unstable Debian version for good.
>
> Now, my question is: which one is more advisable, testing or unstable?
>
> Excuse the basicness of my question, thanks for any reply
> Rodolfo

You have a lot of good advice to go on. I just wanted to add one more
thing to think about, which may or may not be an issue for you. For a
time I ran Sid (unstable) and I found the pace of updates somewhat
exhausting. The someone more relaxed pace of testing updates
(currently, testing is Squeeze) was more to my liking. Of course,
stable (currently, Lenny) only gets security updates from here on, so
the pace is very relaxed there. :-)

Many people have no problem with doing updates daily or nearly that
frequently. I don't like to be updating quite so often, and I don't
like it taking very long when I do it. Sid always has a lot of
updates ... always. You have to decide for you yourself what you're
most comfortable with.

I have been using Lenny for about a year, ever since I dropped down
from Sid, and never had any problems. But I will be sticking with
Lenny until Squeeze seems to be settling into a groove. I don't think
right now is the ideal time for most of us who aren't pretty advanced
users to be messing with the testing or unstable branches.

Michael M.

--
"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within
limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add
'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's
will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."
--Thomas Jefferson


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Old 02-20-2009, 08:58 PM
John Hasler
 
Default testing or unstable?

Michael M. Moore writes:
> Many people have no problem with doing updates daily or nearly that
> frequently. I don't like to be updating quite so often, and I don't like
> it taking very long when I do it. Sid always has a lot of updates
> ... always.

Why would the mere fact that some DD has uploaded a new version of a
package to Sid compel you to install it?
--
John Hasler


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Old 02-21-2009, 12:39 AM
"Michael M. Moore"
 
Default testing or unstable?

On Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 1:58 PM, John Hasler <jhasler@debian.org> wrote:
> Michael M. Moore writes:
>> Many people have no problem with doing updates daily or nearly that
>> frequently. I don't like to be updating quite so often, and I don't like
>> it taking very long when I do it. Sid always has a lot of updates
>> ... always.
>
> Why would the mere fact that some DD has uploaded a new version of a
> package to Sid compel you to install it?
> --

Because it's there, of course. :-)

It's not that I felt compelled to install every new package as it
showed up, but I did feel a bit more pressure to perform more frequent
updates than I wanted to. With Lenny (when it was testing), most of
the time I updated once a week, except when I wanted to install
something new, then I'd go ahead and update everything while I was
installing the new package because there usually wasn't that much that
needed updating. The weekly updates didn't usually take very long,
some weeks more than others. (OO.org, of course, always being a large
download.) With Sid, waiting a week between updates meant loads of
new versions, and even updating mid-week when I was installing
something new meant a lot of updates. I have a moderate DSL
connection, by no means top-tier and not as speedy as cable. I get
impatient, but yes, I do also feel compelled to install updates when I
see them there and I'm already installing something else anyway.
Sometimes you have to, in order to install what you want.

Anyway, I'm just more comfortable with testing -- not saying it's
better and everyone who doesn't want stable should use testing rather
than unstable, just saying it's better for me. Generally, it gets
newish stuff at a good clip, with the occasional package lagging
behind here or there; it has security support; it's not as fast a
moving target as unstable.

Michael M.

--
"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within
limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add
'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's
will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."
--Thomas Jefferson


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