Debian release versions and apt - Questions

This is a discussion on Debian release versions and apt - Questions ; I wanted to install the hpoj package on a Debian 3.0 release to run my hp printer/scanner. I did "apt-get install hpoj" which worked fine, but installed an older version which doesn't have good scanner support. So I downloaded a ...

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  1. Debian release versions and apt

    I wanted to install the hpoj package on a Debian 3.0 release to run my
    hp printer/scanner. I did "apt-get install hpoj" which worked fine,
    but installed an older version which doesn't have good scanner
    support. So I downloaded a newer version (as a .deb) manually and
    tried to install it. With a bit of poking, I got it to select the
    downloaded package, rather than hit the server for the old package,
    only to find that there were lots of other packages which weren't the
    newest versions either, and it wouldn't upgrade them because of my
    poking.

    I went into the #debian room where (I think) I was told that Debian
    packages do not work for every release of Debian, and my release may
    be too old for the newest .deb packages. Is this correct - .deb files
    only work with certain Debian releases? Does this mean that unless I
    keep upgrading my Debian release, I can't continue to upgrade my other
    packages? If this is the case, how do I upgrade my Debian release? If
    not, what am I doing wrong?

    Incidentally, the #debian room is a pretty scary place. I can't tell
    if I was being stupid or they were very impatient, but it took them
    about 15 seconds to start swearing at me.

    Peter

  2. Re: Debian release versions and apt

    On Wed, 02 Jun 2004 04:24:52 -0700 Peter Saffrey scrawled this
    disquisition:


    > packages do not work for every release of Debian, and my release may be
    > too old for the newest .deb packages. Is this correct - .deb files only
    > work with certain Debian releases? Does this mean that unless I keep
    > upgrading my Debian release, I can't continue to upgrade my other
    > packages? If this is the case, how do I upgrade my Debian release? If not,
    > what am I doing wrong?
    >


    Yes it's true ... in most cases because of dependencies .deb files from
    one release don't function well in other releases. I think Debian 3.0 is
    better know as Woody. Unless you require absolute rock-solid stability the
    Woody release is pretty much ancient history.

    The newest candidate for stable release is Sarge which is still in
    "testing" mode until all the unstable quirks are removed for all supported
    platforms. In theory the packages in testing are supposed to be about 2
    weeks behind the packages released in Sid, the unstable version.

    Personally I've found the testing distribution very stable and the lag for
    getting upgraded software usually not too bad. Occasionally I'll compile
    my own .debs when I don't want to wait for the Debian maintainers.

    I'd suggest going to your /etc/apt/sources.list and changing the "woody"
    or "stable" references to "testing". Then do:
    # dselect update
    # apt-get dist-upgrade

    Sure hope you don't have too many packages installed :-)

    FS


  3. Re: Debian release versions and apt

    On 2004-06-02, Friendly wrote:
    > On Wed, 02 Jun 2004 04:24:52 -0700 Peter Saffrey scrawled this
    > disquisition:
    > The newest candidate for stable release is Sarge which is still in
    > "testing" mode until all the unstable quirks are removed for all supported
    > platforms. In theory the packages in testing are supposed to be about 2
    > weeks behind the packages released in Sid, the unstable version.


    WARNING! There is no mechanism to make sure that security updates get into
    "testing" rapidly. They go into "unstable" and trickle into "testing" in
    the usual way, although (usually) with a shorter minimum waiting period.

    "Please note that security updates for `testing' distribution are *not*
    managed by the security team. Hence, `testing' does not get security
    updates in a timely manner." (http://www.debian.org/releases/testing/)

    > Personally I've found the testing distribution very stable and the lag for
    > getting upgraded software usually not too bad. Occasionally I'll compile
    > my own .debs when I don't want to wait for the Debian maintainers.
    >
    > I'd suggest going to your /etc/apt/sources.list and changing the "woody"
    > or "stable" references to "testing". Then do:
    > # dselect update
    > # apt-get dist-upgrade


    Hmm, I'd do "apt-get update" rather than use (arrgh!) dselect, and also
    check the output of "apt-get --simulate dist-upgrade" or "apt-get
    --simulate install hpoj" before letting it all go automatically.

    --
    Paul Kimoto
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text. Any images,
    hyperlinks, or the like shown here have been added without my consent,
    and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  4. Re: Debian release versions and apt

    Paul Kimoto wrote in message news:...
    > On 2004-06-02, Friendly wrote:
    > WARNING! There is no mechanism to make sure that security updates get into
    > "testing" rapidly. They go into "unstable" and trickle into "testing" in
    > the usual way, although (usually) with a shorter minimum waiting period.
    >


    Does this mean the security fixes go into Woody quicker than they go
    into testing? Is there any way you can mix the two?

    >
    > Hmm, I'd do "apt-get update" rather than use (arrgh!) dselect, and also
    > check the output of "apt-get --simulate dist-upgrade" or "apt-get
    > --simulate install hpoj" before letting it all go automatically.


    I tried this and got a huge pile of messages - the comment about not
    having too many packages was appropriate since it wants to upgrade
    452!

    Still, this is largely a tester box for Debian so I'm pressing ahead
    to hope for the best.

    Thank you both for your helpful replies. So far I've been quite
    pleased with Debian, mainly for the "apt" functionality. Finding that
    rsync is not installed, I typed "apt-get install rsync" and,
    automagically, it was there. This is how package management *should*
    be done.

    Peter

  5. Re: Debian release versions and apt

    On 2004-06-04, Peter Saffrey wrote:
    > Paul Kimoto wrote in message news:...
    >> On 2004-06-02, Friendly wrote:
    >> WARNING! There is no mechanism to make sure that security updates get into
    >> "testing" rapidly. They go into "unstable" and trickle into "testing" in
    >> the usual way, although (usually) with a shorter minimum waiting period.


    > Does this mean the security fixes go into Woody quicker than they go
    > into testing?


    Sometimes, sometimes not. The packages with "stable" security fixes are
    pushed out by a different team from the "unstable" (and then "testing")
    packages.

    > Is there any way you can mix the two?


    Often programs produced for "stable" will work on a post-"stable" system,
    but libraries produced for "stable" will likely break programs that depend
    on post-"stable" packages. And then there may be changes in file
    locations, configuration format, .... So the answer is "sometimes" (or,
    "it depends").

    > So far I've been quite
    > pleased with Debian, mainly for the "apt" functionality. Finding that
    > rsync is not installed, I typed "apt-get install rsync" and,
    > automagically, it was there. This is how package management *should*
    > be done.


    .... although occasionally one reads that apt-get is not designed to be a
    proper, full-blown package-management tool, and you should use a front-end
    instead, such as aptitude or synaptic.

    --
    Paul Kimoto
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text. Any images,
    hyperlinks, or the like shown here have been added without my consent,
    and may be a violation of international copyright law.

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