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Debian Package Management Presentation

"The World according to Apt"

Everything in Debian revolves around the different releases:

  • Stable (right now: "Potato")
  • Testing (right now: "Woody")
  • Unstable (right now, and probably always, "sid")

If you're more astute than I am, you'll notice that all of the names come from Disney's Toy Story. If not, don't worry about. It's not that important anyway. :)

The stable release is almost static. It is only changed if security updates are found or , possibly, other minor changes. That means you're likely to find VERY outdated software here. It's best to use this release on a mission-critical server or something that you want to know isn't going to fail.

The testing release is a much more up-to-date release. It's probably the best release for the typical home user. The packages in this release have been tested for awhile and don't tend to have major problems.

The unstable release is for the "truely brave" (or crazy, I'm not sure which). This is where the "bleeding edge" packages are. In here, a key package like glibc can be broken. That's why I wouldn't run my entire system on unstable. However, it can be possible to pick and choose packages from unstable to add to your system (more on this later). This is very useful for those "gotta have it now" packages.

Now that I've made this harder than it sounds, let me show you how it works (and how easy it really is to use).

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Apr. 1, 2004 2:16 pm US/Eastern