Howto get newer packages in Stable

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Howto get newer packages in Stable

Postby craigevil » 2012-03-28 00:14

So you want/need a newer version of a package than what is currently in Stable, what do you do.
First look in the backports repo located at http://backports.debian.org/

Once you find what you are looking for you need the backports repo in your sources.list.

Add the backports repo to your sources.list
Code: Select all
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

that will open your sources.list in nano so you can add:
Code: Select all
# Debian Stable Backports
deb http://backports.debian.org/debian-backports squeeze-backports main contrib non-free

ctrl+shift+v will paste
ctrl+o writes to the file
ctrl+x saves

Next as root do:
Code: Select all
apt-get update

Search for a package for example vlc
Code: Select all
apt-cache search vlc

Unfortunately not all packages are in backports, for example vlc is not in backports.

In this case you basically have 4 options:
1) Build it from sid yourself
How do I backport a sid package to testing or stable?

Install the Debian source (and the development tools, especially debhelper, devscripts, and build-essential), and then build the package.

Step by step:
Following the same steps you used to add the backports repo:
add a deb-src line for sid to your sources.list
deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free

apt-get update

apt-get build-dep PACKAGE_NAME

apt-get -b source PACKAGE_NAME

The resulting debs should be in the current directory and can be installed with dpkg -i the.deb or gdebi if you have it installed.

2) Download the source from the vlc site(or whatever package you need) and try to compile it. Usually there is a READ.me follow the steps in it to install, you can use checkinstall instead of using make install, this will create a .deb which can be easily removed using apt-get/aptitude. Or follow the steps locate at HowTo Build a Package from Source the Smart Way - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=38976 to correctly build a proper Debian .deb.
3) Use the Mepis repo , which is usually a safe bet since stevepusser does such a great job of building the packages.
4) If it is a multimedia package you can check if it is in the debian-multimedia.org repo, this however can cause problems in Stable, if you are running sid you can safely use the dmm repo for any multimedia packages.

1 and 3 are probably your best bets, with 2 being the most difficult and 4 a crap shoot. Always look in backports first.

In the case of Iceweasel/Firefox there is a separate repo located at http://mozilla.debian.net follow the directions there to install whichever version of Iceweasel you are wanting to use, it currently has the current release, Beta, and Aurora.

There are many third party repos available, many of which are in my Giant sources.list. However you are advised to stick with the Debian repos as much as possible. Do not mix Stable, Testing, or Unstable repos or packages. Stick with the release you are running, your system will be much more 'stable'. You have been warned, now go forth and apt-get moo.


Some additional notes:
1) Before upgrading please read the changelog from Sid first (packages in Backports are, at most, as new as those in Sid) and make sure that you have a valid reason to update a package. Keep in mind newer isn't always better.

2. Since Backports became official, there's no need to install its keyring package; it's now included in the Debian keyring.

3. The Debian Mozilla repository is effectively a Backports one. It may not be official, but it behaves like Backports, identifies as Backports does and needs Backports to fulfill its dependency chain when using it on Stable.
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Re: Howto get newer packages in Stable

Postby hhh » 2012-03-29 17:47

@craigevil (or anyone who knows what the deal is), in the past I've tried to build packages from wheezy or sid using the steps you describe in step 1, but when I ran apt-get build-dep PACKAGE_NAME I had the same or similar dependency errors I got if I tried to download the deb package from packages.debian.org and try to install it with dpkg.

The biggest culprit I've run into has been gcc+/libc6-dev. Finally, and since I keep nothing critical on my hard drive and don't have a problem with borking my system and re-installing, I just went ahead and added wheezy and security-testing/updates to my sources.list, upgraded gcc+/libc6-dev and the other packages I wanted from wheezy that have noticeable improvements (kernel 3.2.0, gnome-keyring, xfce4-notifyd and a couple of others), commented wheezy out again (but left the testing security source) and updated again.

Out of curiosity, what kind of risk am I taking, and am I incorrect that some wheezy or sid packages, in their current state, just won't build on squeeze?

Thanks much in advance!

PS: I tried installing the kernel from backports, but nvidia-kernel-dkms did not successfully rebuild my Nvidia driver, whereas it did using the testing kernel (missing headers, I think? I can't remember).
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Re: Howto get newer packages in Stable

Postby makh » 2012-03-29 21:47

Hi Craig

hhh is quite right, i myself had this issue with installing wine and an intel driver from sid. its not good that broken packages are reached.

alas! well for wine i got to built it
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Re: Howto get newer packages in Stable

Postby stevepusser » 2012-03-30 02:32

Very, very, very few (I have only seen two) programs require an update of libc6 in order to compile. I would rather guess that installing upstream applications has made it difficult for you to install libc6-dev from either stable or upstream. That's the point of backporting--so base libraries don't end up in that sort of mess.

I've just backported VLC 2.0.1 to Squeeze using the stock libc6-dev. You can do it too, but you'll need to add the squeeze-backports repository to pull in newer versions of libx264-dev, libmatroska-dev, libxvidcore-dev, and some others. NOT listed as a required update, but it is, is the newer libavcodec-dev (4:0.8) from that repository too, along with the rest of the updated libav/ffmpeg libraries. Otherwise the build will error out.

It's also necessary when backporting to stable to undo any of the multiarch additions, which is kind of a long and technical topic...
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Re: Howto get newer packages in Stable

Postby cra1g321 » 2012-03-30 13:36

Would this thread not be better in 'Docs, Howtos, Tips & Tricks' rather than 'Beginner Questions' ?
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Re: Howto get newer packages in Stable

Postby craigevil » 2012-03-30 14:15

cra1g321 wrote:Would this thread not be better in 'Docs, Howtos, Tips & Tricks' rather than 'Beginner Questions' ?


thought about putting it there but decided here would be better, because here is where most of the"how can I get sns" is asked.

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Re: Howto get newer packages in Stable

Postby sybn » 2012-03-31 02:35

How safe is to use deb ftp://mepis.mirrorcatalogs.com/mepis/packages/mepis/ mepis-11.0 main in debian squeeze?
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Re: Howto get newer packages in Stable

Postby hhh » 2012-03-31 04:02

Very safe, that's why it's option 3.
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Re: Howto get newer packages in Stable

Postby kedaha » 2012-03-31 08:18

craigevil wrote:So you want/need a newer version of a package than what is currently in Stable, what do you do.[...][
2) Download the source from the vlc site(or whatever package you need) and try to compile it. Usually there is a READ.me follow the steps in it to install, you can use checkinstall instead of using make install, this will create a .deb which can be easily removed using apt-get/aptitude. Or follow the steps locate at HowTo Build a Package from Source the Smart Way - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=38976 to correctly build a proper Debian .deb.

Only thing I would add to this is that it's a good idea to compile and build packages this way in VirtualBox if you wish to leave your desktop configured as an end-user without a wagon-load of additional packages and their dependencies which can, occasionally, put a spanner in the works.
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Re: Howto get newer packages in Stable

Postby sybn » 2012-03-31 21:13

hhh wrote:Very safe, that's why it's option 3.


yeah thanks, everything went smooth.
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Re: Howto get newer packages in Stable

Postby stevepusser » 2012-04-01 00:58

sybn wrote:How safe is to use deb ftp://mepis.mirrorcatalogs.com/mepis/packages/mepis/ mepis-11.0 main in debian squeeze?


Actually, that's the official MEPIS 11 repo, and it does have some backported base libraries, such as QT 4 4.7 and KDE 4.5.3. Packages built against those won't install into base Squeeze unless you go ahead and upgrade those from the MEPIS repo, too. GTK programs are more likely to be compatible...though I'm thinking about a backport of GTK 2 for the separate community repo if GIMP 2.8 ever comes out, since it needs that, no way around it.
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Re: Howto get newer packages in Stable

Postby MarcusW » 2012-04-01 08:30

Nice guide!
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