Debian SID questions and answers

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Re: Debian SID questions and answers

Postby zoli62 » 2019-12-06 17:07

Well, in the end it turns out that SID is still a usable system.
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Re: Debian SID questions and answers

Postby kedaha » 2019-12-07 09:03

zoli62 wrote:Well, in the end it turns out that SID is still a usable system.

That may depend on what parts of it you wish to use. Some parts may not be usable at all for some time. It isn't a stable system; that's why it's called "unstable." It's meant to be a quarry for "testing"where packages are subsequently tested for security, stability and compatibility with all the other packages.
These are the two reasons I don't use it for my workstation:
"sid" is subject to massive changes and in-place library updates. This can result in a very "unstable" system which contains packages that cannot be installed due to missing libraries, dependencies that cannot be fulfilled etc. Use it at your own risk!

Please note that security updates for "unstable" distribution are not managed by the security team. Hence, "unstable" does not get security updates in a timely manner.

Nevertheless, kudos to all intrepid users who run sid as their main system despite the warnings. :wink:
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Re: Debian SID questions and answers

Postby zoli62 » 2019-12-07 09:37

kedaha wrote:
zoli62 wrote:Well, in the end it turns out that SID is still a usable system.

That may depend on what parts of it you wish to use. Some parts may not be usable at all for some time. It isn't a stable system; that's why it's called "unstable." It's meant to be a quarry for "testing"where packages are subsequently tested for security, stability and compatibility with all the other packages.
These are the two reasons I don't use it for my workstation:
"sid" is subject to massive changes and in-place library updates. This can result in a very "unstable" system which contains packages that cannot be installed due to missing libraries, dependencies that cannot be fulfilled etc. Use it at your own risk!

Please note that security updates for "unstable" distribution are not managed by the security team. Hence, "unstable" does not get security updates in a timely manner.

Nevertheless, kudos to all intrepid users who run sid as their main system despite the warnings. :wink:


I think I'm brave and experienced enough to run Sid and similar systems on a daily computer. Because my machine also serves test purposes.
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Re: Debian SID questions and answers

Postby zoli62 » 2019-12-16 18:27

This is also a strategy for running Debian Sid. https://linuxconfig.org/how-to-run-debi ... ely-safely
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Re: Debian SID questions and answers

Postby stevepusser » 2019-12-16 20:55

zoli62 wrote:I've been using Debian for a long, long time. I respect your opinion, but the fresh, crunchy packages of popular applications cannot be found in the official repositories of the Debian stable release, just a simple Firefox browser, for example. That is why I think it makes sense to use at least testing instead of stable release.


There are several ways of getting the "fresh" releases of apps like Firefox running on Stable--getting Firefox is one of the most common questions asked and answered here, in fact. Most of the answers involve either a backported version, or something like a flatpak or AppImage.
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Re: Debian SID questions and answers

Postby sunrat » 2019-12-16 21:25

zoli62 wrote:This is also a strategy for running Debian Sid. https://linuxconfig.org/how-to-run-debi ... ely-safely

Ignore the bit about avoiding dist-upgrade (or apt full-upgrade). This will eventually break something if you don't do it regularly.
Also that article neglects to mention the most important advice - don't upgrade when a large number of removals are proposed.
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Re: Debian SID questions and answers

Postby wizard10000 » 2019-12-17 12:01

Well, I might as well wade in too :)

I've run Sid for years. You've got a bunch of great advice here and it'd be wise to listen to it. I would take exception to TFA you linked, though. I can't think of any reason why I'd map an Ubuntu PPA to Debian and I think that's a horrible idea.

I do have a four or five non-Debian packages on my machine and what I do is download the .deb, extract it and read what package dependencies are; if I can meet those dependencies I install the package without editing apt sources. Alternatively you can just grab the .deb and try installing with gdebi (I never have learned to love aptitude). gdebi will tell you if dependencies are missing. I also avoid deb-multimedia as I had a package there break Sid almost a year after I installed it.

I will say that apt-listbugs has saved me a couple of times - IME the biggest problem I have with bugs is in chromium, which I believe needs a little more testing before being made available in Sid. apt-listbugs won't save you from a zero-day vulnerability but I do have it configured to report important and higher bugs instead of the default serious and higher. I get a little more information that way.

I also subscribe to a couple of Debian dev mailing lists and their bugtracker so I can see what's coming down the pipe, I get a couple hundred emails a day from the lists but usually all l have to do is read subject lines to find out what's going on. I use a mail rule to dump list mail into its own folder so it doesn't clutter up my email :)

Most important - understand what apt wants to do to your machine and if an upgrade doesn't look safe, don't upgrade. The problem will normally be fixed in a couple days or so :mrgreen:

cheers -
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Re: Debian SID questions and answers

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-12-17 15:19

zoli62 wrote:This is also a strategy for running Debian Sid. https://linuxconfig.org/how-to-run-debi ... ely-safely

That's a piss-poor "guide", the author doesn't even know what a FrankenDebian is... :roll:
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Re: Debian SID questions and answers

Postby jwrober » 2019-12-17 17:16

kedaha wrote:If I want any more up-to-date software, which is not often, I follow the recommendations given in Newer_Software_For_Debian_Stable. The stable distribution is what sets Debian apart from any other distro, something I think which isn't always fully appreciated. However, I take my hat off to anyone who wants to make either sid or testing their main operating system and who doesn't mind "the life of eternal updates", specially if they take the trouble to debug "broken functionalities" and submit bug reports and the like.


Thanks for sharing this link. I am running current testing thinking that was the best way to run on newer code. Seems there is an even better way.

Now for the big question - can I downgrade from testing to Buster or would I have to start all over?
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Re: Debian SID questions and answers

Postby jwrober » 2019-12-17 21:17

jwrober wrote:Can I downgrade from testing to Buster or would I have to start all over?


Good to answer your own question - answer is no -- https://wiki.debian.org/SystemDowngrade
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Re: Debian SID questions and answers

Postby None1975 » 2019-12-18 11:55

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
zoli62 wrote:This is also a strategy for running Debian Sid.
That's a piss-poor "guide", the author doesn't even know what a FrankenDebian is... :roll:


Yes you are right.

Unfortunately there's a lot of bad advice on the Internet. Tutorials found on blogs, forums and other sites often include instructions that will break your system in subtle ways. Don't simply follow the first advice you find, or the tutorial that seems the easiest. Spend some time reading the documentation and compare the difference between tutorials.


https://wiki.debian.org/DontBreakDebian ... bad_advice
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