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Re: [vox-tech] Debian Net Install Questions
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Re: [vox-tech] Debian Net Install Questions

On Sun 15 Jan 06, 11:30 PM, Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com> said:
> Quoting Bob Scofield (scofield@omsoft.com):
> > Here's another question.  I got the feeling from a recent post that
> > Ken Bloom uses unstable.  Do others use unstable?  Why would one
> > choose unstable over testing?
> The nightmare of everyone who considers tracking "unstable" is roughly
> as follows:
> 1.  The maintainer of Debian's glibc package gets good and drunk on a
> Friday night, completes a software revision, crypto-signs it, and sends
> it up to the ftp-master machine.  The ftp-master scripts verify the
> signature against the master keyring, pick it up and send it off to the
> build hosts, which then populate it into the "unstable" tree in the
> package mirrors.
> 2.  At noon Saturday, the maintainer wakes up, has coffee, gets an
> icepack, and starts remembering what on earth he did the previous day.  
> At 2 pm, he posts to debian-devel saying "Warning:  Do _not_ get the
> current unstable package glibc-2.3.foo.  It's broken.  Will have new
> package up imminently."  He also goes onto the #debian and #debian-devel
> IRC channels and gets a matching warning posted as part of the /topic.
> 3.  At 11 AM Saturday, you do "apt-get updates && apt-get dist-upgrade" 
> on your server that tracks Debian-testing.  It didn't occur to you to 
> consult recent debian-devel postings or the IRC channels for warnings.  
Aptitude queries the DBS and warns of any critical bugs filed against the
package you're installing, which is a great safeguard.  Saved my hide
numerous times.

> To understand why someone might want to be on pure "unstable" instead of
> "testing", it helps to understand how "testing" works:  A quarantining
> script runs, once per night, doing automated quality checks on packages
> newly arrived and (as usual) populated without delay into "unstable".
> If they pass those additional automated tests, including compiling
> without error on multiple CPU architectures, then each such package
> autopopulates into "testing", as well.  If not, not.  (There is also a
> minimum quarantining delay, etc.  The ruleset as of 2001 was described
> by Jules Bean:  "Testing FAQ" on http://linuxmafia.com/kb/Debian/ . 
> Be warned that the exact ruleset has probably changed, but you'll get
> the basic idea.)
There are three Debian systems here.

My main workstation has testing because I like updated software, but do want
some kind of assurance that nothing will break.

My wife's workstation tracks stable because she never updates it, and I got
tired of going to upgrade her system and finding there's 10^23 packages that
need updating.

My gaming machine runs unstable.  Once upon a time, a single feature in
packages like Mesa, wine, dosemu, or SDL made the difference between a game
working and a game not working.  Those days are pretty much gone now that
these packages have matured.  Running unstable isn't as crucial to gaming as
it was back then, but I still run it from habit.

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