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Unstable stable and testing

Unstable stable and testing

Posted Mar 5, 2005 0:47 UTC (Sat) by cricketjeff (guest, #28244)
In reply to: Debian vs. FreeBSD as a Web Serving Platform, Part 1 by vonbrand
Parent article: Debian vs. FreeBSD as a Web Serving Platform, Part 1

While I would never use unstable without a great deal of thought on a busy production server it isn't as drastic as the name implies, unstable doesn't mean the packages are flaky just that the versions and dependencies will change quite rapidly. Testing is a third set of archives and is the "new" stable version in waiting and is usually suitable for immediate use, indeed in my last job we served about 3 billion webpages a year from testing boxes. If you need to use the latest software for one or two packages but want stability for the rest Debian has that covered,
apt-get install -t unstable package-name
will pull the package you want from unstable the apt conf file allowing you to specify stable or testing to be your default distribution.
apt-get install -st unstable package-name
would pretend to do the same thing so you can see what extra packages will need to be pulled for unstable so you can decide whether or not to go ahead.

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Unstable stable and testing

Posted Apr 14, 2005 10:24 UTC (Thu) by vinci (guest, #13772) [Link]

It does mean that a packages is there today and gone tomorrow - and you get NO support. This can lead to high frustration. Yes, some packages are very well organized, but "unstable" is not named "testing" for good reasons.

The truth is, and I hate to say that, that Debian today is quite unusable for people who like to use modern software. The concept is outdated. 3 years for a new release is just too much (for me and many others).

I am using Debian right now since 6 years as home server and webserver. I like it very much. But the update policy is a pain.

I don't know what comes into nex 'stable' and when 'stable' comes. That means that I might have to switch to another distribution if I want PHP5, Horde3 ,Gnome 2.10 in the next 4-5 years. We just don't know so many things today about a future release. "Its ready when it's ready" - this is good for a product nobody is eagerly waiting off. I want to know when a next release comes out and what software it will have. It is ok, if that does not fit a 100%. But if you need a certain basis you can not use todays Debian.

But I am optimistic that Debian will make its reforms now and be attractive again, soon. But right now one should not recommend Debian.

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