continuing to learn about debian..

via linuxmint debian edition [LMDE]

from a post questioning about whether LMD truly is a rolling release;
Re: Really rolling?
by drokmed on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:57 am

Greetings, Programs!

My second post here. I’m an old school Debian fella, just heard about LMD, thought I’d come over here and check it out.

vincent wrote:
“For a rolling release, yes, you should run dist-upgrades instead of plain old upgrades. A “dist-upgrade” does an “upgrade” and then some more, so once you run a dist-upgrade, you don’t need to run an upgrade. For a stable release, e.g. Debian Stable or Ubuntu, there should NOT be a need to do a dist-upgrade regularly, as libraries should not change and there would be no major upgrades (in fact, a truly stable release should get nothing more than security patches…), assuming you stick with the default repositories.”

If I may add my two cents to this.

Yes, in Debian STABLE, a dist-upgrade will never be needed, unless of course you are upgrading to testing (or a new stable). However, we are talking about testing. Since testing froze a few (six?) weeks ago, I’ve had to do more than one dist-upgrade to pick up some new libraries. In Debian, “apt-get update && apt-get upgrade” is sufficient to pick up any updates, unless a dependency issue, such as a replacement library becomes available. You’ll know it, because apt-get will complain about new packages being held back. When you see this, use the dist-upgrade.

As far as apt-get vs aptitude, true, aptitude runs on top of apt-get. aptitude is a little smarter when it comes to figuring out dependency issues. I usually use apt-get, and when it has questions about dependencies, I abort, and give aptitude a try, to see what it says. btw I should state i’m a command line kind of guy, have no use for synaptic, but that’s just me.

I had a corrupt system once (power loss during an upgrade whoops!), and aptitude got uber confused when trying to resolve dependency issues, but apt-get pushed through it easy enough. Strange, but true.

Back to the point I think the op was trying to make, since it’s based on testing, you should do an “apt-get update && apt-get upgrade” about once a week. I wouldn’t go longer than a month. Then again, it depends on how many packages you have installed. For a workstation with every Debian package imaginable, I’d say upgrade more often, every day is fine (good coffee drinking ritual in the morning), at least once a week. If it’s a simple server with no gui, you could go for months between upgrades and probably be fine.

I’ve rambled on enough, especially for a person new here.


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  1. #1 by rufong on 21/10/2010 - 22:55

    here’s my current /etc/apt/sources.list

    deb debian main upstream import romeo
    deb testing main contrib non-free
    deb testing/updates main contrib non-free
    deb testing main non-free
    #deb sid main non-free contrib [commented out because LMDE uses testing, not sid or squeeze]
    #deb squeeze main contrib non-free [see above, here for grabbing the odd pkg]
    deb unstable non-free
    deb stable non-free main
    deb debian main
    # Official site for latest version of Skype.
    deb stable non-free

    i’m updating and upgrading via smxi, recommended by craigevil

  1. linux users are more than 1% « studious silliness..

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