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Re: [vox-tech] Knoppix as Debian Installer (was PPP problems;need help over phone or housecall (Sacramento))
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Re: [vox-tech] Knoppix as Debian Installer (was PPP problems;need help over phone or housecall (Sacramento))

Quoting Jeff Newmiller (jdnewmil@dcn.davis.ca.us):

> I have done this a couple of times... it has the advantage of being very
> easy to do.  Unfortunately, as time goes on, the fact that Knoppix uses
> very cutting edge package repositories (esp. developer websites) as
> apt-get sources can undermine system stability.

Can confirm, from my own experience -- except I generally immediately
replace the sources.list entries with ones for the Debian "testing"
and/or "unstable" branches.  I don't have the stock Knoppix sources.list
in front of me, but vaguely recall that it references the standard
official-Debian mirror site for the unstable branch, plus a couple of
unofficial package sites.  

Either way you do it, the problem's pretty much as you've described it.
Knoppix is approximately 90% Debian-unstable and 10% third-party stuff
from various places.  Note that it installs and uses an /etc/sysconfig
tree, which is standard for RH/Fedora but not Debian.

> I have already fixed sources.conf, but I am currently trying to learn
> more about how apt-get works so I can downgrade the old development
> packages into the main Debian upgrade path.

Some links that might help:


In your shoes, I'd try to converge the system either onto straight
Debian-unstable, or onto Debian-testing with selective access to
Debian-unstable packages.  

For the latter, you might do this in /etc/apt/sources.list :

deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/  unstable main non-free contrib
deb http://non-us.debian.org/debian-non-US unstable/non-US main contrib non-free
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/  testing main non-free contrib
deb http://non-us.debian.org/debian-non-US testing/non-US main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org stable/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org testing/updates main contrib non-free

(Don't forget to run "apt-get update" after any change to the package

I believe the following in /etc/apt/preferences was how I set the
default branch to "testing", by frobbing the pin-priority of "unstable"
packages so that they never get installed by default.

Package: *
Pin: release a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 50

(I'm a little vague on how "pinning" works, so don't take my word for 
that -- and there may be better ways to accomplish that goal, e.g.,
setting  APT::Default-Release "testing"  in /etc/apt/preferences .
I should really read "man 5 apt_preferences", and please heed that
rather than me, if possible.)

On a system configured that way (default branch = testing, optional
access to unstable packages), doing 

  # apt-get install gnome-panel

...will fetch the testing-branch package and its dependencies.  By
contrast, doing 

  # apt-get  -t unstable  install gnome-panel

...pulls that package and any required to satisfy its dependencies from
the non-default unstable branch.

As a reminder, "unstable" is development-branch packages made available
almost immediately upon upload to the ftp-master machine by the package
maintainer, with nobody else checking his work.  They're supposed to be 
functional, and almost always are, but there are no guarantees other
than the package maintainer's desire to avoid embarrassment.  If the
glibc6 maintainer sends up a broken package and you poll for it before
he sobers up and provides a replacement, you're moderately screwed.
The "testing" branch is unstable filtered through some automated
quarantining scripts, such that you're a step further back from the
cutting edge.

Cheers,                    "Send a policeman, and have it arrested."
Rick Moen                     -- Otto von Bismarck, when asked what he 
rick@linuxmafia.com               would do if the British Army landed.
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