[SATLUG] Wanting a later version of something in Debian: How to deal

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Thu Oct 4 14:19:12 CDT 2012

On Oct 4, 2012, at 12:07 PM, Frank Huddleston <fhuddles at gmail.com> wrote:

> The Debian FAQ puts it the way a financial planner might describe mutual
> funds:
> You can go "stable" if you are risk-averse
> You can go "testing" if you can tolerate more risk, with potentially more
> gains (if you just have to run the later software)
> You can go "unstable" if you are a thrill-seeker.

The difference between OSes and financial investments is that with the former, it's an all-or-nothing thing, and each choice is mutually exclusive of the others -- no system can run more than one OS at a time.  With the latter, you can mix-and-match as you like.

You could try setting up multiple virtual machines running different versions, perhaps each with access to the same shared data.  But that would be a kludge at best.

> It seems to be a cronic Debian problem: you run into a situation where the
> stable, conservative installation just won't allow something to be
> installed because it needs newer versions of software which might still be
> in testing or even unstable.

It's not a problem unique to Debian.  I think that all OSes have largely the same problem, even if they don't intentionally create multiple parallel "tracks" for versions of their OS.

Speaking only for myself and my own personal use, I tend to fall somewhere in the middle, so in the specific case of where I might be using Debian, then I would probably go with "testing".

If I have a reason to require access to "bleeding edge" technology or resources, then I would do that on a separate machine that I do not use for anything other than that special purpose, and if it dies or needs to be rebuilt then that doesn't really impact me and my own personal access to things like e-mail, document processing, web access, and all the other standard things that I might do on a day-to-day basis.

For servers or any situation where I am building systems that I will be supporting and others will be depending on, then I tend to be much more risk-averse and I'll most likely stick with "stable" or "LTS" solutions.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>

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