Debian mirrors and sources.list selections

Matthew Hawkins matt at
Wed Jul 3 10:48:19 EST 2002

Eyal Lebedinsky (eyal at wrote:
> Eyal Lebedinsky wrote:
> > 
> > Rasjid Wilcox wrote:
> > > I've set my /etc/apt/sources.list to look at unstable.  However, this did not
> > > work for  The best I could do here was woody.  Is
> > > this because that unstable is always going to be at least as up-to-date as
> > > security anyway, and I should just remove that line???
> > 
> > There is no 'security' repository for unstable. The idea is that security
> > is not a feature of 'unstable', and there is no point is such urgent patches.
> Well, The Debian list just announced the availability of security
> updates
> for woody. Just add
> deb woody/updates main contrib non-free

woody != unstable

There are no security updates for unstable, I guess because unstable
will get the new packages in any case.  They're also probably trying to
wean people off running unstable in the future.

Andrew Bartlett (abartlet at wrote:
> Rasjid Wilcox wrote:
> > Other than that, I already beginning to think that apt-get is the best thing
> > since sliced bread.  I had so many headaches with RedHat rpm dependencies,

It's not apt that gives you the no-headaches and the proper
dependencies.  It's the .deb package format and the work of the Debian
maintainers to provide quality packages to a written standard/policy.
This is the opposite of Redhat, where the rpm format is sloppy and
there's no focus on quality packages at all, there's not even a standard
to follow.  And people wonder why they get dependency problems.

This is one reason I don't think any distribution should follow Redhat's
LSB.  For distributions such as Debian with a superior package
management system, it means lowering quality down to the gutter where
Redhat is.  My apologies to insulted gutters.

> For those who think that RedHat is still worth looking at - you could
> consider apt-rpm.

This isn't going to solve the problems at all.  The *only* thing apt
gives you is a neat way of easily locating packages you can install.
This has been possible on Redhat since way back when using rpmfind.
You then still get the dependency problems any way - whereas on Debian
the packages apt has found don't have such problems *provided* you don't
do anything dumb like try to mix releases. (this only happens if you put
in unofficial deb sources, like gnome2/kde3 or what have you)

On that note, somebody mentioned using both 'official' and 'local'
mirrors - I'd just like to say that the local mirrors ARE official
mirrors.  eg, is  You're meant
to be using the local mirror for your country, which is meant to be
updated automagically by a nightly push from
(I say 'meant to be' because I've found planetmirror to be out of sync
on occasion)

David Clarke (gadicath at wrote:
> I've not had problems with planetmirror being out of sync, I have had
> problems with connecting to it before. is the one
> I'm using at the moment, it's normally alright.  I've also used
> which was alright too.

Heh, my experience is the opposite.  I recently moved from planetmirror
to mirror.aarnet as planetmirror was out of sync.  I had to switch back
today as good ol' telstra.not isn't routing me towards mirror.aarnet
past  6 (
I have LOS to telstra tower - can I get a wireless connection through
that straight to the hosting box down in the ANU ? ;-)


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