Is a partial 'upgrade' on Debian possible??

Sam Couter sam at
Sun Feb 2 10:42:28 EST 2003

Rasjid Wilcox <rasjidw at> wrote:
> Is it possible with Debian to be mostly on stable, but just 'upgrade' some 
> components?

Yes, but it might not work the way you want it to. As you upgrade a
package, its dependencies may also need to be upgraded (recursively).
For example, upgrading one GNOME package might bring in most of the
GNOME libraries and glibc as well. At that point, you may or may not be
better off just running testing or unstable.

APT provides a concept called "pinning", which I think is supposed to
help with this sort of thing.

You'll also need to remember that unstable gets a lot of integration
testing, where your mostly stable but parts of unstable combination

The other way to upgrade parts of your system is to download the source
for the packages you're insterested in, and build them on your stable
system. You won't end up with a large tree of dependencies needing to be
upgraded, but you might need to tweak the package a bit to get it to
build on stable. It might also need build-time dependencies to be
upgraded. I don't recommend this solution for a large, complex and
related group of packages such as KDE.

> In particular, I really want the latest version of wxWindows (2.4) and I have 
> a strong desire for KDE 3 (as I have a dual screen setup, which from memory 
> was not dealt well with by KDE 2).  I've just checked the Debian website, and 
> wxWindows is avaiable under unstable.  KDE seems to be 2.2.2 for all 
> versions, but there seem to be deb's for KDE 3.1 at the kde website.

Wait for the KDE3 transition in Debian, which is waiting on the GCC3.2
transition. The ABIs are going to change, so you'll need to upgrade all
of the KDE stuff anyway and/or experience strange bugs.

> My preference would be to go for Debian stable on CD, provided that I can 
> still get wxWindows 2.4 and KDE 3.  I just don't know enough about Debian to 
> know how easy / difficult that is.

Generally it's quite easy, but it's a per-package thing. Some packages
may be a nightmare.
Sam "Eddie" Couter  |  mailto:sam at
Debian Developer    |  mailto:eddie at
                    |  jabber:sam at
OpenPGP fingerprint:  A46B 9BB5 3148 7BEA 1F05  5BD5 8530 03AE DE89 C75C
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