server linux

Mark Purcell mark at
Wed Feb 5 22:10:57 EST 2003

On Wed, Feb 05, 2003 at 04:21:57PM +1100, Michael Still wrote:
> How brave is running unstable? Will it eat my data?

If you know you way around Linux, then unstable is not a problem. Unstable
is actually pretty conservative and is possibly on par with other
'mainstream' distributions. For example 'unstable's bleeding edge
currently consists of kernel-image-2.4.20, Xfree86-4.2 & KDE 2.2! (KDE
3.1 is being uploaded in about 6 hours) so if you track any of those you will
know they are still behind the bleeding edge. By comparision 'stable'
is running at kernel-image-2.2.20 (with an alternative for 2.4.18),
xfree86-4.1.0 & KDE 2.2 so you know it is rock solid and very well tested.
If you want a Debian distribution to eat your data you really need to look
at packages in the 'experimental' distribution, where a lot of early versions/
CVS beta tests or general alpha quality software hangs out.

If you can recompile a kernel and/or are able to manage to compile a
source package from sratch then you will have no problems with unstable
and you will welcome the richness and expanse of packages and especially the
libraries. The pre-packaged libaries make it a breze to compile and install
application.tgz and dump it in /usr/local/ rather than constantly having to
scour the net for obscure libraries.

My firewall/router here runs stable, but everything else behind runs unstable.

Unstable is currently in a transitition from g++2.95 to g++3.2 which means there
are some pretty interesting combinations of application/ library dependancies
as new libraries first and then packages are uploaded after built with g++-3.2.

That said unstable does generally keep you in a 'sane' state just it might
advise that when you want to install the g++3.2 built version of libfam0
that it wants to unload your entire KDE suite, which makes sense as they are
no longer binary compatible.

During this transition most of us are just putting the packages like this on
hold (at the g++2.95 version) until all the dependant applications are upgraded.

Once they screwed up libc6 package which caused a bit of grief, the solution was
to downgrade to the previous version or wait a day or so while they uploaded the
fixed version.

Of course YMMV,

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