My Debian experience so far

Rasjid Wilcox rasjidw at
Thu Mar 13 22:14:37 EST 2003

On Wed, 12 Mar 2003 01:46 am, Nemo - earth native wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 11, 2003 at 04:58:32AM +1100, Rasjid Wilcox did utter:
> > The minuses: Woody is too old, and Sid is, well, currently broken.  Not
> > badly
> Try testing (currently codenamed Sarge). SID is called unstable for a
> reason, and I wont touch it for anything that's relatively core or large
> (eg, perl, libc, etc), though I'll happily hit up SID for a minor app
> or utility.
> Sarge is testing - newer than woody, but not as cutting edge as Sid.
> It's a great compromise that I've found rarely has anything major
> broken.
> > Being new to Debian, I have no idea if this kind of delay in getting
> > 'grave' bugs fixed in Sid normal or not.  Perhaps I've just been unlucky
> > and hit a bad time to have my first unstable Debian experience.
> Sounds mostly like you've missed a key point in Debian's unstable->stable
> progression. ie, it's unstable->testing->stable (or as many would have
> it, cuttingedge->newish->ancient).

Ah.  Well I was aware of all that.  It's just that I really wanted KDE 3.x and 
wxWindows 2.4.0, and both of these are only available from unstable, unless I 
want to start using backports.

And this is where I had confilicting advice, from various posts to this list 
and elsewhere.  Is it better to Install Woody, and then get the backport of 
KDE 3.1, or just get Sid.  Does the backport work also work on Sarge?

What about wxWindows?  Does a backport of wxWindows 2.4.0 even exist?  Does it 
matter - could I just use pinning to install in on Woody or Sarge anyway?  (I 
didn't really know about pinning until after installing Debian anyway...)

Since I didn't really know the answers to any of these questions, I decided to 
leap in and just give it a bit of a go.  I checked that KDE 3.1 was in Sid, 
but I didn't think to check the status of each application.  My plan was to 
get Sid, and once the current versions of KDE and wxWindows move to Testing, 
then I'd consider moving to testing too.

An option that I am now aware of (which I was not originally) is that I could 
pin to Testing and get the occasional application from Sid.  However, with 
something as big as KDE, is this any more stable than just getting Sid?

I'm not expecting answers to all (or even any) of the above questions.  I'm 
just explaining what was going through my mind and why just going with Sid 
seemed to a reasonable idea at the time.

Anyway, as it turns out, thanks to Steve Hanley's tip, I now have Kmail, and I 
am basically very happy.  :-)  Certainly, from a system perspective I find it 
more stable than my old RedHat 7.3 setup.  Previously I would quite regularly 
have the system hang during startup, and I was never sure if it was a 
hardware problem or a software problem.  Redhat would also be slightly random 
about which fonts it chose - mostly going with 100dpi (which is what I had 
specified in the config files) but occasionally deciding to use the 75dpi 
fonts instead.  I have not had those, or any other particularly noticable 
problems so far with Debian (touch wood).  And I do like apt.



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