[svlug] the art of pinning

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo mail at webthatworks.it
Sat Dec 18 06:38:30 PST 2004

After reading one of the last post from Rick, I started speculating
about why should I bother to mix unstable/testing and if I could give
an answer to the former question, how should I mix them?

It seems surely more reasonable to mix unstable and testing rather
than testing and stable because testing receives security updates
later than sid. Stable and sid may be too different to be worth to try
to mix without major PITA.

But then why should I bother to have packages from testing at all?

Furthermore I can't find any completely convincing criteria about
which packages should come from testing and which one from unstable.

I would consider to chose exposed packages from sid cos they will
receive security packages earlier and to take not exposed packages
from testing.
Updates from testing should have less chances to break the system and
since they aren't exposed I shouldn't be in a hurry to update them.
But mixing may introduce dependencies problems that will make the
above advantage quite aleatory.

Does it make sense?

I tried to see if there was any good doc about pinning on Debian site
but the APT HOWTO and Debian Ref. chapter 6 don't get as deep as I'd
like. So I'm more convinced that the only available source of
information about this topic is experience.

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