[svlug] the art of pinning

steve steve at itsage.com
Sat Dec 18 14:40:17 PST 2004

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo wrote:

>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.
This is one of the reasons backports.org is so nice.  Backports takes 
packages from testing/unstable, and recompiles them to run on stable.  
The result is an updated binary, without having to replace half the libs 
on your system.  With 'pinning' you can get into the 9 levels of 
dependency hell - updating one program can 'require' updating lots of 
core system libraries.  For instance, take a look at the Samba 
dependencies - cups,ldap, kerberos, etc etc.  Thats a lot of stuff to 
download and change (and possibly break other things on your box..) just 
to try out a new package.  Another nice thing is the package version 
names used - if a newer version of a package becomes available in stable 
or security or whatever, the backport package will be replaced - just 
like with 'normal' package upgrades.  This makes it very transparent, 
you don't have to worry about remembering to 'un-pin' stuff when updates 
become available.

In short, backports has made my live a lot easier, YMMV.


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