[sf-lug] [Fwd: Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 updated]

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Apr 10 01:44:54 PDT 2007

Quoting Michael Paoli (Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu):

> I think perhaps you accidentally confused "sarge" with "etch"
> (or perhaps with "lenny").

No, I most certainly did not.  (I've administered a large number of
Debian boxen since 2.1 slink days, by the way, and maintain a sizeable
amount documentation on the Debian system.)

> The reason for folks to potentially change their /etc/apt/sources.list
> from "stable" to "sarge", is if they want to continue running 3.1 and
> not inadvertently find themselves updating to 4.0 or packages from 4.0.

I'm aware of this "reason" -- but that reason is just not reasonable.  
It hasn't ever been during any of the prior release switchovers, and isn't
now, either, in my view.  (The only exception I can think of would be
people tied to some hopelessly brittle piece of proprietary software
that is likely to break if you allow your Debian box to follow the
normal automated transition to a new stable branch.)

If you appreciated the utter stability, extreme distance from the
cutting edge, and rather desperate boredom of stable=sarge, then by the
same logic you should appreciate those same qualities in its stable=etch
replacement -- and the fact that the entire release process, right down
to the slightly antique glibc version that etch is still stuck on, was
designed to make that transition (from stable=sarge to stable=etch)
about as seamless and painless as one is likely to ever get on Linux.

> Such inadvertent upgrades might cause interesting surprises/problems
> for the users, and it also might hit various potential problems.

Um, despite the fact that I haven't had the slightest personal interest
in the stable branch for quite a few years, I _did_ skim-read the
release notes for i386 and PPC.  The "potential problems" struck me as a
little risible, but maybe that's just me.

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