[sf-lug] SF-LUG & BALUG: System OS upgrades *soon*(?) - volunteer(s)?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Jan 24 00:16:42 PST 2012

Quoting Jim Stockford (jim at well.com):

>     I've lost track. I'll have to re-read the thread 
> to figure out the issue. 

No worries.  Here's an effort to overcome the tl;dr problem:

Conventional Debian installers that start you on the 'stable'
maintenance track do so by using keyword 'stable' in the host's
/etc/apt/sources.list[.d/] files.  If you leave that alone,
you'll get the benefit of Debian's release process and smoothly progress
from each stable release to the next.  

Some people fool with it (e.g., sustituting a named branch for 'stable')
for a variety of reasons that generally boil down to:  don't really
understand Debian administration and/or can't help themselves from
fixing what isn't broken.

Above deliberately ignores the usual motley assortment of edge cases,
exceptions, elaborations, pointless and time-wasting quibbles, and use
cases for which Debian-stable isn't appropriate or desired in the first

FWIW, I personally have eschewed Debian-stable for many years, finding
testing/unstable better for all of my own machine use cases.  E.g., this
evening, I finally got around to doing OS installation on machine #2
at my desk at work, needed in order to be in a high-security VPN
environment that cannot use resources my main machine needs.  I used:

Aptosid 2012-03 XFCE i386 live CD.  Did installation, fetching needed
firmware-linux-nonfree package for the tg3 ethernet firmware.  (Bad
Broadcom!  No biscuit.)  Added:  wmaker, wmaker-conf, xdm, xterm, gimp,
libreoffice, centerim, pidgin, irssi, libpurple-bin gimp-data-extras,
x11-apps, xscreensaver, xfishtank, xdaliclock, xscreensaver-gl, fortune,
fortunes-off, equivs, imagemagick, dh-make, debian-keyring, fastjar,
curl, enscript ffmpeg, icedtea-plugin, openjdk-6-jre-headless,

Removed:  xfce4*, gparted, parted, ntfs-3g, jfsutils, pcmciautils,
pppoeconf, reiserfsprogs, thunar*, wpasupplicant, bluetooth, bluez,
bluez-pcmcia-support, brasero, brasero-common, dpkg-dev, fonts-vlgothic,
gdm3, cryptsetup, sane, gpm.

Run the following repeatedly to remove cruft:
apt-get autoremove
apt-get --purge remove $(deborphan)
dpkg -l | grep ^rc | awk {'print $2'} | xargs dpkg --purge

Comment out all but two virtual terminals in /etc/inittab.  Then:
telinit q

update-alternatives --config x-window manager  #Pick wmaker
rm /etc/alternatives/x-session-manager #Dislike X session managers.

Add to /etc/network/interfaces:
  allow-hotplug eth0
  iface eth0 inet dhcp

Copy over /etc/cups/printers.conf from my other workstation.

Kill X11 and reboot.  Now comes up to xdm, which upon login starts a
clean Window Maker desktop.  Open an xterm, do 'ps auxw' to make sure
there aren't processes running I don't want running -- which, within 
reason, aren't.

/etc/apt/sources.list.d/ has two default files from Aptosid, one with
Debian's unstable repos, the other with Aptosid's stabilisation packages 
that aim to take the risk out of a pure Debian-unstable desktop box.
I might stay with that for a while, or I might cut over to my standard
regime, which is to track 'testing' via package-pinning, with access to
'unstable' packages if I request that track specifically.  The latter
Works for Me[tm] over a period of many years.

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