How to Point to Debian Repos Properly - Correct Strategy?

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How to Point to Debian Repos Properly - Correct Strategy?

Postby Rory on Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:43 am

Very much liking Linux Mint Debian so far and its promise of a rolling release. I pointed from Latest to Incoming and saw no new updates (I understand why). I've now pointed to Debian repos but ran in to a few snags and wanted to see if I make the correct choices. This was my strategy. Comments?

-I updated my repos. Check.
-I decided to update via terminal not MintUpdate-debian.
-I did an apt-get update and apt-get upgrade but not apt-get dist-upgrade. Correct?
-While updating, there were a couple of instances (can't remember: banf.conf maybe) when it gave me the choice to stay with the installed Mint Debian file or upgrade to the Debian testing file. My strategy in these instances was to always stick with the Mint version and decline the Testing options. In 99% of packages, this wasn't an issue. Only a couple of choices related to files. Correct?
-When it came to Grub, it said I could choose to install to particular partition(s). I declined all choices as my Mint Grub was installed to MBR. Correct? (Note: When I installed Mint, I used GParted to set up more traditional partitions: /boot, root (/), /home, /swap) which the Mint installer didn't offer).

-Once updated, I noticed over 100 packages held back. In addition, in mintUpdate-debian, the icon was the blue exclamation mark noting packages were awaiting. Mintupdate wanted to install these packages and also remove a number of others, including my Google Music Manager (don't know why, as it has its own repo and is a .deb pkg) and all the Mint goodness. So, I ignored. Correct?

-In mintUpdate-debian preferences, I unchecked, "Include updates which require the installation or removal of other packages." This changed the icon back to the green checkmark. The idea is to continue to use mintUpdate icon to see if new Testing packages are waiting, but to only update via terminal with apt-get update and apt-get upgrade. Correct?

So far, I'm not having any issues and have the benefit of an update of a very large number of packages via Testing. I hope the Mint Debian Latest repo actually does move to a monthly or more frequent updates so it becomes more of a rolling release. Otherwise, it's more like a six month release strategy of other distros with a huge number of updates each time. I like Clem's strategy of taking snaphots of Testing, moving them in to Incoming for Mint testing and then moving them to Latest. A great CUT product but not monthly, as stated, so I wanted something a bit more current and frequently updated.

So, all looks good, but I do not know if I made the correct choices and wonder if I've set myself for future breakages/problems. I also wonder if I will be able to move back to Incoming or Latest repos. I am guessing not, as they're downstream. But, I wonder if I hold off installing Testing updates when Mint does a snapshot for Incoming and then when Latest is released, switch my repos back, if that would allow for the smoothest transition.

All thoughts welcome. Thanks. Very happy with Mint Debian so far, it's promise of a rolling release, and I hope it can build in to the main Mint distribution so Mint is no longer reliant on Ubuntu.

Rory
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Re: How to Point to Debian Repos Properly - Correct Strategy

Postby zerozero on Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:14 pm

Rory,
welcome to the forum,
almost everything perfect there (as far as i can see) except:
- when moving to testing/sid/experimental (whichever outside the standard latest/incoming UP-policy) the first thing you should do is to look at /etc/apt/preferences and either 1) delete the file; 2) level all the values to 500 (basically does the same as 1) )

- after doing the above surely you are going to see removals, newly installed and upgraded but surely the output is a lot cleaner

- ahh, and one last thing, tick again the dist-upgrade option in mintupdate-debian, this >> "Include updates which require the installation or removal of other packages.", releases like testing have to be taken care with dist-upgrades :wink:
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Re: How to Point to Debian Repos Properly - Correct Strategy

Postby Rory on Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:10 pm

Thanks so much, zerozero!

So, zerozero, seeing as you're the Incoming repo guy, a quick OT question; I'll hijack my own thread. Has there been any thought given to doing an automatic snapshot of Testing every month to create a more predictable schedule of updates? I think it would help build the Mint Debian community, as it would be structured around a predictable schedule.

a pattern like:
Every 1st Monday of the month - automatic Testing snapshot to Incoming. (If there are any showstopping bugs over three weeks of testing, abandon that month.)
Every 3rd Friday of the month - release Incoming snapshot to Latest repo. (Watch for showstoppers over the weekend and then take a few days off until the month begins again.)

I've been on Testing for a day. A little quirky on boot. I think I messed something up which I can't identify. So, I'm going back to a clean install and will move to the Incoming stream and start to follow along as Incoming becomes active.

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