mark1mint wrote:I was wondering why in Mint17 the sources.list file does only contain a reference to the installation CD, whereas the actual sources are in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list instead.
Why is that? Unless I may have changed that manually and then forgot about it, in Mint13 I had a normal sources.list file containing all the sources.
"normal sources.list file" is your assumption about what is normal. APT has for a long while had the option to use the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ directory and this makes for a cleaner and more organized sources configuration. Linux Mint 13 is from a long time ago and the Linux Mint developers have refined their knowledge and how best to do things since.
It's not my assumption as far as I'm concerned, Mint developers can put their sources wherever they think is best, but Debian and Ubuntu (to name two distros on which Mint is directly based) are using /etc/apt/sources.list, as do a number of other distros.
I may have said "traditional" instead of "normal" , that doesn't change the gist of it, when checking/editing your software sources /etc/apt/sources.list is where you are usually expecting to find them.
As you point out, thanks to inxi you can still see your software sources all at once, but still it will take some poking around to see them with some other tool and/or to edit them.
You say that this solution is cleaner, I don't think it's practical: unless you have a dozen of software sources, or write in it massive comments as Ubunty does, you can keep a single sources.list file very tidy.
mark1mint wrote:What's actually in this Mint backports repository
You keep mentioning Linux Mint 17, so I assume you're being factual and correct and are using that and not Linux Mint 17.2. There is nothing in backports for Linux Mint 17 (or for 17.1 or 17.2) and you can browse that here: http://packages.linuxmint.com/
. In the past newer Mint tools, Cinnamon, and MATE versions would be made available in backports. That was when Linux Mint still also made releases based on both Ubuntu LTS and Ubuntu development releases. Linux Mint currently only uses Ubuntu LTS release and thus there is no real use for backports. If you want the newer version you use Update Manager to move from Linux Mint 17 to 17.2 and the newer versions become available that way.
You are right, having installed Mint 17 and then upgraded to 17.2, asking about backports for Mint 17 wasn't correct.
If you don't mind, I still can't grasp this: why there is no use for backports with LTS releases? I would have thought quite the opposite, i.e. being long term releases they would need upgraded/backported packages along the way.
Unless, point releases are actually meant to do just that, thus replacing and superceding the backports for such releases.