Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

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hmiron
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Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by hmiron »

I want to use Linux and a friend told me I should try Mint. However, after reading some documentation on this site I understand that if I install the current version of mint, my applications will be "stuck" in whatever versions were present in the repositories at the time of the release. How is this "easy" and "user-friendly"? I want to be able to install whatever I want / need, from whatever source, I don't want to be confined to the software selection present in the repositories, and I want to be able to download any software I want straight from the developer's website, like in Windows.

I mean, what if the packagers don't package in time? Are people condemned to use obsolete software? I understand, having centralized repos can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing, yet it is presented in the introductory PDFs like it's the second coming of Christ. Centralised = BAD, very BAD, no freedom and only what the gatekeeper allows gets inside. And that's the opposite of open and free.

Anyway, is there any way to make Linux Mint more open? I would love to be able to download whatever I want from the internet, like in Windows.

Cheers!
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by Biker »

Just because something is "frozen" in the repository doesn't mean you can't download the source and install it yourself.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by markfiend »

Firstly, just being "able to download whatever I want from the internet, like in Windows" is a shocking security risk. You're leaving yourself wide open to malware. While there is an element of the "gatekeeper" syndrome in the repositories as you correctly point out, we have the security of knowing that everything in there has been tested out by the development team.

Secondly, there are other Linux distributions available that don't adopt Mint's "frozen repository" approach; the "rolling release" distros. Sidux, Arch, Gentoo, Debian (testing and unstable branches) (and some others, these are just examples off the top of my head) all add updates of packages to their repositories as soon as they're available. If you want to live on the "bleeding edge" they might be more to your liking.
Last edited by markfiend on Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by Biker »

Regardless of whether the repository is frozen or not, Mint users can still download the source and install it themselves if they so desire. It doesn't mean they have to use another distro.

Contrary to popular belief, the repository isn't the only source for obtaining programs.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by Pilosopong Tasyo »

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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by hmiron »

But I don't want to compile from source. I'm not a programmer, I just want to use binaries AND have them up to date. Is it too much to ask? Windows can do it, Mac OS X can do it too, what's wrong with Mint?

Anyway, it doesn't matter anymore since I found out about GoboLinux, an Linux operating system that behaves normally.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by FedoraRefugee »

Hard to add to what has been said, but I just want to comment that this is not the big deal the OP is making it out to be! In fact, it is no deal whatsoever!

First off, where do you see that repos are "frozen?" I have just been through the Mint guide (pdf) package management section and I do not see this? Could you reference this for me as I have not heard this. You may be correct in that the MintUpdate will freeze their own software portal, I cannot confirm or deny this, but you still have Synaptic installed by default which pulls from the Ubuntu repo. These repos are not frozen! You can also use apt-get from the command line. So no, I have never had a problem with old apps in Mint.

Are they the latest, cutting edge versions? No!!! And you should be VERY thankful that they are not! The older a package is the more stable it is! There does reach a point (*cough* Lenny *cough*) where the packages get so stale you feel the world has long since passed by you, but this equates to bullet-proof stability. Whereas debian takes this to the mission critical extreme, Mint does not. A new version is released every six months with the latest stable apps included. The wise course for most people is to just use MintUpdate and ONLY install security updates. level 1 and 2. But there is no preventing you from living the daring life and installing the latest packages.

But what if the Ubuntu packages are not new enough? Then you are more than free to go to the app website and hope they have a deb package for you. If they do just DL it and right click it and install with the debinstaller. It really is no big deal! If there is no deb package then you still have several other options but they all include building from source. This gets a bit more tricky, mostly in dealing with dependencies, but it is really not hard or complicated. Merely painstaking.

But you will not need to do any of that. You can just run Mint as it comes and be assured that nothing is "obsolete" or that you are missing out on some cutting edge feature. The truth is apps do not change much at all. I could probably install Mint 5 on one computer and Mint 8 on another and going in blind you would probably choose Mint 5 to be your OS! Every once in a while an app will release a version with a new Gee Whiz feature you JUST have to have. Great! Then just install the deb like you would a Windows exe. Really, it aint nothin...

If you want to ride the bleeding edge then try a distro like Fedora, Arch, or Sidux. There are others but these three are pretty much on the front line and they are all easy enough for a motivated noob to be able to use. Not easy, but do-able. I would suggest Fedora out of those three not because it is the best, but because it is probably the easiest. Though I have to tell you that Mint is probably your best place to start your Linux journey. Really, what you are saying here is simply not a problem.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by Aging Technogeek »

The closest thing I have seen to a "frozen" repo, is Ubuntu's insistence on not upgrading things like Firefox beyond a certain point within one release. Ubuntu's repos for 9.10 Karmic Koala will allow you to update Firefox to version 3.5.9, But will not offer 3.6 in Karmic.

Of course, since Mint uses Ubuntu's repos, we have the same limitation unless we install the Ubuntuzilla repo, or the Mozillateam PPA from Launchpad. Even then, the option is not to upgrade what we have, but to install the newer version alongside of the older.

I must say, I installed the Mozillateam PPA and about a week later, my original Firefox installation upgraded to 3.6.3 via Update Manager. By this time, I was already running 3.6.3 as a separate install.

The point is, the repos are only frozen from the Ubuntu end. You are free to add any PPA or other repo you want to use to get the apps you are looking for.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by hmiron »

@FedoraRefugee: you misunderstand me. I don't want bleeding edge, and I don't want outdated software. I just want the latest stable software. I don't like to wait for someone to package it for me. I don't want to feel stupid when some of my friends asks me why I have not upgraded to the latest Firefox ("oh, you know, Linux stuff prevents me from installing it, but that's a good thing because <insert wall of text some geek on a forum wrote and I don't have a clue about what it means>") while at the same time this is second nature for Windows.

Honestly, I don't even know or care what the advantages of using old software are. All I know is that I want to download and install Firefox and VLC and OpenOffice the day they're released. Other people can invent whatever reasons they want and continue to use old stuff, it's not my business.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by FedoraRefugee »

Aging Technogeek wrote:The closest thing I have seen to a "frozen" repo, is Ubuntu's insistence on not upgrading things like Firefox beyond a certain point within one release. Ubuntu's repos for 9.10 Karmic Koala will allow you to update Firefox to version 3.5.9, But will not offer 3.6 in Karmic...The point is, the repos are only frozen from the Ubuntu end. You are free to add any PPA or other repo you want to use to get the apps you are looking for.
Thank you. I thought about this after I had posted. I wondered to what extent Ubuntu froze their repos. To tell you the truth, it has never been an issue with me, though using Arch for my "main" distro may play a part. I use Mint as a reliable workhorse. It does not need to be snazzy, it just needs to get the job done.

Truly, this is not a problem. There are many, many ways to install packages in Linux. Adding 3rd party repos is big in Fedora also, I am surprised I did not think of it in my initial post. I always run the latest Wine by installing their deb repo.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by FedoraRefugee »

hmiron wrote:@FedoraRefugee: you misunderstand me. I don't want bleeding edge, and I don't want outdated software. I just want the latest stable software. I don't like to wait for someone to package it for me. I don't want to feel stupid when some of my friends asks me why I have not upgraded to the latest Firefox ("oh, you know, Linux stuff prevents me from installing it, but that's a good thing because <insert wall of text some geek on a forum wrote and I don't have a clue about what it means>") while at the same time this is second nature for Windows.

Honestly, I don't even know or care what the advantages of using old software are. All I know is that I want to download and install Firefox and VLC and OpenOffice the day they're released. Other people can invent whatever reasons they want and continue to use old stuff, it's not my business.
Why do you want to install these apps the day they are released? :D

Anyway, it seriously is not an issue. They are just numbers. Firefox is just a web browser, what difference does it make if it is version 3.5 or 3.6?

That said, I always run the latest Openoffice stable build from their site simply because I do not like what Ubuntu does with this package. I am not so concerned with Firefox as they tend to always be buggy as heck at release, but I do understand why someone would want to run the latest.

So install these apps from their sites? OO.o has debs. Aging Technogeek has shown you how to get Firefox. I am not sure with VLC, but at worse you fight the build the first time and get all the deps (install the older version from the repo first) and subsequent builds are simple.

At any rate, I am not trying to sell you on Mint. I don't care what distro (or OS) you use. If you find something that is better suited to your needs then please, by all means! I use Arch as my main distro and find it is as cutting edge as can be. I am just saying that this is really not the problem you are making it out to be. Mint is designed to be easy and stable, because of this they tend to be much more conservative with their updates. But Linux is still Linux and you can install anything in Mint that can be installed in any other distro.
Last edited by FedoraRefugee on Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by Biker »

hmiron wrote:Honestly, I don't even know or care what the advantages of using old software are. All I know is that I want to download and install Firefox and VLC and OpenOffice the day they're released. Other people can invent whatever reasons they want and continue to use old stuff, it's not my business.
There is nothing that prohibits you from doing so. However, if you are going to insist on someone packaging it up for you so you don't have to do 3 basic commands in terminal, perhaps Linux really isn't the OS for you. ./configure, ./make, ./make-install really isn't that difficult.

Better yet. Learn how to package the source files and give back to the open source community.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by FedoraRefugee »

Biker wrote:
hmiron wrote:Honestly, I don't even know or care what the advantages of using old software are. All I know is that I want to download and install Firefox and VLC and OpenOffice the day they're released. Other people can invent whatever reasons they want and continue to use old stuff, it's not my business.
There is nothing that prohibits you from doing so. However, if you are going to insist on someone packaging it up for you so you don't have to do 3 basic commands in terminal, perhaps Linux really isn't the OS for you. ./configure, ./make, ./make-install really isn't that difficult.

Better yet. Learn how to package the source files and give back to the open source community.
Damn straight! :D
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by proxima_centauri »

Biker wrote:
hmiron wrote:Honestly, I don't even know or care what the advantages of using old software are. All I know is that I want to download and install Firefox and VLC and OpenOffice the day they're released. Other people can invent whatever reasons they want and continue to use old stuff, it's not my business.
There is nothing that prohibits you from doing so. However, if you are going to insist on someone packaging it up for you so you don't have to do 3 basic commands in terminal, perhaps Linux really isn't the OS for you. ./configure, ./make, ./make-install really isn't that difficult.

Better yet. Learn how to package the source files and give back to the open source community.
Biker,

I've always used ./configure && make && sudo make install, I don't think you can execute it with ./make ./make-install, etc - at least to my knowledge. Regardless, compiling and installing from source is not something a casual end-user should have to do - at least from the philosophy of the purposes behind Linux Mint.

hmiron,

I sympathize with your position; however, with some little effort - you can get most of the software you want up-to-date relatively easy. The latest software is often available for Ubuntu/Mint via third-party repositories (most often PPA's) to your package list. These PPA repositories are easily found by using google search; for instance, google search "pidgin PPA" and the first result is the PPA for Pidgin Developers which houses the latest version. https://launchpad.net/~pidgin-developers/+archive/ppa

To add a repository, open Software Sources, go to the Other Software tab, and click Add to add a new repository. You take the line from the PPA website, in the case above, ppa:pidgin-developers/ppa, and add that. From there you just need to reload your package list in Package Manager and the updates packages should appear.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by Biker »

Mint isn't my primary distro, so I tend to use the command structure without referring to sudo. ;)

But the fact still remains that if someone wants the latest release of something, one does not have to wait for someone to package it as there are other means to get it installed to your system.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by Craig_Dem »

To respond to your OP.

The repositories are "frozen", that dosen't mean there is no updates. But the updates you get are bug fixes.
You want binaries? Just add a personal package archive (PPA) that most major software has, this is like a repository containing the program they have developed and you will get all the new software as it is released.
For example, mozilla has a PPA which gives the very latest stable or development versions of Firefox.

I would recommend to you a program called Ubuntu Tweak, http://ubuntu-tweak.com/ , which gives a very nice GUI and multiple configuration options about PPAs and other repositories. It will allow you to add the PPA/repository of lots of excellent programs made for linux, allowing you to get the latest updates. And because these PPAs work through the APT package manager, there is no compiling, and they can be installed via the synaptic package manager.

You don't need to be on the bleeding edge with much more complex distributions to be up-to-date.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by FedoraRefugee »

Or you could just install the 3rd part repos that many apps have called PPA's or personal package archive. This will give you the latest stable versions as they are released! :D

:roll:
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by Lantesh »

As others have said third party PPA's will give you what you want. Here are some really good ones. I use all of these. Some I keep enabled. Others I check out now and then. This gives you an idea just how powerful PPA's can be. Windows has no way to auto update software the way Mint does. All you have to do is invest a little time with your PPA list.

Code: Select all

## +++ Nvidia Vdpau Team PPA +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/nvidia-vdpau/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/nvidia-vdpau/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ Miro releases +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/pcf/miro-releases/ubuntu karmic main 
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/pcf/miro-releases/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA for Pau Garcia i Quiles (VLC) +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/pgquiles/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/pgquiles/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ dnjl's Multimedia PPA (depends on djnl Main, GStreamer developers, thr, and Fabein Tassin PPA's) +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/dnjl/multimedia/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/dnjl/multimedia/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ dnjl's Main PPA +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/dnjl/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/dnjl/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ removed.net +++
deb http://archive.removed/ubuntu karmic-removed apps

## +++ removed.net +++
deb http://archive.removed/ubuntu karmic-removed games

## +++ PPA for Ubuntu Tweak Testing Team +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntu-tweak-testing/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntu-tweak-testing/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA for Ubuntu Tweak +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/tualatrix/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/tualatrix/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ Deluge +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/deluge-team/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/deluge-team/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA for compiz packagers +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/compiz/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/compiz/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ Winff +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/paul-climbing/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/paul-climbing/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA for OpenOffice.org Scribblers +++
## deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/openoffice-pkgs/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
## deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/openoffice-pkgs/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA for Ubuntu Mozilla Daily Build Team +++
## deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
## deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ Ubuntu Mozilla Security Team +++
## deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntu-mozilla-security/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
## deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntu-mozilla-security/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ Boxee +++
## deb http://apt.boxee.tv karmic main

## +++ PPA for Luke Yelavich (Pulse Audio) +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/themuso/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/themuso/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

## +++ PPA for Bisigi (zgegblog-themes) +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/bisigi/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/bisigi/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA named vlc for Christoph Korn +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/c-korn/vlc/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/c-korn/vlc/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA for WebKit Team (This repo is necessary for the latest version of liferea) +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/webkit-team/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/webkit-team/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA for Liferea +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/liferea/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/liferea/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ X Updates +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA for PPA for Steve Stalcup +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/vorian/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/vorian/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA for Michael Marley +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/thefirstm/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/thefirstm/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA for Ludovico Cavedon +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/cavedon/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/cavedon/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

## +++ PPA named mrw-gimp-svn for matthaeus123 +++
## deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/matthaeus123/mrw-gimp-svn/ubuntu karmic main 
## deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/matthaeus123/mrw-gimp-svn/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA quodlibet-stable +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/lazka/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/lazka/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ hb_gnome (Nautilus split view branch) +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/berndth/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/berndth/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ philwrenn (Prism)+++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/philwrenn/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/philwrenn/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

## +++ Ubuntu PPA (This ppa contains fixes for various annoyances in Ubuntu Gnome) +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/nx/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/nx/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA for thr +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/thir/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/thir/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

## +++ PPA for Fabien Tassin (This PPA contains a lot of Mozilla related projects) +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/fta/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/fta/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ Tor +++
deb http://deb.torproject.org/torproject.org karmic main

## +++ PPA for Christian Mangold (minitube) +++
## deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/neversfelde/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
## deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/neversfelde/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ Songbird Daily Builds +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/songbird-daily/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/songbird-daily/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ Ubuntuzilla +++
deb http://switch.dl.sourceforge.net/project/ubuntuzilla/apt all main

## +++ Listen Music Player +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/listen-devel/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/listen-devel/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ Firefox Stable Channel Packages +++
# deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/mozillateam/firefox-stable/ubuntu karmic main
# deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/mozillateam/firefox-stable/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ GDM2 Setup Team +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gdm2setup/gdm2setup/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/gdm2setup/gdm2setup/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ FBReader - e-book reader for Linux desktops +++
deb http://www.fbreader.org/desktop/debian stable main
deb-src http://www.fbreader.org/desktop/debian stable main

## +++ Pithos (Pandora Client) +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kevin-mehall/pithos-daily/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/kevin-mehall/pithos-daily/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA for Terminator +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnome-terminator/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/gnome-terminator/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ PPA for Andreas Heck (RubyRipper) +++
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/aheck/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/aheck/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

## +++ Swiftfox +++
## deb http://getswiftfox.com/builds/debian unstable non-free
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by vincent »

Ok, it looks the OP isn't too bothered about explanations, and just wants an easy way to install the latest stable releases of Firefox, OOo, and VLC, so here you go...just run these commands in the terminal and you should be done. This will also offer you all updated stable software releases as they are released, through mintUpdate. ;)

Code: Select all

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openoffice-pkgs/ppa
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:c-korn/vlc
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install firefox openoffice.org vlc
Enter "y" when the terminal prompts you to confirm the installation of these three programs' dependencies.
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Re: Is it true that programs are frozen in the repositories?

Post by FedoraRefugee »

vincent wrote:Ok, it looks the OP isn't too bothered about explanations, and just wants an easy way to install the latest stable releases of Firefox, OOo, and VLC, so here you go...just run these commands in the terminal and you should be done. This will also offer you all updated stable software releases as they are released, through mintUpdate. ;)

Code: Select all

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openoffice-pkgs/ppa
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:c-korn/vlc
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install firefox openoffice.org vlc
Enter "y" when the terminal prompts you to confirm the installation of these three programs' dependencies.
But...But...That would require using the TERMINAL!!! :shock:

:lol:
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