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Smoothly transiting from testing to stable

Started by kendew, April 22, 2019, 05:25:42 AM

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Not sure where this question fits so I'll try here.  I'm thinking of Sparky as a viable OS to offer to people who, at least at the beginning, will not be Linux savvy.  I have a few Lenovo X120e laptops to use for this.  The main focus will be "just works".  I've installed various Linux distros on these laptops to see how they work.  For this purpose, I'm interested in stability.  But there is a problem.
The rolling releases like Arch and openSUSE work well with the radeon hardware the X120e uses, whereas the video tears badly on Debian Stretch and other distros I've tried based on Stretch.  This is unfortunate, as I don't really want to offer a rolling release to Linux beginners.  For some reason, Sparky is different, perhaps because Sparky pulls in newer mesa software from debmultimedia repositories (but I really don't know why for sure.  If you do, please enlighten me!), but the video on Sparky doesn't tear that much, even without fiddling with compositors like compton. 

So to the question....I'm interested in a stable version, but Stretch is getting old and Buster is moving in to replace it as Debian's stable version.  So I'm thinking of starting with Sparky's testing version, but changing references to "testing" in the repositories to "buster."  Hopefully, in the weeks ahead, this would make for a smooth transition to Debian's new stable version, as Buster moves in to replace Stretch.  Would this work?  Is anyone seeing problems here?



Of cource, you can change Debian 'testing' to 'buster' repos now, it is not a problem.
But do not change Sparky repo from 'testing' to 'stable' yet.
When Buster will be released as stable, an update will change Sparky repos automatically.

Anyway, staying with the rolling/testing line will be possible too.
Nothing is easy as it looks. Danielle Steel
Join at [url="//"][/url]


Now is a great time to install Buster, change "testing" to "buster" and watch the release critical bugs that are fixed arrive.

Stability is good, and older computers do not need the newest drivers.   I am doing some tire kicking on Debian live rc's But my sparky 64 bits in vm and sparky 32' bits on atoms are quiet and dull mostly. 

Radeon.  My Asus EEEbox (loved but dead now for several years) with the AMD bobcat cpu and seperate Radeon gpu needed propriertary for a bit, but then the debian packages did work out.
    Presently    ancient and basically worthless            fairly new
The Archlinux wikis often have some good stuff, but you have to be careful what you use.

changelog from sid

Hopefull xserver-xorg-video-amdgpu (18.1.99+git20190207-1) in sid makes it to Buster. 

peace out  mark r.
Search forum for "More info easier via inxi"    If requested -  no inxi, no help for you by  me.


Thanks all for valuable info and advice.  With Buster set to become Stable July 6, today I am making the changes from "testing" to "buster" in /etc/apt/sources.list .  I will follow pavroo's advice and not make any changes to files in sources.list.d or other directories.  Then, I'll watch what happens after the 6th, trusting, as pavroo mentioned, Sparky repos will automatically adjust. Since my plan is to release these computers to many non-Linux savvy users, I think the far fewer updates of the stable release will be less confusing.
Another interesting question is, whether sometime down the road after July 6, I should change references to "buster" to "stable"?  Will this make a difference two or so years down the road with the stable release at that time?


I have a sparky-rolling installed, it's about 6 months old. 

Getting this error.  Looks like something automatic went wrong

Repository 'http:/ testing InRelease' changed its 'Codename' value from 'buster' to 'bullseye'

reading this thread, it looks like i need to open
sudo featherpad /etc/apt/sources.list

and change buster from testing when it's listed in text.

so I had

deb http:/ testing main contrib non-free
deb-src http:/ testing main contrib non-free
deb http:/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http:/ testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http:/ testing main non-free

## Other repos can be found in /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory ##

after editing that text file it looks like this:

deb http:/ buster main contrib non-free
deb-src http:/ buster main contrib non-free
deb http:/ buster/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http:/ buster/updates main contrib non-free
deb http:/ buster main non-free

#don't copy paste this because each url only has one / instead of //
## Other repos can be found in /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory ##

and running the command apt update as root works now.  Thanks for a good release so far!


No one answered a question I had (above) about
Quotewhether sometime down the road after July 6, I should change references to "buster" to "stable"?
Maybe now, well over a month with buster as stable, someone might have an opinion?  These are old laptops, Lenovo X120e, and who knows their condition two years down the road, but I'm wondering whether it's safer to keep buster in sources.list or change it to stable?
With stable, there might be difficulties when bullseye becomes the new stable, lots of upgrades all at once?
On the other hand, with buster becoming older and older some newer software packages might not work well?
Any thoughts appreciated!



the non-specific release names like stable will over time mean different releases, natch.
So to avoid big changes, i'd stay with "buster", possibly until it's oldstable, or i get the itch to dist-upgrade.
Just my $0.02.
best regards, ever rollinbeaver


Amen to changing it to "buster"  Two years down the road is a semi-long time with old computers.  You said stability, buster will be. 

For the occasional update of a program or two there is always backports.  See the Debianwiki about.   You will also be getting security downloads, especially browsers.
Note:  For older hardware there is no need to keep getting the newest kernel.  For me I have a 4.19 kernel in Buster, testing and Sid.

You originally mentioned video tearing.  If still a problem please start a new thread and post your    "inxi 'G" marked up as code via the # button   I believe inxi is automatically installed in Sparky now, if not, just add it. 

Search forum for "More info easier via inxi"    If requested -  no inxi, no help for you by  me.


I think I'll go with Buster.  Why I was hesitating was a bad experience I had with Debian Stable some years ago.  I installed either LXQt or Xfce to be a light DE, and I'm not sure why a light DE would insist on including Xscreensaver rather than have it as an optional install, I'm not sure, but it was there, and deeply integrated into the DE.  After a year or more, on startup Xscreensaver would arrogantly throw up an error message to the effect Debian Stable was out of date and should be upgraded, and we should contact the maintainer.  Debian Stable was of course doing fine.  Doing a complete removal of Xscreensaver wouldn't really solve the problem.  There was something Xscreensaver wanted in a newer version.  There was never a problem with any other programs, and I thought probably Sparky would be aware of the situation and take care of it had I installed Sparky. 
The memory of that experience made me wonder what might happen if, for example, a program gets updated and then requires updated versions of dependencies that Debian Stable doesn't update.

When I get around to it I'll post about the graphics issue in a new thread.

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