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Debian Quick Reference
Chapter 1 - Preface

This document originated as a "quick reference" but it grew. Nevertheless, Keep It Short and Simple (KISS) is my guiding principle.

1.1 Document conventions

This Debian Quick Reference provides information through short bash shell commands.

Reference to:

1.2 Basics of the Debian distributions

Debian maintains three different distributions simultaneously. These are:

When packages in unstable have no release-critical (RC) bugs filed against them after the first week or so, they are automatically promoted to testing.

Debian distributions also have code names. Before Sarge was released in June 2005, the three distributions were Woody (stable), Sarge (testing), and Sid (unstable). After Sarge was released the three distributions were, respectively, Sarge, Etch, and Sid. When Etch is released, the stable and unstable distributions will be Etch and Sid; a new testing distribution will then be created (initially as a copy of stable) and given a new code name.

Subscribe to the low-volume mailing list debian-devel-announce@lists.debian.org for important announcements about Debian.

If you want to use versions of packages that are more current than the versions that were released with the distribution you are using, then you can either upgrade to a later distribution as described in Upgrading a distribution to stable, testing, or unstable, Chapter 2, or you can upgrade only selected packages. If the package can't be upgraded easily then you may want to backport it as described in Port a package to the stable system, Section 3.4.10.

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Debian Quick Reference

CVS, Thu Jan 18 11:54:29 UTC 2007

Osamu Aoki osamu#at#debian.org
Authors, Section A.1