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06 September 2010, 15:56

Backports now an official Debian repository

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Debian Logo Every Linux distribution has to strike a balance between being up to date and being stable, between including the latest versions of software packages and retaining better tested, more mature versions. Fedora, for example, is known for having the very latest software, whilst Debian GNU/Linux has a reputation for being a particularly stable distribution, with the software included in each new release already well cured.

Backports offers a way of updating individual system components in the current stable version. This involves backporting individual program packages from the current developer version to the stable release. Debian 5.0 (code named "Lenny"), for example, still installs OpenOffice 2.4, whereas Debian 6.0 "Squeeze" and backports-lenny include the later version 3.2. Backports allows selected applications to be updated without having to bring the whole system to a developer version level.

Until now, backports on have been maintained independently. They have now become an official Debian repository and lenny-backports can be found at Users using the old backports archive will need to modify /etc/apt/sources.list accordingly. Detailed instructions explaining how to add the backports repository in Lenny are available.

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