As you’re doubtless aware, Debian Lenny was released last week, which is good and exciting news! There’s a stack of improvements and software updates, as well as an improved install experience. Reading through the release notes, I also found out about a feature that isn’t new, but hadn’t been widely publicized before: proposed-updates.
Tip of the Trade: Debian Lenny hit the streets last week. Although the proposed-updates feature is hardly new, it is hardly known. This hidden gem is the mechanism used to prepare point releases for “stable” (lenny) and “oldstable” (etch).
proposed-updates is the mechanism used to prepare the point
(minor) releases of stable (lenny) and oldstable (etch, which will continue to be supported until about a year from now). Packages are
added to proposed-updates either automatically (in the case of
security updates from security.debian.org) or manually by developers. Once
rigorously tested, they are released into the main stable repository.
Of course (I hope!), you already have the security releases in your
sources.list, but if you want an early start on the other proposed
updates, and to help out with testing, you can also add in proposed-updates. Add this line to your /etc/apt/sources.list:
deb http://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/debian lenny-proposed-updates main contrib deb-src http://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/debian lenny-proposed-updates main contrib
and run aptitude update (or apt-get update) to pick up this
Note: do bear in mind that these updates are still being checked. So while
they should be fine to use, it’s best not to do so on your Really
Important Production Server. If you do experience any problems, report them
using the reportbug package.