Debian Weekly News - E-Mail

From: Grant Bowman <>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001 12:44:29 -0800
Subject: Pinning Unstable: Woody use of Evolution

For all those that are using Woody but would like to sometimes run a few
packages from Sid, this fix works like a charm.  I couldn't find the
specifics documented anywhere, but I felt others would like to know
about it.


Package: *
Pin: release a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 50


deb unstable main contrib non-free

What will these lines do?  Pinning the priority of unstable to 50 makes
it so that these packages are never automatically selected for upgrade.
The sources.list line is needed so that packages that are not in woody
are installed with `apt-get evolution` (for example).  Dependencies are
handled correctly and the system remains on Woody packages with the
exceptions of the explicitly loaded ones.

Happy Holidays,

-- Grant Bowman                                   <>

From: Christoph Martin <>
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2001 15:41:17 +0100 (MET)
Subject: apt-show-versions

apt-show-versions is a script which eases maintenance of mixed
stable/testing or testing/unstable systems. While being able to
update the packages from your *main* distribution with apt-get upgrade
it is quite difficult to do the same for the *not-main*
packages. While you can use the pinning feature of apt if these are
only a few it is quite annoying to put all the package names in
apt/preferences which should be pinned. Like in one of my installation
where I have 247 packages from stable and 229 from testing.


  apt-show-versions | fgrep /testing | wc

to see how many packages you have from testing or

  apt-show-versions -u

to see a list of packages which are upgradeable either to stable or
testing or unstable or

  apt-get install `apt-show-versions -u -b | fgrep unstable`

to upgrade all unstable packages to their newest versions.


To receive this newsletter weekly in your mailbox, subscribe to the debian-news mailing list.

Back issues of this newsletter are available.

This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier and Martin 'Joey' Schulze.