Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Suppose that I have enabled Experimental in my "/etc/apt/sources.list". When I need to install anything from it, I have to explicitly specify on the command:

apt-get install wajig
# vs
apt-get --target-release experimental install wajig

Where is such a setting stored? I expected that it would be some sort of pinning, but I can't find anything suggesting such in "/etc/apt/". Also, is it possible to avoid the behavior?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The pinning of experimental and backport is in the repository itself (in the Release files). You can change the pinning as you wish, but you have to explicitly do it.

Look in experimental Release file for the line NotAutomatic: yes. It comes from there.

You can see actual pinning values with apt-cache policy wajig.

share|improve this answer
@cjm thanks for the typo corrections – shellholic Feb 21 '11 at 23:02

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.