I'm in Argentina, Buenos Aires. I have Debian Jessie 8.2. I need to edit sources.list, since it seems incomplete. The main need is update as soon as possible my system after installation, to make sure the problems I'm facing are not because of a lack of a patch or whatever simple solution. According to this Debian webpage, one option, and I want to proceed with it, is using aptitude to manage packages.

In the cited Debian website, it reads:

Before you can use aptitude to make an upgrade, you'll have to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file to set it up. If you wish to upgrade to the latest stable version of Debian, you'll probably want to use a source like this one:

http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stable main contrib non-free

I've read this tutorial and understood it very well, it is very well explained. I installed Debian using a USB stick, I have AMD64 architecture. This is my sources.list, wich is a text document that, to my understanding of using Linux 3 days, tells Debian where and how and what to update, if it's free or non-free repositories, etc.


# deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL$

deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL B$

deb http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main

deb http://ftp.br.debian.org/debian testing main contrib non-free

deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ jessie-updates main contrib non-free

deb http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib non-free

What are the cdrom lines for, do I need them? Are they because I may have more packages in cdrom and when I run apt-get update with my USB stick plugged in (I used USB stick instead of optical mediums like CDs or DVDs to install).

According to the article I came up with this possible sources.list. What do you say?

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free

deb http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib non-free

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian jessie-updates main contrib non-free

This is a possible candidate that I made up using that guide. Is a copied version of one of the presented examples, the first example of the guide, except that I don't want source code (I'm too beginner) and I add contrib and non-free. This is all because I need to update to the best possible system, because Debian is having many problems, various applications are having issues, for example some contextual menus don't work well. For that reason I need to update, and I can't update without having a good starting sources.list, I need it to download the aptitude package manager.

  • Consider using httpredir.debian.org instead. See httpredir.debian.org Dec 6, 2015 at 20:35
  • I do not use it, I do not trust the portuguese repos. I also lived in africa for years, and there was a time the local south african mirrors were not even signed. I also nowadays use ARM at home, and once again not all repos have ARM binaries. Dec 6, 2015 at 20:58

2 Answers 2


The cdrom lines are there encase you have installed from cd/dvd media or have the disk inserted so that you can install packages from them. They aren't required so you can comment them out by using a # in front the line or completely remove the line.

As for the possible sources.list you came up with, that will work just fine.

As something to consider, you mention you live in Argentina and according to your sources you're using US servers. If you find the speed is low you can try substituting a mirror into your sources.list from here for Brazil or Chile or somewhere else nearby.

After you finish editing your sources.list file you can update your system by doing the following:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
  • I am in Europe, and I prefer using the USA repos which are faster,more reliable and often more up to date than some local repos. And traditionally they have more arquitectures too. Dec 6, 2015 at 18:58

My own /etc/apt/sources.list as it is in one of my servers:

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ jessie main contrib  non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib non-free

Be aware you have configured the testing branch in one of the configs which is not probably what you want for jessie 8.2.

I also noticed you are missing repositories from Brazil and USA, I would prefer to use only one of them.

Besides sources.list you also can add sources in separate files to /etc/apt/sources.list.d

For instance, I have the sysdig repository as:


deb http://download.draios.com/stable/deb stable-$(ARCH)/

Here is a link about sources.list


You also have an interesting sources.list generator here:


Also, as the other post says, do not forget to do

apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

After changing the sources.list.

Do it regularly to keep up with the security updates.

Do not also forget to subscribe Debian security mailing list at


  • Ok! What do you say about deleting cdrom part? Or just in case i let it without changes? Dec 6, 2015 at 18:52
  • I always delete it however I have a 10Gbps connection at work, and 100Mbps at home. Dec 6, 2015 at 18:56

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