I need to upgrade some specifics packages from sid on debian jessie stable with their dependencies.

By adding the following repo :

deb http://ftp.fr.debian.org/debian/ sid main
deb-src http://ftp.fr.debian.org/debian/ sid main
deb http://ftp.fr.debian.org/debian/ sid main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.fr.debian.org/debian/ sid main contrib non-free

to my sources.list, all the existing packages will be upgraded and can damage my system.

How to install a specific package from "sid" on debian jessie "stable" without breaking my existing system ?


How to set the pin-priority to upgrade ? and how can it be used to downgrade a specific package when something went wrong ?

  • 3
    The linked question explains how to do what you're asking (including pinning for upgrades/downgrades), but you might well be better off looking for a backport (or asking for one). – Stephen Kitt May 9 '16 at 15:25
  • 1
    Downgrading from sid back to stable is pretty explicitly not supported. Unless you know really well what you're doing, don't try this. Also note that almost anyone who does know what they're dong well enough to successfully tries this knows better than to try it in the first place. Try backports instead. – Shadur May 10 '16 at 7:39

"Going hybrid" with Debian versions is not always worthwhile, (or safe, or reliable, etc.), but sometimes it works.

The hybrid version's best case is when a package from testing or unstable makes only trivial changes, (in perpetuity even), and everything works smoothly thereafter. Possibly it's already been packaged in Debian Backports, or some repository or archive like it.

Failing that, provided the package isn't too complex, one can search pkgs.org in hopes of finding something close enough. The alien package sometimes helps.

One could go upstream and attempt to compile it, (and package it), but if it's a thorny package this might require more time than one has to spare, (which is why we use precompiled packages in the first place).

The worst case scenario would be a package from unstable that's too needy or quarrelsome, and has too many conflicts with stable, wiping out something more important than the new package.

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