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I've been using debian testing for a while now, but it seems to me that the software there is quite outdated. So far, I never dared installing debian sid on my laptop out of fear that it was totally broken. However, how bad is it really? Can it be used in production?

The software on sid should be the most recent around, right?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Rui F Ribeiro, Jeff Schaller, GAD3R, techraf, don_crissti Dec 7 '16 at 12:16

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Check out the general release schema for Debian systems. And SID(Unstable) in particular:

In short: a lot of your software will not work(do you REALLY need the most current software? Especially when it's buggy? If so, you can install it yourself by hand + you can add the previous, more stable release repositories to your /etc/apt/sources.list, compile software yourself, etc) and you won't get security updates in a timely manner. It could very well be a VERY long time before SID gets promoted to stable because the Debian team "doesn't set any deadlines"(What with them being enthusiasts and "open source" and all that jazz). They're "done when they're done".

I'm a Debian Jessie user.

All the best! Keep hacking!

  • How do you compile anything in jessie. For example with clang. The newest clang release is 3.9. On stretch we have clang 3.8.1-13 and on jessie 8.6 it's 3.5.0-10. – bitmask Dec 7 '16 at 10:22
  • Well, with the good, old "configure, make, make install", of course! Haha! And when I say old I do mean OLD: tldp.org/LDP/LG/current/smith.html – Max Dec 7 '16 at 10:26
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The software on sid should be the most recent around, right?

Right , Debian Sid have the most recent versions of softwares because those package (latest) will not be never included directly on testing or stable , it will be uploaded initially to Debian sid , Some of those packages can be migrated to testing in order to be released in stable later on.

It seems to me that the software there is quite outdated.

Debian Sid dosen't recive a security updates , because the debian security Team keep eyes on the current stable release and the next stable release (testing) to quickly patch the newest vulnerability.

I never dared installing debian sid on my laptop out of fear that it was totally broken.

You can break your system by installing a buggy package ( e,g:unmet dependencies) , it is a good idea to use apt-listbugs before installing a package through apt on Debian Sid to be warned about the latest bugs.

apt-listbugs is a tool which retrieves bug reports from the Debian Bug Tracking System and lists them. Especially, it is intended to be invoked before each installation/upgrade by APT in order to check whether the installation/upgrade is safe.

Many developers and users prefer the unstable version of Debian for its new features and packages. APT, the usual upgrade tool, can break your system by installing a buggy package.

apt-listbugs lists critical bug reports from the Debian Bug Tracking System. Run it from within the APT session, in order to see whether an installation or upgrade is known to be unsafe.

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