I just installed jessie and several packages. Then I go to my '/etc/apt/sources.list' and I see that it's tracking testing! I want stable! Thing is that I've already done a 'dist-upgrade' and I know that it is reckless to downgrade. Now, is it possible to do a 'wait for stable to catch up to testing otherwise leave well enough alone' sort of thing? That is, I'd like to edit my sources.list from testing to stable BUT not downgrade anything, merely leave everything alone UNLESS it is upgradable from the standpoint of jessie, that is, can I wait for jessie to catch up yet avoid going backwards vis a vis what I already have? Perhaps there is something like: "apt-get dist-upgrade --no-downgrades"?

  • Why not just reinstall? Presumably there is nothing sacred about your current installation. If you want stable, install stable. And when you've just installed is a good time to do it. – Faheem Mitha Dec 18 '16 at 22:44
  • Could do if it came to that, but things are stable right now, I just don't want them to get unstable by tracking testing. So long as this morphs into stable-stretch I'm happy enough. – Ray Andrews Dec 19 '16 at 4:32

If you edit your sources.list file to track stable, your packages won't be downgraded. In practice, you won't see any upgrades then (including security fixes), until Debian 9 is released — and then you'll upgrade all of a sudden... You can't switch back to a stable release from testing, stable only "catches up" with testing when the next version is released.

In your situation, I'd just stick with testing. We're progressively freezing the distribution now in preparation for the Debian 9 release, it's probably not worth the bother of switching back to Debian 8. You should still edit your sources.list to track stretch, so that you switch to tracking stable automatically when Debian 9 is released.

  • Sounds like the man knows what he's talking about ;-) Did that, did an upgrade and so far everything is fine. Just one error, I can't get rid of: "libapt-pkg.so.4.12: cannot open shared object ..." but nothing seems to be broken. Thanks. stretch it is, so I'll be stable soon enough and I'm actually ahead of the game. BTW, is there any point in reporting testing glitches or do the devs always figure everything out by themselves eventually? – Ray Andrews Dec 18 '16 at 18:34
  • We'd love to figure things out by ourselves, unfortunately we don't — so yes, please file bugs! – Stephen Kitt Dec 18 '16 at 19:09
  • Where's the best place? – Ray Andrews Dec 18 '16 at 21:36
  • Run reportbug and follow the prompts. – Stephen Kitt Dec 18 '16 at 22:03

Maybe apt pinning can help:

$ nano /etc/apt/preferences.d/jessie

Package: *
 Pin: release o=Debian n=jessie
 Pin-Priority: 1001 
  • That could be the solution as the question was asked, but in practical terms I'm happy with Stephen's answer above. – Ray Andrews Dec 18 '16 at 21:26

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