I'm wondering if this backport method would work let's say if I'm trying to download Steam or Wine?

Like, once I have the backported package downloaded, would it stay up to date every time I 'apt update / apt upgrade'?

  • Which backport method are we talking about ? The folks at Debian backport packages, these are kept up-to-date in the repos until your version reaches end of official support, then you have to upgrade to a newer version. – thecarpy Mar 20 at 8:02
  • I guess their official method which would be adding the backport repo to your package manager source list file and getting the newer application that way. But I'm wondering if I should keep that repo active or maybe disable it after having already downloaded the package. – Debian User Mar 20 at 8:17

The official method works fine, at least for packages which have been backported (which include Wine but not Steam). Add the backports repository:

echo deb http://deb.debian.org/debian stretch-backports main | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/stretch-backports.list
sudo apt update

then you can install backported packages by adding -t stretch-backports to your apt invocation, or selecting the appropriate version in Synaptic.

It’s safe to leave the repository permanently enabled: it is never used for package installations if it’s not explicitly selected, but if a backported package is updated, it will automatically be selected for upgrade.

Note that the rules for backports mean that a backported package must always be older than the first version made available in the next stable release, so backports for Debian 9 (Stretch) will stop being upgraded once Debian 10 (Buster) is released. Backported packages can then be added to the sloppy repository, but that’s unusual.

When you upgrade from Debian 9 to Debian 10, any backported packages which you had installed in Debian 9 will be upgraded to their Debian 10 version (unless they have been dropped from the distribution).

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