Jessie/testing 1

Wheezy, version 7 of the operating system Debian, was declared the new stable, official, version on May 4th. I use Wheezy as my main system since some time last year. When Wheezy became stable, the testing recieved its new name: Jessie. Which will be the future version 8, when it in its turn become stable (at least 18 months from now). If you want to try Jessie/testing, snapshots can be found here.

Testing is usually stable enough for a desktop install, unless one is very concerned with stability. I remain on Wheezy for the time being. But as soon as Wheezy went into stable I installed testing/Jessie on an extra harddrive, just to see what happens in that release. For the config file for the package manager (/etc/apt/sources.list) I put in "jessie" but it did not work. It had to be "testing". Later I changed it to "jessie". It really does not matter as long as Jessie = testing.

I do not use my Jessie install much, all configs remain default. It is a somewhat barebones KDE install, as my main is. It does not even look like Debian. The KDE theme is stock version.

Quickly, Jessie jumped its kernel version from 3.2.x to 3.9.x. I did not notice any strange things. At the moment of writing it is 3.10. Wheezy/stable is still on 3.2.x. Jessie KDE has just been upgraded from 4.8 to 4.10. So even if testing is not bleeding edge, it is quite quickly updated.

With time, the gap between stable and testing widens with timewill widen. Stable (Wheezy) basically only recieves security updates and bugfixes. The repository wheezy-backports holds some commonly used packages in newer versions. That repository is for Wheezy users only.

Addendum: I wrote this post in late August, but due to some major computer cockup - partly my fault, partly hardware problem, I never got around to post it. Maybe it jinxed my computer. I am slowly recovering. The two installs I am writing about here does not exist anymore. Stay tuned for more posts on my testing adventures.


  1. Reading this, I realised that, of all the distos I’ve tried, I’ve never installed Debian. I did try several years ago, but the hardware I had at the time was so clapped out that the CD drive clapped out on me halfway through the install.

    Maybe I should give it another go sometime.

  2. Debian has a lot of packages, and is quite close to upstream (KDE, GNOME etc), as I understand it. A bit old packages at times, but one can walk on the (moderately) wild side with testing and sid. I like the floss philosophy also 🙂

    I am writing some more posts, because I had some failures the last week or so. Maybe it was just duffer moments…. 😉

  3. I believe Debian has one of the largest repositories around. Not surprising really, when you consider how long the distro has been around.

    I did see someone talking about a rolling release based on Debian Sid, but I don’t think anything came of that – which is a shame. That said, if you install Debian and switch to Sid, you would have a rolling release distro as far as I can see. Now I’m thinking…

    Good luck and remember to post early and post often 😉

    • Testing/jessie is kind of cautious rolling.
      Sid (like the kid it’s named after) is more volatile. Volatile by Debian standards, that is 😉

      I know of at least two sid-based distros: Siduction and Aptosid. I tried out the latter once. There are some testing-based ones, but I can’t recall any just now.

      “Post early and post often” is more reflected in the quality than in the quantity of my output 😉

      • Wasn’t Sid the villain in Toy Story? It’s certainly an appropriate name, but I don’t remember him being particularly likeable. That said, any excuse to watch Toy Story again is good enough for me 😉

        I don’t know Siduction at all, but Aptosid does ring a bell. I should take another look…

        This distro hopping never ends 😉

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