After specifying the url of the repository, what do the tags like 'stable','non-free' mean in the entries of /etc/apt/sources.list ? If we know the url of a repository, how do we decide about these additional attributes while adding an entry in /etc/apt/sources.list ?
Section 2.1 of the following page (reproduced below for ease of use) is what you want.
2.1 The /etc/apt/sources.list file As part of its operation, APT uses a file that lists the 'sources' from which packages can be obtained. This file is /etc/apt/sources.list.
The entries in this file normally follow this format:
Of course, the above entries are fictitious and should not be used. The first word on each line, deb or deb-src, indicates the type of archive: whether it contains binary packages (deb), that is, the pre-compiled packages that we normally use, or source packages (deb-src), which are the original program sources plus the Debian control file (.dsc) and the diff.gz containing the changes needed for `debianizing' the program.
We usually find the following in the default Debian sources.list:
These are the lines needed by a basic Debian install. The first deb line points to the official archive, the second to the non-US archive and the third to the archive of Debian security updates.
The two last lines are commented out (with a `#' in front), so apt-get will ignore them. These are deb-src lines, that is, they point to Debian source packages. If you often download program sources for testing or recompiling, uncomment them.
The /etc/apt/sources.list file can contain several types of lines. APT knows how to deal with archives of types http, ftp, file (local files, e.g., a directory containing a mounted ISO9660 filesystem) and ssh, that I know of.
Do not forget to run apt-get update after modifying the /etc/apt/sources.list file. You must do this to let APT obtain the package lists from the sources you specified.
Each repository can decide how they wish to structure their packages.
Some provide "standard" naming, such as
One such provider can be seen on Opera's site, here. As you browse the directory strcuture, you can see how the
If you know the URL of a repository you can lookup the
Example with the official Debian repository: http://ftp.debian.org/debian/
The distributions available can be seen at: http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/
If you take the lenny distributione you can grab the Release file here: http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/lenny/Release
Inside that file you can find the list of sections:
And like people have already explained, in
Now you can explore any well-maintained Debian repository !