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I'm using Debian 5 on my VPS and it comes with a couple of packages that are a little behind the times. However, I see on the Debian site that other versions of packages are available if I had a different sources.

So how can I change my sources from the default "really-safe/tried-tested" source lists to the "newer/still-safe" releases? I'm having trouble finding this on the site.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Debian has its own official repositories, which have different distributions:

  • Stable: currently lenny
  • Testing: currently squeeze
  • Unstable: will always be sid

Besides, there are two other official repositories which provide security updates, and volatile, which provides packages that move faster than the stable release (I recomend you to read that link). Volatile may be the one you are looking for if you whish to maitain sanity, without going to testing or unstable (which I do not recomend for production). The sources you should use are (/etc/apt/sources.list):

deb http://volatile.debian.org/debian-volatile lenny/volatile main contrib non-free
deb http://volatile.debian.org/debian-volatile lenny/volatile-sloppy main contrib non-free

Be sure to read the link before adding those sources. Other ways are to use backports (now an official service at debian) or provided deb packages by official software maintainers.

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backports.debian.org was just want I wanted. Added a single line to sources.list and installed what I needed. –  Xeoncross Oct 1 '10 at 16:38

This documentation should help with not only how to set it, but what to set it to.

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