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I have multiple machines running Debian 6 (Squeeze) and 7 (Wheezy). I set up an Apt-Cacher server on a Debian 7 box, for the Debian 7 instances to use. Can this also be used (with the same wheezy sources.list) by the Debian 6 instances?

I copied the sources.list from the Debian 7 box to the Debian 6 box, and forgot to change the wheezy references back to squeeze. Then I did an apt-get update and an apt-get upgrade on the Debian 6 box, and of course it got all of the Debian 7 packages and upgraded. Have I broken that Debian 6 box now?

I would be very grateful of some clarification on how the package repositories work with different versions - are they entirely separate?

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Yes differing Debian versions can use the same apt-cache.

The repositories upstream are shared, it's only the addition of the name that affects the package set that will be used.

deb http://my.upstream.com/debian squeeze main contrib non-free

vs

deb http://my.upstream.com/debian wheezy main contrib non-free

In apt cache configuration you can also set different path maps to map a URL to a different upstream server. For instance if you wanted to use archive.debian.org for Debian Lenny for instance which has been removed from the main Debian repo's.

For instance: path_map = debian ftp.uk.debian.org/debian ; security security.debian.org/debian-security ; archive archive.debian.org/debian ; volatile volatile.debian.org/debian-volatile ; backports backports.debian.org/debian-backports ; archive-backports archive.debian.org/debian-backports ; archive-security archive.debian.org/debian-security

As for if you have broken your Debian 6 server then it depends on the applications running there and if they are compatible with Debian 7. It should be safe to check the Release notes for Debian 7 and just follow the upgrade procedure to ensure you properly complete the process.

Downgrading Debian version is not supported. If you specifically need Debian 6, I would advise a re-install.

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