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I have a Debian buster machine on an AWS instance. /etc/apt/sources already has the backport url in it.

I have installed Roundcube already using the stable release. I want to upgrade this package to the testing release with as little trouble as possible so I'm reading over this: https://backports.debian.org/Instructions/

However, I'm confused by the language in the Sloppy distributions section:

To guarantee a clean upgrade path from a previously stable distribution to the next stable it is not allowed to upload packages from the current testing to that backport distribution. To allow some newer packages for those systems we create so called sloppy distributions.

You can use it exactly as the current backports distribution, just add another line to your sources.list and install new packages via apt-get -t stretch-backports install

I'm not sure if this applies to my situation or not. Or does this apply only after I upgrade from buster to bullseye?

And can do I just do apt-get -t buster-backports install roundcube? Or do I have to completely remove the old version of roundcube first?

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The text you cited is only relevant for package distributors. If you want to use the backport version of roundcube, you are good to go, by simply using your stated command, without the need to remove the installed version.

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