This question already has an answer here:

I had difficulty searching for this answer on google and debian documentation!

The FAQ page wasnt very clear either. I mean it wasnt 100% idiot-proof clear.

marked as duplicate by mdpc, Andrew Schulman, Jim B, Sven Dec 22 '14 at 7:40

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  • 3
    If you want idiot-proof, don't use testing repos! – ceejayoz Nov 5 '13 at 17:23
  • It's as idiot proof as Googling is. Considering this question dates back to the origins of modern Debian it has been asked pretty frequently. A quick Google search gives the answer – Michael Pobega Nov 5 '13 at 17:58
  • 1
    You had difficulty finding it in the Debian documentation because you are not supposed to do it. – Keith Nov 7 '13 at 21:29
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    @MichaelPobega: The fact that the question has been asked frequently automatically implies that the FAQ page is grossly insufficient for such a simple operation. I took some time to find the answer online so I posted the answer myself. – sccott Feb 17 '14 at 4:37

"testing" repo makes new updated packages available to the user (ie apt-get or synaptic) which would otherwise come in the next Debian release.

Caution: testing packages may not be the most stable packages, but it is more stable than the "unstable" repo.

  1. Login as root Open file /etc/apt/sources.list in your favourite editor

    vi /etc/apt/sources.list

  2. Adding the testing repo. Add the below line.

    deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ testing non-free contrib main

  3. Then run sudo apt-get update


Note the format of the repo line added.

deb <link from where packages will be downloaded from> <repoName> <sub branches of the repo>


deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ testing non-free contrib main
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ stable non-free contrib main
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable non-free contrib main
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy non-free contrib main

Note in the above line "wheezy" repo is debian 7.0 release default repo. Unstable repo can have error prone packages.

  • Forgive me if there are mistakes and please correct them if possible. Thanks. – sccott Nov 5 '13 at 17:20
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    This is such a horrible idea, and is a big Debian No-No, but it is a good answer to the question. – Keith Nov 7 '13 at 21:28

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