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You are running Debian stable, because you prefer the stable Debian tree. It runs great, there is just one problem: the software is a little bit outdated compared to other distributions. That is where backports come in.

Backports are recompiled packages from testing (mostly) and unstable (in a few cases only, e.g. security updates), so they will run without new libraries (wherever it is possible) on a stable Debian distribution. It is recommended to pick out single backports which fits your needs, and not to use all backports available.

Backporting - Best practise

Here is a (incomplete) list of rules you should follow to get a package into

Basic rules

1. Backport packages only from testing, not unstable (except when updating already existing backports, backports from unstable are accepted for security fixes).

2. Use 'sarge-backports' as distribution, not stable or unstable.

3. Reduce the revision by one and append bpo${build_int}, e.g. 1.2.3-4 becomes 1.2.3-3bpo1.

4. Backport no Build-Depends if not absolutely needed.

5. Always build against plain sarge (and include other backports only if absolutely needed).