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DebianReleases > Debian Experimental

The experimental repository


Quoting the Debian FAQ:"project/experimental/: This directory contains packages and tools which are still being developed, and are still in the alpha testing stage. Users shouldn't be using packages from here, because they can be dangerous and harmful even for the most experienced people."

You have been warned

Unlike the Debian Releases unstable and testing, experimental (also known by its codename "RC-Buggy") isn't a complete distribution, it can work only as an extension of unstable. So packages in experimental can depend on packages in unstable but packages in unstable cannot depend on packages in experimental. Experimental is a staging/collaboration/experimental area for development, when it is known that a package has problems or may have problems. Some packages/developers don't use experimental, they just put the new versions in unstable. The migration of packages from experimental to unstable is entirely at discretion of the packagers. Even if there are a lot less consistency requirements for packages in experimental, they are autobuilt on the best effort basis by official Debian Package Auto-Building infrastructure.

To configure APT

An /etc/apt/sources.list entry for experimental is:

deb experimental main

To install an experimental package

To install an experimental package, do:

apt update
apt -t experimental install packagename

To upgrade an experimental package

If the package has changed in experimental and you want to upgrade it, do:

apt update
apt -t experimental install packagename

APT pinning

Optionally, if you want to track a given package from experimental, add the following to a new file in /etc/apt/preferences.d (and see AptPreferences):

Package: dash
Pin: release a=experimental
Pin-Priority: 800

Listing all packages installed from experimental

To check which experimental packages are currently installed on your system, do:

aptitude search ~S~i~Aexperimental

Building packages for experimental

See sbuild#Enabling_experimental for building packages for experimental using sbuild.

Package checking for experimental

The Debian release team monitor problems that would cause problems when migrating packages from experimental to unstable