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DebianReleases > Debian Experimental


The experimental repository

Introduction

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 isn't a complete distribution. 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 http://ftp.debian.org/debian experimental main

To install an experimental package

To install an experimental package, do:

  apt-get update
  apt-get -t experimental install packagename

To upgrade an experimental package

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

  apt-get update
  apt-get -t experimental install packagename

APT pinning

Optionally, if you want to track a given package from experimental, add the following to /etc/apt/preferences (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