Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where shall I report bugs I found in packages from backports to?

A: Please report them to the debian-backports mailinglist. The Debian bugtracking system doesn't know anything about backports versions, and sometimes the backporter isn't in the Debian packaging team so they might miss the report.

Q: When will the $arch build of $package be available?

A: The packages are only uploaded by the backporter for their own architecture. The rest of the architectures have to go through the build network and the logs getting signed by the buildd admins. Those are often enough also busy with other work (or if time permits real life), which might also add to a delay in the uploads. You can check the status on the Buildd Information Page of the used buildd network, just enter your $package and don't forget to select the squeeze-backports suite from the dropdown list.

Q: What about dist-upgrade from lenny-backports to squeeze?

A: In general, backports.debian.org only has backports made from testing but with reduced version numbers (apt considers ~ lower than -), therefore the upgrade path from lenny-backports to squeeze is safe.

Q: Is there security support for packages from backports.debian.org?

A: Unfortunately not. This is done on a best effort basis by the people who track the package, usually the ones who originally did upload the package into backports. When security related bugs are fixed in Debian unstable the backporter is permitted to upload the package from directly there instead of having to wait until the fix hits testing. You can see the open issues for squeeze-backports in the security tracker (though there may be false positives too, the version compare isn't perfect yet)

Q: How to get a list of all installed backports?

A: Something like the following solutions should work:

dpkg -l  |awk '/^ii/ && $3 ~ /bpo[456]0/ {print $2}'

or

aptitude search '?narrow(?version(CURRENT),?origin(Debian Backports))' -F '%100p'

Q: Why are there no more backports of Mozilla products anymore?

A: Backports of Mozilla products (Firefox, Thunderbird, Seamonkey; aka Iceweasel, Icedove, Iceape) are maintained by the Debian Mozilla Team independently on mozilla.debian.net, because the offered variety of version exceeds what is possible within the rules for Debian Backports as it e.g. includes backports of packages not yet in testing or beta and even alpha releases.