1. About backports
  2. Add backports to your sources.list
  3. Install a package from backports
  4. sloppy distributions
  5. Subscribe to the security announce mailinglist
  6. Report Bugs

About backports

Backports are recompiled packages from testing (mostly) and unstable (in a few cases only, e.g. security updates) in a stable environment so that they will run without new libraries (whenever it is possible) on a Debian stable distribution

Backports cannot be tested as extensively as Debian stable, and backports are provided on an as-is basis, with risk of incompatibilities with other components in Debian stable. Use with care!

It is therefore recommended to select single backported packages that fit your needs, and not use all available backports.

Add backports to your sources.list

  1. For squeeze add this line

    deb http://http.debian.net/debian-backports squeeze-backports(-sloppy) main
    to your sources.list (or add a new file with the ".list" extension to /etc/apt/sources.list.d/). You can also find a list of other mirrors at http://backports.debian.org/Mirrors/

    For wheezy add this line

    deb http://http.debian.net/debian wheezy-backports main
    to your sources.list (or add a new file with the ".list" extension to /etc/apt/sources.list.d/) You can also find a list of other mirrors at https://www.debian.org/mirror/list

    For jessie add this line

    deb http://http.debian.net/debian jessie-backports main
    to your sources.list (or add a new file with the ".list" extension to /etc/apt/sources.list.d/) You can also find a list of other mirrors at https://www.debian.org/mirror/list
  2. Run apt-get update

Install a package from backports

All backports are deactivated by default (i.e. the packages are pinned to 100 by using ButAutomaticUpgrades: yes in the Release files. If you want to install something from backports run:

apt-get -t jessie-backports install "package"

of course you can use aptitude as well:

aptitude -t jessie-backports install "package"

sloppy distributions

To guarantee a clean upgrade path from a previously stable distribution to the next stable it is not allowed to upload packages from the current testing to that backport distribution. To allow some newer packages for those systems we create so called sloppy distributions. For oldstable (wheezy) packages from the current testing (stretch) are allowed to be uploaded to wheezy-backports-sloppy. For LTS (squeeze) we only allow packages from the current stable (jessie) to squeeze-backports-sloppy.

You can use it exactly as the current backports distribution, just add another line to your sources.list and install new packages via apt-get -t squeeze-backports-sloppy install or apt-get -t wheezy-backports sloppy install

Subscribe to the security announce mailinglist

If you want to get announcements about security updates on backports.debian.org subscribe to the debian-backports-announce mailinglist.

Report Bugs

Please report bugs that you found in the packages to the backports mailinglist and NOT to the Debian BTS!