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.
For squeeze add this line
deb http://YOURMIRROR.debian.org/debian-backports squeeze-backports(-sloppy) mainto your sources.list (or add a new file with the ".list" extension to /etc/apt/sources.list.d/).
For wheezy add this line
deb http://YOURMIRROR.debian.org/debian wheezy-backports mainto your sources.list (or add a new file with the ".list" extension to /etc/apt/sources.list.d/)
- Run apt-get update
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 squeeze-backports install "package"
of course you can use aptitude as well:
aptitude -t squeeze-backports install "package"
To guarantee a clean upload path from squeeze-backports to wheezy it is not allowed to upload backports from jessie to squeeze-backports. To allow new backports also in squeeze we created a new suite for everybody that prefer newer packages above a clean upgrade path: squeeze-backports-sloppy. You can use it exactly as squeeze-backports, just add another line to your sources.list and install new packages via apt-get -t squeeze-backports-sloppy install
If you want to get announcements about security updates on backports.debian.org subscribe to the debian-backports-announce mailinglist.
Please report bugs that you found in the packages to the backports mailinglist and NOT to the Debian BTS!