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Setup Debian Testing sources apt repository on Debian Stable

by Pierre-Yves Landuré last modified Jan 15, 2014 03:41

This guide adds the Debian Testing sources repositories to Debian Stable without changing the standard system behaviour.

This howto is tested on :

  • Debian 6.0 Squeeze
  • Debian 7.0 Wheezy


Provide the name of the repository version to install:


Note: This howto is also valid to install the repositories of the previous Debian stable version:

# DEBIAN_VERSION="squeeze"


Install the needed software:

command apt-get install lsb-release

Detect the distribution name:

CURRENT_DEBIAN_VERSION="$(command lsb_release -cs)"

Detect the mirror used by the installation:

MIRROR="$(command egrep "^deb.*${CURRENT_DEBIAN_VERSION}" '/etc/apt/sources.list' \
    | command egrep -v "updates|-src|cdrom" \
| command sed -e 's/[ \t][ \t]*/ /g' \
    | cut --delimiter=" " --fields=2)"

Repository setup

Add the sources repositories to the apt configuration :

command echo "# Debian ${DEBIAN_VERSION} sources repository.
deb ${MIRROR} ${DEBIAN_VERSION} main contrib non-free
deb-src ${MIRROR} ${DEBIAN_VERSION} main contrib non-free" \
    > "/etc/apt/sources.list.d/${DEBIAN_VERSION}.list"

Assign a very low priority to repository packages to prevent system pollution :

command echo "Package: *
Pin: release o=Debian,a=${DEBIAN_VERSION},l=Debian
Pin-Priority: 90" \
> "/etc/apt/preferences.d/${DEBIAN_VERSION}"

Update the list of available packages :

command apt-get update


You can now download sources for software available in the added repositories.

Install a package from testing repositories with:

# command apt-get install package/testing

To get a software sources from Testing repositories, use the -t option :

# command apt-get -t "testing" source "package"