14 August 2013

493. Very, Very Briefly: libreoffice 4 on wheezy -- wheezy-backports

I might be the last person who 'gets' it, but I always presumed that since package versions in backports would be newer they'd automatically be installed.  But apparently that's not the case.

So, enable wheezy-backports, e.g. put this in your /etc/apt/sources.list
deb http://ftp.iinet.net.au/debian/debian/ wheezy-backports main contrib non-free

Then install libreoffice 4:
sudo apt-get install libreoffice -t=wheezy-backports

That's it.

To see what your policies are:
apt-cache policy libreoffice
libreoffice: Installed: 1:4.0.3-2~bpo70+1 Candidate: 1:4.0.3-2~bpo70+1 Version table: *** 1:4.0.3-2~bpo70+1 0 100 http://ftp.iinet.net.au/debian/debian/ wheezy-backports/main amd64 Packages 100 /var/lib/dpkg/status 1:3.5.4+dfsg2-0+deb7u2 0 500 http://ftp.iinet.net.au/debian/debian/ wheezy/main amd64 Packages
and as it turns out the backports repo only has a score of 100, and looking at man apt_preferences:

       If the target release has been specified then APT uses the following algorithm to set the priorities of the versions of a package. Assign:

       priority 1
           to the versions coming from archives which in their Release files are marked as "NotAutomatic: yes" but not as "ButAutomaticUpgrades: yes" like the
           Debian experimental archive.

       priority 100
           to the version that is already installed (if any) and to the versions coming from archives which in their Release files are marked as "NotAutomatic:
           yes" and "ButAutomaticUpgrades: yes" like the Debian backports archive since squeeze-backports.

       priority 500
           to the versions that are not installed and do not belong to the target release.

       priority 990
           to the versions that are not installed and belong to the target release.

To see what's available in backports, do
aptitude search ~Awheezy-backports


  1. From backports.debian.org:

    --- begin quote ---

    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 only select single backported packages that fit your needs, and not use all available backports.

    --- end quote ---

    If you do want to install all backported packages automatically you can set the priority of the backports archive higher than 100 in /etc/apt/preferences.

    BTW thank you for your very informative blog

    1. Thanks for the quote -- it makes a lot of sense, but given that I moved away from having a preferences file I assumed that installation preferences were based on version number alone. Anyway, running stable and allowing all sort of updates to be installed wouldn't make any sense.