using debian sources from ubuntu

Derek Broughton news at
Mon Dec 15 14:24:47 UTC 2008

tom arnall wrote:

> some questions on using debian sources for ubuntu intrepid system
> is it safe? i would prefer to do without something
> than risk dependency problems
> if so, should i be using lenny/testing sources only?
> my immediate need is to install kcontrol so that i can --
> hopefully -- control the format of times displayed for kalarm
> items. apparently this is not available from the ubuntu intrepid
> sources, since it doesn't appear in the synaptic choices.

You'll get different opinions - particularly from Mario with whom I've 
had this disagreement before :-)

In general, it IS safe to install Debian packages - with caveats - but I 
wouldn't go permanently adding Debian distros to the sources.list.

Whenever you install from Debian, look at what is going to be installed 
or removed, and _don't_ do it if it's going to change anything important 
(and "important" includes anything you don't understand).  If you use 
apt to install, then it's OK if anything new needs to be installed, but 
probably not if it wants to downgrade or remove any existing packages.

Generally, apt won't install anything that has already been superceded 
by Ubuntu, and I don't see that it matters too much which Debian source 
you use.

otoh, listen to Mario :-)  There _is_ a potential to screw your system 

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