Create your own Xfce 4.10 repository in Debian Testing

If you are a user of Debian Testing, and also, you use Xfce Be Desktop Environment, you should know that there is a very simple way to use the latest stable version (4.10), creating your own custom repository.

The problem is, that still Xfce 4.10 is on the branch Experimental de Debian, but it can be used perfectly in Testing following the steps I describe below.

1.- Installing the necessary packages.

The first thing to do is install reprimand, a simple tool that allows us to build repositories with packages .deb. This tool is currently in the repositories, so we open a terminal and put:

$ sudo aptitude install reprepro

2.- Lowering the .deb.

For this tutorial to take effect, we are assuming that we already have installed Xfce 4.8, since what we need precisely, is to download the updates. Now what we need is to get the packages from Xfce from the repositories of Debian Experimental. We add to our file / Etc / apt / sources.list the following line:

deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian experimental main

Then we save the changes, we open the Synaptic Package Manager, we update, and we should leave to update some packages Xfce (we must make sure they point to version 4.10). If we get to this point without problems, we mark all to install, but, when applying the changes, we only select the option to Download only the packages, as you can see in the following image:

With this option, what we will do is download the packages to the cache of apt. It would be prudent that, before doing this, we have the cache folder empty, or at least with the least amount of packages possible, so as not to make mistakes when extracting only the ones we need later. The cache of apt It is located in / Var / cache / apt / archives.

Once the packages related to Xfce, we remove them from the apt cache, and we put them in any folder, for example:

$ cp /var/cache/apt/archives /home/<usuario>/

3.- Creating the repositories.

As I told you, it is advisable to only have the packages Xfce When creating the repository, for a matter of organization and space more than anything, but it does not matter if we have more packages, anyway, this will not affect us at all, since aptitude o synaptic, they take into account the newest packages when updating, and if there are any duplicates it will not take them into account.

Now what we will do is use reprimand to create our custom repository. Reproach It's great, since it creates the structure of a repository for us without us having to do practically anything. I am not going to go into the details of how to use it, but I will show you the fast track to achieve our goal.

We go to the folder that we copied from the apt cache:

$ cd /home/<usuario>/

We create the necessary configuration folder for reprimand:

$ mkdir conf/

Then we create the file that will give reprimand the necessary instructions for us to create the repository.

$ cd conf/
$ nano distributions

And inside the file we put:

Origin: Xfce-Packages
Label: Xfce-Packages
Suite: testing
Codename: testing
Architectures: i386
Components: main
Description: Mirror personalizado de Xfce 4.10 para Debian Testing

Then we save and exit the conf folder:

$ cd ..

Now we run reprepo, inside the archive folder as follows:

reprepro --ask-passphrase -b . -V -C main includedeb testing *.deb

If everything goes well, you will see how it creates the directories for us dist y pool just like in a conventional repository.

To make everything more beautiful, we are going to change the name of the folder archives a xfce. Now we just have to add to our sources.list:

deb file:///home/<usuario>/xfce testing main

We remove the line that points to Experimental, update and voila, we can install Xfce 4.10 from our own repository 😀


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  1.   elrengo said

    Very interesting. So this can be a very good option to install it on LinuxMint LMDE 2012 version.
    I have to reinstall my machine and I am in doubt with which, XUbuntu 12.04 or LinuxMint to test cimmanon. Total I know that the linux mint I can blacken the XFCE. And I have all of them for testing.
    I love Debian, but I always end up resonating with the packages, I like Ubuntu / XUbuntu but it always has more ... What suits me is to have the purity and cleanliness of Debian with the large number of Ubuntu packages! 😛

    What do you recommend for me to use XFCE 4.10? Currently I have a T43 with Debian Testing with XFCE and the machine with Windows 7 that I have to iron a Linux. I forget about Windows forever. AMD Atlhon 64 3200 3 GB Ram.

    1.    elav <° Linux said

      If you ask me: Debian Testing 😀

      1.    elrengo said

        So I go for the Linux Mint, I install the XFCE 4.8 by repositories and then I go this way to update to 4.10

        1.    elav <° Linux said

          Only if you use LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) ...

          1.    elrengo said

            If it's the one I want to try. They have been raving about that distro and I want to try it. Which is a debian with the LinuxMint look & field that is minimalist.
            Ubuntu has not used it since XUbuntu was released. And then I went back to the sources. Debian, as I have it on my Thinkpad T43.

  2.   Ruben said

    Is it heavier or lighter than 4.8? I'm on Xubuntu with 4.8 and I'm very happy, do you recommend installing 4.10?

    1.    elav <° Linux said

      If I tell you I lie to you. I have noticed that in version 4.10 things are more fluid, in addition, they have a lot of new features.

      1.    commentator said

        As which? I had read that the changes would be little noticeable for ordinary users ... like me 🙂

        1.    elav <° Linux said

          First, yes, it works by apt-pinning. Second, the changes are many, but I leave you some that at least I have noticed:
          - Desktop icons can be arranged.
          - Added functions for the Touchpad that I had not seen before.
          - Desktop backgrounds can be changed from time to time.
          - New Gtk and Xfwm themes can be installed by dragging them to the Appearance window.
          - Thunar opens much faster.
          - The App-finder application is much improved (the one that comes out by pressing Alt + F2) since you can search or access websites, in addition to applications.
          - The panel received improvements in the options of vertical position and dock.
          - The Configuration Manager received a facelift.
          - The desktop shows thumbnails when hovering over an icon or file.
          - others….

      2.    commentator said

        I have a doubt. Will adding experimental and apt-pinning work?

        Thank you.

  3.   elrengo said

    Everything ok; we add the SID repositories in apt. Now how do I tell apt or whoever performs the update that I only want to update XFCE and its packages and not the entire system?

  4.   XunilinuX said

    Thanks for the very good info elav, especially for the impatient haha. For the moment I will wait for it to reach the Testing branch of Debian
    Does anyone know when more or less XFCE 4.10 will hit Debian Testing?

    1.    commentator said

      It all depends on which version is going to be included in Wheezy.

  5.   Carlos said

    Hello, a question because I do not see any package to update after adding the experimental repo: s

  6.   Ariki said

    Will it be me or is there someone else who does not get any package to update when we reload synaptics with the experimental repos ??? Cheers

  7.   donaldos1818 said

    Elav, I'm new to Debian, because it won't let me do anything because it says a package is broken.