Apt-based distros pulling in packages from the wrong pin!

Apt-based distros pulling in packages from the wrong pin!

Don't panic! It is all okay, well it's okay if you are worrying about this particular non-problem! So you may ask:

Why do I see packages coming in from releases I have pinned below my main release?


Lets take a look an example:

$ apt-cache policy grep
grep:
Installed: 2.20-4.1
Candidate: 2.20-4.1
Version table:
2.21-1 0
200 http://ftp.au.debian.org/debian/ experimental/main amd64 Packages
*** 2.20-4.1 0
300 http://ftp.au.debian.org/debian/ sid/main amd64 Packages
700 http://ftp.au.debian.org/debian/ jessie/main amd64 Packages
100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
2.12-2 0
600 http://ftp.au.debian.org/debian/ wheezy/main amd64 Packages
2.6.3-3+squeeze1 0
400 http://ftp.au.debian.org/debian/ squeeze/main amd64 Packages

As you can see here grep has the same version in testing (700 in my case) as
it does in unstable (300 in my case). So lets download grep and see which
source url it comes from:

$ aptitude download grep
Get: 1 http://ftp.au.debian.org/debian/ sid/main grep amd64 2.20-4.1 [325 kB]
Fetched 325 kB in 0s (402 kB/s)

As you can see it came from sid, why? I really have no clue and it will only do this when the version matches to a pin you already have. Does it matter? Not at all because the versions matched for all intenstive purposes it is the same package in testing and unstable. A possible explanation is the apt server does this to save space, why keep two packages that are exactly the same? Just point to the other one.

Mata ne!

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