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Re: Debian testing - release number

On Wed 04 Jul 2018 at 13:18:14 (+1200), Richard Hector wrote:
> On 02/07/18 05:31, David Wright wrote:
> > On Sun 01 Jul 2018 at 22:44:17 (+1200), Richard Hector wrote:
> >> On 28/06/18 16:40, David Wright wrote:
> >>> On Wed 27 Jun 2018 at 19:49:13 (+0200), Martin Krämer wrote:
> >>>> I am wondering if it is possible to get the debian release number
> >>>> for debian testing (and maybe sid) from command line?
> >>>
> >>> Yes.
> >>>
> >>> # cat > /etc/debian_version
> >>> Write whatever you want here
> >>> ^D
> >>>
> >>> Job done. (That's a control-D.)
> >>>
> >>> Whether it's advisable to depend on its being numerical is a different matter.
> >>
> >> Wait, what? Are you trying to get it, or set it? Why would you want to
> >> edit that?
> > 
> > As Brad has already pointed out, "[…] [testing] will get the official
> > release number 10 when buster becomes the stable branch of Debian."
> > That's been policy AIUI at least since Debian 1.0 was not released.
> > Meanwhile this question is asked, answered, and (re)submitted as a bug.
> > 
> > What seems to be lost on people who feel a pressing need for
> > /etc/debian_version to contain a number to satisfy some script that
> > they have written (which seems to be the usual reason) is that
> > /etc/debian_version is a configuration file. Look in the
> > .deb file and there it is, along with /etc/issue{,.net} which
> > determine how you are greeted {locally,remotely}. So admins are
> > free to set them all how they like.
> I accept that you _can_ edit it. I just don't see why you'd want to,

I can only refer you to a recent iteration of bug reporting:


> especially in terms of the OP's request to find out what the version
> number is. If the file has the version number, fine. If not, changing
> the file still isn't going to help.

Eh? If the OP wants a version number, then changing the string to a
number will help. They could try to predict the upcoming version
(bad idea), or indicate there isn't one with zero, or they could use
a trusty sentinal value like 999 if it was important for the version
number to be > V(stable). I'm not condoning any of these, just
pointing out that the value is within the gift of the sysadmin.

If a sysadmin thinks that debian_version is an important and accurate
indication of the system's state when it's running testing, that
might be a problem.