Why haven't I heard of Ubuntu backports before now? - Adventures in Switching to Linux

Friday, March 7, 2008

Why haven't I heard of Ubuntu backports before now?

I've been having the annoying problem of file dates not being retained when copying or moving files to an NTFS partition in Ubuntu 7.10. This has particularly kept me from transferring files from my digital camera in Linux because I don't want the file date lost and I don't want to put them on a non NTFS partition. It took me quite a bit of searching to figure out this was limited to a problem with NTFS and due to a bug in ntfs-3g. I also eventually found out that the problem in ntfs-3g has been fixed.

My problem at this point though was I could not find a way to get the new release installed. I didn't want to compile it myself. I found that a new version that fixed the problem was in the repository for the 8.04 release but attempting to install that didn't work due to other dependencies.

At some point, I heard about Ubuntu Backports.

The Backports team believes that the best update policy is a mix of Ubuntu's security-only policy AND providing new versions of some programs. Candidates for version updates are primarily desktop applications, such as your web browser, word processor, IRC client, or IM client. These programs can be updated without replacing a large part of the operating system that would affect stability of the whole system.
And it turns out a new release package of ntfs-3g that I need to fix my problem is right there in the backports repository. So now my problem is fixed and I still have a stable system. Nice!

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