Newer Debian versions of python on older Debian distros?

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Tue Sep 9 11:17:54 CEST 2014

On Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 6:09 PM, Rustom Mody <rustompmody at> wrote:
>>  Does anyone have experience with using newer versions of python
>> debian packages (in particular, python3 and python3-bson-ext from
>> 'testing') on older stable versions ('wheezy' in this case)? If
>> someone's figured out how to do this easily, I'd love to hear the
>> recipe!
> Wheezy appears to have a python3 (though not the latest)

I think the point of "python3 from testing" is because the python3
package in Wheezy is 3.2.3. (And if he hadn't explicitly told us he's
using Wheezy, it could have been Squeeze, which went out of primary
support just a few months ago, and is still in Long-Term Support for a
couple of years. Squeeze ships Python 3.1.)

All my Wheezy systems have a locally-compiled Python. But then, I've
been installing quite a few Jessie (testing) systems, for various
reasons (support for our network scanner being one of them), and the
one really important Wheezy system here is my personal dev system
where I worked on the PEP 463 branch, so compiling CPython from source
was absolutely necessary. :)

> Chris said:
>> Alternatively, you could just run Debian Jessie. I have a few Jessie
>> systems on the network, with a Python 3.4 IIRC, and there've been no
>> stability problems lately. Both options are pretty easy.
> I'm not so sure.
> There's quite a brawl going on right now on debian users over
> systemd.
> [I am running testing myself]

Sadly, yes. I wish these things could be resolved on technical grounds
rather than political. I'm certain that systemd is superior to
sysvinit; I'm fairly sure it's superior to Upstart, and others I don't
have experience with. The technical downsides are few - it's
Linux-only (or was last I checked - this stuff can change), and it's
fairly invasive, needing kernel support. Most of the issues are
political ("how much power will Red Hat have?") and I have no interest
in arguing those.

But frankly, that's not really much different from the OpenOffice vs
Libre Office battles. Most people just don't care. I mean, let's face
it, there are a lot of people who wouldn't care (and maybe wouldn't
even notice) if you just go in and rename all the menu items to
"Microsoft Excel" and "Microsoft Word" and so on, and claim it's a
port of MS Office! If the average user doesn't care about an
application that's right in the face, why will s/he care about an init
system? "This one means the system boots faster." "Fine! Good enough
for me."


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