Installing unstable applications

This article describes how to select unstable applications while minimizing risks.


[edit] Extras-testing vs Extras-devel

First step when minimizing risks is to disable the extras-devel repository. Packages that are in extras-devel are there because the developer thinks it is not yet ready for extras-testing. Further information can be found in the extras article.

[edit] QA Queue

The QA Queue from extras-testing can be found at

The first column is the name of the package, the second is version number, and the third is karma.

[edit] Karma

QA Queue karma should not be confused personal karma. An application needs 10 karma in order to get moved from extras-testing to extras. Application gains one karma point when a tester has followed instructions from Help testing software and given a thumbs up vote for it.

So, one thumbs up means one karma and that means one person is certain that the application is stable, does not fill root partition (optified), etc.

The more karma for the package, the safer it should be to install and use.

[edit] Comments

When you click a name of package, it will open a page where you can either comment on the package or read comments. That can be very useful data for the decision.

[edit] Bugzilla

The address of the package bugtracker can be seen in the same page as the comments, or at least it should be. You can use the Bugzilla search to find out if the package is already in bugzilla. Just see if the packages name can be found in the 'product' box. If it is found, please note column "Sev", aka Severity. If you can find red items in the list, you should be careful.

[edit] Staying safe

  • Install only applications with top karma rates
  • See all the comments left in QA Queue (can be found when clicking package name) for possible problems
  • When in doubt, stop and wait for package to enter extras.

and of course the article General precautions can be useful too.