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Adding an application available to Debian Wheezy to Mint (LMDE)

I very much like having an autocomplete application launcher (one button to launch the launcher, and type a letter or three to select the program you want, and enter to launch it), and Synapse is the best i've used.

With no other recommendations forthcoming from Mint Debian Edition's official package list, and with Synapse clearly stable for Debian, the need seemed clear: add Debian's packages to LMDE in a way that wouldn't cause unintended updates to Debian, rather than LMDE-released, versions of packages which they share.

Before you begin, check the Update Manager to see that everything is up-to-date.

I created a new file /etc/apt/preferences.d/debian-package-repositories.pref and in it put:

Package: *
Pin: origin debian.linuxmint.com
Pin-Priority: 600

Package: *
Pin: release a=wheezy
Pin-Priority: -1

The first package pinning is needed because the defaults in LMDE's own pinning preferences file seems to be wrong— without this, the -1 wheezy would still take precedence over the unset priority the debian.linuxmint.com repositories.

Now that the priority is safely set, add Debian Wheezy to your sources. This can also be done in it's own file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian-package-repositories.list like so:

deb http://http.debian.net/debian wheezy main

Now you can sudo apt-get update and check that Update Manager doesn't have a bunch of updates— if it does, it's trying to switch over to Debian and the pinning isn't working right. If Update Manager is still cool, go ahead and install the specific program you want from Debian packages! For example, sudo apt-get install synapse.

References

Searched words: 
how to use debian repositories from linux mint synapse Linux Mint Debian Edition aptitude apt-get

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