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if you find yourself happy with the stability of debian stable but occassionally want to use testing packages, you can use the following trick:

$ sudo emacs /etc/apt/apt.conf

add in the line:

APT::Default-Release “stable”;

and then add the following to your /etc/apt/sources.list file:

deb http://debian.lcs.mit.edu/debian/ testing main
deb-src http://debian.lcs.mit.edu/debian/ testing main

now, run

$ sudo apt-get update

and finally, you can:

$ sudo apt-get -t testing install testing_package

[thanks to pierre at the spry forums for helping me figure this out!]

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