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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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2.1.11 Historical notes about Sid

When the present-day Sid did not exist, the Debian archive site organization had one major flaw: there was an assumption that when an architecture was created in the current unstable/, it would be released when that distribution became the new stable. For many architectures that wasn't the case, with the result that those directories had to be moved at release time. This was impractical because the move would chew up lots of bandwidth.

The archive administrators worked around this problem for several years by placing binaries for unreleased architectures in a special directory called sid. For those architectures not yet released, the first time they were released there was a link from the current stable/ to sid/, and from then on they were created inside the unstable/ tree as usual. This layout was somewhat confusing to users.

With the advent of package pools (see The pool directory, Section 2.1.10) during the Woody distribution development, binary packages began to be stored in a canonical location in the pool, regardless of the distribution, so releasing a distribution no longer causes large bandwidth consumption on the mirrors (there is, however, a lot of gradual bandwidth consumption throughout the development process).

Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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