Install Darktable on Debian Squeeze

by krisrowland

There are a range of articles about the place describing how to install Darktable on Debian Squeeze. The problem arises when you find that Darktable is too new to have been incorporated into the Debian stable repository. Some articles suggest installing from source, such as the official Darktable site, but often others suggest using the Ubuntu PPA repositories. If you aren’t 100% sure about what the PPA install is doing to your system, it is likely a poor choice: Ubuntu and Debian have deviated quite a bit when it comes to the way in which packages are installed, where their configuration files are kept, the default paths used, etc. If you want to install from source, you’ll have to manage the dependencies manually. I’m not a big fan of that.

So… how do you install Darktable in the easiest and possible safest way under Debian Squeeze?

Answer: Debian Backports

Backports are programs that have been compiled from source using dependencies from the stable release; this is not always possible, but it is for Darktable!

The page for the Debain Squeeze backport for Darktable can be found here, although you don’t need it.

As per the official backports instructions, you simply have to add the backports repos to your sources.list. I did this:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Added line to end of file:

deb squeeze-backports main

Update apt sources:

sudo apt-get update

Installed Darktable!

sudo apt-get install darktable

That was all it took for me to install a working Darktable to my Debian Squeeze install 😀

Aside: In order to force a package to install from backports, you can use:

sudo apt-get -t squeeze-backports *package-name*