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On the other hand, NOT updating can result in unpatched vulnerabilities and getting hacked. If you have few services exposed to the internet, whether because few are running or because you're behind a separate firewall/router, you're unlikely to be troubled though.
I run ( will install Arch tonite in a real mobo instead of playing around with it in external USB HDDs ) Arch Linux in "static" mode :
I will explain :
Once I decided to Install Arch, I downloaded the 2010.5 x86_64 iso, burned it in a CD, and downloaded the full repo snapshot for x86_64; extra, core, community, made a big tar.gz of this, and splitted it in 5 DVDs.
This is "My Arch Release".
I install Arch, and I unpack the DVD's content there in /home/My_repo.
Then I change /etc/pacman.conf to say where things are, and create also /home/My_packages, where I drop everything I build from AUR, as well as what is not yet in AUR but i build and package anyway.
This way, I can have a system that is fast, responsive, where i can fetch, install or remove whatever i want, without the fear of having to rebuild something from AUR or any package that I built, which was broken since last pacman -Syu, because of a new library version update, if pacman was configured to fetch stuff from the most recent releases of Libraries, kernel, glibc, etc...
This way I will not break my nvidia driver, wireless module, etc.
After a "major" release, like future 2011.5 for instance, I will repeat the process...
And further, I am trying to build a Live distro out of arch and some custom packages I want to include... so it is better to start with some stable base... IMHO
AFAIK the only *NIXes that allows for painless ( everything still working out of the box ) upgrades, are Solaris, and *BSD...
Would be awesome if stuff like this was included in a repo, so that an upgrade would result in a coherent system IMHO...
Last Edit : And, last but not the least... I do not always have a fast internet connection around... : Those DVD's that hold the repo snapshot are my last resource if I have to install some library/package...
Automating AUR rebuilds would indeed be nice. I think there are some GUI package managers that are supposed to do things like that, but they're still experimental.
I will admit, those are some big packages you have there from the AUR. One thing I notice on my system: the build process isn't multitasking. When there are many source files to be compiled, they're being done strictly one at a time. With virtually every processor nowadays being dual core, and many having more (I have a triple core Phenom), I think makepkg really needs to add a multitasking option.
I upgrade whenever I'm in the mood for a challenge. It breaks things more often than it doesn't, but that's why I installed Arch, for the challenge. Now whenever I watch a 3D program go 3-4 frames per second, I swear at myself (and the noveau team (and everyone at nvidia)) for this decision.
I usually upgrade once every time I log in, unless I've already done it that day. The only issue I've ever had was the Xorg update borking any NVidia driver.
I know it says that all but the latest aren't supported, but my laptop, which is meant to use the 'nvidia' package also doesn't work, forcing me to nouveau instead.
I update roughly once a day. (It's a rolling release---might as well take advantage of it.)
I've only ever had the system break once in the 10 months I've been running Arch: I updated the kernel and subsequently lost my wireless connection. I had to downgrade the kernel and hold off upgrading it until the problem was fixed, which came with the next kernel update.
I update whenever I'm bored (At least every day). Haven't had anything break for a while (Since going from KDE 4.1 to 4.2). My only problem is the AUR packages that are git/svn but don't get updated... would love a recompile every week or so.