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Old 04-30-2014, 05:27 AM   #1
limecore
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Rolling release distro choice


I have been playing around with a few rolling release distros recently (arch and lmde were the 2 that I got around to installing), but I haven't been able to find one that works for me. LMDE's packages were a bit too dated, while I found that arch updated too often (500mb of updates after a week away and a kernel update every week or so)

I was wondering if there was a distro that was somewhere between these 2, that has up to date packages, but doesn't push through updates as soon as they come out like arch does.

I have heard a bit about debian testing/unstable, but not much. would this be what I am after?
 
Old 04-30-2014, 05:32 AM   #2
Germany_chris
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LMDE if I recall is based on Debian testing. Try Manjaro based on Arch but it's a bit slower than Arch and uses it's own repo's
 
Old 04-30-2014, 05:44 AM   #3
limecore
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LMDE is based on testing, but has its own repos, and only adds software to those repos occasionally. I was wondering if debian testing updated more often.

Took a quick look at manjaro, but am not quite convinced. It just looks like a dumbed down version of arch.
 
Old 04-30-2014, 05:46 AM   #4
TobiSGD
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I recently switched to Gentoo on my main machine and so far it is great, I can decide which packages should go with the better tested stable branch and which packages I want to follow upstream closer with.
Needs a fair amount of time to get used to the Portage system and its enormous flexibility, but definitely worth the time, especially when you consider that you can choose which dependencies you want. I for example try to avoid Gnome/GTK wherever possible and so far there are no problems.
 
Old 04-30-2014, 05:56 AM   #5
limecore
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Been looking at gentoo a bit, but I don't think I have the time to get used to a completely new system at the moment. I'll install a few of the suggested isos on a virtualbox and play with them later. Thank God for unmetered downloads on most linux isos.

Thanks for all of the suggestions
 
Old 04-30-2014, 10:13 AM   #6
JWJones
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You could run Slackware -current, or Debian sid (unstable), which in my experience is more stable than testing.
 
Old 05-08-2014, 04:15 AM   #7
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limecore View Post
I have heard a bit about debian testing/unstable, but not much. would this be what I am after?
Testing is not a rolling release. Unstable is the closest thing Debian has to a rolling release, but changes there also slow down before each new Stable release. (At least from what I read.)
Quote:
I found that arch updated too often
That is because Arch is a rolling release.
Quote:
I was wondering if there was a distro that was somewhere between these 2, that has up to date packages, but doesn't push through updates as soon as they come out like arch does.
You want up-to-date, but not too up-to-date?
In other words, you want software hot off the presses, but do not want to do the work necessary to keep a rolling release functioning. If you do not want to babysit your system, it would be best to give up on the idea of a rolling release. Shiny New Shit syndrome has a strong pull, but there is a price to be paid for using a system that keeps everything shiny and new.
 
Old 05-08-2014, 05:42 AM   #8
Germany_chris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randicus Draco Albus View Post
Testing is not a rolling release. Unstable is the closest thing Debian has to a rolling release, but changes there also slow down before each new Stable release. (At least from what I read.)
That is because Arch is a rolling release.
You want up-to-date, but not too up-to-date?
In other words, you want software hot off the presses, but do not want to do the work necessary to keep a rolling release functioning. If you do not want to babysit your system, it would be best to give up on the idea of a rolling release. Shiny New Shit syndrome has a strong pull, but there is a price to be paid for using a system that keeps everything shiny and new.
Might have to steal that one too
 
Old 05-08-2014, 07:19 AM   #9
k3lt01
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Debian Testing, and by extension LMDE, are not rolling releases. When feature freeze is enforced Testing stops updating packages and all that is done to Testing is bug fixing. Debian Sid also comes to a near standstill at this time because bug squashing is considered to be more important (and I agree with this). LMDE is also way behind the 8 ball when compared to Debian Testing unless you point the sources.list directly at Debian's, and not at Linux Mint's, repositories.

@ Tobi, I never thought you'd use anything else after moving to Slackware, but then again I didn't think you'd leave Debian either. I'll watch your experience with Gentoo with interest.
 
Old 05-08-2014, 08:09 AM   #10
PrinceCruise
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Wait Slackware veteran Tobi's using Gentoo full time? I'd love to read his experience.

Regards.
 
Old 05-08-2014, 08:25 AM   #11
syg00
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Getting back on subject, I found Arch the best - but read the news before updating to save angst.
 
Old 05-08-2014, 08:58 AM   #12
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lt01 View Post
@ Tobi, I never thought you'd use anything else after moving to Slackware, but then again I didn't think you'd leave Debian either. I'll watch your experience with Gentoo with interest.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrinceCruise
Wait Slackware veteran Tobi's using Gentoo full time? I'd love to read his experience.
I used Slackware for three years now, so I wouldn't call me a veteran, many members here use Slackware far longer.
Anyways. I decided to change to Gentoo for two reasons:
1. It is rolling release. Usually that wouldn't bother me, but Gentoo with the flexibility of the Portage package manager allows to easily follow upstream where it matters to me, especially the graphics stack for my Radeon video cards. Anyone who followed the threads about updating the graphics stack on Slackware sees which problem this can be on Slackware. At some point I wanted to try out if the problems I had compiling newer stuff were caused by a software regression and the easiest way to figure that out for me was to just try it with Gentoo. After spending some time with Gentoo I came to the conclusion that that is the way forward for me, it just suits my needs better than Slackware to that regard.
2. I realized that I am not opposed to automatic dependency resolution. In fact, I think no one is, not even the most die hard Slackware proponent. Simply because automatic dependency resolution doesn't exist, at some point always a human (in case of Slackware Patrick Volkerding together with his team and the good guys at Slackbuilds.org) has to figure out the dependencies and has to decide which of the optional dependencies will be compiled in (in case of Slackware also PV and his team, when it comes to SBo the user himself is at charge). The point of Slackware is not that it doesn't has automatic dependency resolution, but that the user can decide which dependencies actually should be used. Gentoo gives me the ability to decide that to a far greater extent.

Of course using Gentoo has also downsides, for example is the transition to have a fully multilib capable system still in the works. It works without a problem on a pure stable system, as well on a pure ~arch system, but not currently not without problems for a mixed system. I can for example run my Steam games, but have problems installing Wine. But this is a problem that will be fixed somewhere in the near future. Gentoo is of course also not as well tested as Slackware, but so far I had no problems regarding that. It also involves a good amount of learning, I botched three installations because I had problems to figure out how to use USE-flags and profiles properly and I will have to learn how Ebuilds work, but that is nothing that is especially hard, just time consuming.

In short, if you want a rolling release system that is well tested (as well as rolling release allows), allows you to upgrade, downgrade or halt packages at a specific version with the dependencies you want (decided on a per-package basis or in general) and you are willing to invest some time for learning, Gentoo is definitely worth a try. Any seasoned Slacker shouldn't have a problem with it, once the basic principles are understood.

Of course my journey into Gentoo is only at the beginning and it may be possible that at one point I will decide to return to Slackware, but for now I am very satisfied with Gentoo and especially the Portage package manager.

For anyone that want to figure out the different types of rolling release distros (partially rolling, fully rolling, ...) and example of distributions that use that specific release model I recommend the Wikipedia article about that topic.

Last edited by TobiSGD; 05-08-2014 at 08:59 AM.
 
Old 05-08-2014, 02:03 PM   #13
snowpine
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Arch is the only "rolling release" distro I personally would even consider using. (But I choose not to.) The reason I say this is because Arch is designed from the ground up to be rolling release for all users; it's not like, say, Debian, a project which is primarily focused on creating a Stable release (but some people choose to run Testing/Unstable as a quasi-rolling-release anyway). Same reason I only eat sushi at sushi restaurants; I don't order sushi at Chinese restaurants that happen to also have a page of sushi at the back of their menu.

I don't know how you can say "Arch updates too often" when YOU are the one who choses when to update. If your Arch system is updating every week, it's because you are running "pacman" every week. Nobody is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to do this! If you find the updates are too frequent, then don't update so frequently.

It's also worth mentioning that Arch is one of the best distros in terms of not installing a bunch of "bloat" you don't need. The updates you're getting are only for software that YOU chose to install. Arch has a lot of "minimalist" users who run lean, mean systems with only the packages they need. The more software you chose to install, the more updates you will get, plain and simple.

Last edited by snowpine; 05-08-2014 at 02:07 PM.
 
Old 05-08-2014, 02:49 PM   #14
szboardstretcher
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I prefer Arch to any other distro, not just because of its monthly rolling release, but because of its simplicity. I had been a Gentoo user for a long time, for some of the same reasons TobySGD mentioned, but i had to move away from it because of the compile times.

If you would like to have a gentoo-ish system, without the compile times, you can check out sabayon which has grown in popularity. It is a rolling release as well, but has precompiled binaries rather than using portage.

http://www.sabayon.org/
 
Old 05-08-2014, 11:43 PM   #15
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
I don't know how you can say "Arch updates too often" when YOU are the one who choses when to update. If your Arch system is updating every week, it's because you are running "pacman" every week. Nobody is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to do this! If you find the updates are too frequent, then don't update so frequently.
How infrequently can the system be updated without the risk of problems? Every week? Two weeks? Every month? Not being an Arch use, but having done a fair amount of research into it, my understanding is that the longer the time between updates, the greater the chance of problems.
 
  


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