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Old 04-24-2006, 03:59 AM   #1
okok
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Worries about updates


In widnwos, updates and upgrades to the OS take place more or less automatically by running installers.

If I install a distribution like Mandriva or Mepis (known for their relatively friendly installers), will I be able to install later versions on top of older ones the same way, without lossing my settings and having to personalize and configure everything from scratch?

I have never done that, so I am not sure what may be involved in upgrading a linux OS.
 
Old 04-24-2006, 05:03 AM   #2
ethics
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There's sveral different 'updates' involved with the system, security updates, program updates, kernel updates, distro updates.

I've never had a problem with any of the above messing up an install (granted, never used those 2 distros). There of course may be instances whereby you used kernel modules that aren't available for the newer kernel (like support for other filesystems) but you can generally get them for each and every kernel.

I know mandriva uses URPMI to manage it's packages ,that should make things simple, mepis uses apt-get and Synaptic as it's GUI frontend (apt-get is brilliant and simple for updates).

As a personal habit i keep a store of most of my user configs and can just copy them in on different installs to get it back to desired state, of course i use distros that have bleeding edge software, generally using the same versions, this won't work so well if one is using latest, and the other still has a version from 2000 or something.

All in all i really wouldn't worry about updating, and if you are, pick a distro with a long release cycle
 
Old 04-24-2006, 05:13 AM   #3
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This is a comparative of different methods for upgrading your distro :
http://lwn.net/Articles/49967/

Mepis is not listed, but it is debian based (apt-get) and dist upgrade should work like debian.

Both Debian and Mandriva and very well rated. Both methods are very easy and very robust. No worries.
 
Old 04-24-2006, 08:47 AM   #4
okok
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Thanks for the information!
 
Old 04-24-2006, 03:32 PM   #5
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One information that will be useful concerning Mandriva : system & security updates are provided as soon as available, BUT :
- updates (other than security-related) for the desktop itself (KDE or Gnome for instance) won't be avalailable. If you start with KDE 3.4.2, unless you change to a newer Mandrva or compile KDE yourself, you'll keep version 3.4.2.
Besides, all KDE subprograms (like Amarok) are linked to KDE's core. If you want the "newer amarok" you'll need the "newer KDE". Which is not provided through packages, compile it yourself or install a newer (still to come) Mandriva.
- some VITAL programs are stupidly ignored by Mandriva's updates. Firefox 1.0.6 (same for Thunderbird) were installed with Mandriva2006, and NEVER did the stupid firm consider offering packages for newer versions even though there was security involved >_<
Fortunately there are sometimes ways to "cheat", so to say.

Last edited by Sabinou; 04-24-2006 at 03:35 PM.
 
Old 04-24-2006, 05:00 PM   #6
okok
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Thank you, Sabinou. I suppose that installing updates manually is a skill one has to acquire.

What is still bothering me is what happens when a totally new version of the distribution is available. Are such changes done also via the regular update mechanism, or do I need to run the installer cd of the new version? And will running an installer when an older version of the OS is already installed just make the necessary changes to upgrade to the newer version and keep my installed programs and settings?
 
Old 04-24-2006, 06:24 PM   #7
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When you talk about a distro, that means "the bundle composed of linux, the desktop, a decent set of associated programs, and all that being strongly tied one with another" ^^
When a totally new version of the distro is available, you will need to install the new version itself through the "upgrade" menu provided when you boot with the distro's CD/DVD. It will upgrade everything that's already installed on your system and can be updated. Your settings will be kept, unless there has been settings change between the program versions, and then you'll be warned next time you start the program. So all in all, it's not bad at all to install the newer distro version ^_^

If you don't want to run unnecessary risks, you can for instance install the new distro version afresh (not an upgrade) on another partition, for another username. So if everything works fine, you can delete the "test" partition and go for the "real" install over the current distro ^^
 
Old 04-27-2006, 03:44 AM   #8
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If you have an internet connection, you dont need cds.
Just use the upgrade mechanism and you will get the shinest and latest. The upgrade mechanism is not the same as in windows. In the linux world, improvements happen daily, or even hourly. I dont know if there are problems with urpmi (didnt knew about the KDE version thing), but in Debian, you just "apt-get dist-upgrade" and it upgrades. You can upgrade your system each day (the way you upgrade your anti-virus software in windows).
 
Old 04-27-2006, 06:02 AM   #9
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Thank you very much for your explanations!
 
Old 04-30-2006, 03:38 AM   #10
Sabinou
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If debian includes upgrading of KDE and of the distro, then it's great for you
 
Old 04-30-2006, 05:43 AM   #11
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Thanks. In the meantime I installed Mepis, and I see that the updating works just fine.
 
Old 05-01-2006, 04:59 AM   #12
Sabinou
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You mean that with mepis and the official packages, you can also upgrade KDE to another version ? Damn, I feel sad with Mandriva :/
 
Old 05-01-2006, 08:28 AM   #13
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Before intalling Mepis I tried to install Mandriva, but even the installation process didn't work properly, so I gave up, installed Mepis, and am very happy with it and with the availability of up-to-date versions of most of the software I need in the debian repository. There were problems, but with time most of them were solved; and the rest, judging on the ease with which solutions were found before, will probably be solved as well.
 
Old 05-02-2006, 06:26 AM   #14
pilatus666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabinou
One information that will be useful concerning Mandriva : system & security updates are provided as soon as available, BUT :
- updates (other than security-related) for the desktop itself (KDE or Gnome for instance) won't be avalailable. If you start with KDE 3.4.2, unless you change to a newer Mandrva or compile KDE yourself, you'll keep version 3.4.2.
Besides, all KDE subprograms (like Amarok) are linked to KDE's core. If you want the "newer amarok" you'll need the "newer KDE". Which is not provided through packages, compile it yourself or install a newer (still to come) Mandriva.
- some VITAL programs are stupidly ignored by Mandriva's updates. Firefox 1.0.6 (same for Thunderbird) were installed with Mandriva2006, and NEVER did the stupid firm consider offering packages for newer versions even though there was security involved >_<
Fortunately there are sometimes ways to "cheat", so to say.
Dammn.... so that's why I can't find the GNOME 2.14 and KDE 3.5.2 for Mandriva2006.... now I wreally think about a distro switch
 
Old 05-03-2006, 04:33 AM   #15
Sabinou
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There are alternative packages depositories (search "seer of souls") for Mandriva and KDE/Gnome. But that's a bit more risky since it's unofficial and made by willingful helpers.

Let's say there's a 95% chance of working perfectly, and if you're in the 5%, you'd better have another desktop installed, like XFCE, so as to be able to be able to remove easily (in graphical mode ) KDE and Gnome, before reinstalling the working versions from the official mirrors or from the DVD ^^;;

Besides, I don't know if international support (i.e. non-english) exists for those distros.

If you're considering changing distro already, though, I suggest you go for it, try Seer of Souls
(and please let us know how it worked ^_^)
 
  


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