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View Poll Results: Longest time for your computer without reinstalling Linux
Less than 1 year 8 14.55%
1 year - 2 years 14 25.45%
2 years - 3 years 12 21.82%
3 years - 4 years 8 14.55%
5 years or more 13 23.64%
Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-22-2009, 10:13 AM   #1
xri
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What is the longest time for a Linux workstation without having to reinstall?


One of the many criticisms I've read about Windows is the need to reinstall the system after prolonged use.

For a workstation with frequent/daily use, I would like to know:
  1. How long do most people keep their distro release before having to completely reinstall the system?
  2. What reason forced you to reinstall?

Thanks for reading this.
 
Old 10-22-2009, 10:17 AM   #2
centosboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xri View Post
One of the many criticisms I've read about Windows is the need to reinstall the system after prolonged use.

For a workstation with frequent/daily use, I would like to know:
  1. How long do most people keep their distro release before having to completely reinstall the system?
  2. What reason forced you to reinstall?

Thanks for reading this.

Code:
[root@mxxx etc]# uptime
 16:15:53 up 551 days, 22:52, 16 users,  load average: 7.40, 6.55, 6.59

yes this is real...been up and running since the day it was installed..


this too
Code:
[root@lxxx lps]# uptime
 16:17:21 up 777 days, 23:29,  1 user,  load average: 1.64, 1.13, 1.22
 
Old 10-22-2009, 10:31 AM   #3
KingX
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Personally I try to do a clean install every year or year and a half. It just feels good to start with a fresh install and try some things differently.
 
Old 10-22-2009, 10:33 AM   #4
lazlow
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The only time I do a reinstall is when a new version comes out(Centos4.X to Centos5.X, every 3? years). For the most part the only time I even reboot the computer is when I install a new kernel. This is the same hardware that I was doing a reinstall of XP every month(switched entirely to Linux before Vista came out of beta).
 
Old 10-22-2009, 11:44 AM   #5
Nylex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazlow View Post
The only time I do a reinstall is when a new version comes out
Same here. Slackware doesn't have a fixed release cycle like other distros, though (but they aim for a new version at least once a year, I think).
 
Old 10-22-2009, 11:48 AM   #6
~sHyLoCk~
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Never reinstall.
I always use rolling release, even with slackware.
 
Old 10-22-2009, 11:52 AM   #7
Wim Sturkenboom
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Installed Ubuntu 6.06 in december 2006, upgraded (not re-installed) to 8.04 in december 2008. So 2.5 years till now.
 
Old 10-22-2009, 04:19 PM   #8
yancek
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Been running Suse Linux 9.2 as a desktop since April, 2005. No re-installs, no upgrades but some modifications.
 
Old 10-22-2009, 04:48 PM   #9
unSpawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xri View Post
How long do most people keep their distro release before having to completely reinstall the system?
I don't. I just upgrade. I don't hose servers. If I need to muck around I'll use a VM.


Quote:
Originally Posted by xri View Post
What reason forced you to reinstall?
I don't. On HW failure I use a backup. The only time I use an installer is for new HW.


* BTW in the olden days uptime was somewhat of a vague reliability metric but these days I find that running a publicly accessable machine for years without upgrading userland and kernel (and without specific mitigating circumstances) is not an accomplishment nor something to boast about. It's actually rather sad.
 
Old 10-22-2009, 05:47 PM   #10
craigevil
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Five years and counting. My current debian system was installed about the time Sarge was released. Running sid with daily dist-upgrades. My uptime isn't much because I use a liquorix kernel, which is updated quite often.

$ inxi -F
System: Host craigevil Kernel 2.6.31-4.dmz.3-liquorix-686 i686 (32 bit) Distro Debian GNU/Linux squeeze/sid
CPU: Single core Intel Pentium 4 (UP) cache 1024 KB flags (sse3 nx lm) bmips 5593.81
Clock Speeds: (1) 2793.231 MHz (2) 2793.231 MHz
Graphics: Card Intel 82915G/GV/910GL Integrated Graphics Controller X.Org 1.6.5 Res: 1280x1024@60.0hz
GLX Renderer Mesa DRI Intel 915G GEM 20090712 2009Q2 RC3 x86/MMX/SSE2 GLX Version 1.4 Mesa 7.6 Direct Rendering Yes
Audio: Card Intel 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) High Definition Audio Controller driver HDA Intel
Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Version 1.0.20
Network: Card Intel 82562ET/EZ/GT/GZ - PRO/100 VE (LOM) Ethernet Controller driver e100 at port dcc0
Disks: HDD Total Size: 160.0GB (13.5% used) 1: /dev/sda WDC WD1600JS-75N 160.0GB
Partition: ID:/ size: 103G used: 21G (21%) fs: ext3 ID:swap-1 size: 5.25GB used: 0.04GB (1%) fs: swap
Info: Processes 104 Uptime 1 day Memory 218.7/493.6MB Client Shell inxi 1.2.5
 
Old 10-22-2009, 06:00 PM   #11
markush
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Hello together,

Quote:
Originally Posted by xri View Post
One of the many criticisms I've read about Windows is the need to reinstall the system after prolonged use.
In my opinion the problem with Windows is less that one has to reinstall it after some time but that a Windowsinstallation takes a very long amount of time. Often 4-6 hours when one has to install servicepacks and updates.
An installation of Slackware takes about 10 Minutes. Gentoo needs some days longer. I reinstall my Linuxmachines every few month.

Markus
 
Old 10-22-2009, 07:50 PM   #12
~sHyLoCk~
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markush View Post
Hello together,


In my opinion the problem with Windows is less that one has to reinstall it after some time but that a Windowsinstallation takes a very long amount of time. Often 4-6 hours when one has to install servicepacks and updates.
An installation of Slackware takes about 10 Minutes. Gentoo needs some days longer. I reinstall my Linuxmachines every few month.

Markus
Windows takes 4-6 hours? Which one? Windows 7/vista were faster than XP install. Nothing more than 30mins. Xp also took a little more than that alongwith Service Packs. Btw, Slackware install time totally depends on what packages you select. The default install is also around half an hour.
 
Old 10-23-2009, 01:55 AM   #13
markush
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Hello ~sHyLoCk~,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~sHyLoCk~ View Post
Windows takes 4-6 hours? Which one?
Well, I've a lot of relativley old Machines (Pentium3) with w2k. If one of the machines is damaged and I don't have an image for this hardware, an installation of w2k takes about 45 minutes. Then one has to install sp4, than doing automatic updates from the M$-site (loads 80 updates down and may take up to 3-4 hours). In between the machine wants to be restarted. And after this all I don't have any applications besides the pure OS on the machine.

Quote:
Windows 7/vista were faster than XP install. Nothing more than 30mins. Xp also took a little more than that alongwith Service Packs.
My experience ist that a xp-machine with sp3 and all updates and running an antivirus-software is very slow if it doesn't have a minimum amount of 1GB of RAM. One must not count the installationtime for the OS alone but take in account that the programms have to be installed and this takes many houres. Even on xp.
Quote:
Btw, Slackware install time totally depends on what packages you select. The default install is also around half an hour.
When I install Slackware I load the packages down and store it on an extra partition. Then I reboot with the first installation-CD and let it install from the partition. I do a full installation. I don't have to repartition my HD. My home-directory is on an extra partition and all scripts and configuration-files are stored on another extrapartition so that I only have to copy it into the new installed system. That takes on my Desktop (AMD Sempron 3000+ with 1.5GB of RAM) about 10 Minutes and on my Laptop (Dual Core with 4GB of RAM) up to 5 Minutes. I don't count the downloadtime to the installationtime.
And then I have ALL THE PROGRAMMS running and not only the pure OS like in the M$-world.

Markus
 
Old 10-29-2009, 12:21 AM   #14
SaintDanBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xri View Post
[*]What reason forced you to reinstall?
File systems and various configuration files use linked lists or some other structured data. After many cycles of add-change-delete, these data structures often require "garbage collection" and other reorganization. This processing is difficult to program correctly for all of the possible conditions and ways that things can go wrong.
As a result, it is frequently easier to read data from one file and write a new fresh well organized file.

Since new software editions often modifiy internal file details and implements new behaviors, a fresh install writes this new file with its new contents ... repeat for all of the various files of the new edition. Similarly, reading any file and writing a fresh copy often results in fewer file allocation extents. These multiple extents are called "fragments." We have all heard of defragmentation utilities.

Hardware evolves at a rapid pace encouraging acquisition of new and larger disk drives. Distributions also evolve at a different and similarly rapid pace. Given a workstation that is used routinely for real work, it is often convenient to apply an updated distro to that newly purchased larger faster drive.

All of the above is much different and differently motivated than the "re-format and re-install" that is routine with win-dose. Someone else might have the unvarnished truth, but I believe that win-dose often gets confused because there is no effective way to have multiple editions of DLL (dynamic link library) and similar resources. Given the need to apply updates and patches to win-dose every couple of weeks, after a while, a fresh install clears the confusion.

~~~ 0;-Dan
 
Old 11-02-2009, 12:13 PM   #15
melk600
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This is a tough question to just answer once. I have four servers at work that run CentOS and those were running on version 4 for about four years and would have continued to if we hadn't upgraded our hardware and then we went ahead and upgraded to version 5 while we were at it. However, on my desktop, I seem to constantly be upgrading it to newer versions. I currently run Mandriva and have found that you need to upgrade occasionally to stay up-to-date with some of the more frequently used programs (Firefox) and most importantly the desktop environment. KDE is still progressing along quite rapidly, but it seems as though all the distributions make their current release fairly up-to-date, but then never backport the desktop environment to their older releases, which prompts an upgrade of the entire system. I find reinstalling Linux to be much more easy than Windows though due to the use of a package manager instead of installing each individual application one-by-one.

Mike E.
 
  


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