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Old 10-23-2019, 03:56 PM   #1
ychaouche
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Fear of using a rolling release


The two rolling release distros that I tried are
- sabayon
- manjaro

What I dislike about them is :
1/ The sheer amount of bandwith when the system needs to be updated (up to 1Gb / month)
2/ Any update has the potential to break your system, either by making it unusable (black screen, no more wifi...) or by making package installs impossible (the package manager breaks and I don't know how to fix it.)

I would like to have some feedback on how do you guys perform updates : does it break often ? doesn't break at all ? do you take some precautions before doing an upgrade ? is there a failsafe way to do them ? can you bring the system back to a previous state (snapshots ?) even if you're not using virtualisation ?

Any feedback/story welcome !
 
Old 10-23-2019, 04:33 PM   #2
teckk
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Quote:
I would like to have some feedback on how do you guys perform updates
Arch linux

Read the arch news to see if there is anything user intervention called for, then pacman -Syu
Quote:
does it break often ? doesn't break at all
Nope. A rolling release sometimes gives little problems with a piece of software. You may have to search and see what changed with "xterm" to cause that.
Quote:
do you take some precautions before doing an upgrade
Yes, read the arch news, and look at the latest posts on the arch forum to see what if anything is giving problems at the moment.
Quote:
can you bring the system back to a previous state (snapshots ?)
Never tried to do that. I've rolled back the kernel before, or other packages that have a bug. I've even held the kernel for a months in pacman.conf until The kernel devs fixed something.

I like the rolling release model. I have an install from 2011, still works fine, just keep it updated. And it hasn't broke in that time. Probably been 30 or 40 little weird bugs that come and go.

You say it's 1GB needed to update that box? Maybe you should consider using less software. Instead of having 5 web browsers installed, have one. Instead of having python2 installed, get rid of it, and everything that still depends on it. Another words downsize the box.

I've went 4 months between updates on a arch box before, and updating was only 600MB. And that's only because I have big heavy qtwebkit, pyqt5, qtwebengine...because I want them for python scripts.

Instead of having a bunch of qt and gtk stuff installed, which brings in all of those heavy toolkit dependencies, choose one. Then install your browsers etc. that use that tool kit.
 
Old 10-23-2019, 04:34 PM   #3
BW-userx
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if band width is an issue, I'd get a barebones distro then devise my own package system (kind of) as I do not use or install much 3rd party apps anymore.

therefore I'd just get the source code and keep an eye on it, if it updates,
Code:
./configure
make
make install
my updates in the manner that needs it to be done. Some Distros have there own package system that you can keep local, Void Linux, and some others that you can create your build script . it builds a package install that then just use the build script to maintain the versions. Slackware too can do this with slackbuilds.
 
Old 10-23-2019, 06:17 PM   #4
syg00
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I've also been an Arch user for years. It breaks occasionally - sometimes drastically. KDE5 plasma f'instance - I'm no fan of KDE, and that didn't help my mood any. Manjaro just seems to need too much attention, and I tend to leave that system sit un-loved for periods.
I predominantly use Fedora now, and sit just behind the curve, except kernels which I take from rawhide. I don't care about the bandwidth, even when I was severely limited over-night was fine by me.
It's Linux, there has to be an option that you can make suit your requirements.
 
Old 10-23-2019, 06:32 PM   #5
Timothy Miller
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Compared to the mid aughts, Arch is rock stable nowadays. The midi to late aughts the devs would send out notices it seems weekly "this has changed. After your next update, you'll need to boot from external media and chroot into your install and repair it".

Agreed with most of the other posters. While it does break sometimes, and individual applications will break more often, it's not bad, and 90% of it you can avoid if you read before updating. Not that I ever do. I've learned how to roll back applications quite well. I luckily can't remember the last time I was caught with a fully broken system though.
 
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Old 10-23-2019, 06:54 PM   #6
Firerat
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Debian Sid is a rolling release, I seldom have problems with it.
but yes it updates frequently, so it does use bandwidth
I would consider 1gb/mth low, I'd guesstimate 2-4gb/mth for sid, but this is obviously dependent on what you have installed.

snapshots are a good idea, essential in a production environment.
But I wouldn't recommend rolling release for production environment, that is a very different circumstance.
lvm2,btrfs,zfs and other solutions available.
lvm2 is probably the easiest to implement and arguably zfs the most flexible ( I just wish it was mainline ) but I can see how lvm2 would win in that fight ( lvm2 does have advantages over zfs, the main being that given multiple disks each lv can have differing raid levels )

If I find something has broken on Sid, I almost always find it has already been reported as a bug and a workaround offered by the time I get to the bug reports page.
 
Old 10-23-2019, 07:39 PM   #7
syg00
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Forgot about snapshot query. That can supposedly work - Mint institutes timeshift, but we do see problems from people attempting (system) rollback. See the openSUSE tumbleweed doco for the contortions they go through to exclude things like logs for consistency.
I have been a big user of fileystem snaps on btrfs for years - but only for user data. Photos in my case, as well as point-in-time source for backups.

As a side-note, I always recommend a separate /home partition - it makes cleaning up a broken system much easier, whether from a liveCD or a full re-install should it be needed.
 
Old 10-23-2019, 07:49 PM   #8
dugan
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I've gone through a couple of Manjaro update cycles so far. I just skim the announcement thread on their forums and then I do it.

There's only one other thing I do to make it easier. If I've installed a program on top of the base install, and I don't need it anymore, then I uninstall it and clean out the orphans. That way, it's not part of the next update.

As for bandwidth? I simply have enough bandwidth that it's not an issue. 1GB/month is nothing to me.

Last edited by dugan; 10-23-2019 at 07:55 PM.
 
Old 10-23-2019, 10:13 PM   #9
ChuangTzu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
I've also been an Arch user for years. It breaks occasionally - sometimes drastically. KDE5 plasma f'instance - I'm no fan of KDE, and that didn't help my mood any. Manjaro just seems to need too much attention, and I tend to leave that system sit un-loved for periods.
I predominantly use Fedora now, and sit just behind the curve, except kernels which I take from rawhide. I don't care about the bandwidth, even when I was severely limited over-night was fine by me.
It's Linux, there has to be an option that you can make suit your requirements.
Centos is also rolling now...sort of: https://www.zdnet.com/article/red-ha...centos-stream/
 
Old 10-23-2019, 11:51 PM   #10
Mill J
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When I installed Void all it had preinstalled was a desktop and Firefox. I really like distros like that. You install exactly what you need and there's no bloat.

I tried Manjaro and I really liked it. But like the OP, update size matters. I'm on an extremely limited plan so I didn't keep it around.
 
Old 10-25-2019, 04:37 AM   #11
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ychaouche View Post
The two rolling release distros that I tried are
- sabayon
- manjaro

What I dislike about them is :
1/ The sheer amount of bandwith when the system needs to be updated (up to 1Gb / month)
2/ Any update has the potential to break your system, either by making it unusable (black screen, no more wifi...) or by making package installs impossible (the package manager breaks and I don't know how to fix it.)
1/ is a valid point and cannot be discussed much; Debian stable is certainly a better choice there.

about the rest:

I use 2 distros: debian stable (now oldstable) and Archlinux.
Both sometimes have (updating) problems, but neither so much that I would call it "breaking".
For me it really comes out the same in terms of stability.
I have good reasons to use debian on my server, but Rolling Release does not necessarily mean Bleeding Edge a.k.a. Constant Pain.

Disclaimer: I don't use either GNOME or KDE. Just a plain window manager based desktop. And not even that on my server.

One more thing:
Manjaro might be a fairly good distro, but I don't believe in attempts to make system management pretty with GUI. It just gets less tranparent, creates a false sense of "worry-free" or "user-friendliness".
 
Old 10-25-2019, 09:00 AM   #12
rokytnji
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Yep. when I discovered Linux. I went farkle crazy. Farkle is biker slang for bling.

Testing , Sid, Experimental. I had the time.

Settled down now.

Funny how folks want the latest and greatest. Then complain about band width, time spent, when it arrives,


On a positive note. My stable stretch install is now a buster install without doing a re-install. With no systemd.

Was done as proof of concept exercise mostly.
I may still blow away this upgrade and do a fresh install with backups.
Takes less time. Is easier. Takes up less space since all old files are now labled .old.

Gotta keep this 16 gig ssd drive slim and trim.
 
Old 10-25-2019, 09:22 AM   #13
hazel
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+1 to the OP. I've been using Linux for nearly 15 years and I still fear rolling releases and bleeding edge software. I did briefly use both Gentoo and Arch and hated them both. That's why I won't use Slackware-current.
 
Old 10-25-2019, 09:30 AM   #14
BW-userx
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Just install Slackware, change it to current, update it to where you want it, then leave it alone, even black list what you want to stay in that version if you want. then update it.

So you'll have a "latest" updated apps and such you want, then just stop updating it. treat it like Debian that does not update until a year or so has past.

You can get AlienBobs current iso and, it to me, is like a stable install what requires no updating, it will even ask you if you are sure you want to update if you go through the steps to do so. just install that and run it like it is.

you can leave it alone, I have not updated it for awhile now, and it still runs fine.

(i do not really worry about all of the security updates. I do not live that paranoia tight rope. Too much stress.)

Last edited by BW-userx; 10-25-2019 at 09:36 AM.
 
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Old 10-25-2019, 09:52 AM   #15
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel View Post
+1 to the OP. I've been using Linux for nearly 15 years and I still fear rolling releases and bleeding edge software. I did briefly use both Gentoo and Arch and hated them both. That's why I won't use Slackware-current.
AS BW-userx says, install -current once and forget it.

I update mine as often as I can. OK, occasionally something breaks, so when I do update it I make sure it's when I have time to fix anything if it goes wrong.

However, -current can be a "set it and forget it" distro. Just install it and leave it.

Have a look at this:

https://www.linuxquestions.org/quest...nt-4175651859/

Only 50% of polled users tend to update it ASAP. The next bracket is those who update whenever they feel like it. Some people only update once or twice a year.
 
  


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