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#76 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 07:25 PM

View Postraymac46, on 29 January 2019 - 06:51 PM, said:

Well, I still have Sparky running in VirtualBox without any further problems although it is pretty hi maintenance for an on-the-rails distro. Last update was close to 450 packages. :teehee:
That seems normal for a Debian Testing system. Testing is in freeze phase now so the updates should slow a little for the next few months. When current Testing becomes the new stable Buster, the flood will start again.
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#77 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 10:25 AM

When I first installed Debian on my Thinkpad I was running Testing, but this was during the final freeze before Stretch so things got a bit weird. I switched over to Sid but then I seemed to be updating like a madman. After Stretch was the new stable. I reinstalled and pointed my sources.list to Stretch. I'll change to Buster when it is stable.
Call me boring but I'd rather update 10 packages than 450.
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#78 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 05:58 PM

Agreed on the number of updates.  I don't really have a wide base of experience to draw upon with rolling releases, but Sparky seems to have a LOT of updates, especially compared to Arch and Manjaro.  Siduction has a lot too, but I'd expect that in a "still in development" repo.  Perhaps this is a Debian family thing?

With complaints registered regarding the number of updates, and frequency, both Sparky and Siduction seem remarkably stable.  As stable as my LTS Lubuntu, FWIW!  But even though I've often expressed my desire for a rolling release distro, I'm finding that the frequency and number of updates is a bit of a turn off.  Maybe I'm not realistic, but wishing there was a middle road option.  Rolling release, but to a lesser degree.  Perhaps I've just described Arch and Manjaro?  LOL!  Or maybe just sticking with Lubuntu LTS, as long as the root OS and the /home partitions are installed separately, even on separate drives (which is actually what I do) is the right fit for me.

I'm just gonna keep maintaining Sparky, Arch and Manjaro as guest VMs on my Lubuntu host, until the correct path reveals itself to me...

#79 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 06:52 PM

View PostHedon James, on 30 January 2019 - 05:58 PM, said:

Agreed on the number of updates.  I don't really have a wide base of experience to draw upon with rolling releases, but Sparky seems to have a LOT of updates, especially compared to Arch and Manjaro.  Siduction has a lot too, but I'd expect that in a "still in development" repo.  Perhaps this is a Debian family thing?

It's the way Debian development works. Package upgrades hit Sid first often after a stint in experimental. I think the main criteria for Sid is that they actually build. After a short time in Sid to allow some use to determine if there are major bugs they get pushed to Testing. So Testing actually gets a similar number of upgrades as Sid.
Personally I prefer to use Sid as problem packages get fixed much more quickly than Testing. If a bad package makes it through to Testing it can take many days or even weeks before it gets fixed. Of course there's the other side to that argument that some buggy packages won't make it through Sid but they often get fixed in days or even hours.
With both much care is needed to read the list of packages proposed to be upgraded and abort if many are to be removed. It's usually just a transitional phase and will sort itself out if you wait and try again later. Sometimes this takes only hours but very occasionally it may take weeks.
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#80 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 10:29 AM

^ good info sunrat!  makes sense.

#81 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 07:16 PM

I agree that Sparky does seem quite stable in spite of the updates. And I'm running in a VM where my experience has been that updates can be problematic. I run Arch on the rails and it's been stable for a year or more. Arch has lots of updates too but more like 100 or so, not 450.
I'm on the leading edge with VBox too. I'm using 6.0 right now without incident. Since the guest additions were baked into the kernel, a VBox update isn't nearly as big a deal.
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#82 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 10:33 AM

I just updated my rolling release VMs and Sparky had zero updates for the month!  I'm guessing because testing repo is in freeze now?

#83 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 06:40 PM

View PostHedon James, on 02 February 2019 - 10:33 AM, said:

I just updated my rolling release VMs and Sparky had zero updates for the month!  I'm guessing because testing repo is in freeze now?
I have no idea as I don't run Testing. Usually there will still be bugfix and security updates afaik.
My search-fu failed trying to find somewhere that lists upgraded packages for Buster.
These pages may interest you:
https://release.debi...eze_policy.html
https://udd.debian.org/bugs/
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#84 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 02 February 2019 - 07:07 PM

I just did a Sparky update. About 90 packages upgraded.
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#85 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 04:47 PM

Uh oh...I've been checking in on Sparky 1-2x per month, to perform updates/upgrades on my Sparky VM.  As discussed above ^, Sparky has a LOT of updates in comparison to my frame of reference for Ubuntu/Lubuntu LTS versions (obviously?!) and Manjaro VM.  Suddenly, the updates stopped.  Coincidentally, this was very near the time for announcements regarding freeze of testing repos.  No alarm bells whatsoever...I don't know any better...business as usual right?  I continued to check on Sparky and continued to get the message in AptUS that my system was up-to-date.  But I've been reading announcements in the Sparky forum from devs that would suggest the testing repos are in motion again.  So I check on my SparkyVM, but still up to date.  Okay, maybe it takes a few days for the updated packages to filter across repo mirrors.  So I check again in about a week or so, and still up to date.

Now my radar is up.  Seems like there should be some sort of movement within my SparkyVM.  To heck with the Sparky Upgrade tool, and AptUS...I go to the terminal for a CLI 'sudo apt update' and see the dreaded message regarding a "lock file" and asking if another process is using it.  I've got nothing running, and top indicates I've got nothing running, so I kill all apt processes, which the terminal indicates none were found.  It appears the Sparky Upgrade tool has been failing quietly for some time now, but tricking me into thinking it was checking, but finding nothing during feature freeze!  I seem to remember dealing with lock files before, so I google the CLI incantations and remove the lock files, followed by 'sudo apt update'.

And BOOM!  There they are...1060 files to be updated, totaling over 990MB of additional disk space!  So here we go...upgrading as we speak, and hoping that such a large incremental upgrade doesn't break something, as it's been approximately 2 months since SparkyVM was upgraded.  On one hand, this is the first moment my confidence in Sparky has been shaken.  How can something be failing so spectacularly for so long, with no clues of a problem?  On the other hand, if Sparky handles this monstrous upgrade without incident, after a 2 month hiatus, I will be supremely impressed!  But still wondering how to handle future updates/upgrades...apparently the Sparky Upgrade tool/AptUS is not to be trusted.  But was it induced by me?  Or is the lesson to stick with CLI updates/upgrades, as I normally perform?  Or should I notify the developer with a suggestion to provide some kind of internal check that might prevent the quiet failure that allows me to believe that the "system is up to date".

I'll be interested to see how Sparky fares after this is over!

#86 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 05:45 PM

Phewww...monster upgrade...reboot...everything seems fine, with no apparent issues.  Impressive!

#87 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 09:13 PM

Upgrades to Testing should be the same as Sid - generally safe unless it flags lots of packages to remove. Then it's "Danger Will Robinson!" Abort! And try again later.
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#88 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 10:34 PM

View Postsunrat, on 08 March 2019 - 09:13 PM, said:

Upgrades to Testing should be the same as Sid - generally safe unless it flags lots of packages to remove. Then it's "Danger Will Robinson!" Abort! And try again later.

I knew that, which is why I proceeded with the upgrade.  But it's been suggested to keep rolling releases updated with lots of smaller updates as they're available, rather than infrequent large updates.  I've seen recommendations to update weekly, or bi-weekly, but no less than 1x per month.  I was over the 2 month threshold!  Feel like I dodged a bullet on that one, but it was a VM and I have a backup of it.  But I'm still kinda impressed I could stress it out like that, and yet it still didn't break!  That's what I call "robustly stable"!  :devil:

#89 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 12:05 AM

It does amaze me sometimes how masses of upgrades go through without issue. I've been overseas for months in the past and just update siduction on return which pretty much pulls in a whole new system but it works.
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#90 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 09:40 AM

Much as I dislike massive upgrades I can think of only one time that one really borked my system, and that was with PCLOS years ago. I had the prospect of a screwup one time with Debian but I already knew about sunrat's warning.
One thing that I HATE is Ubuntu's GUI for software updates. I am always waiting, waiting, waiting for something called unattended-upgr to exit.
The best GUI by a mile for updates is the one Linux Mint features.
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#91 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:37 AM

I like the octopi notifier in arch-based distros, which ties in to the octopi GUI as a front end for pacman.  I presume pamac operates exactly the same, but on gtk desktops of arch distros.

What do you like about the mint update GUI?

#92 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 02:12 PM

View PostHedon James, on 10 March 2019 - 11:37 AM, said:

What do you like about the mint update GUI?
  • It just works. No unattended-upgr waiting.
  • It has a number of selectable levels of upgrade risk from "don't hurt me" to "let 'er rip."
  • Package updates are ranked in danger levels from safe to more risky - although the riskiest upgrades aren't all that scary for an experienced user (kernel or video driver upgrades e.g.)
  • Based on the upgrade level you select the riskier packages are highlighted and their installation is optional.

Edited by raymac46, 10 March 2019 - 02:14 PM.

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#93 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 05:30 PM

View Postraymac46, on 10 March 2019 - 02:12 PM, said:

View PostHedon James, on 10 March 2019 - 11:37 AM, said:

What do you like about the mint update GUI?
  • It just works. No unattended-upgr waiting.
  • It has a number of selectable levels of upgrade risk from "don't hurt me" to "let 'er rip."
  • Package updates are ranked in danger levels from safe to more risky - although the riskiest upgrades aren't all that scary for an experienced user (kernel or video driver upgrades e.g.)
  • Based on the upgrade level you select the riskier packages are highlighted and their installation is optional.

gotcha.  i've been a linux user for about 10+ years now and I did not know this.  ironically, i've never really used Mint?!

#94 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 06:09 PM

Actually now with LM19, they have introduced Timeshift so the old 'Don't break my computer" options have been deprecated. You still get the option to show or hide kernel updates and security updates but the default is to install them.
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