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nomilieu
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamilsok wrote:
They don't change, patch etc. anything (almost) leaving it to the users.

The idea is to send bug reports upstream where they belong.
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residntAngel
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dumb question - but I am considering moving back to Gentoo from Arch. I am building a new machine (dual interlagos), and I am wondering if it is possible to configure linux to compile to use GPUs as well as CPU cores.
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schnitz81
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just moved to 64-bit Gentoo for my new computer rig after two years of 32-bit Arch as main desktop distro. Actually I've been using Gentoo earlier, in Virtualbox and on my old Toshiba Tecra laptop, but I sold it over a year ago, since I'm not very fond of laptops.

During the last two years, the Arch community has been showing dendencies to turn from a nice community to a quite narrow-minded one, seeing Arch as the only distro having the right to exist and even seeing Arch as the best distro for servers. Personally, I've started to see Arch more and more as a toy-OS which can be quite nice to use, but at the end of the day, the only real advantages are a fast package manager and AUR as playground.
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nomilieu
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

schnitz81 wrote:
... even seeing Arch as the best distro for servers.

I've never seen anyone claim that; I thought that was one of the advertised weaknesses.
(Arch users are totally fanboys though.)
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jdhore
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomilieu wrote:
schnitz81 wrote:
... even seeing Arch as the best distro for servers.

I've never seen anyone claim that; I thought that was one of the advertised weaknesses.
(Arch users are totally fanboys though.)


I've seen a few people claim that recently. It almost makes me sick.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

residntAngel wrote:
I am building a new machine (dual interlagos), and I am wondering if it is possible to configure linux to compile to use GPUs as well as CPU cores.


Doubt it, the type of tasks CPUs and GPUs are good/fast at are quite different. I'm not sure if there's a lot of data parallelism in a compilation of a C program.
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hasufell
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomilieu wrote:
kamilsok wrote:
They don't change, patch etc. anything (almost) leaving it to the users.

The idea is to send bug reports upstream where they belong.

I can send bugreports upstream if I use gentoo too, but here I am not FORCED to use untested software for the whole system.

For me its a strange interpretation of "simple": simple for the maintainers, complicated for the users, maybe. I don't believe that it's an issue of resources. The community is big and there would be enough people willing to do testing-stuff (as they are used to it ;) ). And I dont even believe that theres no demand of little bit more stability/tested repo. Reading arch-forums etc I often come across people saying things like that or people who gave up on arch (not because it's too sophisticated... otherwise they wont end up in gentoo).

Well, they will keep "rolling" i guess. Either way...

I still like the binary/source mix though (little bit similar to BSD).
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nomilieu
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hasufell wrote:
nomilieu wrote:
kamilsok wrote:
They don't change, patch etc. anything (almost) leaving it to the users.

The idea is to send bug reports upstream where they belong.

I can send bugreports upstream if I use gentoo too, but here I am not FORCED to use untested software for the whole system.

touché
It's not for everybody.
I merely meant that it's nice to know (by default) that the bugs are in the upstream code.

I've never had any serious problems with Arch though, as far as stability is concerned.
Once, a kernel update broke my laptop's wireless connectivity, but it was really easy to fix.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hasufell wrote:
For me its a strange interpretation of "simple": simple for the maintainers, complicated for the users, maybe. I don't believe that it's an issue of resources. The community is big and there would be enough people willing to do testing-stuff (as they are used to it ;) ). And I dont even believe that theres no demand of little bit more stability/tested repo. Reading arch-forums etc I often come across people saying things like that or people who gave up on arch (not because it's too sophisticated... otherwise they wont end up in gentoo).

Well, they will keep "rolling" i guess. Either way...

I still like the binary/source mix though (little bit similar to BSD).


I couldn't figure out the meaning of "The Arch Way" before I've installed and played around for a little bit. It's a technical simplicity thing. The distribution is suppose to be lightweight, simple, elegant and without unnecessary add-ons, patches etc. which in fact sounds quite nice and (most of the time) works. The "raw material" should be quite tempting for any Gentoo users;)

I've recently watched the Linux action Show on which they reviewed Arch and at the end one of the guys stated that Arch stands just on top of low level distributions (being Gentoo and LFS). After this I came up with a certain kind of "distro latter". The higher You want the harder it gets. This is mine:

(bottom-up)
Ubuntu/Mint/openSuSE
...
CentOS/Debian
...
Debian(testing)/Fedora
...
Arch
Gentoo

There are three things that concern me with Gentoo:
- time it "eats"
- compilation on a laptop PC (it "burns")
- do I really need that level of control?

Haven't figured it out yet..:)
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hasufell
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamilsok wrote:
The distribution is suppose to be lightweight, simple, elegant and without unnecessary add-ons, patches etc. which in fact sounds quite nice and (most of the time) works. The "raw material" should be quite tempting for any Gentoo users;)

"Lightweight" does not really apply for package dependencies in arch, cause it's not slackware and not gentoo.
By installing packages like GDM it will pull a more or less sane lot of dependencies including PulseAudio. Gentoo does not. I dont see "lightweight" in that term.

Recently I had to downgrade cups, because version 1.5.0 did some trouble for me. I had to resolve and downgrade the dependencies manually and ended up using a community PKGBUILD again, cause the downgrade broke the cupsd daemon somehow.

I can live with that, but I won't say arch is "simple" or even "lightweight" in all terms.

The design of a distribution is just secondary imo. Maintenance is the primary point and that goes for binary and source likewise. IMO theres not much effort put in archlinux maintenance and they don't plan to change that afaik. More effort would mean that theres a noticable difference between their testing and stable repo. There is not.
Thats just my opinion after 2 years of archlinux (still using it for laptops).
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hasufell wrote:
"Lightweight" does not really apply for package dependencies in arch, cause it's not slackware and not gentoo.
By installing packages like GDM it will pull a more or less sane lot of dependencies including PulseAudio. Gentoo does not. I dont see "lightweight" in that term.

Recently I had to downgrade cups, because version 1.5.0 did some trouble for me. I had to resolve and downgrade the dependencies manually and ended up using a community PKGBUILD again, cause the downgrade broke the cupsd daemon somehow.

I can live with that, but I won't say arch is "simple" or even "lightweight" in all terms.


The problem is You are comparing Arch with Gentoo and Gentoo alone. Gentoo, when properly managed, can be more lightweight and simple then Arch (compilation of ALL packages, USE flags), but if we compare Arch to i.e. RHEL or Ubuntu (or any other mainstream distro), it really is simple and lightweight.

hasufell wrote:
The design of a distribution is just secondary imo. Maintenance is the primary point and that goes for binary and source likewise. IMO theres not much effort put in archlinux maintenance and they don't plan to change that afaik. More effort would mean that theres a noticable difference between their testing and stable repo. There is not.
Thats just my opinion after 2 years of archlinux (still using it for laptops).


That is one of their principals as far as I'm concerned..they leave most of maintenance and management to the end user providing You with a kind of "raw playground" only. Knowing what is happening with Your system has a price. Of course, weather You prefer Arch or Gentoo model of "doing things", remains Your choice. Choosing a distro is a very subjective process.
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hasufell
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think you dont get what i mean

simple question: would archlinux lose any of its greatness if they would provide a REAL stable repo and continue a hard-line testing repo as well? both still rolling release...
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hasufell wrote:
i think you dont get what i mean

simple question: would archlinux lose any of it's greatness if they would provide a REAL stable repo and continue a hard-line testing repo as well? both still rolling release...


I do understand, but know this..Arch is a small project maintained by a small group of people, who have a certain vision (the Arch way). Weather they do or do not have the will or resources to provide You with thoroughly tested packages is not a question I can answer.

As I said, choosing a distro is a process biased all the way, but in the end it's still Your choice. You can choose a distro that fits Your needs best.

Arch has a growing user base so they must be doing something, that goes in line with at least some part of the Linux community.
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nomilieu
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hasufell wrote:
simple question: would archlinux lose any of its greatness if they would provide a REAL stable repo and continue a hard-line testing repo as well? both still rolling release...

I'm willing to bet the Arch devs aren't interested in providing this, else they'd do so.

However, anybody could provide stable repositories, and Arch users could use them instead of the official ones.
It would be annoying to test and maintain, but an end user could switch to it (or from it) by trivially tweaking a config file.
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hasufell
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamilsok wrote:
Arch is a small project maintained by a small group of people

I slightly disagree

- 1. release: 2001
- rank 6 on distrowatch popularity: http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=popularity (listed in "major distributions" as well)
- Freenode random user count: 1133
- english forum user count: 40k +
- 33497 packages in AUR with 32744 users and 9384 packages in official repo (compare that to ubuntu if you like. oneiric got 41921 packages and they split the dev-packages, arch does not)
- full blown wiki
- over 10 derivates
- 30 active developers and about 30 trusted users (not much compared to gentoo ofc)

This is not a small project and the community is definitely not small either. On the other hand they did never complain about a shortfall of devs/maintainers... afaik.
nomilieu wrote:
However, anybody could provide stable repositories, and Arch users could use them instead of the official ones.

Thats true, but that will not really happen just like that, cause people fix everything they need and push it to AUR. The impulse is missing, not resources.
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nomilieu
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hasufell wrote:
Thats true, but that will not really happen just like that, cause people fix everything they need and push it to AUR. The impulse is missing, not resources.

Good point, but it's still noteworthy that there is nothing technically prohibiting it (or even making it difficult).
There is/was an ArchServer project, but it's essentially dead (so far as I can tell) and it looked more like a derivative distro than a custom repo.

Maybe if there were ten of me...

In the mean time, Gentoo is handy for server use.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomilieu wrote:
There is/was an ArchServer project, but it's essentially dead (so far as I can tell) and it looked more like a derivative distro than a custom repo.

actually that project is kind of re-opening, but the devs say "Arch Server Project is not a stable version of Arch Linux for desktop use". So maybe it will mainly contain packages for server-use.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hasufell wrote:
kamilsok wrote:
Arch is a small project maintained by a small group of people

I slightly disagree

- 1. release: 2001
- rank 6 on distrowatch popularity: http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=popularity (listed in "major distributions" as well)
- Freenode random user count: 1133
- english forum user count: 40k +
- 33497 packages in AUR with 32744 users and 9384 packages in official repo (compare that to ubuntu if you like. oneiric got 41921 packages and they split the dev-packages, arch does not)
- full blown wiki
- over 10 derivates
- 30 active developers and about 30 trusted users (not much compared to gentoo ofc)

This is not a small project and the community is definitely not small either. On the other hand they did never complain about a shortfall of devs/maintainers... afaik.


Community size doesn't have to reflect the project size. I would count all community activities out (so AUR, wiki contributions, derivative numbers and distrowatch rankings etc.) because this does not have any effect on the man power available to run a stable, thoroughly tested software branch.

Only thing that I would count is the developer/QA team head count, and 30 people IMHO is not enough to be able to perform extensive testing on a ~10k package repo. Remember, that does people have every day lives, jobs. This is not Debian community or Red Hat money we are talking here.

If look beyond QA and count the community back in, then I would agree about Arch position. But, looking ONLY on the attributes mentioned, this is still a "garage" project.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamilsok wrote:
hasufell wrote:
30 active developers and about 30 trusted users

Only thing that I would count is the developer/QA team head count, and 30 people IMHO is not enough to be able to perform extensive testing on a ~10k package repo.

I'd call it ~60 if anything, as the TUs do maintain official packages, just not the super critical ones.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamilsok wrote:
Community size doesn't have to reflect the project size. I would count all community activities out (so AUR, wiki contributions, derivative numbers and distrowatch rankings etc.) because this does not have any effect on the man power available to run a stable, thoroughly tested software branch.

That is just wrong, to put it simple.

Community is all that matters for free software projects. It's completely unrealistic to seperate users, developers and contributors, cause they are all part of the community and the role of people changes frequently.
Maybe you just wrote a bugreport yesterday... well, thats already a contribution. Maybe you are an active tester for unstable software (you don't need special qualifactions for that). Maybe you write ebuilds or simple patches. That also is a contribution. Maybe you help people via forums/irc.... maybe you can actually code stuff and help in the development of system tools... and so on...

And if you count out AUR... no one would use ArchLinux anymore. You can't seperate the "community" from a free opensource software project. They dont get paid, they do it because they are users too and they love the software.

So... the community size is a very important part of the project size. Even if the main developers/programmers leave, there will be people in the community willing to carry on the stuff.

I don't know why I have to explain that. I completely disagree with you.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hasufell wrote:
kamilsok wrote:
Community size doesn't have to reflect the project size. I would count all community activities out (so AUR, wiki contributions, derivative numbers and distrowatch rankings etc.) because this does not have any effect on the man power available to run a stable, thoroughly tested software branch.

That is just wrong, to put it simple.

Community is all that matters for free software projects. It's completely unrealistic to seperate users, developers and contributors, cause they are all part of the community and the role of people changes frequently.
Maybe you just wrote a bugreport yesterday... well, thats already a contribution. Maybe you are an active tester for unstable software (you don't need special qualifactions for that). Maybe you write ebuilds or simple patches. That also is a contribution. Maybe you help people via forums/irc.... maybe you can actually code stuff and help in the development of system tools... and so on...

And if you count out AUR... no one would use ArchLinux anymore. You can't seperate the "community" from a free opensource software project. They dont get paid, they do it because they are users too and they love the software.

So... the community size is a very important part of the project size. Even if the main developers/programmers leave, there will be people in the community willing to carry on the stuff.

I don't know why I have to explain that. I completely disagree with you.


This would be the ideal world.. reality can be very harsh on the idea (just ask CentOS community members i.e.). Most of the times users and developers complete each other, live in a kind of symbiosis, not exchange each other's desks.

Don't get me wrong.. it would be very in "open source way" for the end users to get a hold of QA process (as it started our discussion). I just don't see it coming..
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We don't need to talk about those basics. We all know that there's a leadership of any project and that there are users more or less involved in the development of a project.

I'm just saying that potential resources needed to expand a project reside in the community of course! Therefore I did not agree with this seperation-thing of community, developers, maintainers etc.
It's not about resources, it's about opinion, leadership and the impulse to organize an idea.

but I'm just reciting myself...
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'am a kind of person, who likes things done his way.. other words just give me some raw tools, and leave me alone :wink:

In that matter Arch is very much in my way. Raw experience, no unwanted shortcuts, simplicity etc. Most people may not notice this, but a large amount of complex tools only makes any system harder to maintain.

I would have probably continued my journey with Arch, but, since the beginning of my Linux encounters, I always wanted to try Gentoo. This was THE challenge, ultimate prize, a cherry on the cake. I just wouldn't be myself, if I hadn't tested it on my skin.. so here I am.

My other habit (aka problem:)) is purism.. I just can't have two or three distributions (actually I should, because at work we use CentOS). It must be the one, the only. That's probably why I've done a lot of wondering through the Linux ecosystem.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've moved away from Arch just recently.

I'd dabbled in it on and off for the last few years but couldn't spend enough time with it because of the need for productivity - which meant sticking with Windows, much as I'd rather not.

Recently I decided to bite the bullet again and transfer all of my productivity tools to a Linux environment. Fortunately, Linux versions for my main tools exist and replacements for the rest e.g. Libre Office.

Arch. I don't remember how I first came across it, but when I discovered it I knew I'd come home. I totally get the Arch Way. Minimalism is me! (I even like minimalist music.) KISS, nothing extraneous, on the bleeding edge. My kind of language. Eventually I had a blindingly fast setup just running Openbox and the bare minimum of what I needed. No bloatware, no user friendly interface getting in my way. I learned to become comfortable with the command line and I felt in control of my OS at last. It felt great!

I think Arch is a great distribution. It's lean and mean. I love pacman - upgrading is so simple. The wiki is great but it has its flaws most of which are to do with lack of consistent quality (unavoidable in a wiki I suppose) and articles often being pitched at too high a level with no in-between. Also, although the forums have been generally helpful, I wouldn't call them 'friendly' places. There seems to be this hidden air of elitism which may just be my perception - but it does make one less reluctant to ask questions.

The key insight (in my opinion) as to what Arch is about relates to the reason why I switched. Security is a big thing for me - and I found out that Arch doesn't support package signing. (Yes - the new version of pacman has it but only for the testing repository and if you take testing, you have to take everything in testing. And not all packages are signed yet.) In researching this issue (like when was this going to be fixed, why wasn't it fixed yet etc.) I delved into the Arch mailing lists. One Arch user in particularly had been particularly vociferous in pointing out how badly Arch needed package signing and couldn't understand why the developers didn't seem to attach the same level of importance to the issue as he did. (This had been a debate raging within the Arch community for a few years.) The response of one of the chief developers was illuminating. He basically said that he did get the importance of package signing, but that frankly, it didn't interest him. Arch was something he worked on in his spare time, but if he was paid his consultancy rate (about USD 100 an hour or something like that) then he would get to work on the problem.

This sums up what Arch is in my view. Arch is a distribution by the developers, for the developers. It's a plaything. It's not really written with users in mind. A similar attitude was conveyed by the leader of the Arch project, if I remember correctly, Aaron Griffin. And I finally understood why this issue hadn't been given the priority that I thought it demanded. (Following on from previous posts here and reading through the mailing list, it does seem that developer manpower is a major factor in Arch - there aren't enough guys of the right calibre around to do what needs to be done at the pace that people think it needs to be done, despite Arch's rapidly growing popularity.)

Let me be clear - there is nothing wrong with this kind of setup. I've got nothing against it. These guys spend their own time and effort on making Arch what it is. Others benefit and they don't get paid for it. They are perfectly entitled to do what they want with it. They have no obligation to their users. That being the case, I'd still be happy to stick with Arch if it wasn't for this one issue. Will I go back to Arch when this issue is fixed?

I don't know yet. I'd heard a lot about Gentoo but always thought it would be a bitch to setup. Getting Arch setup in the first place was a steep learning curve for me - but I made it eventually. Also, I was somewhat warier of what the forums would be like. More elitist? Less tolerant of newbies? Well, I was frankly surprised at the level of detail given in the Gentoo handbook, even down to telling you what to type in. And there's also no doubt that the forums are much friendlier.

Gentoo is therefore hopefully my Arch replacement. Similar philosophy, more freedom. I've just finished my first Gentoo build on bare metal and it booted first time, much to my surprise. And this is on a brand new, high spec rig running the latest hardware. So at the moment I am a very happy camper. It took me 3 days to do it (I take a long time because I'm anal and I like to take notes as well as try and understand every command I enter which means a lot or reading around.) Next time will be quicker as I now have the experience and I also saved all the configuration files I could. But I don't want there to be too many next times.

I don't want to spend much more time in my life building operating systems. I don't have any practical experience of living with Gentoo yet but I'm hoping that I'll be able to run a system that is as bleeding edge as I want it to be but not more. Or better, bleeding only on the edges I choose. Gentoo seems to offer that. I don't want to spend time maintaining my system. I'd rather spend it being productive. So I have this naive view that I can just do a weekly emerge and that's good enough and because Gentoo's stable repository is more stable (supposedly - haven't tried it yet) than Arch's core, I should be fine. Moreover, waiting to compile a program is a non-issue for me. Do it overnight, do it in the background, whatever. I can still do productive work in the meantime. Maybe I'm being naive. Only time will tell. If it works, then I don't need to fix it. In which case I won't go back to Arch as I will have spent and invested too much time learning to do things the Gentoo way! :)

TLDR; Arch is great. Gentoo is great. It's great to have the freedom to choose.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

archrax wrote:

I don't want to spend much more time in my life building operating systems. I don't have any practical experience of living with Gentoo yet but I'm hoping that I'll be able to run a system that is as bleeding edge as I want it to be but not more. Or better, bleeding only on the edges I choose. Gentoo seems to offer that. I don't want to spend time maintaining my system. I'd rather spend it being productive. So I have this naive view that I can just do a weekly emerge and that's good enough and because Gentoo's stable repository is more stable (supposedly - haven't tried it yet) than Arch's core, I should be fine.


A lot of people seem to forget that Gentoo stable is basically as stable as most "enterprise-class stability distros" (Debian Stable, RHEL/CentOS, etc). The reason for this is Gentoo has firm rules on package stabilisation that can really only be "overridden" in the case of security bugs and similar situations. Arch does not really.

With Gentoo, (with the exception of security bugs and replacing stable versions which have come up with massive issues), a package has to be in "testing"/~arch for at least 30 days, all tests should pass (especially if they passed with the current stable version), the ebuild should be throwing no QA warnings, there should be no bugs against the new version that aren't against the old version too and it should emerge fine with many different USE flag combinations. Once a package meets all these criteria, it can go stable.

In comparison, Arch's rules are: Not everything hits testing...Most packages go straight to extra/community unless they're a big suite (like GNOME, KDE, XFCE, etc) or a core package. For stuff that does go to testing: 2 developer signoffs per arch (so 4 total, since there are only 2 arches supported by Arch) and that's it. No other criteria, as soon as it gets all 4, it can go to core. It could have 100 bugs filed against it the bugtracker, but as long as the developers choose to ignore that, it goes stable...*AND* the developers are extremely bad at "archtesting/QA"...A few months ago, there was a version bump to util-linux (I think) that changed the way some of the disk related stuff in it worked. Here was what one signoff looked like: "I didn't test any of these tools (that actually had changes), but booting worked. Signoff x86_64" ...That's just insane.
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