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Reinstalling Gentoo back from stage X (where X < 4)
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How often does portage leave you no choice but to reinstall?
More than 4 years or NEVER! I shall fix ALL EBUILD PROBLEMS AND CLEAN CRUFT!
83%
 83%  [ 20 ]
Every 4 years or so, ebuilds are fixed but it gets too cluttered by orphans by then
4%
 4%  [ 1 ]
Every 2 years or so - I need clean installs and less cruft
4%
 4%  [ 1 ]
more frequently than 1 year... Gentoo has failed me :(
4%
 4%  [ 1 ]
Haven't used Gentoo long enough to know...
4%
 4%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 24

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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reinstalling Gentoo back from stage X (where X < 4) Reply with quote

Not sure if there was a poll on this before.

How often do you guys (personally) tend to reinstall Gentoo (versus fixing ebuild problems) per machine on average? Don't count backup restores from stage 4 or later, and don't include hard drive failures and the like. I'm not sure if hardware upgrades count but mention this if that's why you fresh install often.

If you've never reinstalled Gentoo on a machine, congratulations, I think Gentoo did what it was supposed to do.

I chose 4 years as a cutoff line because many other OS stop support by then... maybe it's not the right line but the intent is "longer than average OS support lifetime"...
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

None of the options are relevant, at least for me. Since my initial Gentoo desktop installation in 2003, I've "reinstalled" several times:


    in 2004 when I bought a new desktop system,
    in 2007 when I bought a couple of new disks,
    in 2010 when I bought a new desktop system,
    in 2012 when I bought a set of new disks.


The average lifetime of a desktop system is 3 to 6 years. The average lifetime of a hard disk is probably in the same ballpark, but I'd never trust a disk that's more than 3 years old. And when I change the system disk, I'll also take the time to rebuild the system from scratch, although I'll usually take a backup of /etc and restore selected files from it.

I've never reinstalled because of cruft or any Gentoo related problems, but once (I don't remember exactly when) I wiped the system partition on a suspicion that I had been rooted. It might even have coincided with the disk change in 2007.
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cryptosteve
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only installed a fresh Gentoo while distro hopping or after changing my hard disk drives.

After I figured out all other distros as crap ( :D ) I never reinstalled Gentoo. And I never reinstalled it due to portage issues.
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

leifbk wrote:


    in 2007 when I bought a couple of new disks,
    in 2012 when I bought a set of new disks.


Why? 8O
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leifbk
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

musv wrote:
leifbk wrote:


    in 2007 when I bought a couple of new disks,
    in 2012 when I bought a set of new disks.


Why? 8O


Like I said, I'd never trust a disk that's more than 3 years old. The price of a new disk is peanuts, my data is priceless.

Besides I needed more space. Last year, I set up 2 * 1 TB disks in RAID-1 for the system, and 4 * 2 TB disks in RAID-5 for /home. If everything works as planned, (ie both RAID-1 disks won't crash at the same time) I figure that I won't have to reinstall Gentoo ever again :D
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that's why I'm not sure if I should count hardware upgrades as a forced upgrade or convenience (i.e. cruft/cleaning) upgrade - as I have on multiple occasions copied an old Gentoo install to new hard drives - and thus it's more or less a stage4 or later install - and my install count does not go up...

I still have my original install from when I started Gentoo that I have not redone. However I have converted i686 to x86_64 before, and that is a fresh reinstall - which is a hardware upgrade. I could have just copied the old install once again but I would not be taking advantage of my hardware -- and indeed I have done this to save a world rebuild...

I do notice that older versions of portage leaves cruft around sometimes. Plus user left cruft... Also cruft that was left behind from people rooting your box I would count as cruft (you do trust equery check package and only reinstall packages that were corrupted by hackers)? Also old config files that "work" but not "fresh"... How many people still have their /etc/make.conf there and not /etc/portage/make.conf ? On my freshest build that I'm trying to make a "portable" install, that's the only build I have /etc/portage/make.conf...
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In over eight years, I have never re-installed Gentoo. I have a Gentoo install—my main home server—that is on its 3rd motherboard. Always migrated the disks (or images), recompiled for the newer CPU, and moved on.

leifbk wrote:
...but I'd never trust a disk that's more than 3 years old.
My main home server—which is where my source repositories are hosted—is RAID 5 with a hot spare further supported by automatic nightly incremental (and monthly full) backups to tape. I'm happy to trust older drives in this scenario. But, NeddySeagoon's signature is eloquent.

- John
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So there are still a bunch of you using 32-bit on 64-bit CPUs too (since converting a 32- to 64-bit doesn't work very well...)?

But nice, yes, I have a bunch of old disks I'm still using. I even have some very old disks that have had hot "failures" rootcaused to... bad cables! I just can't tell when disks will last and which ones won't.

My main 4-disk RAID5 (120Gx4) has a couple of disks that have wrapped around in the 65536-hour SMART log. Plus the fact two of them have 64-minute hours due to a firmware cheat to not do long division... One of my disks has 8.5 years power-on hours. This was probably the disk I initially installed Gentoo on, and I migrated it into the RAID several years ago :o
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eccerr0r,

I only do Gentoo installs on new hardware and sometimes not even then.
My first 32 bit install went from mid 2002 to mid 2009 and survived being migrated onto a third set of hardware.

In 2009, I got my first 64 bit box and did a reinstall to have /no-multilib ... as you say, migration from 32 bit to 64 bit is not easy.
The process is documented on the forums though.
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eccerr0r wrote:
So there are still a bunch of you using 32-bit on 64-bit CPUs too (since converting a 32- to 64-bit doesn't work very well...)?
Guilty as charged. :wink:

- John
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Code:
~ >  sudo head -n1 /var/log/emerge.log
1228300758: Started emerge on: Dec 03, 2008 05:39:18

I think I did this fresh install b/c of some new HDDs which make me think i need a new root drive.

other then that, i've never had a gentoo system bork itself on me. and i run make.conf as ARCH but have a significant keywords file and constantly swap ~ARCH and ARCH for various packages, depending on needs and my mood.

i guess orphans build up but i'm a fan of depclean, revdep-rebuild, and emerge -1.
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonnevers wrote:
i've never had a gentoo system bork itself on me.


I think those very words are the quintessence of the Gentoo experience :D

Unless you're doing weird things and disregard sound advice, Gentoo systems just don't bork.
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eccerr0r wrote:
So there are still a bunch of you using 32-bit on 64-bit CPUs too (since converting a 32- to 64-bit doesn't work very well...)?


Well, i own now only 64bits cpu capable, but 0 amd64 gentoo system. Not because of the conversion, just because my biggest one have 3g ram and i never goes oom with another one that have 2g yet. Only saw it with my old server and 256m (now upgrade to 1g).
I think most gentoo users using more than 4g have that ram to make windows happy, but end using it as caching in their gentoo as a way to not waste it.
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice... I was doing exactly that too, mostly because I have some 32-bit machines and having issues swapping disks between machines was something I didn't want to worry about. However, recently I've been running a lot of RAM (specifically, wine apps which sort of falls in the Windows category) that seems to stress PAE on 32 bit machines. When I run up against filling the address space of that one Windows app bloat, the entire machine starts to behave badly despite having RAM free (and swap unused!!!).

I need to see what happens if I use 64-bit mode. Unfortunately this probably means a reinstall, but once again I have a stage 4 prepared to do this...

(I think all but one of my 64-bit machines have 4GB or more... That one I don't use anymore has 1G.)
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Fran
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never, since 2008 (I used to reinstall before). I take care of orphans with a little script that uses qfile -o and the modification date of files to keep track of them. My >5-year-old installation is as clean as a new one from stage 3.
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 2:03 pm    Post subject: Once installed, never reinstalled - that's Gentoo for me. Reply with quote

At the most once per machine,

cause I cloned lots of my boxes. :wink:

On my main Desktop machine, I started with stable arch and KDE-3.5.x in 2007, changed to Gnome when KDE switched to 4.x, gone back to KDE after some weeks of testing gnome.
Anytime I switched over to unstable arch (~).

Since this time, I updated my box nearly on a daily basis and learned a lot about Linux generally and about gentoo in particular.

During this time, KDE switched over from hal to a pure udev system, changed my system from sysvinit to openrc.
Tried out different sound-servers, kernel configurations, file systems and what else.

I can't imagine to do this with any other distro in working progress, without reinstalling, or at least so smooth and comfortable, every time with full of control.

Best, Andy.
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