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Captain Kirk
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:08 pm    Post subject: Broken "world" updates tire me out sometimes Reply with quote

I used to love Gentoo a lot. I started out with 1.4 back on my laptop many, many moons ago. The small ISP I sys admin'd for was constantly using outdated Solaris and ancient Debian & FreeBSD versions. I converted probably a few dozen of the servers there to Gentoo boxes that I happily maintained. I'm proud to say that several jobs (and several years) later, those Gentoo machines are still running. There were definitely a couple breakages that could be nerve wracking, but with solid docs and the forums here, I always managed to make it through. I'm a little sad to say that I only have a couple Gentoo systems left on my LAN. A renewed interest in Debian had me comparing two old friends and thinking, "why do world updates sometimes fail to complete without baby sitting?" I feel like Debian has nailed down the "apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade" process pretty cleanly. Why does "emerge --sync && emerge -avuDN world" blow up so easily at times.

I'm not trying to knock Gentoo or the update process. I'm just trying to do some introspection and see if there's a problem with my methodology.

My monthly, rote update process goes something like this:
Code:
# emerge --sync && emerge -avuDN world
# dispatch-conf
# revdep-rebuild -i -p
# revdep-rebuild

emerge @preserved-rebuild seems pretty cool, so I'm slowly switching from revdep-rebuild. My last few Gentoo hosts are desktops, so the monthly update cycle can take a few hours to build. Now here's my heartache. Inevitably, some package will fail to build and crush the rest of the process. Usually one of its deps needs to be rebuilt with one-shot or a different version needs to be used. Very few months are flawless updates, requiring no intervention. So here's my question: am I maintaining my system poorly? Is there something I should be doing better? I won't lie, sometimes I use ~arch packages. I try to be sparing in my use of these and they often seem to build on their own fine...

Does anyone have any insights or better ideas?
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think of it this way, the massive changes I get that require work to fix are very similar to the annoyance of reinstalling the whole OS to pick up a new version of software. Yes, it is annoying, I'm currently stuck in the Gnome3 update problem and no idea how to resolve. Pretty much the only machine I have that is moving along with Gentoo is my server - that does not have Gnome installed.

Makes me want to just get rid of Gnome...
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Aiken
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe try doing your updates on a more frequent basis. I try to check 1 of my build machines daily and even that frequently can still end up with long upgrades that die in the middle, manually update a package then try again.

Another suggestion is setup 1 of the computers as a build machine and the others do binary updates from it. This cuts compile time but does not eliminate eliminate some of the troublesome upgrades. When the updates include things like kde, libreoffice and other long compile time programs makes a big difference.

Finding the binary only computers will not blindly update packages from the build machine. The last big update I did with a binary only computer was wait 6 minutes for emerge, manually install 1 package, wait 6 minutes for emerge, manually install 1 package and repeat. Nearly 40 minutes of that upgrade was just waiting for emerge. The round of binary upgrades I have just finished went without a problem.
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Gnome update is really disruptive, IMHO - mostly because of systemd. But yes, if you maintain identical setups (same USE flags, etc) for all machines, it helps a bit (then again it takes away a bit of flexibility).
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the new portage features, the commands are a bit dated. You should add emerge @preserved-rebuild before revdep-rebuild, which you should no longer need. This is important because portage won't break you system like it would before so revdep-rebuild won't catch the libraries. In theory, running it should be like firing blanks. It has smoke and fire but no real effect. In practise, it may still catch a few. I end up running it every 6 months or so.

Code:
# emerge --sync && emerge -avuDN world
# dispatch-conf
# emerge -av @preserved-rebuild
# revdep-rebuild -i -p
# revdep-rebuild


Unfortunately, upstream has been breaking stuff lately. They call it what ever they like, but that is what the effect is. Hopefully, it will settle down soon, or you can switch away from (systemd)-udev, pulseaudio, gnome, etc. but unless you really, really care it would probably just be more trouble.

You may also want to consider adding the --keep-going flag to do most of your update and then worry about any failures. Also, once a month seems a bit slow for a desktop. Maybe you might want to move it up to twice a month or so.
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hadrons123
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
With the new portage features, the commands are a bit dated. You should add emerge @preserved-rebuild before revdep-rebuild, which you should no longer need. This is important because portage won't break you system like it would before so revdep-rebuild won't catch the libraries. In theory, running it should be like firing blanks. It has smoke and fire but no real effect. In practise, it may still catch a few. I end up running it every 6 months or so.

Code:
# emerge --sync && emerge -avuDN world
# dispatch-conf
# emerge -av @preserved-rebuild
# revdep-rebuild -i -p
# revdep-rebuild


Unfortunately, upstream has been breaking stuff lately. They call it what ever they like, but that is what the effect is. Hopefully, it will settle down soon, or you can switch away from (systemd)-udev, pulseaudio, gnome, etc. but unless you really, really care it would probably just be more trouble.

You may also want to consider adding the --keep-going flag to do most of your update and then worry about any failures. Also, once a month seems a bit slow for a desktop. Maybe you might want to move it up to twice a month or so.


I am using some of my systems with sytemd, pulseaudio, gnome and some without them. But I don't believe your theory that systemd,pulseaudio,gnome would be inherently trouble. When one at least follows the wiki its as same as any other package in Gentoo.
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frostschutz
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just use --keep-going. If an update fails, you still have the old version installed that still works (unless it has a broken library, naturally). Sooner or later the tree will have an updated ebuild that works.

Code:
emerge --sync
emerge -NDuv --with-bdeps=y --keep-going @world
emerge --depclean
revdep-rebuild -i -- --keep-going


I used to fix any issue I came across right away, nowadays I only do it when something actually stops working because of it.

I have the preserve libs feature disabled; I might enable it and then add the preservedrebuild. So far I did not have an issue either way.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hadrons123 wrote:
The Doctor wrote:

Unfortunately, upstream has been breaking stuff lately. They call it what ever they like, but that is what the effect is. Hopefully, it will settle down soon, or you can switch away from (systemd)-udev, pulseaudio, gnome, etc. but unless you really, really care it would probably just be more trouble.


I am using some of my systems with sytemd, pulseaudio, gnome and some without them. But I don't believe your theory that systemd,pulseaudio,gnome would be inherently trouble. When one at least follows the wiki its as same as any other package in Gentoo.


As I said, you can call it what you want, but changing the base system breaks things and makes the update process less than smooth. I never said the resulting instillation would be broken, just that upstream was breaking things. A remodelled home may be nice, but the first step is to break the existing one.
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TheLexx
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:

Unfortunately, upstream has been breaking stuff lately. They call it what ever they like, but that is what the effect is. Hopefully, it will settle down soon, or you can switch away from (systemd)-udev, pulseaudio, gnome, etc. but unless you really, really care it would probably just be more trouble.

Humm, I've also had some problems with things not upgrading. I tried to drop pulseaudio, because while I think it's a neat idea, I can't honestly think of a time it would be use full to me. Now I seam to have some packages that will not install without it. Also I would like to keep my system running udev, which could lead me to dropping gnome like a hot potato. I've already dropped gnome-evolution from my world file. Looking for a different GUI mail client.

I have been preserving my /usr/portage directories with squishfile so I have several portage trees 2013-11-19, 2013-12-20, 2014-01-05 and 2014-01-20. But I seam to be stuck on Nov19. I tried to jump from Nov19 to Jan5. But then that did not work I tried going from Nov19 to Dec30 which seems to make more problems that the larger jump in time.

Ps. I'm more of a Tom Baker fan, but I find Pertwee also charming.
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depontius
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eccerr0r wrote:
The Gnome update is really disruptive, IMHO - mostly because of systemd. But yes, if you maintain identical setups (same USE flags, etc) for all machines, it helps a bit (then again it takes away a bit of flexibility).


There are several threads around on circumscribing the Gnome update, some staying below 3.0 and some staying below 3.8. (The former being the "Classic Gnome" style, the latter staying before systemd.) One of those might help. I also saw some noise about adding Mate into the tree - another way of getting "Classic Gnome".
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