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[SOLVED] queston about the state of gentoo packages
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haVok
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:58 pm    Post subject: [SOLVED] queston about the state of gentoo packages Reply with quote

I haven't installed gentoo yet, but browsed the gentoo packages site. This may be a stupid queston to some, but has made me wonder. I would plan to stick to the stable packages, but to me some things seem to be as not actively developed as some, i.e. I don't use gnome but why is'nt any of the 3.X branches marked as stable (debian uses 3.4 and there a rock solid distro). And the firefox is still at version 17.X, I know I can install what ever version I wan't but I guess I got the impression that some dev's are not testing packages since certian packages have been in an ~unstable/testing state for so long. or maybe I just missing somthing, so maybe someon could enlighten me.

Last edited by haVok on Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stable versus testing in Gentoo is not about running them, it's about building them. You can install testing arch and it will run rock solid. But you will have occasional compiling issues.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to what Jaglover said, I think it would be appropriate to add that the unstable branch can also occasionally have issues with documentation that hasn't caught up. For example, the persistent network names that udev introduced. They appeared with no warning and caught a few of us off guard.

However, in several years I have only had 2 cases where the unstable software caused problems. Both times where easily fixed. The thing that will really get you is trying to mix branches. The truly unstable packages are marked by missing keywords or are masked.

Its just my opinion, but I think stable is appropriate for servers while testing is appropriate for desktops. As you noticed, the many of the newer features that desktop users want are currently unstable.
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TomWij
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:52 pm    Post subject: Re: queston about the state of gentoo packages Reply with quote

haVok wrote:
I haven't installed gentoo yet, but browsed the gentoo packages site. This may be a stupid queston to some, but has made me wonder. I would plan to stick to the stable packages, but to me some things seem to be as not actively developed as some, i.e. I don't use gnome but why is'nt any of the 3.X branches marked as stable (debian uses 3.4 and there a rock solid distro).


GNOME is kind of an exception; it's kind of in a worse than normal state at the moment, and stabilizing 3.4 isn't an option since it is no longer in tree. For me, neither 3.6 or 3.8 works on OpenRC or systemd; so, I wouldn't really call it stable.

haVok wrote:
And the firefox is still at version 17.X, I know I can install what ever version I wan't but I guess I got the impression that some dev's are not testing packages since certian packages have been in an ~unstable/testing state for so long. or maybe I just missing somthing, so maybe someon could enlighten me.


http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/faq/ will enlighten you.

Jaglover wrote:
Stable versus testing in Gentoo is not about running them, it's about building them. You can install testing arch and it will run rock solid. But you will have occasional compiling issues.


It's actually about both; running newer versions will make you run new features that can have potential bugs, older verrsions don't have these new features and therefore don't have the bugs that come along with them.

This is what makes the whole backporting and stabilization concept work; you fix the version while waiting 30 days, you get a more stable version than the new version with new features upstream just pushed out.

You go for one (new features) or the other (no bugs); and if you're lucky, you get both (but don't rely on luck).

The Doctor wrote:
The truly unstable packages are marked by missing keywords or are masked.


Don't get fooled by this. Let's say some hypothetical stable kernel version 4.1.16 exists; an unstable 4.2.0 gets pushed out and a lot of people install that, however there is a corruption that break the system for a certain amount of users, the time this message reaches the developers might not necessarily be the same day. So, on the next day the kernel developers place a mask, great, but now everyone that is running that kernel might not update their system for some days. Boom, a lot of users get a corrupted system over the next week. Masks aren't as immediate as you think; though the kernel upstream does proper enough testing (but had a corruption hit the news anyway), not every upstream does this properly...
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TomWij,

you may be right about running and building problems with ~arch.
However, I've to say I installed Gentoo first in 2004, after six months or so I switched over to ~arch and although I have had lots of building issues I cannot recall any running problems. Maybe I just got lucky. Is till think you can safely use ~arch, if you can get over compiling issues.
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haVok
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really appreciate everyones help, I wasn't fully grasping the way gentoo would handle security issues in packages. So I assume any security bugs are backported or the package gets updated to a new version (for the stable branch anyway).
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TomWij
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaglover wrote:
TomWij,

you may be right about running and building problems with ~arch.
However, I've to say I installed Gentoo first in 2004, after six months or so I switched over to ~arch and although I have had lots of building issues I cannot recall any running problems. Maybe I just got lucky. Is till think you can safely use ~arch, if you can get over compiling issues.


I do safely run that too and rely on upstream; just saying, worse things might happen once in a very long while (and I don't know history, but it might have happened in the past).
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