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leifbk
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:46 am    Post subject: Is there any point in running stable Gentoo anymore? Reply with quote

I have been running stable Gentoo on my desktop since 2003, first on x86 and since 2010 on amd64, and have mostly been satisfied with it. However, with the current Plasma 5 upgrade, I've felt like trapped in a limbo, halfway between packages marked as stable, and a package.keywords file that was becoming seriously ugly. Yesterday I finally inserted ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="~amd64" in my make.conf file and then naively started an "emerge -avUDN @world". After a while, the compiling started to crash, and a bit of googling revealed that I had better upgrade gcc 4.9.3 -> 5.3.0 first. Then, after the usual toolchain fixes, I did an overnight "emerge -e @world", and a couple of hours ago I rebooted into my newly built system. I had expected some trouble, but to my utter amazement both boot and login worked perfectly. Plasma behaves a lot better now than it did with the "stable"; the annoying plasmashell segfaults whenever I hovered above the taskbar has totally disappeared.

Somehow, running stable Gentoo has started to make increasingly less sense. As of running unstable, some bloopers with premature updates should probably be expected. But watching this excellent forum has always helped me out before, and I don't think any package upgrade can seriously bork my system beyond salvaging. This looks good :)
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asturm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it makes sense. That a newer version of Plasma fixes one bug comes as no surprise, but does not mean you will have a stable experience overall. Running ~amd64 is however much preferred over an uncontrolled spiral of ~amd64 keywords on a stable system.
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khayyam
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leifbk ...

That implies keywords are not fit for purpose as what is happening is that you are required to keyword unstable in order to get something 'stable' (or the nearest equivalent). This, I think, is the result of 'stable' not being the sort of target the name implies, it is not a target being worked toward, but something of an accidental outcome of stabilisation (or, more precisely keywording). Gravity has always pulled in that direction, because mass (ie, what the focus of development is, etc) is such that stable has increasingly less and less weight. It's not really a valid choice to select stable because in the cosmological scheme of things it's not the center of our universe, its a periphery.

best ... khay
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Tony0945
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

khay,

Didn't quite understand your metaphysical analogy, but I concur that gentoo stable is not the same as upstream stable.

Part of the problem is that packages are marked stable that have unstable dependencies. That's supposed to be a non-no, but it happens all the time. Sometimes devs delete all stable packages, stranding every stable package that depends on them.

I've wondered the same as the O.P., but I don't want my Gentoo to become like Fedora that ways just a testing distro for RedHat with anything that could be compiled thrown in.

I've keyworded gentoo-sources because the head of the tree always has versions considered stable by upstream. I'm sure it's true for other packages as well.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion, unstable is suitable for desktops and stable is for servers.

You are correct in that any recent problems in unstable (so far) have been easy to clean up if you have physical access. But imagine how easy it would be to clean up your server half way around the country that just renamed all its network interfaces because the udev upstream was visited by the good idea fairy.
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khayyam
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony0945 wrote:
Didn't quite understand your metaphysical analogy, but I concur that gentoo stable is not the same as upstream stable.

Tony0945 ... astronomical rather than metaphysical, but anyhow, what I mean is that if developers, user who want the current upstream stable, etc, etc, are all using ~arch then this has the effect of giving it mass, and a stronger gravitational pull. So rather than a "testing" area off in some far flung part of the solar system, it is more like the sun itself, with 'stable' in some orbit around it.

Tony0945 wrote:
Part of the problem is that packages are marked stable that have unstable dependencies. That's supposed to be a non-no, but it happens all the time. Sometimes devs delete all stable packages, stranding every stable package that depends on them.

This is because devs are invariably using ~arch and so stable isn't something they are particularly focused on, or see.

Tony0945 wrote:
I've wondered the same as the O.P., but I don't want my Gentoo to become like Fedora that ways just a testing distro for RedHat with anything that could be compiled thrown in.

That is the effect such gravity has, it pulls users toward it, rather than visa-versa.

best ... khay
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leifbk
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like the Doctor says, if I were to run a Gentoo web server or other high-availability system, I'd of course go for stable. I'm the sysadmin of a Debian web server, and I wouldn't dream of running anything but the stable stage on it.

My case is a personal "workstation", with nothing that requires being up and running all the time. As a retiree, I've got time on my hands to resolve any trouble that comes my way in the form of premature updates. So actually I wonder why I haven't done this a long time ago.

The fact that all the Gentoo devs are running ~arch tells a whole lot about the situation. There are no one that are really responsible for the "stable"; I have personally filed several bugs relating to stabilised packages that have had issues with eg. pulling in unstable dependencies. That's one of the things that I'm tired of.

The Plasma upgrade probably won't be entirely stabilised until gcc 5.x has been marked stable; there are several packages that simply won't compile in gcc 4.x due to the changes in the c++ ABIs.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leifbk wrote:
The Plasma upgrade probably won't be entirely stabilised until gcc 5.x has been marked stable; there are several packages that simply won't compile in gcc 4.x due to the changes in the c++ ABIs.

Plasma-5 is entirely stabilised, what are you talking about? And in fact I'm building 5.6.3 with GCC 4.8.5 on one system, even Applications release 16.04.0 (which is ~arch) works fine. The thing with C++ ABI is you need to have _your packages_ built consistently with one version of the ABI or there will be breakage. That's why there is the rebuild command for GCC-5 upgraders (I'm a bit worried about what will happen when that goes stable, btw).
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

genstorm wrote:
Plasma-5 is entirely stabilised, what are you talking about?


Excuse me, that should probably have been the KDE-frameworks or whatever it's called. This entire KDE split is confusing me a lot.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KDE Frameworks is amd64, KDE Plasma is amd64, KDE Applications is still ~amd64. But that's not a bug. The tracker for Applications 15.12.3 only shows other dependencies to be stabilised as a requirement, nothing GCC related: https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=579992

khayyam wrote:
This is because devs are invariably using ~arch and so stable isn't something they are particularly focused on, or see.

Gentoo needs more stable testers. It's not even possible to stabilise Qt-5 on x86 anymore.
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leifbk
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

genstorm wrote:
KDE Frameworks is amd64, KDE Plasma is amd64, KDE Applications is still ~amd64.


Yes. It was the KDE apps which finally broke my confidence in Gentoo stable.

genstorm wrote:
Gentoo needs more stable testers.


It would probably be wise then to not drive people away from stable by doing half-assed upgrades like the Plasma.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leifbk wrote:
It would probably be wise then to not drive people away from stable by doing half-assed upgrades like the Plasma.

You should work on your understanding of the KDE split then, because Plasma-5 was very much a full stable upgrade. I am open to answer questions, especially since there was put a lot of thought into providing an upgrade path for stable users.

leifbk wrote:
Yes. It was the KDE apps which finally broke my confidence in Gentoo stable.

They are not stable, how can they break your confidence in stable? No amd64 KDE package requires you to install ~amd64 Applications, Plasma is independent of Applications (the occasional blocker aside).
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leifbk
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look. I drank the "emerge news" koolaid and upgraded my KDE 4 to Plasma. Then I did what was suggested in the upgrade guide, namely emerge kde-apps/kde-apps-meta, after which a ton of ~amd64 keywords were placed in my package.keywords file. I ran with it, and the result looked decently enough. But after a few days I got serious qualms about this mixture of stable and unstable packages, and decided to resolve it by going all ~amd64.

I'm not generally inclined to discuss with windbags like genstorm, but this time I felt like I had to answer.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tried changing keywords to see what portage would do. besides wanting me to unmask around a hundred packages (???), it gave me this:
Code:
Total: 518 packages (406 upgrades, 58 new, 22 in new slots, 32 reinstalls, 4 uninstalls), Size of downloads: 1,792,062 KiB
Conflict: 10 blocks (1 unsatisfied)


Whoa!
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asturm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leifbk wrote:
Then I did what was suggested in the upgrade guide, namely emerge kde-apps/kde-apps-meta, after which a ton of ~amd64 keywords were placed in my package.keywords file.

Why didn't you take a step back and think, 'whoa, that's unexpected'? This part of the guide is not for stable users.

leifbk wrote:
I'm not generally inclined to discuss with windbags like...

You should know better than that.
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leifbk
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

genstorm wrote:
leifbk wrote:
Then I did what was suggested in the upgrade guide, namely emerge kde-apps/kde-apps-meta

Why didn't you take a step back and think, 'whoa, that's unexpected'? This part of the guide is not for stable users.


That is indeed a good question. Maybe the documentation writer should have thought about that? I didn't see any big red sign saying: "Warning! The next section is for those brave-hearted ~arch folks."

Seriously. The Gentoo docs are written by ~arch users, for ~arch users. If you're on stable, you better figure it out for yourself.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A wiki guide can only get better with input from users. But Gentoo docs have never been about blindly following command per command, ~arch packages slated for emerge on a stable system can never be correct. There's not a red warning, anyway, but a blue note.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

genstorm wrote:
A wiki guide can only get better with input from users. But Gentoo docs have never been about blindly following command per command, ~arch packages slated for emerge on a stable system can never be correct. There's not a red warning, anyway, but a blue note.


As I've already said, I've been a happy Gentoo user since 2003. And I've alvays been very content with the documentation, which I consider the very best of any Linux distribution. In particular, I would probably not have understood (and been able to deploy) the mdadm software RAID configuration if I weren't already thoroughly soaked in the Gentoo way.

But, if Gentoo really needs "stable", something needs to be done to make Gentoo "stable" users feel like more than second-class citizens. I'm personally done with "stable".
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

genstorm wrote:
~arch packages slated for emerge on a stable system can never be correct.

But using an ~arch package with Gentoo unstable release is correct. Unfortunately all the newbies in the forums are often mislead to use ~arch keywords, when they try the Gentoo stable distribution as an "easy way" to learn Gentoo. Which is not the case. Such a mixin means fighting.
Newbies should be encouraged to try a pure Gentoo unstable!
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

leifbk wrote:
But, if Gentoo really needs "stable", something needs to be done to make Gentoo "stable" users feel like more than second-class citizens. I'm personally done with "stable".

Do you think the blue note in the guide is too subtle?

The guide has existed all the time with ~arch users in mind, since for a long time Plasma-5 only was for ~arch users. I agree that making it fit for both can lead to issues, but it still needs to be as universal as possible since both groups of users rely on it.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

khayyam wrote:
Tony0945 ... astronomical rather than metaphysical, but anyhow, what I mean is that if developers, user who want the current upstream stable, etc, etc, are all using ~arch then this has the effect of giving it mass, and a stronger gravitational pull.
To clarify your clarification, developers work on ~arch packages because that is how ebuilds get introduced to the tree, that does not mean that developers somehow avoid stable systems for fear of catching bitrot. In short, there are Gentoo developers who primarily use stable systems.

ulenrich wrote:
Newbies should be encouraged to try a pure Gentoo unstable!
Perhaps, if they require some feature, package, system, or whatnot only available in ~arch, otherwise installing and maintaining a stable system is a better introduction to Gentoo. After using stable for a while, let the user decide whether to experiment with ~arch, or mixing, as suits their needs and skills. Attempting to force your paradigm on someone just because it suits you is generally not particularly helpful to others.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

desultory wrote:
khayyam wrote:
Tony0945 ... astronomical rather than metaphysical, but anyhow, what I mean is that if developers, user who want the current upstream stable, etc, etc, are all using ~arch then this has the effect of giving it mass, and a stronger gravitational pull.

To clarify your clarification, developers work on ~arch packages because that is where ebuilds get introduced to the tree, that does not mean that developers somehow avoid stable systems for fear of catching bitrot. In short, there are Gentoo developers who primarily use stable systems.

desultory ... there are, but there as also those who don't, and in my experience the later are not in a minority. In the past I've had to keyword some package ~arch in order to provide a package keywored stable its dependencies, this wouldn't happen if the person keywording was doing so on a stable system, because they too would encounter the same.

best ... khay
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many years ago, the tree was stable, testing and hard masked packages.

With the addition of overlays, most of the development that was done using hard masked packages has moved out of the tree to overlays.
As a result, it appears that the testing tree is less prone to the problems it once had. Things still break, just not as often.

I've always used ~arch. First on ~x86, then on ~sparc, ~amd64, ~arm and ~arm64.

If you have the skills to manage the breakage when it happens, or read the -dev mailing list so you can avoid some of the experiments, go with ~arch.
There is no way back to stable though.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo Testing (~amd64) has been on my previous main laptop -- now used only for trials -- for six years, and in the vast majority of cases it gave me no trouble at all. I do remember a couple of occasions on work trips when I had to spend an entire weekend in a hotel resuscitating an unbootable installation following a package upgrade. I felt I was living dangerously, but that laptop dual boots Windows 7 so I always had a fallback for work. Anyway, when the time came to buy a new laptop a year ago, I opted to forego dual booting; I decided to install only Gentoo Stable and unmask by keyword when necessary. But it's surprising how many times I have had to unmask by keyword. I do feel less nervous about the installation than I did with an ~amd64 installation on a machine on which my livelihood depends, though.

The term 'stable' is a misnomer, anyway. I can't recall which package it was now, but one 'stable' package I needed to use had a fundamental bug that rendered it useless for my purposes. The only way to use the application was to install the 'unstable' package incorporating the bug fix, which was perfectly stable but had not been marked Stable for quite some time.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
There is no way back to stable though.


Oh, not that I didn't try. ;) Two or three years after creating my big 'stabletransition' package.keywords file it is stagnant at around ~ 45 package atoms. Reminds me of filing stable requests...
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