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philip
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:59 am    Post subject: I am about to give Gentoo up Reply with quote

Dear Gentoo lovers,

I have been a Gentoo user for about 15 years. I have been able to configure my PC and laptop exactly as I have wanted. And I have been able to optimize my system and performance. I have enjoyed the fine support of other Gentoo users in this forum.

But now I am about to give Gentoo up.

The reason is that updates of the system gives me extreme problems with blockers. It sometimes takes days to resolve the blockers. There seem to be no easy way to get past this problem.
It simply takes to much of my time to keep my system up to date. And it brings a lot of frustration.

I am also a bit surprised that there are no programs that swiftly aid in sorting our blockers and make the emerge -uDN @world easier.

I will certainly miss this otherwise beautiful distribution.

All the best /Phil
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philip,

I suspect you are running a mixed stable/testing system. That's recipe for regular blockers.
world file pollution is another.
Hard blockers always need your intervention. Only the system admin can choose between several equally valid paths.
Hence it cannot be automated.

Gentoo is not for everyone. Its not all even for any individual all the time.

I wish you well with your new distro of choice.
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Last edited by NeddySeagoon on Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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asturm
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you give us an example of such blockers? Usually they happen on systems that have not been updated in a long time, have not been cleaned up from cruft, or set unfortunate vars in make.conf when they should not.
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Roman_Gruber
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me know please if you found something which fits your needs.

I'm also looking for something more up to date at this point. I looked into several distros. I intend to try some other operating system over xmas, as i have 3 drives, I can easily test it with my hardware and go back quite fast to one of my backups.

The blockers are one issue, the other issue are outdated ebuilds, and lint in the portage tree - even bgo is ignored in that fact. Won'T deal much longer with a distro which ignores bgo, argues on bgo and other nasty stuff. I never understood tree cleaners work, work ethics on bgo. some developers do a good job.
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philip
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySaegoon; Yes I run a mixed stable/testing system. I have tried to make my world file clean, but I cannot find any secure method to verify what should be in there and not. My system emplyes quite many packages, just because I need them. Some requires to be unstable. It seems like you end up in a maze of dependencies that do not fit together.
One of the hardest things about removing hard blockers is the uncertainty if you destroy other dependencies.

Asturm: I update my system quite seldom in fact. The reason is that I like to enjoy my super stable and to my needs optimized system for a good while. Then, approximately at 6 months intervals I woul dlike to update my system. But now it is a real hassle. It is very frustrating and sad. I believe that Gentoo is best administrated with daily updates. But that is not how I would like to use my system.
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there a support request here? Or just whining. If you gotta go you gotta go, why all the talk?
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philip,

You can do a sanity check on world. https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/World_set_(Portage)
But you may have a good reason to have some of the things it says you can remove there, so don't just follow what it suggests blindly.

Six months is a long time between updates. Daily is overkill. I run all ~arch and update monthly.

Running all testing can be less trouble than a mixed stable/testing system.
There are several things you can do to reduce the pain.

a) turn on FEATURES=buildpkg to save a binary of everything you build.
Eventually, this gives you a fast downgrade path with emerge -K.

b) don't update just before your system must work. It might not.
Serious breakage is rare though.

If you are hitting the gcc-4 to gcc-5 transition and an old system update at the same time, that's one of those fairly rare difficulties.
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Computer users fall into two groups:-
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davidm
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philip wrote:

Asturm: I update my system quite seldom in fact. The reason is that I like to enjoy my super stable and to my needs optimized system for a good while. Then, approximately at 6 months intervals I woul dlike to update my system. But now it is a real hassle. It is very frustrating and sad. I believe that Gentoo is best administrated with daily updates. But that is not how I would like to use my system.


It works pretty well if you update once a month or so also. You don't have to update daily. Myself I run ~amd64 and sometimes go a month or two between updates. Usually any problems I encounter are pretty small and easily fixed.
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szatox
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shhh.... He's gone [*]
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The_Great_Sephiroth
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run mostly stable with a few exceptions (Code::Blocks and xtables-addons, for example) and as long as I update every three months I am good. I let my laptop go about eight months a while back and it was so screwed I wiped the disk and reinstalled. Good thing though, because I moved from ext4 to BTRFS and took advantage of compression, duplicate data, and subvolumes with snapshots. I learned my lesson the hard way, despite being warned when I was new. I believe Neddy told me to keep my mess updated. I should have listened! :p
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He'll be back, we just don't know when :)
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The_Great_Sephiroth
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With systemd out there it seems as only Gentoo and possibly Arch are real Linux now. The rest are just cheap Windows clones. So yes, I bet he comes back after he plays with that pile of mess and has issues and those LOVELY binary logs to accompany it. I'm waiting for systemd to replace the Linux kernel at Redhat...
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Juippisi
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Great_Sephiroth wrote:
With systemd out there it seems as only Gentoo and possibly Arch are real Linux now.


Dont really know what youre implying in here. You do know Arch uses systemd too? It was actually one of the first distros to jump in bed with it.

Think Funtoo and Void Linux (?) are pretty much the only ones pure systemdless.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Politics of Systemd is that way -->

We are getting off topic here.
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tholin
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My own experience is similar to that of OP. I've been using gentoo on my desktop for 14 years but I've grown increasingly frustrated by all the breakage. Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:

These are the breakages I've experienced in just the past month. Perhaps I remember the past with rose colored lenses but gentoo didn't use to be this broken, right? At least 9/10 of all breakages I experience is because of maintainer fuckups but as a user there is no way to know so I always have to spent time to investigate the breakage.

People are quick to point out that gentoo are for power users and power users don't mind picking up the pieces when things break. I don't mind dealing with my own breakage but I really don't like cleaning up after other people's mistakes. Perhaps I'm not power user enough?

Most of the breakage I previous listed could have been prevented with better testing and communication between maintainers. Perhaps requiring a "Signed-off-by" from other maintainers for each commit could help? But gentoo is already grossly understaffed. I think even debian stable gets new software faster these days and software that does exist are often ~amd only for a long time forcing people to mix stable and testing. Even stable packages aren't always maintained. The gentoo games team is planning to remove the stable flag on the stuff they maintain because they can't deal with it.
https://archives.gentoo.org/gentoo-dev/message/2e589f1c13ecd66064d3920cc33a6034

But if not gentoo then what? Gentoo is probably the most flexible distribution and after a decade I've grown to rely on that. Moving to a less flexible system would be very tricky now. My system is seriously jerry rigged.

Gentoo's build from source approach is also a killer feature because it solves ABI comparability problems. Pre-built distributions are forced to make sure the packages they distribute are all compatible and that usually means they can only distribute a single version of each package. There might be separate repos with different versions but they can't mixed (don't create a frankendebian). The problem is best described by this quote:

Things that I care about keeping up to date are always moving too slowly.
Things that I care about keeping stable are always moving too quickly.
Things that I don't care about shouldn't bother me by having bugs, security holes, changes in interface or functionality, or security updates.
And, for every value of "I", each set of _things_ is unique.

Gentoo's approach is AFAIK the best for solving this problem but that assumes there are enough developers to maintain all the versions and do testing for incompatibility and breakage.
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josedb
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you need software to surpass that problem , then you haven't learnt nothing in 15 years...
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I switched to 17.0 profile and now all compilations fail when distcc is enabled. :evil: Oh what do I do now? :roll: I'm going to throw away all Gentoo computers and buy brand new ones with Ubuntu preinstalled. Yes, that's a good idea. Gentoo is no good. It sucks. After using it for 13 years it is time to move to Ubuntu. Right. :!:
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaglover,

Quote:
I switched to 17.0 profile and now all compilations fail when distcc is enabled.

Well, yes. You need to build the helper toolchains with USE=pie too.
That means switching all the helpers to the 17.0 profile or in the case of cross distcc, managing the USE flags on the helpers cross compilers carefully.

Compiling might work but the mix of pie and non pie code in the output probably won't run very well.

-- edit --

I didn't think about it until it was too late.
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Computer users fall into two groups:-
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krinn
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
Jaglover,
...

I think you should enable your irony detector NeddySeagoon :)
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

krinn,

I did think about it ... :)
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NeddySeagoon

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Tom_
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been in this situation multiple times in the past when some upgrades went bad or when I lost time fixing some issues or compiling stuff again and again. Accumulating lots of (even small) issues can be pretty frustrating when you are quite busy!

A few times, I thought that the grass was greener elsewhere... I looked at other distributions but in the end, i've always stuck to Gentoo as it is the most flexible distribution and as it gives me a lot of control. Considering other distributions is instructive and gives you a nice overview of the Linux ecosystem. I like to reevaluate my opportunities!

As i usually don't have a lot of time to take care of my gentoo system, i'm pretty careful :
- i use a stable system (fewer library updates which lead to fewer compilations) with a few ~amd64 packages
- i use lts kernels which makes kernel updates easier and faster
- when a major upgrade is available, I wait for a few days before applying these updates
- applying updates regularly lead to less large breakages and helps figuring out issues
- i postpone updates if I need my computer
- i'll use buildpkg in the future but also a alternate boot drive

Gentoo forums and bugzilla are pretty handy to keep a system in a good shape :)

Thomas
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P.Kosunen
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom_ wrote:
Accumulating lots of (even small) issues can be pretty frustrating when you are quite busy!

If you update when busy, something always comes up, Murphy's law. Just don't do it.
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The_Great_Sephiroth
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the lesson here is to update no more than three months out. That works FINE for my production boxes and keeps me from baby-sitting them once a month. Just don't neglect your own systems as I did. Of course I don't mind reinstalling and can actually do it entirely from memory at this point.

I was not trying to go OT about systemd earlier. I was implying that once a user starts playing with THAT mess, they'll be back. Didn't mean to go OT.
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nokilli
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make it easy to make backups, then you backup often. When you backup often, if you encounter a Gentoo issue, revert to the last backup. Wait another day/week then try again. Always works for me.

IMHO, root on lvm should be mandatory for Gentoo, because lvm makes making backups easy. I'm not talking about offline backups to USB or anything, I'm talking about where your main drive is lvm and you have volumes like root.1, root.2, and so on. rsync lets you backup a system running on one logical volume to another and lvm snapshots make this is a nearly error-free process (a running dbms may need special considerations apparently.) Literally, to make a backup this way I just enter a single command. Likewise with restoring.

As a user, there is absolutely no reason to ever stress about anything on Gentoo except a) nvidia-drivers and b) unsupported python-3.x releases, and the answers here are a) don't buy nvidia and b) use qemu/vbox for wacky new python stuff. That's in my world only of course, your experience may be different.
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neddy,

I see no USE=pie for distcc. Anyhow, I resorted to building in NFS chroot instead. And as you guessed, it really wasn't a support request. :)
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