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#1 2010-03-13 13:33:32

snowpine
#!-a-roo
Registered: 2008-11-24
Posts: 2,922

Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

Best thing about Debian IMHO is division into unstable/testing/stable branches, any of which are viable as everyday operating systems (depending on the user of course). I would encourage Corenomial to keep this in mind during development. Changing "testing" to "squeeze" in our sources.list should theoretically result in a seamless conversion to Debian Stable when Squeeze is released (later this year?). Likewise, some brave users might wish to change their sources to Unstable and live on the bleeding edge.

I do not feel Statler needs 3 separate releases (it is easy to convert by editing your sources), nor do I want to "fork" Philip's valuable time. smile But I do think it would be a cool community effort for timid Stableheads and brave Unstablenauts. Here is an example of what I'm talking about: http://antix.freeforums.org/sid-upgraders-f5.html

All we need now is muppet names... I vote Bunsen for Testing and Beaker for Unstable!

Last edited by snowpine (2010-03-14 14:36:14)


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#2 2010-03-13 14:00:23

corenominal
WRONG
From: Lincoln, UK
Registered: 2008-11-20
Posts: 5,057
Website

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

This is an interesting topic, thank you for raising it. smile

At the moment, the plan is to try and produce something stable(ish) based on Squeeze. As you are aware, it should be possible to work with that by itself by changing the sources. I have had some thoughts about producing some Sid based images, but they really are only thoughts at the moment. I would be interested to know if anyone else has had any similar thoughts. smile

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#3 2010-03-13 14:26:01

gutterslob
#! Resident Bum
Registered: 2009-11-03
Posts: 3,082

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

^^I'd be rather enthusiastic about Sid based images (I currently use Sidux) big_smile

All in your own time, Sir Corenominal.

Last edited by gutterslob (2010-03-13 14:26:40)


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#4 2010-03-13 14:29:20

snowpine
#!-a-roo
Registered: 2008-11-24
Posts: 2,922

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

Here is my AntiX sources.list to illustrate what I'm talking about:

# Note:If you want maximum stability, only use the stable repos.
# If you want to install kde3.5, you MUST only use the stable repos.

# Mepis8
deb ftp://ftp.mepis.com/mepis/ mepis-8.0 main 

# Debian
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ stable main contrib non-free 
#deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ stable/updates main contrib non-free 
#deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ stable main contrib non-free 
 
# mplayer
deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org stable main non-free
#deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org testing main non-free

# Mepis Community Main, Restricted, and Test Repos
#deb http://main.mepis-deb.org/mepiscr/repo/ mepis8cr main non-free
#deb http://restricted.mepis-deb.org/mepiscr/repo/ mepis8cr restricted restricted-non-free
#deb http://main.mepis-deb.org/mepiscr/testrepo/ mepis8cr test
#deb http://restricted.mepis-deb.org/mepiscr/testrepo/ mepis8cr test-restricted 

# opera
#deb http://deb.opera.com/opera/ lenny non-free

# virtualbox
#deb http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian lenny non-free

# liquorix kernels
#deb http://liquorix.net/debian/ sid main

###### Debian Unstable/Sid/sidux ##########
###### Use at your own risk! ########
#deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free
#deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org unstable main non-free
#deb http://sidux.com/debian/ sid main contrib non-free firmware fix.main fix.contrib fix.non-free

I have also found the smxi.org script very, very useful when transitioning to Sid. smile


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#5 2010-03-13 16:24:36

p0rksh3d
#! CrunchBanger
From: Brownsville, Texas
Registered: 2009-09-28
Posts: 107

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

Seems like a good idea to change to <releasename>, then whoever wants a rolling release could edit the sources.list.  We could have a wiki article too for changing to rolling release for new people from ubuntu or whatever.

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#6 2010-03-13 16:55:09

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2009-01-07
Posts: 2,933
Website

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

If I've understood the process correctly, the "testing" release, currently Squeeze, is frozen towards the end of its evolution and becomes "stable". At that point a new "testing" is forked off from Squeeze, given a new name and gradually moved away, until maybe a year or two later it becomes the next "stable". So Squeeze at the moment since it's nearly ready to go "stable" is pretty reliable already. Likewise, the new "testing" will be solid just after it forks off from Squeeze, since it will be basically the same, and also when it's ready for stablehood in a couple of years, or whenever. Does that mean that "testing" is at its most unreliable roughly half-way through the development cycle, between those two points? Just how unstable is it then? If it's not too bad, then staying with "testing" instead of sticking with one named release could be the best option, as it would avoid the need for periodic upheavals.

On the other hand, I seem to remember reading somewhere that "testing" didn't get very thorough security updates, at least compared with "stable"...

Last edited by johnraff (2010-03-13 16:58:44)


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--------------------
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#7 2010-03-13 17:17:50

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 12,508

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

@johnraff - I think "unstable" in this case translates as "mutable" rather than "unreliable", as in the package complement is subject to change.

To me the biggest advantage of stable is security updates are given a high priority.  Debian's FAQ pages clearly state that this is not the case for unstable and testing.


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#8 2010-03-13 17:27:19

snowpine
#!-a-roo
Registered: 2008-11-24
Posts: 2,922

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

johnraff wrote:

If I've understood the process correctly, the "testing" release, currently Squeeze, is frozen towards the end of its evolution and becomes "stable". At that point a new "testing" is forked off from Squeeze, given a new name and gradually moved away, until maybe a year or two later it becomes the next "stable". So Squeeze at the moment since it's nearly ready to go "stable" is pretty reliable already. Likewise, the new "testing" will be solid just after it forks off from Squeeze, since it will be basically the same, and also when it's ready for stablehood in a couple of years, or whenever. Does that mean that "testing" is at its most unreliable roughly half-way through the development cycle, between those two points? Just how unstable is it then? If it's not too bad, then staying with "testing" instead of sticking with one named release could be the best option, as it would avoid the need for periodic upheavals.

On the other hand, I seem to remember reading somewhere that "testing" didn't get very thorough security updates, at least compared with "stable"...

Testing is most "unstable" (in the Debian sense of the word, "rapidly changing," not "buggy, unreliable, beta software" because Debian is never that!) shortly after a Stable release. All the updates that were kept back due to the testing freeze start to move from Unstable to Testing. But they are strategic about it, for example I noticed last time that they kept the Lenny kernel in Testing for quite some time after Lenny release, then jumped several versions. I guess they figure there's no point in "testing" kernels that have zero chance of making it into the next stable? I don't know.

Here's what the Debian wiki FAQ (http://www.debian.org/security/faq) says about Testing security:

Q: How is security handled for testing?

A: If you want to have a secure (and stable) server you are strongly encouraged to stay with stable. However, there is security support for testing: The Debian testing security team handles issues for testing. They will make sure that the fixed packages enter testing in the usual way by migration from unstable (with reduced quarantine time), or, if that still takes too long, make them available via the the normal http://security.debian.org infrastructure. To use it, make sure the following line is in /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://security.debian.org testing/updates main

and run apt-get update && apt-get upgrade as usual.

Note that this doesn't guarantee that all known security bugs are fixed in testing! Some updated packages might be waiting for transition to testing. More information about the security infrastructure for testing can be found at http://secure-testing-master.debian.net/.

Security patches do enter Unstable first, by definition, before they trickle down to Testing. I know that some hard-core Debian users run mixed testing/unstable systems for this (and other) reasons. (It is not hard to use apt-pinning to run a testing system plus some extras from unstable, and I'm sure there will be discussion threads on this exact  topic in good time.) I doubt it is something a typical home user should worry about, but I would not personally run, say, a bank's server, on Debian Testing. wink

Last edited by snowpine (2010-03-13 17:29:49)


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#9 2010-03-13 18:31:16

anonymous
The Mystery Member
From: Arch Linux Forums
Registered: 2008-11-29
Posts: 9,418

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

Id rather CrunchBang use the unstable/testing/stable names rather than specific release names like squeeze. Having rolling release would be sweet.

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#10 2010-03-15 21:01:28

omns
#! wanderer
From: ~/
Registered: 2008-11-25
Posts: 5,131

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

Leave the final release of statler at Squeeze. For the adventurous ones a simple edit of sources allows them to venture on and keep the release rolling. Heck, a 'convert to Testing' script could even be written for this task wink

I would rather not use stable/testing/unstable names. A different naming system highlights that it is a specific respin of the main distro. For example, Mint uses its own naming system and no one gets confused about what base it is using for each release.

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#11 2010-03-16 15:01:01

benj1
Wiki Wizard
From: Yorkshire, England
Registered: 2009-09-05
Posts: 1,084

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

although i think it would be nice to have crunchbang rolling release im not sure it would be good as a default.

Im thinking of the times when something specific breaks and conky fails to work with openbox (for example), that will be a fairly major problem for crunchbang but probably won't be as high on the list of priorities for debian maintainers, who i assume will be maintaining the majority of crunchbang repos. The only solution would be for for the crunchbang community to take on at least some of the package management duties that is presently done by the parent distros, something which at present the community isn't geared up to do.

At the end of the day, if you know enough to weigh up the pros and cons of stable v rolling you should know how to change the sources list, or at least google for it.


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#12 2010-03-16 15:13:32

ZAP
#! Junkie
Registered: 2009-01-31
Posts: 350

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

Personally I would prefer a rolling unstable release, but one of the beauties of Debian is that you can just change the repo names in your sources and have whatever you want. So I'd say that perhaps a non-rolling Squeeze release makes sense as the default, but only once it becomes Stable. I wouldn't be surprised if breakage increased in the run-up to making it the new stable release this year.

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#13 2010-03-16 15:14:14

snowpine
#!-a-roo
Registered: 2008-11-24
Posts: 2,922

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

benj1 wrote:

At the end of the day, if you know enough to weigh up the pros and cons of stable v rolling you should know how to change the sources list, or at least google for it.

See my post #4. AntiX has stable, testing (the default), and sid repos in their sources.list. You just need to comment out (by deleting the #) the lines corresponding to the repo you want. (Notice I chose stable.) It would be cool if Corenomial considered something like this for #!'s sources.list.

If not, it is easy enough anyways... just change the word "squeeze" to "sid" and you're flying...

Last edited by snowpine (2010-03-16 15:15:54)


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#14 2010-03-17 22:00:24

Holi
The Linux Norseman
From: Skara, Sweden
Registered: 2009-02-04
Posts: 76

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

Main I'd prefer to be pretty stable and I wouldn't mind a simple script for switching to a rolling release


42 - Just a viking from the north, doing his thing!

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#15 2010-03-18 17:24:14

Chetamonye
#! Member
From: California
Registered: 2009-07-23
Posts: 65

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

I would prefer stable.  My daughters and my wife use #! now and would rather have a stable and consistent(frozen) system to use.

I would manually change my own system to rolling.


Chet

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#16 2010-03-18 20:40:31

vrkalak
#! Die Hard
From: Las Vegas > US
Registered: 2009-09-14
Posts: 1,573

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

I was just thinking ... we should probably start hanging around in the Debian Forums, as well. 
I use Debian 'testing'-Xfce ... so I'm already a member.

Debian User Forums   >>   http://forums.debian.net/index.php

You know, just to get the 'feel' for Debian stable/testing/sid ... IMHO

Last edited by vrkalak (2010-03-18 20:41:36)


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#17 2010-03-18 21:18:26

omns
#! wanderer
From: ~/
Registered: 2008-11-25
Posts: 5,131

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

vrkalak wrote:

Debian User Forums   >>   http://forums.debian.net/index.php

Like the Ubuntu forums have been in the past, these forums will prove to be an invaluable reference point smile

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#18 2010-03-18 23:34:24

spoovy
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-12-12
Posts: 142

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

Why would we want a rolling release, we'd lose the fun then of installing and configuring CrunchBang 11 "Waldorf" when it's ready!   - come on Philip get on it! smile

No but seriously I love the idea of the antiX- style source selection.  I'd look forward to mucking about with this regardless of whether there's any real benefit to it or not.

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#19 2010-03-21 16:24:43

schanall
#! CrunchBanger
From: Hamburg
Registered: 2008-12-20
Posts: 103

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

I'm on Statler now! Great work, it works like a charm. Thanks to all of you.

I'm not a native speaker and sometimes it is hard for me to understand what some people write. I know the answer to my question is given, but I want to be sure, that I understood everything.

When I edit the source.lst from "squeeze" to "testing" it will become a rolling release? And the only problem is, that I have to be a little bit carefully with updates?

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#20 2010-03-21 16:27:10

anonymous
The Mystery Member
From: Arch Linux Forums
Registered: 2008-11-29
Posts: 9,418

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

That is correct. "testing" is rolling release and "squeeze" is not.

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#21 2010-03-21 18:47:13

schanall
#! CrunchBanger
From: Hamburg
Registered: 2008-12-20
Posts: 103

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

Thanks! So I will give it a try on my testing pc smile

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#22 2010-03-21 20:48:03

alon_h
#! Junkie
Registered: 2008-12-13
Posts: 269

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

No need to hurry, Squeeze will be testing for some time still (I'd guess half a year +/-).

a.

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#23 2010-03-21 21:46:35

habtool
Member
From: Ireland
Registered: 2008-12-17
Posts: 13

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

schanall wrote:

I'm on Statler now! Great work, it works like a charm. Thanks to all of you.

I'm not a native speaker and sometimes it is hard for me to understand what some people write. I know the answer to my question is given, but I want to be sure, that I understood everything.

When I edit the source.lst from "squeeze" to "testing" it will become a rolling release? And the only problem is, that I have to be a little bit carefully with updates?

squeeze IS currently testing, so changing it now wont make any practical difference.
Once squeeze is released, squeeze then transitions to stable, at that point, the testing repo will no longer be squeeze, as debian unstable/Sid packages will be moving into testing. (Testing gets frozen at some point before the release of testing (current testing is called squeeze and squeeze will be the next stable).

Point is, Statler, for now is based on testing, but will stick with squeeze, the next stable release of debian in a few months time.

If you after stabilty stick with stable/squeeze, if you you dont mind the odd breakage then go for testing.
But again, for now, testing and squeeze are the same packages.

Hope this did not confuse the issue smile

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#24 2010-03-21 23:44:53

atomicbricks
#! CrunchBanger
From: Cambridge, MA, USA
Registered: 2010-01-12
Posts: 100

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

I've been reading all of this stable vs testing stuff and am curious to know what exactly people mean by things like
"If you're after stabilty stick with stable, if you don't mind the odd breakage then go for testing."

Are these "breakages" major things that could cause me to to lose files, need to reinstall the OS, etc? Or are they minor nuisances like wallpapers getting screwed up, sporadic freezing of aplications,  etc?

I suppose the question is one of relative scale. I recognize that such "breakages" are unpredictable events, but the question is posed to those who have used Debian in the past, as I have zero experience with it.


Also, many thanks to all of you Alpha testers. I'm currently using my #! system to write my graduate school thesis and thus can't participate until it's done.

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#25 2010-03-21 23:53:14

snowpine
#!-a-roo
Registered: 2008-11-24
Posts: 2,922

Re: Suggestion: Support stable/unstable conversion

samoflange wrote:

I've been reading all of this stable vs testing stuff and am curious to know what exactly people mean by things like
"If you're after stabilty stick with stable, if you don't mind the odd breakage then go for testing."

Are these "breakages" major things that could cause me to to lose files, need to reinstall the OS, etc? Or are they minor nuisances like wallpapers getting screwed up, sporadic freezing of aplications,  etc?

I suppose the question is one of relative scale. I recognize that such "breakages" are unpredictable events, but the question is posed to those who have used Debian in the past, as I have zero experience with it.

In the Debian world, "Stable" means "frozen." Your system will not change, ever, except for minor bug fixes and security patches. "Unstable" means "constantly changing." You get new versions of applications as soon as they are available.

Obviously, if you need a super-reliable system (like if you are writing your thesis), you should choose Stable, because you will never get updates that may change functionality and/or introduce bugs.

I have never personally lost data with any Linux distro, including Debian Unstable.


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