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#1 2015-01-03 01:25:16

Sarckz
Member
Registered: 2014-06-11
Posts: 10
Website

Stable vs Unstable

I always wanted to ask several people about what they prefer, but when you search on Internet for those answers you usually find an entire technical explanation and a not so convincing personal one.

So this thread is for everyone that would like to say not only why they prefer a certain branch but what are the limitations and/or benefits they get from it. How choosing that affected their life with Linux/etc, and they are more than welcome to give examples.

In my case I went ~95% of the time with Unstable/Bleeding edge software, even when using a BSD. That was because I use Unix-like systems for desktop tasks, and wasn't very happy with "old" software. That changed with Crunchbang because now I feel I have everything I need.

Anyway, feel free to share your experiences/opinions here  ]:D

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#2 2015-01-03 02:36:58

Alad
Software Satan
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 1,512

Re: Stable vs Unstable

We've had a few of those discussions, did you search the forums also?  {)

"Stable" is just something that doesn't change. CentOS can break just as badly as Arch or whatever can, in my experience. That doesn't mean there are no differences - keep in mind what people intended "their" distro for. Debian is NOT meant as a rolling release, for example, and Sid/testing will break often and hard. Debian Stable is the intended product.

On a different note, I like projects that have a strong initial goal and stick to it, not those that reinvent themselves every major release.

Last edited by Alad (2015-01-03 02:43:23)

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#3 2015-01-03 02:46:38

machinebacon
#! unstable
From: China
Registered: 2009-07-02
Posts: 6,826
Website

Re: Stable vs Unstable

I just randomly picked a distro and then randomly picked a release model. Not sure how Sid 'breaks often' - it's rather the packages the user pulls in /gtk3/ wink


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#4 2015-01-03 14:04:10

g33zr
#! Die Hard
From: Never Never Land
Registered: 2013-02-19
Posts: 635

Re: Stable vs Unstable

As a n00b, I'm not sure I can tell whether #! stable performs much differently from #! Animal (sid), and I've run both on my desk- and laptop. I've been running #! sid on my desktop for about 3 mos. and it's been surprisingly stable after frequent updates/upgrades and 2 kernel updates. That said, I recently installed #! stable on my laptop, using lvm partitions, which ran fine, but when I upgraded to unstable and began tinkering with smxi, I borked the system.

Does bleeding-edge software proffers a clear-cut advantage in performance? I don't notice a difference with the software I use daily: e.g., LibreOffice, Icedove, Iceweasel, Clementine, Sakura, among others. To me, the only advantage to running #! with sid is that you don't have to reinstall #! when Corenominal updates it, which isn't something you normally have to do often anyway.  smile


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#5 2015-01-03 22:17:19

Sarckz
Member
Registered: 2014-06-11
Posts: 10
Website

Re: Stable vs Unstable

g33zr wrote:

Does bleeding-edge software proffers a clear-cut advantage in performance? I don't notice a difference with the software I use daily: e.g., LibreOffice, Icedove, Iceweasel, Clementine, Sakura, among others.

That is a nice answer  ]:D

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#6 2015-01-03 22:43:50

damo
#! gimpbanger
From: N51.5 W002.8 (mostly)
Registered: 2011-11-24
Posts: 5,434

Re: Stable vs Unstable

g33zr wrote:

Does bleeding-edge software proffers a clear-cut advantage in performance? I don't notice a difference with the software I use daily: e.g., LibreOffice, Icedove, Iceweasel, Clementine, Sakura, among others.

Well if I want to use the latest GIMP, I found it is a bit tricky bl**dy impossible trying to compile it in stable!


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#7 2015-01-03 22:50:24

lowrider
#! Die Hard
From: Germany
Registered: 2011-09-10
Posts: 749

Re: Stable vs Unstable

If one want to or have to use the latest and greatest nameyourapp then stable perhaps is not the way to go. Differences in speed? I dont see any. I use (#!) stable cause i trust on it and unstable for the fun and learning expieriences.


came for the distro, stayed for the community
streamripper :: smxi

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#8 2015-01-03 23:16:04

jdonaghy
The Manatee Whisperer
Registered: 2014-03-12
Posts: 925

Re: Stable vs Unstable

I prefer unstable because I've never found it to be particularly unstable. There are no real disadvantages for me, and so I prefer to have all the newer packages right at my fingertips whenever I realize I need them. It's mostly just a matter of convenience. Granted, I've rarely run Debian as of late. Mostly Arch and Gentoo. I think Gentoo would be the best balance if I were to concern myself with that sort of thing.


"If you can't control your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life."
    --Bill Watterson

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#9 2015-01-03 23:43:12

lowrider
#! Die Hard
From: Germany
Registered: 2011-09-10
Posts: 749

Re: Stable vs Unstable

Unstable in the meaning of debian is what other flavours of linux called stable imo. To be clear about that statement i run several flavours of sid via multiple boot or virtualbox on various hardware for years and sid is "surprise, surprise" much more stable than expected. Of course you need a basic (and sometimes a bit advanced) understanding how a linux system and apt works but i never ended with an unbootable system. Same i could say about arch (just stay away from aur unless you know what you are doing).
Ubuntu or Mint for example for me breaks more often as the so called unstable ones like debian sid or arch.


came for the distro, stayed for the community
streamripper :: smxi

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#10 2015-01-04 00:30:51

hhh
Cityspeak
Registered: 2010-08-04
Posts: 3,253

Re: Stable vs Unstable

An oldie but a goody...
Which Debian?

Also old, but Raphael's the man...
5 reasons unstable doesn't deserve its name

I used sid for ages but switched to stable during a period where I wasn't using my computer for a couple of months at a time. I found sid caused a lot less problems if I could update it at least weekly and if I had time to check for possible breakages before updating (apt-list bugs, siduction & linuxbbq upgrade warnings forums, etc...) Things are more likely to break if you're upgrading 287 packages all at once.

I upgraded squeeze to jessie when it was frozen at the beginning of November, the updates have been mild since then.

tl;dr

Got time to tinker? unstable

Set it and forget it; stable

Last edited by hhh (2015-01-04 00:32:37)


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#11 2015-01-04 00:58:20

Alad
Software Satan
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 1,512

Re: Stable vs Unstable

lowrider wrote:

Unstable in the meaning of debian is what other flavours of linux called stable imo. To be clear about that statement i run several flavours of sid via multiple boot or virtualbox on various hardware for years and sid is "surprise, surprise" much more stable than expected. Of course you need a basic (and sometimes a bit advanced) understanding how a linux system and apt works but i never ended with an unbootable system. Same i could say about arch (just stay away from aur unless you know what you are doing).
Ubuntu or Mint for example for me breaks more often as the so called unstable ones like debian sid or arch.

I guess it depends on use-cases... Debian Unstable lasts anywhere between 2 hours and 2 days before I break it completely,  the only way I broke Arch in over 6 months was by (accidentally 8o ) overwriting my partitions.

Anyway, after the heavenly praise of "It Shall Roll" in this thread, let me emphasize - rolling release is NOT something to take lightly.

PS: GTK3 must burn  mad

Last edited by Alad (2015-01-04 00:59:11)

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#12 2015-01-04 01:23:13

porkpiehat
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2012-10-02
Posts: 1,007

Re: Stable vs Unstable

Alad wrote:

I guess it depends on use-cases...

Or user cases... (-: Like lowrider, I also have sid installs that are a few years old, and have had a few random problems, but nothing that could not be fixed quickly (and which taught me something useful in the process). I also have stable installs at the base of most of my test machines, just so I have somewhere safe to boot if things go horribly wrong in my weird experimental systems. I use a mix of stable, sid, and weird wherever each seems most appropriate.

alad wrote:

PS: GTK3 must burn  mad

See there's your problem right there. Just say no to GTK, (-:

Last edited by porkpiehat (2015-01-04 05:09:10)

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#13 2015-01-04 01:43:15

lowrider
#! Die Hard
From: Germany
Registered: 2011-09-10
Posts: 749

Re: Stable vs Unstable

Alad wrote:

... Debian Unstable lasts anywhere between 2 hours and 2 days before I break it completely:

8) you are hitting sid with the hammer of thor, right?  ]:D


came for the distro, stayed for the community
streamripper :: smxi

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#14 2015-01-04 14:13:56

Nili
#! Die Hard
From: 127.0.0.1
Registered: 2013-03-20
Posts: 811
Website

Re: Stable vs Unstable

/testing  {)  tongue


# Debian GNU/Linux 8:8.2 (netinst/stable)
# Packages Installed: 541
# Linux debian 3.16.0-4-686-pae #1 SMP Debian 3.16.7-ckt11-1+deb8u4 (2015-09-19) i686 GNU/Linux
# Startup finished in 2.850s (kernel) + 6.473s (userspace) = 9.324s

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#15 2015-01-04 16:25:03

Alad
Software Satan
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 1,512

Re: Stable vs Unstable

^^  lol  I do have a knack for breaking things. I remember at college when I used the Ubuntu PCs - first they had to delete my user account (it got corrupted - even before using it  8o ), and 20 minutes later I got a kernel panic. 5 minutes after reboot I got another one - the admin said he'd never seen something like that before.  lol

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#16 2015-01-04 18:41:44

tknomanzr
#! Die Hard
From: Heavener, OK
Registered: 2014-12-09
Posts: 777

Re: Stable vs Unstable

I get the best of both worls. My aging desktop tracks stable. It gives me rock solid performance and performs nicely on it. However, my laptop, being considerably newer benefitted immensly from tracking testing, and now sid. Since I moved it forward, a number of niggling issues have resolved themselves, most notably terrible flash video performance.

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#17 2015-01-04 23:12:07

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Re: Stable vs Unstable

My first attempt to roll with Unstable was with CrunchBang, tracking Debian Unstable.  That ended with me booting into a black screen, which I wasn't able to resolve.  I'm certain it had something to do with an xorg.server upgrade and my legacy AMD GPU.  Someone suggested Siduction since it's developed to track Debian Unstable.  I used the LXDE version for awhile.  It wasn't bad.  I did experience some minor issues, but the system never completely broke.

I gave Antergos, an Arch respin, a try and liked it, but didn't care for being responsible for checking install scripts for packages from the AUR.

I'm now playing around with antiX, which defaults to tracking Debian Testing.  I want to see what tracking Debian Testing is like.

I've never desired to run Debian Testing/Unstable for performance reasons.  It's always been for the newer packages.  However, I came across a post that correctly (IMO) stated what users really want:  a stable OS with new app packages.  For the most part, users really don't need newer OS packages.  I suppose newer kernels are nice if you have newer hardware that isn't supported with an older kernel.

I'm almost content running Debian Stable and pulling newer app packages from the Backports repo, downloading from the official site, or running standalone binaries.  I haven't taken the time to learn how to compile from source yet.

This may all change though as I've recently purchased new hardware.  I'll find out how well supported everything is once I get CrunchBang 11 installed on both machines.

Last edited by KrunchTime (2015-01-04 23:14:31)


Linux User #586672
Come and Die -- Kyle Idleman

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#18 2015-01-05 00:43:37

machinebacon
#! unstable
From: China
Registered: 2009-07-02
Posts: 6,826
Website

Re: Stable vs Unstable

"Dear Forums, drinking which bleach causes more harm? The one with the red safety cap or the one with the blue safety cap?" big_smile


Sweaty lads picking up the soap | I love the new "Ignore user" button

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#19 2015-01-05 11:11:40

Alad
Software Satan
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 1,512

Re: Stable vs Unstable

^ /thread

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#20 2015-01-07 00:19:05

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Re: Stable vs Unstable

machinebacon wrote:

"Dear Forums, drinking which bleach causes more harm? The one with the red safety cap or the one with the blue safety cap?" big_smile

lol  lol


Linux User #586672
Come and Die -- Kyle Idleman

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#21 2015-01-21 16:59:26

broseph
#! Member
Registered: 2012-05-09
Posts: 88

Re: Stable vs Unstable

I prefer stable. The software is old, but effective. I hardly ever have to worry about my system going bonkers because I ran an update command. Testing is nice for newer software, but I always have minor issues with it; for example like a program will crash now and then. I wish I could have patience for bleeding edge software, but I can't. I understand the appeal of unstable repos; Debian likes to take its time with its software, sometimes too much time. My experience with unstable/bleeding edge has never been a good one. Though I will say I am not a software guru. So maybe if I was I would love unstable. For now, I will stick to stable and testing.


All hail the Grand Garboozle!

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#22 2015-01-25 01:43:12

DogMatix
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2012-05-04
Posts: 34

Re: Stable vs Unstable

Stable vs Unstable

Looking at this from a playground (fight... fight... fight...) scenario I couldn't hazard a guess.

In the the rational man's mind. I would imagine the developers are giving us a clue as to which may be, in their considered opinion, the least likely to be troublesome by using a cryptic naming policy.

I might be wrong though in which case I'd install Happy Shopper Bleach that is based on Debian Insane.


Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William Burroughs

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#23 2015-01-25 02:10:44

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 13,970

Re: Stable vs Unstable

^ Lol.

DogMatix wrote:

Stable vs Unstable

Looking at this from a playground (fight... fight... fight...) scenario I couldn't hazard a guess.

It's like the "cavemen vs. astronauts" thought experiment, right? wink  Assuming the hardware and the user's needs are both met by both stable and unstable, stable would win.

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#24 2015-01-25 02:12:24

hinto
#! Windbag
From: Cary, NC
Registered: 2010-12-08
Posts: 1,487

Re: Stable vs Unstable

I stick to calling it sid.  "unstable" is a bit of a misnomer.  Similar to Here Be Dragons
-Hinto


"Sometimes I wish I hadn't taken the red pill" -Me

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#25 2015-01-25 02:31:47

Sector11
#!'er to BL'er
From: SR11 Cockpit
Registered: 2010-05-05
Posts: 15,667
Website

Re: Stable vs Unstable

I'm using CrunchBang Stable v24 "Fazoobs".

Just got back from the future and I gotta tell you - it is Sweet!  No way I can show you a screenshot because it's in 3D.

I always use "Stable"


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