Is the future rolling?

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Is the future rolling?

Postby Danielsan » 2017-01-20 16:03

Hi guys, this is just my personal opinion, but for me it's quite clearly the future of the Linux distributions will be rolling. Personally I prefer follow the upstream, however I prefer the Debian approach than the Arch, probably is also because as Debian is older than Arch hence better organized respect the latter, more packages tested and maintained instead to have a big cauldron (I mean AUR) where you can only have trust on these packages available. Without forgetting the primary strength of Debian is within its organization.

Until now the packaging of the binaries has been intended one way only: upgrading; even Arch which is rolling by default is pretty cautious about downgrading. But now two OS, which make use of the Linux kernel, are rolling even if they are offering critical services. I am speaking about Android and Clearlinux, the former don't need presentation the second is the Intel Linux OS flagship, is also the current faster linux distribution due some aggressive optimizations during the compilation, and it serves as Intel business solution for containerization. For someone born under the conviction that only a stable os is useful for critical operations the idea of someone is offering a rolling os for the same scope could sound pretty insane. At least, I think its unusual. I knew that sid is somehow safer than testing but this doesn't mean "stable", however this two OS continue to delivery their binaries as rolling. I don't know if this is better or not, what I thought about it is probably this two OS are simply modern because they provide a simple way to do rollback. So you can install whatever you want and don't have problem to restore a previous package or downgrade and entire system subset if this doesn't work properly.

I believe the role of the maintainers is essential and is the key of many successes reached by Debian and generally by GNU and Linux, anyway Do you believe that Debian, without loosing its nature to aim being a stable OS, should be move forward and to implement a rollback feature? Do you believe the modern rolling distros will replace at a certain point the olders which are based on an elder packaging paradigm?
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby Bulkley » 2017-01-20 17:21

No. There are reasons for having a stable, non-rolling system. That's particularly true of servers. People who crave the newest shiny toy probably should look to an OS that provides it.

At times I wonder if any sort of desktop OS will slide to the background. People like their hand held devices and even smart refrigerators. Thoughts like this make me feel very old so I don't do it often. :)
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby HuangLao » 2017-01-20 17:38

IMO, rolling releases are the domain of testers, packagers some developers and hobbyists. You will not, nor should you see a rolling release anywhere near production boxes, whether a server or workstation. The potential for problems whether a bad upgrade or continuous security holes as the packages cannot be properly vetted is too great a threat for serious work. Now for the the categories already mentioned then have at it. By the way, Debian does have this feature (rolling) its called sid and meets the needs of those mentioned earlier.

We should create a wiki similar to Don't Break Debian, called Stop Trying to turn Debian into other distro's.
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby GarryRicketson » 2017-01-20 19:51

by HuangLao » We should create a wiki similar to Don't Break Debian, called Stop Trying to turn Debian into other distro's.

+100

I have no use for a "rolling release". I prefer a good solid. "old stable", system,
that keeps working the same for years.
And without needing to constantly needing to upgrade, then hours of jumping through
hoops to repair the damage done by the udates and upgrades.
That is the main reason I stopped using Linux Mint,.. constantly getting upgrade/update
notices,...etc.
There is no future for a "rolling release" in my future. And there is no future
for "Debi-windows", and "Linux-windows", or any other distros that so many windows
lovers turn Debian into, or try to.
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby Danielsan » 2017-01-20 20:14

You don't break anything if rolling back is painless, I knew the importance of a stable system but I think at Intel aren't so stupid to offer a rolling system as their cloud platform.

Basically rolling back means to use bundles instead of packages (snap, flatpack, appimage), even if exist different approaches (Gentoo, Nixos/Guixsd). For my use I don't care if the system is a bit older, until is safe, but the kernel; however I would like to use for some software the latest version also for bug triaging but sometimes it would be preferable having several copies of the same software, I mean the one signed as stable and the latest upstream available. With Debian from the repo you can not have two version of the same software, you can upgrade but downgrade is not always safe.
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby Segfault » 2017-01-20 20:21

HuangLao wrote:IMO, rolling releases are the domain of testers, packagers some developers and hobbyists. You will not, nor should you see a rolling release anywhere near production boxes, whether a server or workstation. The potential for problems whether a bad upgrade or continuous security holes as the packages cannot be properly vetted is too great a threat for serious work. Now for the the categories already mentioned then have at it. By the way, Debian does have this feature (rolling) its called sid and meets the needs of those mentioned earlier.

People are running Gentoo server farms and Gentoo is rolling. One node is used as a testbed and binhost for others. If the upgrade works and passes testing then it is distributed to other nodes in binary form, no need to recompile it in every box.
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby arochester » 2017-01-20 21:32

Wikipedia - Rolling Distribution
As of March 2012, discussions are ongoing among Debian developers (on Debian developer mailing list) regarding a proposal of developing a rolling release edition of Debian called DebianCUT (DebianCUT unofficial website) — where "CUT" stands for constantly usable testing. This has been suggested to be either a new edition of Debian or to replace (or be a modified or re-branded version of) Debian testing.


https://www.reddit.com/r/debian
What happened with Debian CUT?
Constantly Usable Testing made a lot of headlines in 2011, but the (unofficial) site is gone and a cursory DDG did not reveal any trombones.
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby Danielsan » 2017-01-20 22:29

WOW, I completely removed about Debian CUT, it would be really cool indeed, however without a rollback feature we would have something still incomplete.
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby Bulkley » 2017-01-21 00:03

GarryRicketson wrote:I have no use for a "rolling release". I prefer a good solid. "old stable", system,
that keeps working the same for years.


I love having two machines. One runs Old-Stable, Wheezy, because it has to work - no excuses, it has to work. The other runs Testing so I can play; if I break it the world doesn't end.
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby GarryRicketson » 2017-01-21 00:26

I have some extra laptops, I use for experimenting also. But for a server, and
my main desktop, I need a reliable system.
Also use VM's, for the "experimenting".
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby vbrummond » 2017-01-21 00:36

Rolling is good because a lot of hardware is in production and Linux barely scrapes by support for it bit by bit. A lot of code is designed to be usable with each release, so it's not like a distribution running constantly in beta. The problem is when you have a device and it works exactly as intended, is it really worth disruption and potential problems to upgrade for a few percents of performance? Nope.
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby cpoakes » 2017-01-21 05:10

I'll wager Betteridge's Law applies to forum topics too: No.
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby mor » 2017-01-21 10:06

I would like to add that stability is not reliability.
For a server and other delicate production machines not having software constantly change is also of the utmost importance.
When downtime means money being lost by the minute, even something as trivial (well, for a desktop adventurer) as having to check and maybe update a script, is simply not acceptable.
Being able to roll back with relative ease is totally irrelevant when you don't want to upgrade in the first place.

This is what a stable system means, the reliability is a byproduct.

Bye
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-01-21 10:11

Danielsan wrote:Do you believe that Debian, without loosing its nature to aim being a stable OS, should be move forward and to implement a rollback feature?

No, I don't think that the release model should be changed.

EDIT: anyway, Debian already has a rollback system, they stole it from openSUSE :mrgreen:

Do you believe the modern rolling distros will replace at a certain point the olders which are based on an elder packaging paradigm?

No.
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Re: Is the future rolling?

Postby Nili » 2017-01-21 11:20

I mainly prefer the way it is, stable debian. If i had in hurry there is testing/sid. If'm obsessed for rolls there is Gentoo, Arch and many others on web.
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