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markb
Titel: Change default release to testing rather than unstable?  BeitragVerfasst am: 05.06.2006, 23:43 Uhr



Anmeldung: 09. Aug 2004
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I asked this question in another thread but did not get a proper reply (admittedly it was off-topic there). I am tiring of the instability of the sid/unstable repositories. Problems are too frequent and it takes too much time chasing solutions etc.

Possibly it would improve things if I changed to a default testing distribution? It seems that testing is only 2 weeks or so behind unstable. Does anybody know the best way to do this with Kanotix? Is it as easy as swapping the Pin-Priority on the unstable and testing releases in the /etc/apt/preferences file? I would like standard upgrades to default against the testing distribution, but (possibly?) still allow me to upgrade specific packages from unstable.

Or should I just join the herd and go over to (k)ubuntu? Traurig
 
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michael7
Titel: Kanotix based on "etch"  BeitragVerfasst am: 06.06.2006, 00:41 Uhr



Anmeldung: 24. Mai 2005
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I saw your post on another thread.
http://www.kanotix.com/PNphpBB2-viewtop ... rt-15.html

Perhaps this review will be helpful.
http://www.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=06/05/25/146242

I too have thought about a version of Kanotix based on etch (or testing). It's a powerful idea-- all of the brilliance of Kanotix with more stability.

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hubi
Titel: Kanotix based on "etch"  BeitragVerfasst am: 06.06.2006, 01:39 Uhr



Anmeldung: 22. Jan 2006
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There are similar transitions in testing as well. The question is: where do you get fixes and informations from? I think, here they handle Sid brilliantly.

hubi

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michael7
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 06.06.2006, 02:47 Uhr



Anmeldung: 24. Mai 2005
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hubi,

I love Kanotix. I hope my comments did not make you think otherwise. Because Kanotix is based on sid, however, one must be ever vigilant when upgrading. Kanotix is a distro for enthusiasts and sometimes I'm more enthusiastic than other times. Usually, I'm less enthusiastic just after I've broken my installation. Sehr glücklich

I agree with you completely when you said:
Zitat:
here they handle Sid brilliantly



markb,

Perhaps an alternative would be a hard disk installation of Knoppix, which is based on testing and unstable. I've had a difficult time getting KDE to behave on etch.

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hubi
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 06.06.2006, 03:02 Uhr



Anmeldung: 22. Jan 2006
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michael7 hat folgendes geschrieben::
Usually, I'm less enthusiastic just after I've broken my installation. Sehr glücklich.


Happened to me twice, both times I dist-upgraded without having a glance to this site beforehand. But twice I was able to fix it with the help from people here.

Although I started to appreciate the fact, that I have most of the time a second computer around with internet-access. That helps a lot.

I tried Knoppix when I had less experience with Linux, but the first dist-upgrade broke my installation, and I was not able to recover it (about 18 months ago). But I was inexperienced in handling apt-preferences.

There was a distribution around based on Etch: Mepis. Maybe they are still using Etch, but there were rumours, they might switch to Ubuntu as main repository. But I have no experience with that distribution.

Greetings
hubi

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h2
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 06.06.2006, 05:29 Uhr



Anmeldung: 12. Mar 2005
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markb, the easiest way to test your idea is to just setup another partition and try it with another kanotix install.

The things that break before fixes are posted won't be solvable anytime soon, if ever, but there are completely workable solutions to implementing all the known fixes, it's not that hard to do, I'm using that stuff on all my own installs and it works fine. But you always have to be careful, and if you are using your box for real work, not just messing around, backups before distupgrades are not optional in my opinion, the risk is there, and you can't pretend it isn't.

I think kanotix balances between two points: first, it's clearly a distro that 'enthusiasts', pc literate types, will have better success with over time than average users. Second, the kanotix guys have made it very easy for average users to install it and get their setup running. The problem is it's also very easy to break the system if you use dist-upgrade without following the stuff, or, worse, without having any idea of what you are doing.

Last night on irc, for example, one guy was posting for help because his system was breaking during a dist-upgrade, and he was doing it in kde. There is very little you can do to help that kind of user.

Some things could be massively improved, for example, a single page, chronologically ordered, with documentation of known issues, fixes for those, and what version they apply to, is really a necessity. There's other ways to do that too, it's not very hard, I'll have one way running fairly well in a few weeks.

irc is an absolutely horrible way to present this type of information, you have to know the problem exists first to find the solution, that's not particulary useful, although irc is great tool to use for present issues, things in the here and now. But it leaves zero documentation to be used by people, can't be searched, cant' be scanned for data.

Unfortunately, irc is where you have to go to find most answers, which is not how it should be, the website should do that automatically. But that's life, every project has its strengths and weaknesses.

But the risk is always there.

On the plus side, all my installs, all my test boxes, all are upto date, non iusing a kernel older than 2.6.16.14. And they are all working, going on 6 months, I'll see how far it goes. But it takes far too much time and energy to make that happen safely, it's not realistic to ask average users to expend that time, and it's also not necessary at all, just takes a change in thinking.

The problem here is that kanotix has some really good hackers working on it, slh, kano, the others, but like most hackers, they hate documenting stuff. kano, for example, doesn't even put version numbers on his scripts.

Fixing these issues is not hard. Writing a dist-upgrade script was not particularly hard, I use it on all my installs, and it works fine. But zero guarantees, it's just a tool to help memory. That was one way to handle it, there are many others, it just has to happen.

the ubuntu/kubuntu method of freezing sid in universe is not a way I want to go, I like getting fixes fast, I like seeing software evolve, very little of the stuff I use is really fully developed, it's improving all the time.

Mepis has moved to kubuntu I believe, sid is just very challenging to work with, and kanotix does the best job of that out there of any distro.
 
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slh
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 06.06.2006, 09:25 Uhr



Anmeldung: 16. Aug 2004
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Moving to testing is not going to happen for the time being, unless some entity is willing to cover the expenses to do so, as it would require a lot more work for us to:
- keep much more care of security issues (which aren't provided by debian for testing (in time))
- set up a way more complicated buildd network to build our software four times (etch, sid, i386, amd64)
- doing backports where needed (current kernel depend on current udev versions etc.)
- setting up our own mirror network, as it would force much more load onto our servers (because we would have to provide much more software on our own).
- commit much more time to the project that probably won't be possible to do in our free time.

Personally we aren't interested in "debian testing" at all (don't think we could drop efforts on sid and move to testing completly, because we'll always need to keep track of "unstable" to get our releases stable and "tested" --> which directly results in doing all things twice and to coordinate a lot more between branches), so these things aren't going to happen on a "voluntary good will" basis. For further information concerning this topic (especially why we personally don't consider testing) please use the search function, it has been discussed in depth a few times already. But again, if someone is willing to sponsor those efforts, it is certainly possible to move to "stable", "testing", "sid", Ubuntu, whatever - doing that is just not in our private interest.
 
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hubi
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 06.06.2006, 10:06 Uhr



Anmeldung: 22. Jan 2006
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Wohnort: Budapest
slh,

thank you for that clarification. Kanotix became my distribution of choice just because it is Sid and just because of the quality you provide with it. I usually want new software because of new features I was waiting for and helplessly broke SuSE or Kubuntu with doing that. There is no second distribution which is able to provide what I dreamt of:

- excellent and very new Live-CDs
- upgradeable hardware-installation
- support for all kind of hardware
- kernels, fixes and scripts to keep an installation up2date
- a community here and in IRC which cares

At the moment you provide an unbeated and probably unbeatable service.

Your private interests and mine as Linux-user are definitely matching, and I really would like to thank you all for that.

hubi

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h2
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 06.06.2006, 20:04 Uhr



Anmeldung: 12. Mar 2005
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slh, that makes complete sense, there's no reason for kanotix to move to testing itself, for the reasons you listed. I know I'm using it to be using sid, that's the point.

If I want to move to testing I might switch my own install, or a test install, so to speak, to testing repositories, or by changing the priority order, but of course at that point I could not count on or expect any help with technical issues from the kanotix team, since I'd be using a non-standard version.

Keep up the great work on this stuff, whatever you guys are doing is working.

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kenyee
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 06.06.2006, 21:05 Uhr



Anmeldung: 21. Jan 2006
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Sounds like what some folks want is "how do I switch my Kanotix install to use testing instead of sid" Wiki entry Smilie I think it's just a matter of switching /etc/apt/sources.list to use the testing repos, but I'm curious if there's a better documented way to do it.

I prefer to keep Kanotix in sid because some people really do need the latest and greatest (e.g., when you want to use the latest and greatest motherboard like the nVidia C51/6150 problem where it took even sid around 3 months after release to make it usable)...
 
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h2
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 06.06.2006, 21:09 Uhr



Anmeldung: 12. Mar 2005
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kenyee, same here, I had a glitch on my laptop that got fixed at some point, that was a kernel matter though, but could also have been related to something else in sid.

I'm liking what I'm seeing in sid in terms of the movement of unstable, little glitches get fixed all the time in the software I use frequently, especially all the k[xxxxxx] type stuff, all the kde apps are jumping ahead really quickly in terms of features and bug fixes.

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slam
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 06.06.2006, 21:29 Uhr



Anmeldung: 05. Okt 2004
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Zitat:
It seems that testing is only 2 weeks or so behind unstable.

That's one of the biggest myths in Debian history. Testings is intended for "testing" a future stable release - not more, not less. It is absolutely no good base for a working distribution of Debian, and most distributors have left it after painfull experiments.

If all your hardware works and all your software needs are satisfied with stable - go stable, and apply security updates from time to time. If you need features from sid - go sid, and stay there. Kanotix is the best place to stay in sid. To run dist-upgrade (pure upgrade is not recommended!) on Kanotix, read up our news before for possible hacks needed.

Greetings,
Chris

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anticapitalista
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 06.06.2006, 21:49 Uhr



Anmeldung: 23. Mai 2005
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Well I have had no issues at all with kanotix dist-upgrades that weren't fixed by you great people here on the forum. To be honest I have used your advice, warnings to upgrade my Mepis 3.4.3 (Sid repos) as well - with no problems too. I'm using kanotix 2005-04 installed a day after release. I dist-upgrade regularly, usually every other day and I use apt-listbugs and read this forum for warnings.
kanotix is awesome.

Also, to add to the previous comment. The new Mepis has abandoned etch in favour of Ubuntu "sid" repos. (BTW nothing to do with Kubuntu) precisely because as Slam says, basing a distro on etch (like the Mepis 3.4 series tried) was shown to be "problematic" at best. I have kept my Mepis 3.4.3, changed it from etch to sid and just like kanotix, no issues at all with dist-upgrading. Also someone I know who has SphinxOS 4.5 has been upgrading through Sid without problems too.

So my point. I suppose it is that a Sid based distro, regularly upgraded, is more "stable' than an Etch based one.

Added: I use fluxbox as my wm though I have kept KDE and I upgrade it (bit of a waste really for me) and my box is about 5 years old.
A question: It "appears" that a lot of problems that people experience have to do with KDE (and/or xorg). For you non-KDE users out there, fluxbox, gnome, e17 et al are you havinfg the same problems? ie is it really a KDE thing? Just a thought.

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ice
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 07.06.2006, 00:41 Uhr



Anmeldung: 25. Feb 2005
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slam hat folgendes geschrieben::

That's one of the biggest myths in Debian history. Testings is intended for "testing" a future stable release - not more, not less. It is absolutely no good base for a working distribution of Debian, and most distributors have left it after painfull experiments.


And unstable is intended for... what? Destabilize your installation?

I don't understand why you call it a "myth", in direct contradiction of what Debian says and what everyone can verify for themselves by looking at the package list. If you wanted to build Kanotix today based on Etch, you would get:

- kernel 2.6.15
- xorg 7.0.20
- kde 3.5.2
- gcc 4.0.3

If that's not bleeding enough for some, maybe those people should forget about Debian and join the Gentoo flying circus. Debian is not a bleeding edge distribution and never will be. Even Mandrake had Xorg a full year before it showed up in Sid.

For all practical purposes, Testing is Unstable with most if not all critical bugs fixed. I haven't done a slavish comparison but I would say a 2-3 weeks spread is typical. It makes perfect sense for Kanotix to be based on Sid, as long as it remains clear that regular users (as opposed to developers or compulsive tinkerers) should stay the hell away from Sid as a base for upgrade.
 
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slam
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 07.06.2006, 10:23 Uhr



Anmeldung: 05. Okt 2004
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Unstable is the place where all bug fixes, developments and security related changes enter Debian in an more or less organized way. It is unstable by definition, because it's also the place where interoperability between packages is tested and fixed (a process that starts again in testing when packages enter there, so you don't win anything from this perspective by switching to testing. Also keep in mind, that testing is definitely the most insecure place in Debian). What Kanotix does is handling and training this beast for you to make it stable. Every Kanotix release is rock-stable, and very secure, because it contains all the most recent packages.

If one reads up our news before dist-upgrading (and asks in forum or irc if necessary), it also remains rock-stable and secure after a dist-upgrade. Kanotix is nothing else than a higly controlled and organized Debian sid, which can be up-to-date even on a daily base if you wish so. But if all applications already do what you need to work, there is really no reason for upgrading - just wait for the next release and update from there.

Looking at the package lists and comparing sid and testing today does not tell the hole story. You might find major packages differing just a few weeks, but we will enter freeze times again, when the next stable release will be prepared, and then testing ages rapidly. We have seen differences in package age between testing and sid of more than 1 year in the past. some might still remember those days. This was one of the primary motivations to create Ubuntu, by the way.

Additional please keep in mind, that many people out there depend on smaller, not so prominent packages, which even now are already old and useless in testing. They use Kanotix, because they want a stable system to work on where "their" application runs in it's latest version. One does not need to be a developer, hacker or geek to have such needs - ask musicians, graphics artists, web designers, writers, .... or simply people with a brand new laptop and wireless needs. Smilie

Greetings,
Chris

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michael7
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 07.06.2006, 13:41 Uhr



Anmeldung: 24. Mai 2005
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Just for the sake of curiousity, I've been looking for a distro based on etch/testing to try but haven't found one. I thought that Xandros was based on etch but reading their home page last night, it is apparently based on sarge. Bruce Perens' UserLinux distro, which was based on etch, is dormant.

I have also tried to install Debian etch on another partition and can not get KDE to work. So, I loaded sarge, with the intention of changing my sources to the etch repos, but it won't recognize the ethernet adapter on my new computer (AMD64 dual core with ASUS mobo).

Obviously, the complexities of etch are beyond my capabilities and knowledge to resolve.

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anticapitalista
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 07.06.2006, 15:27 Uhr



Anmeldung: 23. Mai 2005
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You could try Mepis 3.4.3. It is based on Etch and is debian compliant too.
Trouble is that it's a bit out of date (appeared about the same time as 2005-04) so to be "fully etched" you will need to upgrade.

BTW It is not standardised for 64 bit unlike the kanotix-64

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michael7
Titel:   BeitragVerfasst am: 08.06.2006, 13:25 Uhr



Anmeldung: 24. Mai 2005
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anti,

I have Mepis 3.4-3 installed on another partition and occasionally wander back over there. It is a good distro and for the sake of experimentation, I may try an "etch" upgrade. Thanks for the suggestion.

michael

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