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#1 2005-03-31 10:32:06

pixel
Member
From: Living in the Server Room
Registered: 2005-02-21
Posts: 119

[stable] repository

Does anyone from the dev team thought about creating [stable] tree for
people who would like to have a rock-solid Arch systems for production environment? It would be more fresh than [release] but not as bleeding edge as [current]. Right now i'm staying with the [release] tree as the no.1 thing for me is stability and the most feared thing are broken packages....


Favorite systems: ArchLinux, OpenBSD
"Yes, I love UNIX"

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#2 2005-03-31 10:46:37

cactus
Taco Eater
From: t͈̫̹ͨa͖͕͎̱͈ͨ͆ć̥̖̝o̫̫̼s͈̭̱̞͍̃!̰
Registered: 2004-05-25
Posts: 4,615
Website

Re: [stable] repository

*sigh*
If you need such stability, track your own package repo. Or..use debian.
I don't see the justification for it. Arch uses rolling releases. Part of the philosophy is to be more "bleeding edge". guess what. Blood is red. *gasp*

It also adds additional package maintenance issues. Look at debain. They spend a good deal of time managing multiple branches, and the end result...glacial progress. Sure, it is stable as all get out, but it is fairly old too.

hmm..I guess I didn't have anything constructive to add...
*puts on coat and goes outside*


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#3 2005-03-31 11:16:21

smith
Member
From: Crescent City, CA
Registered: 2005-02-19
Posts: 77

Re: [stable] repository

i agree with the cactus.  also, if you want to use arch in a production enivronment, then you should be updating regularly.  updates will often fix security issues/bugs and because arch uses a rolling release cycle no one is going to patch those older packages.  it might be worth wating a few days before an update to see if other people have issues.  there is no way to run a super stable arch system that is also (close to) bleeding edge.  shit will happen.


I have nothing to say, and I am saying it.

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#4 2005-03-31 11:23:15

uselpa
Member
From: Luxembourg
Registered: 2005-01-30
Posts: 29
Website

Re: [stable] repository

cactus wrote:

If you need such stability, track your own package repo.

If you do that, you may believe that you have a stable repo, but actually you will never know for sure. The more people use the *same* stable repo, the more you can be sure that it really is stable. Hence the need to do that centrally.

cactus wrote:

Or..use debian.

You forgot the smiley... Seriously, in Debian stable means outdated, and that's plain wrong. Stable only means stable, i.e. no security issues and no known bugs having been discovered for a determined amount of time (I am speaking about weeks or months, not years as in Debian).

cactus wrote:

I don't see the justification for it. Arch uses rolling releases. Part of the philosophy is to be more "bleeding edge".

The bleeding edge, i.e. -current, is the certification environment for -stable. -current is the base for -stable, it does not exclude it.

cactus wrote:

It also adds additional package maintenance issues. Look at debain. They spend a good deal of time managing multiple branches, and the end result...glacial progress. Sure, it is stable as all get out, but it is fairly old too.

Debian has several problems that Arch does not: too many platforms to support, ideological interest in all software being "free" as opposed to "open source" or "just works", a too long decision community process.

Arch, OTOH, could create a -stable branch with much less effort involved. I am not a package maintainer, but the dependencies issues is IMO not as much a problem as the other points I mentionned with regard to Debian.

A -stable branch would be a killer feature for Arch. There's two things which are prerequisites: a group of people to do it, and the desire to go into that direction (thus attracting more people).

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#5 2005-03-31 11:42:09

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
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Re: [stable] repository

cactus wrote:

Sure, it is stable as all get out, but it is fairly old too.

This is an ongoing subject and stops at the question of maintainer and server space.

What cactus said about stable, after awhile gets too old, is true. But maybe a "no-complain-repo" would do better. Example KDE-3.3.x stays in stable until the users stop complaining about next release(s). In this way most packages would stay one or two roll behind current.

Disadvantage with this type of repo system when mixing stable and current, some stable packages may conflict with newer current dependency packages. To maintain a stable repo can be quite tricky and turns easily into unstable. wink

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#6 2005-03-31 11:59:42

uselpa
Member
From: Luxembourg
Registered: 2005-01-30
Posts: 29
Website

Re: [stable] repository

rasat wrote:

This is an ongoing subject and stops at the question of maintainer and server space.

I believe there should be one coordinator, and a bunch of "testers". Work would be distributed among testers, the coordinator merely verifies that tests have been done and promotes to -stable.
Regarding server space, can't it be done with hard links or an equivalent solution?

rasat wrote:

What cactus said about stable, after awhile gets too old, is true. But maybe a "no-complain-repo" would do better. Example KDE-3.3.x stays in stable until the users stop complaining about next release(s). In this way most packages would stay one or two roll behind current.

The basic idea is right, i.e. a rolling -stable repo. But it should not be a no-complain repo, because then all you have as a criteria is time, and that's not enough.
You need to be sure that people actually have used all or the major parts of an application. I could imagine a kind of web application where for each package, you have a list of important subparts. Testers would confirm for each subpart that they use it and that it is stable. Promotion to -stable would be based on "sufficient" (tbd) postive reports on "sufficient" or all (tbd) subparts.

rasat wrote:

Disadvantage with this type of repo system when mixing stable and current, some stable packages may conflict with newer current dependency packages. To maintain a stable repo can be quite tricky and turns easily into unstable. wink

You must not complain if you mix -current and -stable ;-)
That's true for all other distros as well, it is not possible to test all combinations.

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#7 2005-03-31 12:18:14

Kern
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2005-02-09
Posts: 460

Re: [stable] repository

I believe there should be one coordinator, and a bunch of "testers". Work would be distributed among testers, the coordinator merely verifies that tests have been done and promotes to -stable.

great idea, well volunteered smile its time to "bell the cat" again

how many man-hours would you like to contribute as a coordinator or tester ?
maybe you could organise the new -stable branch you discuss.

im happy just using Arch because of what it is, not for what i can suggest other people modify, to suit my own personal needs.

If folks want a "stable" distro maybe its just a buzzword tag that implies the system is guaranteed not to have issues. Having been based with Redhat - Fedora, one of the leading commercially "stable" distros for a number of years, im happier with Arch. the -stable tag is illusory.

Isnt Windows a stable, all singing/dancing solid, commercial .... ? no erm, scratch that last

smile

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#8 2005-03-31 12:52:54

pjmattal
Forum Fellow
From: Boston, MA
Registered: 2003-12-24
Posts: 40

Re: [stable] repository

I've been using Arch on about 6 production servers now. It's great!

One particular thing to note: If you do all your package updates via pacman -S, they're very quickly reversible. Just go into /var/cache/pacman/pkg and find the old one and pacman -U ./<old package file>.

For me, this means every week or two, I run the updates on my servers. Yes, when I'm done, I have to test to make sure things are still working.. just a quick few tests, never taking more than a few minutes.

Then if something breaks, I roll back packages until I figure out what broke it.

Then I file a bug report.

Then, because I'm incredibly curious and also a developer, I usually figure out the solution and post a fix in Flyspray.

On the whole, I've had a problem with upgrades on my server at most 2 or 3 times in about an equal number of years.

- P

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#9 2005-03-31 12:56:50

uselpa
Member
From: Luxembourg
Registered: 2005-01-30
Posts: 29
Website

Re: [stable] repository

Kern wrote:

how many man-hours would you like to contribute as a coordinator or tester ?
maybe you could organise the new -stable branch you discuss.

Hard to tell, I have no experience with such a work. But yes, I would contribute, as either a tester or as the coordinator.

Prereq would be that I become more acquainted with Arch. It is not my main distro now, precisely because of the lack of a -stable branch. But I am willing to invest time into that if -stable is an accepted projet in the Arch community.

Another prereq is to have a critical mass of testers. Without it, all preparation work would be void. So I am calling for people to state their interest in helping out.

Kern wrote:

im happy just using Arch because of what it is, not for what i can suggest other people modify, to suit my own personal needs.

Fine, but that doesn't mean that people should not make suggestions, does it?

Kern wrote:

If folks want a "stable" distro maybe its just a buzzword tag that implies the system is guaranteed not to have issues. Having been based with Redhat - Fedora, one of the leading commercially "stable" distros for a number of years, im happier with Arch. the -stable tag is illusory.

It is not. If you were to run Arch in an environment where stability matters, you'd appreciate a -stable branch.

Kern wrote:

Isnt Windows a stable, all singing/dancing solid, commercial .... ? no erm, scratch that last

Windows only has a -stable branch, but is not stable (except maybe for 2003 server). Hence the idea to mark as stable only what has been sufficiently tested.

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#10 2005-03-31 13:01:11

pixel
Member
From: Living in the Server Room
Registered: 2005-02-21
Posts: 119

Re: [stable] repository

I don't think that -stable tag is illusory. From my own experience i can tell Arch is much more simpler to maintain and update than all those major RPM based distros and i would love to use it in the real production environment. With -current i can only hope that everything will be working (though i heard things ARE working rather painless). but I don't wanna hope, i wanna be sure that somebody out there had thoroughly tested those packages. Really i don't care if I am month or two behind the latest release, i just wanna make sure that it's WORKING and personally i dont have too much time on my hands to test those packages. and talking about KDE, i don't even need that in -stable tree smile I think that many people would like to see mainly packages related to server daemons and such.. and that being said I still wonder why there is no httpd 1.3.X package out there for Arch as it's still a major player on the server market. I know that Arch is a rather hobbyists based distro, but it's so damn good for servers also. It's so much simpler than RedHat that i can't even imagine people who after they tried out Arch would go back to the bloated RH...


Favorite systems: ArchLinux, OpenBSD
"Yes, I love UNIX"

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#11 2005-03-31 15:29:39

cmp
Member
Registered: 2005-01-03
Posts: 350

Re: [stable] repository

maybe sombody should simply make a list of server software. this way you could talk much better about the effort needed to create a stable branch.
btw. I think it would be cool to see arch in the server market, but I think for this far more support than just a forum and a wiki is needed

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#12 2005-03-31 15:40:39

uselpa
Member
From: Luxembourg
Registered: 2005-01-30
Posts: 29
Website

Re: [stable] repository

cmp wrote:

maybe sombody should simply make a list of server software. this way you could talk much better about the effort needed to create a stable branch.

Why just servers? A stable desktop is also interesting.

Anyway, selection of software will happen naturally. When testers mark software 'stable', it will be software they really use.

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#13 2005-03-31 15:54:56

Kern
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2005-02-09
Posts: 460

Re: [stable] repository

firstly, apologies for sounding cynical in my last. ive seen too many folks suggesting what to do or what would be a good idea etc without offering anything to the cause they are espousing, and no, its not wrong to ask questions.

For me, In short, Arch is Rock-solid enough.

It is my main distro now, regardless of "stable" tag or not. and as an (ex) Fedora user, i have no inclination to return to that as the main. smile
Arch has not needed any repairwork, nor has it let me down, yet.

Arch is fresh and new, and id hate to see that turn "glacial" as more things have to be done, nailed down, verified and so on beyond the tight mainstream release, and the roll-out of updates.

Production environment

This is the sticking point in most production environments: Accountability.

Most "pro" companies wont touch any OS, tagged stable or not, that doesnt have a paid service / team of support workers that can be held responsible should anything go wrong.

Check this link for production quality "rock solid" in a commercial / Production environment  smile

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/11/26 … rk_outage/

Be a devil, go on,  jump onboard Arch as it is.

:twisted:

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#14 2005-03-31 16:04:01

uselpa
Member
From: Luxembourg
Registered: 2005-01-30
Posts: 29
Website

Re: [stable] repository

Kern wrote:

Arch is fresh and new, and id hate to see that turn "glacial" as more things have to be done, nailed down, verified and so on beyond the tight mainstream release, and the roll-out of updates.

I fully agree with you that the process of creating a -stable branch must under no circumstances slow down the -current branch. As -stable should be based on -current, this slowing down would affect -stable also, and we don't want something like Debian...

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#15 2005-03-31 16:50:23

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
Website

Re: [stable] repository

Kern wrote:

For me, In short, Arch is Rock-solid enough.

It depends what type of work we are frequently using our machine. Example, in office work we don't want our printer to stop working or in multimedia our cd burning. Or web developing our ftp client. Currently I am annoyed with kde-3.4 when I lost all my bookmarks in kbear (ftp). New bookmark cannot be saved.

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#16 2005-03-31 17:27:55

Kern
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2005-02-09
Posts: 460

Re: [stable] repository

uselpa: ok, got you on that one, understood, yes agreed. smile

rasat:
ok i think i get the point, a repository with tested -stable, even tho only for a few weeks/months, gives you more confidence to install and run an application, than with a current one where you maybe more likely to discover any new faults, and suffer downtime.

What do you do if the package you require, isnt in -stable ? 
i guess all this is a game of risk balancing. stability v newness.

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#17 2005-03-31 17:47:09

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
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Re: [stable] repository

Kern wrote:

What do you do if the package you require, isnt in -stable ? 
i guess all this is a game of risk balancing. stability v newness.

The sad part, if Arch cannot provide a stable repo, hosting and secretary companies will not use Arch but Debian. They don't mind about newness as long as they get the work done. Same with many individuals who prefer a stable computing environment. But in their heart they would like to have the simplicity and lightweight of Arch. That's the bottom line clash here.

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#18 2005-03-31 18:35:36

Kern
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2005-02-09
Posts: 460

Re: [stable] repository

ah , yes, very clearly put.

fortunate i am, that my situation allows me to follow my heart and use Arch

smile

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#19 2005-03-31 19:56:39

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
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Re: [stable] repository

I had a talk with apeiro about stable repo, and he said there is one release repo when iso is released.

This release repo does as stable though not having all packages. If all (kde, gnome, etc) are included, then Arch has a "stable" repo, which get updated in every official release.
ftp://ftp.archlinux.org/release/os/i686/

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#20 2005-03-31 20:15:24

uselpa
Member
From: Luxembourg
Registered: 2005-01-30
Posts: 29
Website

Re: [stable] repository

What about security fixes?

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#21 2005-03-31 20:54:39

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
Website

Re: [stable] repository

uselpa wrote:

What about security fixes?

This requires to have someone to maintain the release packages, which then could be called as stable repo.

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#22 2005-03-31 22:07:20

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: [stable] repository

"Current' is pretty rock-solid, unless your hard drive happens to be batshit. And stuff from "Extra" almost never crashes. If you want a stable system, you might want to think a bit about using "Unstable" or certain stuff from the TURs... But most stuff is pretty stable.

(And one of the nice things about Linux in general is that an application crashing almost never crashes anything else...)

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#23 2005-04-01 10:23:53

pixel
Member
From: Living in the Server Room
Registered: 2005-02-21
Posts: 119

Re: [stable] repository

rasat wrote:

I had a talk with apeiro about stable repo, and he said there is one release repo when iso is released.

This release repo does as stable though not having all packages. If all (kde, gnome, etc) are included, then Arch has a "stable" repo, which get updated in every official release.
ftp://ftp.archlinux.org/release/os/i686/

Yes, that's what i'm currently using. and like uselpa said the only thing missing are security fixes.


Favorite systems: ArchLinux, OpenBSD
"Yes, I love UNIX"

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#24 2005-04-01 10:58:23

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
Website

Re: [stable] repository

If we find volunteers to help maintaining a stable repo based on release packages with included extra, any suggestion how to maintain?
There is no need of fixing or upgrading except security fixing. Occasionally upgrades of a particular packages can be made if knowing there are new features user are wanting. Its a question of monitoring.

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#25 2005-04-01 12:53:04

RedShift
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2004-07-16
Posts: 230

Re: [stable] repository

rasat: I have a few testmachines, I would glady try out packages.


:?

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