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#1 2012-03-14 15:17:37

hadrons123
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From: chennai
Registered: 2011-10-07
Posts: 1,249

Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

I know arch prefers to use more vanilla packages from upstream rather than patching like fedora or debian etc. As I am an arch user, rather than a software contributor, I was concerned , if I was missing out on useful patches which other distros make. I am not a programmer, so I can't go reading all the source code and understand or tell the differences. If anyone can enlighten me on this, I would be happy.

Last edited by hadrons123 (2012-03-14 15:18:31)


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#2 2012-03-14 15:39:32

karol
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Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

You still can use other packages, like Ubuntu-patched xorg: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=52184

We believe that patches should go upstream so that all distros can benefit from them.

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#3 2012-03-14 17:31:35

shikitohno
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From: NY
Registered: 2011-09-17
Posts: 36

Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

If you've got a specific program in mind, chances are you can just find out what the various patches do with some googling.  Check out the developer's mailing lists for what you're interested in.  Typically, when people are submitting patches, they'll include something to the effect of, "This patch for foo adds the following features, or fixes the following bugs."  You can also usually see this on websites where the patches are up for download.  Patches usually aren't submitted without at least some brief explanation of why they should be considered good.

If there's a version with the patches applied in the AUR, you can always go download it.  If not, you can always just do things for yourself.

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#4 2012-03-14 17:55:54

hadrons123
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From: chennai
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Posts: 1,249

Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

@karol, shikitohno
Thank you for your replies.

My new question is how come arch can manage to run the distro successfully without many patches and why debian and fedora do so many patches?
Is patching the reason why debian and fedora provide packages which arrive  in their repos later  than arch?
I have been in this forum for a few months now and I think lot of people get into trouble when there is a major update like udev, xorg,drivers, kernel update?
IMHO , 99 % of the times I use official arch packages and I have never run into any upgrade errors or incompatibilities until now. My system is old, so there are not much code changes for my hardware, maybe that is it.
Will those problems with others possibly be solved if we do some more testing and do patching like other distros. I do understand that its not KISS and Arch doesn't intend to do too many patches. But patching does improve stability and reliablity.
Or am I missing something?

Last edited by hadrons123 (2012-03-14 17:58:13)


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#5 2012-03-14 18:01:16

karol
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Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

hadrons123 wrote:

I have been in this forum for a few months now and I think lot of people get into trouble when there is a major update like udev, xorg,drivers, kernel update?

You are free to use packages that are not in th official repos, just remember that you need to e.g. rebuild them: http://www.archlinux.org/news/libpnglib … m-testing/

hadrons123 wrote:

Will those problems with others possibly be solved if we do some more testing and do patching like other distros.

No one can't help you if you're not specific wrt the problems you're having.
What issues do you mean exactly?

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#6 2012-03-14 18:06:18

tomk
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Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

hadrons123 wrote:

patching does improve stability and reliablity.

You sure about that? You have some examples for us?

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#7 2012-03-14 18:08:04

hadrons123
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From: chennai
Registered: 2011-10-07
Posts: 1,249

Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

for example like this one, after updating udev people have issues.

Last edited by hadrons123 (2012-03-14 18:13:44)


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#8 2012-03-14 18:10:24

karol
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Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

hadrons123 wrote:

for example like this one, after updating udev people have issues.

Please be more specific, as I can't see what patching packages have to do with it.

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#9 2012-03-14 18:13:58

hadrons123
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From: chennai
Registered: 2011-10-07
Posts: 1,249

Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

Each one having different types of issues.If you take other distro like fedora or ubuntu or anyother major distros, they have not updated  beyond udev 175. I 'm really not an expert  at this , felt that there is reason why they didn't update.

@tomk

Sorry. I don't have examples. patches is for fixing distro specific  bugs, is what I believe and read.

Last edited by hadrons123 (2012-03-14 18:16:01)


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#10 2012-03-14 18:21:22

karol
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Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

If more people use [testing], these issues could be found earlier and the package that breaks things would probably not have been pushed into [core] or [extra].

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#11 2012-03-14 18:24:29

hadrons123
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From: chennai
Registered: 2011-10-07
Posts: 1,249

Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

@ karol thank you for the answer.


What I understand from this is, we need more testers.


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#12 2012-03-14 19:55:48

shikitohno
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Posts: 36

Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

It was my understanding that Arch didn't apply patches, save exceptional cases, in part because it has potential to be more problems than it's worth.  If the patch isn't applied upstream, and you keep using it for your distro, you and the other developers working on it basically have to solve any issues arising from it on your own.  If Fedora or Debian apply a patch to a package, and it's not applied upstream later, if that patch causes later versions of the package to break, or creates issues with how other packages interact with the patched package, upstream isn't going to do anything about it.   So it has the potential to snowball into more and more patches as you go.  That was my understanding of things, I could be wrong and imagine karol or someone else will correct me if I am.

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#13 2012-03-15 01:29:38

ngoonee
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Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

hadrons123 - it seems to me that you're assuming that you're 'missing out' on SOMETHING if you don't know/use the patches other distros use. Such a vague idea/definition isn't solvable in any sense. If you want to discuss SPECIFIC patches/issues, feel free to open a thread to ask (or simply search, as most of the time the answers are already out there). The way this particular thread is worded at the start means its very likely to go nowhere....


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#14 2012-03-15 01:41:07

/dev/zero
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Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

hadrons123 wrote:

But patching does improve stability and reliablity.

Which is exactly why the patches should be passed upstream, yes? - and then we reap the benefits a week or two later when the changes come back downstream. Thus, by keeping things simple, we kill two birds with one stone.

If other distros also hastened to pass their patches upstream, we might observe a little less lag in which packages they deem stable.


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#15 2012-03-15 10:11:29

Mr.Elendig
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Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

Probably more than 50% of the patches that other distroes adds to packages are for backporting bugfixes and securityfixes that have been fixed in newer versions of the software. So when we ship the latest release anyway we don't need those. That cuts down on the "needed" patches a lot.
(as for udev, over 90% of the problems I've seen people have with it lately have been PEBCAK anyway, like doing partial updates etc.)

Last edited by Mr.Elendig (2012-03-15 10:12:35)


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#16 2012-03-15 10:27:13

Allan
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From: Brisbane, AU
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Posts: 10,428
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Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

What do you mean we don't patch our packages?  I count 27 in glibc alone! (http://projects.archlinux.org/svntogit/ … ages/glibc)  Note the majority of those a bug fixes that are from the upstream git repo and will likely appear in the next bug fix release (and definitely in the next major release).

Anyway, the policy is here:  https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/De … i:Patching .  The final two rules are the major "do not do"s.   As Mr Elendig pointed out, the patching most other distros do is to backport security and other bug fixes as they stay constant with their package versions after a release.  We just update to the new release that contains all the fixes...

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#17 2012-03-15 13:15:30

brebs
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Posts: 3,456

Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

hadrons123 wrote:

felt that there is reason why they didn't update.

They are not rolling distros.

Their patches will be to fix specific bugs, rather than add new functionality.

On the other hand, new version releases may well include those fixes, along with additional functionality, and quite possibly completely new bugs.

So choose your poison.

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#18 2012-03-15 15:53:06

fsckd
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Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

hadrons123 wrote:

Each one having different types of issues.If you take other distro like fedora or ubuntu or anyother major distros, they have not updated  beyond udev 175. I 'm really not an expert  at this , felt that there is reason why they didn't update.

You're kind of wrong for Fedora: http://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/pack … ckageID=36
These are the udev patches Debian applies if you feel you're missing out: http://patch-tracker.debian.org/package/udev/175-3.1


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#19 2012-03-16 02:27:48

hadrons123
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From: chennai
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Posts: 1,249

Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

I know fedora build all the new packages, as much as we do in arch linux. But they have not pushed it to official repos beyond udev 175. Udev 181 is still in khoji.


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#20 2012-03-16 03:05:27

Xyne
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Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

karol wrote:

If more people use [testing], these issues could be found earlier and the package that breaks things would probably not have been pushed into [core] or [extra].

If more people used [testing], they would encounter more bugs than they do now. tongue

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#21 2012-03-16 03:42:18

fsckd
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Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

hadrons123 wrote:

I know fedora build all the new packages, as much as we do in arch linux. But they have not pushed it to official repos beyond udev 175. Udev 181 is still in khoji.

Wrong again, it's very much in the repos.


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#22 2012-03-16 04:44:25

hadrons123
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From: chennai
Registered: 2011-10-07
Posts: 1,249

Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

fsckd wrote:
hadrons123 wrote:

I know fedora build all the new packages, as much as we do in arch linux. But they have not pushed it to official repos beyond udev 175. Udev 181 is still in khoji.

Wrong again, it's very much in the repos.

My fully updated fedora 16 shows udev version as 173-3.fc16.
Udev version in f17 alpha is in 181.2.
Technically I wasn't wrong. But we don't have to dwell too much on what fedora does in their alpha or rawhide test versions.

@ xyne
Does having the package in testing for more time help us find more bugs?
I don't really have any time frame. But using other bleeding edge distros or versions (fedora, debian unstable), I feel that they have their packages ( eg kernel release) in testing bit longer than arch. 
Correct me if I am wrong.

Last edited by hadrons123 (2012-03-16 04:59:02)


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#23 2012-03-16 04:57:22

fsckd
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Registered: 2009-06-15
Posts: 3,574

Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

hadrons123 wrote:

My fully updated fedora 16 shows udev version as 173-3.fc16.
Udev version in f17 alpha is in 181.2.
Technically I wasn't wrong. But we don't have to dwell too much on what fedora does in their alpha or rawhide test versions.

I thought you intended to compare with Rawhide and F17 since you compared Arch's udev with udev from Debian Sid and Testing. wink

I don't really have any time frame. But using other bleeding edge distros or versions (fedora, debian unstable), I feel that they have their packages in testing bit longer than arch. 
Correct me if I am wrong.

You may be right but lots of users here install -git/bzr/svn/etc. versions of packages which are essentially testing for upstream.


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#24 2012-03-16 04:58:27

Inxsible
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From: Chicago
Registered: 2008-06-09
Posts: 9,079

Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

One of the reasons Debian has packages in testing for a long time because their release cycles are quite lengthy. Please read up on the differences between rolling release vs. versioned releases.

If we have more people using [testing] we may or may not find more bugs in a said package. If we do find major bugs, the devs would not promote the package to core/extra. If however, the bugs are minor, the devs might still decide to push through because a lot less people might be affected by those particular bugs. It also depends on the utility of that package. If its a core package like xorg or udev, devs will refrain from pushing it if there are bugs. But if its a relatively unused app in community, the chances of it affecting too many users is less and the devs might push it.

Long story short ... there are a lot of factors going into a decision by the devs to push a package into the core repos. So take everything with a grain of salt. Nothing is set in stone.


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#25 2012-03-16 04:58:30

Xyne
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Registered: 2008-08-03
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Re: Arch vanilla packages Vs other distros

hadrons123 wrote:

@ xyne
Does having the package in testing for more time help us find more bugs?
I don't really have any time frame. But using other bleeding edge distros or versions (fedora, debian unstable), I feel that they have their packages in testing bit longer than arch. 
Correct me if I am wrong.

I don't know. My comment was just pointing out that those who use [testing] encounter more bugs than those who don't. It was a tongue-in-cheek remark.

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