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#1 2012-04-12 04:18:18

tonythed
Member
Registered: 2010-07-06
Posts: 9

Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed as of the last few months that upgrading a system seems to be a little more risky than normal? I have experienced several show stoppers after perfoming an upgrade lately.. everything from touchpads to wireless adapters to coreutils commands no longer working properly after an upgrade. Everything has always been fixed soon afterwards but if this happens on a server or other important system.. not so good. Maybe I am just unlucky? Just wondering if anybody else has noticed similar.

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#2 2012-04-12 04:23:10

jasonwryan
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From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
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Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

I find the reverse. I think Allan is mellowing in his old age; upgrading now is positively dull... So much for the thrill of the bleeding edge.


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#3 2012-04-12 06:06:30

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,133

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

The only trouble I had was the last udev update, when my HTPC couldn't decide which /dev/sdbla the boot disk was, so I hardwired everything with UUID and bye bye trouble. Has been a while since an update really broke something. Even stunts like activating testing, installing XBMC and deactivating testing again work fine. But then again, I'm not in a risky target group, as I don't use major DE's, no DM's and no Office packages. Those things break upstream by default and they call it features.

EDIT: Okay, looking at all those pacman+glibc threads, I'd say updating pacman is the last bit of adventure we have left =)

Last edited by Awebb (2012-04-12 06:08:58)

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#4 2012-04-12 06:10:33

bones
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From: Brisbane
Registered: 2006-03-24
Posts: 321
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Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

My guess is you're just unlucky. I haven't had any trouble for a long time, infact I can't even remember the last time I had a problem. It might be time to let the other half use my computer. Then I might have some problems that I need to fix.
Now that I posted this, it might not be a good idea sad


"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."

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#5 2012-04-12 06:40:29

tomk
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From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,837

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

Standard advice: don't run Arch

tonythed wrote:

on a server or other important system

unless you know what you're doing.

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#6 2012-04-12 07:23:20

tonythed
Member
Registered: 2010-07-06
Posts: 9

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

tomk wrote:

Standard advice: don't run Arch

tonythed wrote:

on a server or other important system

unless you know what you're doing.

Yes that sounds like some possibly good advice. But I have been using Linux almost exclusively since the mid to late 90's with great success so I probably know what I am doing by now. I do like the Arch distro and use it on several important servers and so far has worked very well.. but regardless of the server admin personnel experience, if a routine upgrade is prone to break something that risk can cause some stress to say the least. Just checking to see if anyone else had noticed anything similar.. probably just a bit of bad luck for me with having the right combination of hardware to be affected.. I hope :-).

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#7 2012-04-12 07:24:31

litemotiv
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2008-08-01
Posts: 5,026

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

I had the sd* problem, the lost keyboard problem, and a syslinux problem the last 2 months, so there was some recurring chrooting and fiddling involved. But that's part of the fun of running [testing] on your only production machine. I would probably be skydiving or bungeejumping if it wasn't for Arch. wink


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#8 2012-04-12 07:30:33

ViruSzZ
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From: The Streets
Registered: 2010-10-14
Posts: 202
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Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

I'm running arch on two of my virtual servers and on my laptop too. I've never felt like updating my system is risky & actually am updating it once or twice a day and I've never had any issues with none of the servers (one of them is a production server) except with the one which is running under linux vServer virtualization and had an issue when I was running apache with the apr and apr-util packages due to the host's old kernel version. Then the apache broke and wasn't able to start, but this was easily solved in seconds by downgrading the apr* packages. (and this would not break if the host's kernel was > 2.6.22).


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#9 2012-04-12 09:26:08

Gcool
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Registered: 2011-08-16
Posts: 1,456

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

Depends largely on the hardware you're running and a bit of luck I guess (support for certain hardware getting borked). I've been running Arch on 2 boxes at home for about 5 years now (1 running  the testing repos and 1 running the "normal" ones). Over all those years, I haven't really run into any issues that I couldn't fix by either doing some logical thinking or by spending a few minutes checking the forums/bugtracker or applying some of my magical Google skills.

So bottomline, for a bleeding else distro; things are going very well from my point of view.


Burninate!

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#10 2012-04-12 11:27:54

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,518
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Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

I'm now managing arch installs on 4 different sets of hardware.  I've been surprised by how few problems I've had.

The only real "breakage" I've had in my time using arch was (I believe) caused by a recent update of ATI video.  As it turns out this was let out of [testing] prematurely, or something like that, and it was fixed withing 24 hours.  Even this only lead to an inability to start X.

I do consider myself lucky, though, as I read through problems others have.  That said, I do pay attention to the news, and stay on top of the minor quirks that come along with a rolling release.  This is much easier to do if one has the same sort of update-OCD that I do: updating daily keeps everything in managable bites.

edit: typos

Last edited by Trilby (2012-04-12 13:46:19)


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#11 2012-04-12 12:14:56

lifeafter2am
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From: .........
Registered: 2009-06-10
Posts: 1,325
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Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

In the past 2 years I can count on one hand the number of upgrade issues I've had on multiple installs across multiple machines. So, no, I have not had any upgrade show stoppers.

Also, IMO, you shouldn't use a rolling release distribution as a production server. I love Arch for what it is, but I don't use it on any of the production servers that I currently run.


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#12 2012-04-12 14:18:46

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,423

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

lifeafter2am wrote:

In the past 2 years I can count on one hand the number of upgrade issues I've had on multiple installs across multiple machines. So, no, I have not had any upgrade show stoppers.

+1
I'm not a masochist, if Arch caused me trouble, I'd switch to another distro.

Removing the SyncFirst option means no more threads where people try to update pacman first and the upgrade fails.

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#13 2012-04-12 22:50:40

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,518
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Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

I did try updating pacman first ... it failed ... then I tried again and answered 'N' to the question.  I'd figure that much troubleshooting should be expected from anyone using a rolling release.

That should be part of the forum CAPTCHA: "You are given two choices, A and B.  You choose A and it fails.  Do you 1) Try again and chose B, 2) Give up and try another distro, 3) Search the forums for information about A and B, or 4) Start a new thread complaining.  If you answered 1, we want you on arch.  If you answered 3, you'll do well here.  If you answered 2 or 4, please leaave ... now."  smile

edit: added smiley face so people know I'm kidding ... kinda ... I mean, I'm not.  But if this were to upset you, then just consider it a joke.

Last edited by Trilby (2012-04-12 22:52:37)


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#14 2012-04-12 23:37:45

Barrucadu
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From: York, England
Registered: 2008-03-30
Posts: 1,158
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Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

I can't remember the last time I upgraded and had a show-stopping bug that wasn't directly caused by me doing something silly.

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#15 2012-04-13 04:53:13

tonythed
Member
Registered: 2010-07-06
Posts: 9

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

Barrucadu wrote:

I can't remember the last time I upgraded and had a show-stopping bug that wasn't directly caused by me doing something silly.

Well in my case, the show stoppers were caused by borked drivers or software bugs and had nothing to do with user silliness.. and this was what lead me to wonder if others were noticing anything. Sounds like the responses to this thread are saying all is well. As long as there is some type of monitoring going on in testing that sets some kind of minimum error free user-hours number on the updates before they are allowed to be moved to stable.. then all should be well.

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#16 2012-04-13 05:09:19

skunktrader
Member
From: Brisbane, Australia
Registered: 2010-02-14
Posts: 1,318

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

tonythed wrote:

As long as there is some type of monitoring going on in testing that sets some kind of minimum error free user-hours number on the updates before they are allowed to be moved to stable.. then all should be well.

If you have "unusual" hardware or are concerned about the amount of time before updates move from [testing], you could always enable the testing repository on your machine and provide valuable feedback to the devs before the updates are released.

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#17 2012-04-13 07:16:01

ngoonee
Forum Fellow
From: Between Thailand and Singapore
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 6,790

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

tonythed wrote:
tomk wrote:

Standard advice: don't run Arch

tonythed wrote:

on a server or other important system

unless you know what you're doing.

Yes that sounds like some possibly good advice. But I have been using Linux almost exclusively since the mid to late 90's with great success so I probably know what I am doing by now. I do like the Arch distro and use it on several important servers and so far has worked very well.. but regardless of the server admin personnel experience, if a routine upgrade is prone to break something that risk can cause some stress to say the least. Just checking to see if anyone else had noticed anything similar.. probably just a bit of bad luck for me with having the right combination of hardware to be affected.. I hope :-).

Dangerous assumption. You'd likely not make any newbie errors, but that just means the inevitable errors you DO make (all of us do) would be complicated enough to be hard to solve smile.

Unlike most of the others above, I run Arch only on my personal machine (my only machine) and haven't experienced any problems ([testing] user here) that weren't almost immediately queried on [arch-general] or the like. Since my timezone puts me after the majority of upgraders, I generally know of potential problems even before they occur. Having bog-standard hardware (not-brand-new nvidia GC for example) helps as well.


Allan-Volunteer on the (topic being discussed) mailn lists. You never get the people who matters attention on the forums.
jasonwryan-Installing Arch is a measure of your literacy. Maintaining Arch is a measure of your diligence. Contributing to Arch is a measure of your competence.
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#18 2012-04-13 07:42:53

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,133

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

The only update show-stopper for me is, when I sit on my desk at work and want to update and it showes me another kernel update. I know I'll have to reboot after the kernel update, although it might work for an hour or three without. I then usually update && reboot before I go home, because I usually know what's new, as I had the same stuff (if not more) at home the same morning.

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#19 2012-04-13 10:07:03

GordonGR
Member
From: Thessaloniki, Greece
Registered: 2011-11-07
Posts: 232

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

ngoonee wrote:

Unlike most of the others above, I run Arch only on my personal machine (my only machine) and haven't experienced any problems ([testing] user here) that weren't almost immediately queried on [arch-general] or the like. Since my timezone puts me after the majority of upgraders, I generally know of potential problems even before they occur. Having bog-standard hardware (not-brand-new nvidia GC for example) helps as well.

Ditto :-)


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#20 2012-04-13 11:56:46

Roken
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2012-01-16
Posts: 651

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

My last "showstopper" was when the kernel upgrades failed to correctly update initramfs, leading to non-booting. Easy fix and got me into the habit of manually running mkinitcpio after a kernel upgrade before the reboot. In the past 3 -4 weeks I've had no breakages at all that I've noticed, even running on testing. I was reaching the point where I felt I should break something myself, just to give me something to do.


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#21 2012-04-13 12:41:37

Da_Coynul
Member
From: United States of America
Registered: 2010-10-02
Posts: 76

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

The last GRUB2 (EFI) update wasted a day for me.  I had a feeling that one might be a problem, so I waited a week and scanned the forums before going for it, but I still ended up with a non-booting system after the update.  The unclear GRUB2 wiki and conflicting instructions from the UEFI wiki didn't help the situation yikes

But for the most part, if you are careful about updating anything involved in the boot process, updating Arch is pretty uneventful lately.

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#22 2012-04-13 14:14:22

ANOKNUSA
Member
Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

Roken wrote:

My last "showstopper" was when the kernel upgrades failed to correctly update initramfs, leading to non-booting. Easy fix and got me into the habit of manually running mkinitcpio after a kernel upgrade before the reboot. In the past 3 -4 weeks I've had no breakages at all that I've noticed, even running on testing. I was reaching the point where I felt I should break something myself, just to give me something to do.

Something similar happened to me as well.  I could run mkinitcpio while logged in and, though it would say it had successfully built the image, my machine wouldn't boot.  It would boot after I'd used a LiveCD to chroot and build the image from there.  Turns out I hadn't properly merged my mkinitcpio.conf after a recent update.  When working with some problem in Arch, the null hypothesis should always be "PEBCAK."  I rarely come across a serious problem I haven't caused myself.

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#23 2012-04-13 14:24:29

sitquietly
Member
From: Moscow, Tennessee
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 216

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

tonythed wrote:

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed as of the last few months that upgrading a system seems to be a little more risky than normal? I have experienced several show stoppers after perfoming an upgrade lately..

It seems to me that you yourself have given us the proof that Archlinux is risky. smile  It's like a mathematical existence proof:  if one person can show us a properly installed and updated Archlinux system that has "show stopper" bugs then Archlinux is risky.  It's a characteristic Archer response to say that there is no problem because "it works for me".  If you read the forums every day you'll see that you aren't alone, many people report very frustrating problems almost daily.

The beauty of Arch to me is that I've always been able to resolve my problems within a few days by waiting for the devs to come up with an update, or by "researching" the problem and fixing it myself, sometimes by recompiling packages that I can see need to be recompiled against lower-level updates.

I too got the impression over the last year that Arch was getting more buggy but it probably only takes one personal frustration to give me that impression.  It is not Arch developers' fault.  I don't think that it's possible to "roll" together every upstream stable release, as they're released every day, and have a smooth functioning system.  We Archers are the testing team for upstream (Arch "stable" is about the equivalent of Debian "experimental"). 

I've dropped out of the testing team and started building a more perfect system for myself. I build everything from source code using the Arch abs/aur and freeze packages by group; e.g. right now I have my "compiler" group frozen to keep me at gcc 4.6.3.  I like my semi-rolling system because I'm running a stable system with latest releases of my important apps and I'm learning a lot.

What I've been noticing as well as the "show stoppers lately" is that more and more guys seem to be installing Arch and NOT accepting that it is a testing distro which is only appropriate for linux experts.  Have you noticed that there's a lot of whining in the forum?  A lot of users seem to expect their problems to be fixed by someone other than themselves.

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#24 2012-04-13 15:22:20

bohoomil
Member
Registered: 2010-09-04
Posts: 2,376
Website

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

sitquietly wrote:

I've dropped out of the testing team and started building a more perfect system for myself.

That's probably a logical way to go if you have become aware of your needs and realized that your *nix literacy has matured enough to do yet a bit more on your own. Nowadays, I wouldn't be able to revert to a distro that I should use and accept passively. They are mostly fine and I can work with them if necessary, but as my hardware is my kingdom I feel much more comfortable with a system that I can fully control from the first to the last second of its operation. I set the limits of its novelty and at the same time make it stable wherever I wish. If you have managed to understand the logic of updates and the mutual dependency of various subsystems, then you get the best system you can dream of. Updating is no more a nightmare resulting in frustration because you know how to do it right, what first and what then (and what if). You make your update schedule appropriate for yourself and life is beautiful.

sitquietly wrote:

A lot of users seem to expect their problems to be fixed by someone other than themselves.

That's the drawback of Arch becoming more popular than it should be. One can successfully use Arch as their first distro ever as long as they understand the consequences of Arch's policy. However, many come from other *nices bringing in the habits that aren't well seen here. That's why they are doomed to fail. Still, I'd say it has more to do with the art of reading and understanding rather than any distribution in particular, but that's my skeptical assumption on some general tendencies that doesn't have to be valid of course...


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#25 2012-04-13 15:38:44

sitquietly
Member
From: Moscow, Tennessee
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 216

Re: Upgrade Show Stoppers... Lately

bohoomil wrote:
sitquietly wrote:

I've dropped out of the testing team and started building a more perfect system for myself.

..... If you have managed to understand the logic of updates and the mutual dependency of various subsystems, then you get the best system you can dream of. Updating is no more a nightmare resulting in frustration because you know how to do it right, what first and what then (and what if).....

You've touched on one of the great advantages of Arch for me.  Some packages are touchy to install from source code because of cyclic dependencies, e.g. the toolchain (linux-api-headers->glibc->binutils->gcc->binutils->glibc) and the ghc chain.  It's hard to do a source-based install from a bare harddrive.  With Arch it's simple!  Just install the Archlinux binary and THEN recompile from source code with local changes.  Arch makes a great bootstrap system.

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