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#1 2006-01-19 06:04:46

neotuli
Lazy Developer
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: 2004-07-06
Posts: 1,201
Website

The Rolling Release System

I saw the need to bring this up again, because with the release of the 0.7.1 installer ISO, we got a lot of new users, many of which haven't yet gotten a hang of our rolling release system.

I see a lot of references to "Arch 0.7.1" in things like "I have Arch 0.7.1 installed", "0.7.1 didn't work, I'm going back to 0.7", "Hello, how can I do foo with Arch 0.7.1". There are an awful lot cropping up these days, and I thought it would be good to clarify what exactly "Arch 0.7.1" means.

Archlinux uses a rolling release system. This means that we do not have any particular stable release, ever. Instead, it means that we continuously update packages, and users keep their machines in sync using pacman.

0.7.1 and any other version number refers to the version of the installer CD and scripts, as well as the snapshot of our packages at that particular point in time, which just happened to be included on the installer CD. I stress this point, there is nothing special about the set of packages on an installer CD, it's no more stable than current is, because it's just a snapshot of it at a fairly arbitrary point in time. It is presumed that the user will run a pacman update before doing anything else, in order to bring their system up to date with the real repo after installing, since it is the nature of the snapshot to fall out of date very quickly.


Thus, next time you go to write about "Arch 0.7.1" please remember that you're only talking about the installer CD, and nothing more. When writing about issues, please make sure that you have updated your packages using pacman, if there was a problem with a particular package release, there's a good chance it was fixed already, and all you need to do is pull your machine up to date.


The suggestion box only accepts patches.

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#2 2006-01-19 06:32:14

shadowhand
Member
From: MN, USA
Registered: 2004-02-19
Posts: 1,142
Website

Re: The Rolling Release System

I'd like to add that instead of immediately coming to #archlinux, or posting in the forums about an issue, please check out the Wiki and search the forums for a solution. I hate be "the guy that always brings this up", but it's very important when we get a large influx of new users that they understand that we try our best to document a lot of solutions to common questions, both complaints and how to set certain things up and where this documentation is.

http://bbs.archlinux.org/search.php
http://wiki.archlinux.org/


·¬»· i am shadowhand, powered by webfaction

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#3 2006-01-20 15:22:18

brain0
Developer
From: Aachen - Germany
Registered: 2005-01-03
Posts: 1,382

Re: The Rolling Release System

@ neotuli:

Thanks for bringing this up. I think the rolling release system should be mentioned on distrowatch (I don't think it is) and on any other similar page.
Also the start page should have a link to this explanation (right above "Current Package Lists").

@ shadowhand:

You are so right!

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#4 2006-05-24 04:16:04

ihavenoname
Member
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 198

Re: The Rolling Release System

shadowhand wrote:

I'd like to add that instead of immediately coming to #archlinux, or posting in the forums about an issue, please check out the Wiki and search the forums for a solution. I hate be "the guy that always brings this up", but it's very important when we get a large influx of new users that they understand that we try our best to document a lot of solutions to common questions, both complaints and how to set certain things up and where this documentation is.

http://bbs.archlinux.org/search.php
http://wiki.archlinux.org/

Thank you for that. Arch's documentation is the best I have ever used. 80%-90% of problems that an Arch newbie will have can be answered using the wiki.


In this land of the pain the sane lose not knowing they were part of the game.

~LP

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#5 2006-05-24 11:09:51

tahseen
Member
Registered: 2006-05-23
Posts: 16

Re: The Rolling Release System

I'm also a new user actually less than a week old using arch.

I have a relatively high speed broadband at office but extremely slow (like dialup) connection at home. So I download and burn 0.7.1 CD. But there was
a problem in the installation script making a full install impossible.

I did found that the issue was fixed by Judd. I do understand that the system
installed from the CD may not be stable but it should at least install.

I understand that you guys (everyone involved from developer to contributor) have limited free time to check all these things. But from what my limited experience says bout ArchLinux one should expect this much from it.

Now I am just busy setting up my system to my liking but hopefully will contribute in future to make arch a tiny bit better.
big_smile

Thanks everyone for this great KISS distro

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#6 2006-05-24 21:35:16

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Re: The Rolling Release System

I can say I understand where you're coming from, as it seems there appears to be problems with SATA and SCSI more than anything, but what we consider problems may be an inconvenience to someone who knows how to work around them.  I simply broke down, and cleaned out a pre-existing storage partition on my IDE drive, and installed without a hitch.  I've yet to test the latest installer CD to see if it works better with newer packages/scripts.  To add insult to injury, an FTP install was not working with Noodle either.  That was just plain strange.  Personally, I'd like to get to the bottom of it even though I had to de-commission a SCSI hard drive to get Arch installed.  To know for future reference if nothing else.

I feel like I need to know a little more about making the FTP install work, in general.  Best I can tell, I have to sign into a virtual console and modprobe my ethernet driver, forcedeth, and then start the network with the dhcpd command.  Of course, this doesn't work.  Probably doing something wrong.

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#7 2006-05-24 22:00:39

DeusExLinux
Member
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 98

Re: The Rolling Release System

I thought distrowatch mentioned the rolling release, after all, it was one of the reasons I wanted to try Arch in the first place.  Guess I either read it here, or somewhere else.

I did get sick of having to update and worry about versions..  Arch, i love you.  Keep it up!

I think Judd deserves a nobel prize.


And on the 8th day, God gave the people Google so that all the problems of the universe could be researched from one central place.  And it was good.

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#8 2006-05-24 23:00:01

Bysshe
Member
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 268

Re: The Rolling Release System

Just glanced as the Gimmick FTP install, and it seems improved, will go through later.  By the way, thanks for everything, of, course, I don't mean to sound ungrateful.  Arch works for me better than any other distro.  'Nuff said.   big_smile

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#9 2006-09-05 17:34:25

jimbo-62
Member
From: Utah
Registered: 2005-07-31
Posts: 72

Re: The Rolling Release System

neotuli wrote:

Archlinux uses a rolling release system. This means that we do not have any particular stable release, ever. Instead, it means that we continuously update packages, and users keep their machines in sync using pacman.

0.7.1 and any other version number refers to the version of the installer CD and scripts, as well as the snapshot of our packages at that particular point in time, which just happened to be included on the installer CD. I stress this point, there is nothing special about the set of packages on an installer CD, it's no more stable than current is, because it's just a snapshot of it at a fairly arbitrary point in time. It is presumed that the user will run a pacman update before doing anything else, in order to bring their system up to date with the real repo after installing, since it is the nature of the snapshot to fall out of date very quickly.


Thus, next time you go to write about "Arch 0.7.1" please remember that you're only talking about the installer CD, and nothing more. When writing about issues, please make sure that you have updated your packages using pacman, if there was a problem with a particular package release, there's a good chance it was fixed already, and all you need to do is pull your machine up to date.

Well, not to be picky, but this is on the Arch homepage. If you don't want newbies talking about a particular release, maybe there should be some expanation about what this table of releases means. Maybe the name of the table should be "Installer Version" rather than "Releases".

Releases
0.8     _________     pending
0.7.2     Gimmick     2006-05-23
0.7.1     Noodle     2006-01-05
0.7     Wombat     2005-01-24
0.6     Widget     2004-03-01
0.5     Nova     2003-07-21
0.4     Dragon     2002-12-18
0.3     Firefly     2002-08-07
0.2     Vega     2002-04-17
0.1     Homer     2002-03-11

Regards, jimbo

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#10 2006-09-09 08:35:24

chrismortimore
Member
From: Edinburgh, UK
Registered: 2006-07-15
Posts: 655

Re: The Rolling Release System

jimbo-62 wrote:

Well, not to be picky, but this is on the Arch homepage. If you don't want newbies talking about a particular release, maybe there should be some expanation about what this table of releases means. Maybe the name of the table should be "Installer Version" rather than "Releases".

Well, surely that isn't strictly true.  If there weren't "releases" as such, then why is there a "release" package tree?  As far as I can tell, it does indeed allow you to run "Arch Linux 0.7.2".


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#11 2006-09-09 12:26:55

detto
Member
Registered: 2006-01-23
Posts: 510

Re: The Rolling Release System

Full ack to jimbo, i also think renaming it to Installer verison would clarify and help a bit. big_smile

What also came to my mind after reading the start thread and lookin at the relaese dates, it made me think for what someone ever needs those full-packaged cds? I mean, arch is indeed a distro that needs internet, or its much prefereed to have it, coz of updates and so on and last but not least the minimal approach and therefore doing only a base/ftp install.
Really, imo devs should think about bringing out more "installer version for arch-(ftp-)install cd's"  and dont care anymore about fullöpackaged ~700mb cds that dont fit arch philosophy of installing and using arch. roll
One cd for installing is enough, and that should be done through internet conenction 8)

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#12 2006-09-09 19:59:34

jimbo-62
Member
From: Utah
Registered: 2005-07-31
Posts: 72

Re: The Rolling Release System

chrismortimore wrote:
jimbo-62 wrote:

Well, not to be picky, but this is on the Arch homepage. If you don't want newbies talking about a particular release, maybe there should be some expanation about what this table of releases means. Maybe the name of the table should be "Installer Version" rather than "Releases".

Well, surely that isn't strictly true.  If there weren't "releases" as such, then why is there a "release" package tree?  As far as I can tell, it does indeed allow you to run "Arch Linux 0.7.2".

If I understand the first post in this thread, "Arch Linux 0.7.2" is only a snapshot of the packages on the day that the installer iso was created. So, if you update even one package, you no longer have "Arch Linux 0.7.2". And if you follow the suggestions of the devs, you should do a pacman -Syu right after you complete the installation. This means your new installation would be a snapshot of the packages on the day you did pacman -Syu.

Good luck, jimbo

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#13 2006-09-09 20:19:03

chrismortimore
Member
From: Edinburgh, UK
Registered: 2006-07-15
Posts: 655

Re: The Rolling Release System

jimbo-62 wrote:

If I understand the first post in this thread, "Arch Linux 0.7.2" is only a snapshot of the packages on the day that the installer iso was created. So, if you update even one package, you no longer have "Arch Linux 0.7.2". And if you follow the suggestions of the devs, you should do a pacman -Syu right after you complete the installation. This means your new installation would be a snapshot of the packages on the day you did pacman -Syu.

Correct, unless you change your /etc/pacman.conf to not use current, and to use release instead.  Then you still only install packages from the release snapshot.


Desktop: AMD Athlon64 3800+ Venice Core, 2GB PC3200, 2x160GB Maxtor DiamondMax 10, 2x320GB WD Caviar RE, Nvidia 6600GT 256MB
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#14 2006-09-09 20:53:09

jimbo-62
Member
From: Utah
Registered: 2005-07-31
Posts: 72

Re: The Rolling Release System

chrismortimore wrote:
jimbo-62 wrote:

If I understand the first post in this thread, "Arch Linux 0.7.2" is only a snapshot of the packages on the day that the installer iso was created. So, if you update even one package, you no longer have "Arch Linux 0.7.2". And if you follow the suggestions of the devs, you should do a pacman -Syu right after you complete the installation. This means your new installation would be a snapshot of the packages on the day you did pacman -Syu.

Correct, unless you change your /etc/pacman.conf to not use current, and to use release instead.  Then you still only install packages from the release snapshot.

Thanks for the clarification. So, there really is a release named "Arch Linux 0.7.2". Maybe it is only a snapshot of the packages at the time the installer iso was created, but if that snapshot of packages is retained in a "release" tree, that makes it a release in my book. What was all of the original fuss about?

Good luck, jimbo

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#15 2006-09-09 20:55:26

chrismortimore
Member
From: Edinburgh, UK
Registered: 2006-07-15
Posts: 655

Re: The Rolling Release System

jimbo-62 wrote:

Thanks for the clarification. So, there really is a release named "Arch Linux 0.7.2". Maybe it is only a snapshot of the packages at the time the installer iso was created, but if that snapshot of packages is retained in a "release" tree, that makes it a release in my book. What was all of the original fuss about?

Good luck, jimbo

I think the fuss is that Arch defaults to the "current" repo instead of the "release" repo, so the majority of people don't actually use the release tree, and yet don't realise they are not using Arch 0.7.2.


Desktop: AMD Athlon64 3800+ Venice Core, 2GB PC3200, 2x160GB Maxtor DiamondMax 10, 2x320GB WD Caviar RE, Nvidia 6600GT 256MB
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#16 2006-09-09 21:47:36

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

Re: The Rolling Release System

Its strongly recommended not to use the release tree. I think its mostly there just for historical purposes.

The point of the post is to point out that the only supported "release" on Arch Linux is the current one. It also illustrates why we don't make releases often. Basically the only reason to make a new release is when something happens that makes a pacman -Syu from the current installer break the system in some way -- this happens around major updates sometimes.

Hope that clarifies it.

Dusty

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#17 2006-09-09 22:39:04

jimbo-62
Member
From: Utah
Registered: 2005-07-31
Posts: 72

Re: The Rolling Release System

Dusty wrote:

Its strongly recommended not to use the release tree. I think its mostly there just for historical purposes.

The point of the post is to point out that the only supported "release" on Arch Linux is the current one. It also illustrates why we don't make releases often. Basically the only reason to make a new release is when something happens that makes a pacman -Syu from the current installer break the system in some way -- this happens around major updates sometimes.

Hope that clarifies it.

Dusty

Thanks again for the clarification. I think I get it now.  wink

Regards, jimbo

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#18 2007-09-19 02:35:48

CocoAUS
Member
Registered: 2007-09-07
Posts: 60

Re: The Rolling Release System

Perhaps Arch should drop the suffix altogether?  New "releases" could be announced as "Installer version x.x.x is now available with...."  Or maybe even drop the installer version and just say it's a "new installer."  Debian Unstable is always just Sid, and even the installer has no version numbers.  I believe it's the same for Fedora Rawhide (though I never cared for .rpm enough to really pay attention).

Anyway, dropping the version number seems like it would clear up some confusion, and it doesn't seem to really have a purpose anyway.

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#19 2007-09-19 02:47:30

thayer
Fellow
From: Vancouver, BC
Registered: 2007-05-20
Posts: 1,560
Website

Re: The Rolling Release System

Ummm...you do realize this thread is over 1 year old, right? wink


thayer williams ~ cinderwick.ca

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#20 2007-09-19 03:13:03

Cerebral
Forum Fellow
From: Waterloo, ON, CA
Registered: 2005-04-08
Posts: 3,108
Website

Re: The Rolling Release System

CocoAUS wrote:

Anyway, dropping the version number seems like it would clear up some confusion, and it doesn't seem to really have a purpose anyway.

Actually, our version number is now the year and month the installer was released (give or take) so it does serve a purpose.

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#21 2008-08-10 22:37:26

imachine
Member
From: /dev/ttyv0
Registered: 2006-11-15
Posts: 36
Website

Re: The Rolling Release System

Speaking of the rolling release etc, I've recently come to a time where I have had a lot of issues with arch.

I use it everyday as a production machine for my work, and it went smooth in the past ~three years, but the recent KDE upgrade and now some issues with 2.6.26 kacpid steeping up are giving me a slight headache.

So I ask, is the [unstable] repo ever used? I mean, is it just fading out, what does exactly go there?

In my personal opinion, KDE4 ought to be put there, instead of [extra] etc, and similar with kernels. The natural order of IMPORTANT things (such as desktop environments, kernels, modules etc, namely anything causing possible instability of a system) I believe ought to go [testing] -> [unstable] -> [wherever-it-belongs].

For things "stable by nature" (upstream bugfix releases etc, of stable branches) one could entirely skip [testing] and [unstable]. For small packages one could skip [testing], but keep them in [unstable] if the code is possibly buggy upstream (new major release).

For semi-important things (such as for example firefox) one could place it in [testing] then place it in the fitting repo.

[testing] should be a place where packages get tested for compatibility with arch itself, whenever a new branch gets created upstream, or the recent minor update is big enough to suggest putting the package through [testing]. [unstable] ought to be used as a place where packages have been properly tested, i.e. they compile and run, the way upstream believes, but aren't as mature upstream as current [core],[extra], etc packages are.

Does this sound logical?

Arch is great with having lots of new packages, but it ought not to loose any stability. How I've been forced to using gnome (which I now like and can actually live with) is not something people ought to be forced to go through - and yes I know there is a third party repo for kde3, but that's a third party one and I'd rather stick to official + TU approved stuff, thanks. Now the issue with kacpid, well, it starts to tire me. I don't want to switch distros, rather suggest improvements in the one I already like very much.

Cheers and thanks for all the hard work!

Last edited by imachine (2008-08-10 22:42:22)


a nail that sticks out, is hammered down.
aha.

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#22 2008-08-10 22:58:56

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
Website

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#23 2008-08-10 23:27:21

kensai
Member
From: Puerto Rico
Registered: 2005-06-03
Posts: 2,475
Website

Re: The Rolling Release System

As pointed out by Dusty, the dev-public mailing list contains great information on what is happening in Arch development. And also the newsletter section, devland, is a great resource as well, I commented on the state of the unstable repository in there.

About kde4.1, it had to happen, we use the latest stable release, and kde 4.1 happens to be the latest stable release, and the first meant to be almost as feature complete as kde3. It was hard for some, but is now or join the boat too late.


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#24 2009-07-26 10:57:52

Dieter@be
Forum Fellow
From: Belgium
Registered: 2006-11-05
Posts: 1,960
Website

Re: The Rolling Release System

kensai wrote:

As pointed out by Dusty, the dev-public mailing list contains great information on what is happening in Arch development.

for release related stuff, the releng list is more relevant: http://www.archlinux.org/mailman/listinfo/arch-releng


< Daenyth> and he works prolifically
4 8 15 16 23 42

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#25 2010-04-10 03:46:17

martin77
Member
Registered: 2010-03-14
Posts: 111

Re: The Rolling Release System

kensai wrote:

It was hard for some, but is now or join the boat too late.

That reminds me "a man must do what he have to do", I love Arch philosophy big_smile

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