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#26 2008-01-04 13:45:20

AndyRTR
Developer
From: Magdeburg/Germany
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 1,640

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

@Allan: this is what we try to do with "core signoffs". you suggest to delay every pkg update a certain amount of time. that's something like the Debian way. we already have something like that with our testing repo. users don't use it enough to find/report all problems. and it wouldn't be a real split between our rolling release and a stable branch you can trust for months(?).

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#27 2008-01-04 14:24:41

Allan
Developer
From: Brisbane, AU
Registered: 2007-06-09
Posts: 10,430
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Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

AndyRTR wrote:

@Allan: this is what we try to do with "core signoffs". you suggest to delay every pkg update a certain amount of time. that's something like the Debian way. we already have something like that with our testing repo. users don't use it enough to find/report all problems. and it wouldn't be a real split between our rolling release and a stable branch you can trust for months(?).

I agree totally with what you have written.  I was just suggesting a half way between stable branch and rolling release.  The strategy being to use the main distro as the "testing" release (in the hope it is used more than the actual testing branch is! big_smile )  Also, while all core must go into testing for sign off, pretty much any update in extra that doesn't need a lot of rebuilds usually does not.  This would just extend the sign-off system to the whole distro...  Not a true stable system but maybe closer.  It would catch obvious things like the /etc/profile problem not long ago.  I suppose this is very Debian testing/unstable like...

Anyway, it was just an idea.  A complete stable branch has never taken off despite the many times it has been suggested so I figured this might be a good stepping stone.  Continuing with the Debian comparisons, think how long it takes between some of their releases.  It takes a lot to be truly "stable".

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#28 2008-01-04 15:20:08

ibendiben
Member
Registered: 2007-10-10
Posts: 519
Website

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

Allan wrote:

The strategy being to use the main distro as the "testing" release (in the hope it is used more than the actual testing branch is! big_smile )  Also, while all core must go into testing for sign off, pretty much any update in extra that doesn't need a lot of rebuilds usually does not.  This would just extend the sign-off system to the whole distro...  Not a true stable system but maybe closer.  It would catch obvious things like the /etc/profile problem not long ago.  I suppose this is very Debian testing/unstable like...

I can imagine it would change some things if [testing] yikes becomes [current] cool and we introduce a [stable] for those who really need to rely on stabitity.
When there are too few testers to filter out the major bugs in [testing] the [current] now isn't that much different from testing itself is it?

That last sentence should be taken rationally please... it's just some thinking.

ps. [testing] does sound a little scary doesn't it?

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#29 2008-01-04 16:00:26

rasat
Forum Fellow
From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
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Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

Allan wrote:

What I don't like about stable branches is that when you go to make the next release, you basically throw everything away and start again. 
So, how about a less drastic solution that is more in line with the "Arch Way".
That idea is not a stable branch in the traditional sense but could provide the best of both worlds.

This was also my concern. How to maintain a stable rolling system instead stable releases. This was another reason way I asked " do we want all packages or a particular area of usage e.g. selected multimedia and office packages". With smaller number of packages a rolling stable system should be possible.

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#30 2008-01-04 16:20:45

hussam
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Registered: 2006-03-26
Posts: 525
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Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

Allan wrote:

Also, while all core must go into testing for sign off, pretty much any update in extra that doesn't need a lot of rebuilds usually does not

Ok, but extra doesn't/shouldn't have anything that can cause your computer to completely stop functioning. So even if extra is broken, you are still able to boot your computer even if to a console screen and pacman -Syu to get fixed packages. It's different in core where a broken kernel/udev/initscripts can cause a system to stop booting. This is why core packages go to testing first so any fatal issues can be resolved first before the core package hits current.
This is another reason why is it more important to keep packages in core up to date than packages in extra. This is assuming that new versions fix more than they break because no one wants to install a upstream security fix in a major package that actually causes regressions.

In any case, I don't think ArchLinux developers mind patching packages with security fixes if these security fixes can be easily acquired. A few months ago, I reported around five security bugs in packages in extra and four of them were fixed in less than 10 days because patches where available.
The only time where a security patch isn't a good idea is in package like python or perl because regression tracking can get different. But otherwise, I think we are doing good when it comes to security.

Phrakture, I may be getting off topic here, but is it possible that we may have a security mailing list for discussing specific security issues in particular packages? If I remember correctly, wasn't there was a virtual terminal login security bug that was fixed in pam not so long ago? This is another proof that ArchLinux developers respond fast when it comes to security issues.

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#31 2008-01-04 17:06:43

nagoola
Member
From: Germany / Ahrensburg
Registered: 2004-03-15
Posts: 52

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

Hey everybody,

seems like I started a discussion smile When I talked about a stable branch I was not really concerned about security issues. I think if you are really concerned about those in a paranoid way Arch won't be your Distro anyway. I was more thinking of things breaking when upgrading in times when you really NEED your computer.

Nihathrael wrote:
That of course helps solving the problem for that time, but didn't your system break some times after doing those rsyncs once in a while?
I wonder if you want the stable branch to be stable enough to always update from one stable release to the next without breaking something, or do you just want to the stabe release to be stable with it's self, meaning it wont break if using that release. Because some time or another you wont get around breaking the system. (evdev drivers for example, needed a config change to work from 1.5 -> 2.0)

What I was able to do was to chose when to upgrade my system. Let's say we have a new stable release every six month. All we need to do is pick a time when we know nothing that could break the system has recently been introduced. Then the user can pick when to upgrade to the new stable release. He/She should also be aware of the fact that things could need some tinkering. But as users would usually go from one stable release to the next one we could provide a Document explaining any known issues.

We what definetly have to keep some of the older stable releases that way - not forever but maybe 18 months or so. That means we always have 3 stable branches online. Just some ideas. By the way what is possble at the moment is to use rsync and then burn those files (core and extra) to a dvd. Thats how I do it at the moment. It fits quite well smile

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#32 2008-01-04 17:37:27

AndyRTR
Developer
From: Magdeburg/Germany
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 1,640

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

We don't need to reinvent the wheel. Look how other distribution handle their "current" and "stable" developement. Look out what you like and what should be improved.

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#33 2008-01-04 18:07:26

nagoola
Member
From: Germany / Ahrensburg
Registered: 2004-03-15
Posts: 52

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

I don't think you can just look at other Distros cause most of them don't have a stable (read non-testing) rolling release and a stable brunch. The only one I know of might be frugalware.
To get us started we need to have server space and an IRC room. We could set up the first snapshot, those who are interested can use it and then while using it we will figure out what the right processes are to keep it up, running and secure. I think thats how we should start.
Anybody out there that thinks the same and knows where we could get that server space? As people said earlier - lets just do it!

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#34 2008-01-04 18:14:28

Nihathrael
Member
From: Freising, Germany
Registered: 2007-10-21
Posts: 82
Website

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

I have allready talked to tomkx on irc about an irc channel. He will talk to phrakture and we will have our channel soon i guess.


Unknown Horizons - Open source real-time strategy game with the comfy Anno 1602 feeling!

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#35 2008-01-04 18:19:24

nagoola
Member
From: Germany / Ahrensburg
Registered: 2004-03-15
Posts: 52

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

Sounds great - thanks!!!
All we need now is a little bit of space on a server to get things started - then we can get the first snapshot up there and start experiencing!

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#36 2008-01-04 18:24:12

AndyRTR
Developer
From: Magdeburg/Germany
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 1,640

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

nagoola wrote:

I don't think you can just look at other Distros cause most of them don't have a stable (read non-testing) rolling release and a stable brunch. The only one I know of might be frugalware.
To get us started we need to have server space and an IRC room. We could set up the first snapshot, those who are interested can use it and then while using it we will figure out what the right processes are to keep it up, running and secure. I think thats how we should start.
Anybody out there that thinks the same and knows where we could get that server space? As people said earlier - lets just do it!

Sorry to say that but you need first to think about how it all should work. Just forking a complete snapshot won't make much sense.

please contact me on irc, msn/icq/jabber if you like. there's much flooding through my brain when it comes to a stable branch. maybe i can give you some hints before you start something real.

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#37 2008-01-04 18:34:40

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

Nihathrael wrote:

I have allready talked to tomkx on irc about an irc channel. He will talk to phrakture and we will have our channel soon i guess.

You don't need to do anything. Just join some arbitrary channel, and it's created. freenode allows anyone to register channels. You're more than welcome to, but I would suggest not being hasty with the registration until the ball gets rolling.

As a registered project, we own all channels that start with #archlinux-* so I can always steal the registration if needs be, but if you get to the point where you'd like the permanent channel registered by me, I can do so.

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#38 2008-01-04 19:17:43

Nihathrael
Member
From: Freising, Germany
Registered: 2007-10-21
Posts: 82
Website

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

Ok, sounds good with me. So everyone interested in some talking on the project just join #archlinux-stable for now.

I will not register yet, if you(phrakture) have the rights to reclaim it anyway, there shouldn't be any problems anyway smile


Unknown Horizons - Open source real-time strategy game with the comfy Anno 1602 feeling!

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#39 2008-01-04 20:31:00

dunc
Member
From: Glasgow, UK
Registered: 2007-06-18
Posts: 557

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

nagoola wrote:

I don't think you can just look at other Distros cause most of them don't have a stable (read non-testing) rolling release and a stable brunch. The only one I know of might be frugalware.

The closest parallel I can think of is Sidux, a stable snapshot of Debian testing. I imagine "Arch-stable" would end up something like that. Indeed, it might be helpful to think of it as a derivative distro, rather than a branch of Arch.


0 Ok, 0:1

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#40 2008-01-04 21:38:36

dolby
Member
From: 1992
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1,581

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

can anyone post the results of the convertations every one in a while around here?
i mostly interested on how this is gonna be.
an Arch fork or totally seperate repos? cause i doubt such a stable branch will be able to co-exist ith the repos there are now after a certain period of time.
good luck


There shouldn't be any reason to learn more editor types than emacs or vi -- mg (1)
[You learn that sarcasm does not often work well in international forums.  That is why we avoid it. -- ewaller (arch linux forum moderator)

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#41 2008-01-04 22:10:21

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

dolby wrote:

an Arch fork or totally seperate repos?

It's trivially easy if it's just a set of repos. Then any arch user can simply replace some info in pacman.conf, and *bam*
pacman is cool like that. You can build an entire OS just by making some repos and reusing our install CD to build your own

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#42 2008-01-04 22:35:24

Misfit138
Misfit Emeritus
From: USA
Registered: 2006-11-27
Posts: 4,170

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

Project Wiki page created.
http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_Linux_Stable

EDIT: Still at work; I gotta drive home, and I'll polish it up when I get there.

Last edited by Misfit138 (2008-01-04 22:36:18)

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#43 2008-01-04 23:24:38

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

Wow, I have to say. In the umpteen years I've been using Arch, this idea has always been talked about with great fervor, but it has never moved outside the forums. It was always just a little thread, and then it craps out.

Great to see we actually have people doing things this time. I think this will be a great boon to Arch-land.

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#44 2008-01-05 08:27:03

iphitus
Forum Fellow
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-10-09
Posts: 4,927

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

phrakture wrote:

Wow, I have to say. In the umpteen years I've been using Arch, this idea has always been talked about with great fervor, but it has never moved outside the forums. It was always just a little thread, and then it craps out.

Great to see we actually have people doing things this time. I think this will be a great boon to Arch-land.

Aye, if this gets off the ground, I'll be happy to backport packages.

As said above, given the way pacman works, this project should be pretty easy to get started.

- Setup a CVS/SVN repo with the packages
- Take a snapshot of [core] as it is now
- Stabilise that snapshot, and then selectively update over time...  keeping it 'stable'.

Once we get that going, then we can consider looking at [extra].

I can also provide some hosting to help this get off the ground. If someone wants to lead this project, contact me and i'll help get it setup.

James

Last edited by iphitus (2008-01-05 08:27:59)

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#45 2008-01-05 08:40:07

Roberth
Member
From: Norway
Registered: 2007-01-12
Posts: 888

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

These stable snapshots would be great for servers:)


Use the Source, Luke!

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#46 2008-01-05 09:25:43

peart
Member
From: Kanuckistan
Registered: 2003-07-28
Posts: 510

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

I'm interested in helping out.  The first question on my mind is this: Would packages need to be renamed to identify them as being a part of the stable branch?  Does package foo-1.0-i686... become foo-1.0-stable-i686... ?  It seems to me that something to this effect would be necessary (but I could be wrong).

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#47 2008-01-05 11:09:54

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

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

peart wrote:

Would packages need to be renamed to identify them as being a part of the stable branch?

An idea, is to add new repo categories in /etc/pacman.conf with an option not allowing e.g. both [core] and [core_stable] be open at the same time.

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#48 2008-01-05 12:56:38

ibendiben
Member
Registered: 2007-10-10
Posts: 519
Website

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

I wondered where/when we want to start stabilizing.
I mean, we wait for some bigger updates to come: kernel .24 for example...
or do we want to go back in time to search for some known-to-be-stable packages/kernels...
It seems to me kernel .24 (or next arch-iso release) would be a good start point (with my hardware).

And as said before, wouldn't it be simpler to implement a pacman -S [repo]/[package-version]/[package] instead of having to create/enable a new repository every time you want to downgrade/update packages to a different version?

ps. Would my use of the code word: 'simple' have a positive or negative effect wink

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#49 2008-01-05 14:14:26

Schpariel
Member
Registered: 2007-08-24
Posts: 25

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

ibendiben wrote:

I wondered where/when we want to start stabilizing.
I mean, we wait for some bigger updates to come: kernel .24 for example...

Maintaining a stable kernel is hard - backporting security fixes is a lot of work, and we can save a lot of time (and effort) if we shift all the work to upstream
What does everyone think of the stable 2.6.16.y branch (2.6.16.57 atm)? - it's basically a well-maintained 2.6.16 kernel with constant security/bug fixes. I haven't heard of any distro that makes use of it though.

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#50 2008-01-05 14:34:36

hussam
Member
Registered: 2006-03-26
Posts: 525
Website

Re: Arch needs Stable-Snapshots!

I think SLED10 uses patches from 2.6.16 branch.

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