?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby PeggySue on Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:48 pm

Hi 3fRI

Here's my beef with Linux--name the distro--because what works one day might not work the next.


As a partial answer you need to be aware of the stability of the underlying Debian package. Mint 9 and 10 are based on Ubuntu which is based on Debian. Mint Debian comes straight from Debian but none of them are entirely based on the stable Debian. This wiki http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/Debian explains the branches of Debian. To be as bullet proof as possible you can use Debian Stable but some of the packages are ancient. E.g. Wine. Anything but pure stable will have the odd hiccup.

I partition my disks with partitions for Swap, Boot, Data and 3 or 4 for distributions all pointing to the same /data. This way I have a stable but old distribution as a fall back and the chance to play with others to see what I like. (Care is required to manage /boot correctly). Mint 10 was a pain so I ditched it but Mint 9 is a gem and will be my fall back for a year or two to come.

Linux rarely goes wrong if you don't mess with it. Have you checked your hardware lately? Memtest86+ from any distribution disk for the memory and hard disk SMART test routines will give an indication if your hardware is causing corruptions.
Hardware: Athlon II X3, 4 GB DDR3, 3x 1TB Raid 5. Running 64 bit: Debian, LDME, Mint 9 64 and 32 bit, Ubuntu 10.10 and testing Naffy Narwhal
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby Paedomorphosis on Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:48 pm

I guess we have been duly warned, and if we can't deal with this sort of thing, we should stick with the Ubuntu version... But I feel like this should be a pretty high priority, since this breakage is the first thing you experience after installing LMDE. And since the Mint Updater is one of the few uniquely Mint components that contributes to making it a unique system and not just Ubuntu or Debian with a custom Gnome theme and default app selection. And since it's a component that helps keep Mint Mint...

For example, I managed to screw up Mint using "apt-get dist-upgrade", and selecting to install the package maintainer's version of configuration files when prompted. (I figure newer = better, and if it's better I must have it...an attitude that sometimes gets me into trouble with Linux... :oops: ) So rather than try and track down every little problem I created and may or may not know about, I decided to try again from scratch.
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby kmb42vt on Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:07 pm

Paedomorphosis wrote:I guess we have been duly warned, and if we can't deal with this sort of thing, we should stick with the Ubuntu version... But I feel like this should be a pretty high priority, since this breakage is the first thing you experience after installing LMDE. And since the Mint Updater is one of the few uniquely Mint components that contributes to making it a unique system and not just Ubuntu or Debian with a custom Gnome theme and default app selection. And since it's a component that helps keep Mint Mint...

For example, I managed to screw up Mint using "apt-get dist-upgrade", and selecting to install the package maintainer's version of configuration files when prompted. (I figure newer = better, and if it's better I must have it...an attitude that sometimes gets me into trouble with Linux... :oops: ) So rather than try and track down every little problem I created and may or may not know about, I decided to try again from scratch.


LMDE is young yet and the Mint devs are still working to bring it to maturity as a Mint OS should be. There are modules (from Linux Mint main edition and Ubuntu) that still need to be modified to work properly in LMDE (MintUpdate, Jockey ["Additional drivers"] and such) plus setting in place a more stable way of updating LMDE than is current. Vetted monthly snapshots of Debian Testing have been mentioned by Clem as the most likely way this will be done, or at least as far as updates from Debian Testing are concerned. LMDE will come together soon enough once LM 11 is released. Meanwhile, it's a great learning tool, yes? :wink:
"Humph. Choice, it is the quintessential Linux delusion, simultaneously the source of it's greatest strength, and it's greatest weakness." (All apologies to The Architect)
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby TheGreatSudoku on Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:33 am

I'll throw my 2 cents into the hat:

A.)This is why I upgrade LMDE to unstable:
Debian claims "Testing" is more stable than "sid", but in reality.. it isn't. When a bug does make it's way into testing, the fix for it has to work it's way through unstable before it becomes testing-approved. Breakages themselves are not very common in sid, and when they are it's usually a matter of a day or days (if not a matter of hours) before a fix is released in the form of an updated package, or a workaround on the buglist page for the package in question. Sid/Unstable isn't "bleeding edge" either, most people label it as such incorrectly. Experimental IS bleeding edge. Sid is relatively stable, newer packages but maybe a revision or two behind the upstream. Testing just kinda strikes me as Sid-lite, you're not gaining a huge amount of stability, nor are you getting updates of new versions of your packages in a timely fashion.

B.) This is why I prefer Debian to Ubuntu:
Some of the packages Ubuntu releases, even for their LTR, are just as buggy and broken as packages in Debian's EXPERIMENTAL. If Ubuntu ships a broken package, you can HOPE it gets fixed by the next release, which is 6 months off. Or it might stay broken through the next 3 releases, because imho Ubuntu could care less about the QUALITY of their packages. Debian, having been around longer, is the more mature operating system, with a long-standing bug reporting/tracking system in place. If you run into a broken package in Debian, you can post a bug directly to the package maintainer. Debian maintainers actually seem to CARE when their packages break and fix it. Ubuntu.. well good luck with that
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