Question About Updates

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Question About Updates

Postby craig10x on Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:17 pm

Hi: I have a separate post about my new install (it looks like i did manage to get LMDE installed despite my inexperience with manual partitioning..thanks to poster seeley...lol)...
However, my question is this: For LMDE, i notice Clem has the default level of the Update Manager set to "level 3" I have done all the level 3 updates, but was wondering...is it fine to leave it at level 3..or do i need to add levels 4 and 5 to make this a full rolling distribution?
I am a bit confused about this...is it not a rolling distro at level 3? What is the advantage (and possible disadvantage) of adding level 4 and 5?
Thanks :wink:
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby dawgdoc on Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:21 pm

If you open update manager and then go to preferences you can find the definition of level 4 and 5 updates, actually of all of the levels. The breakdown into levels is a Mint designation. AFAIK other distributions do not do this, course I have only installed two others and didn't actually ever try to update them. :? The level four and five updates are not enabled by default because of a greater chance of "breaking" a system. Usually they are along the lines of kernel updates and graphics driver updates.

My vote is that an install with level 1 - 3 updates is a rolling update.

We could take a poll. :D
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby willie42 on Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:25 pm

I totally agree with Mr Dawgdoc. levels 4 and 5 can break your system or in another words have not proven themselves stable. I myself stay with levels 1-3 :D


so
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby rivenathos on Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:50 pm

While the Level system was a great idea when based on Ubuntu, I am awaiting some further discussion as to its continued effectiveness in LMDE.

If someone wants to stay with Squeeze and LMDE, then the Level 4 and 5 updates will only be security fixes. When Squeeze goes stable and LMDE continues along as Wheezy becomes Testing, the Level system may be of more benefit.

However, my concern continues to be that if a release is really rolling, it should roll with all of the updates. I see this as being a topic that needs to be discussed sometime very soon.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby craig10x on Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:16 pm

very good...and more input appreciated for those that would like to "chime in"...might help me to get a clearer picture :wink:
do you get application updates from debian and from mint itself when using the default level 3?
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby willie42 on Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:12 pm

yes...if you open your software manager >edit>Preferences>software sources>third party you can see there where you get your updates
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby dawgdoc on Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:00 pm

rivenathos wrote:However, my concern continues to be that if a release is really rolling, it should roll with all of the updates. I see this as being a topic that needs to be discussed sometime very soon.


If people pay enough attention to what they are upgrading this is pretty true. But if you do not pay attention a person could update a graphics driver, kernel package, sound driver or such that deprecates their hardware. How much more will this be true when testing changes from Squeeze to Wheezy and even newer kernels and drivers are available in levels 4 and 5?

People frequently do not always consider what they are doing. Look at how many people have updated the gdm, mint base, and debian graphics packages and were disturbed that their grub, splash screen, desktop and themes had changed. The package descriptions tell you what they do. If you miss this a dialog window pops up during the install which tells you some of your settings are being changed by the new packages and you are given an option to see what the differences are and then accept or reject the change. These are aesthetic changes and not that difficult to fix. Loosing functionality due to kernel or driver changes would be more aggravating and harder to repair for many. It is easy enough to make LMDE 'completely' rolling, go to Update Manager > Edit > Preferences and mark all levels Visible and Safe, use Synaptic to select all upgradeable packages, or the terminal applications of apt-get or aptitude to do a dist-upgrade.

Where LM_Ubuntu-base seems intended to hand hold, LMDE does not. (However, I do appreciate that Clem and team has engaged in a lot of hand holding with LMDE, it does make things easier.) I think most consider LMDE to be another edition of LM_Ubuntu-base and expect it to be as newbie friendly. It was only in the last month or so that Broadcom open sourced some of its wireless drivers and they became available in the debian repositories. Before that, for debian, you had to add the non-free repositories or compile drivers from source. Other drivers are only available by compiling. There was a news release in the past few weeks stating that when Squeeze goes stable it will only have the free repositories enabled by default. No proprietary software without some personal involvement by the user.

Many who come to LMDE do not seem to be beyond the point of wanting a rock solid, stable, pre-installed and configured device placed in their hands. Wanting such is ok, just choose your distro accordingly. Debian has three levels: Stable, Testing, and Experimental? Stable is Lenny, for now Squeeze is testing. Whenever Squeeze becomes stable, testing will then be based on Wheezy. Since LMDE is actually based on testing and not Squeeze, the new drivers and kernels will always be present. I do not think any distro can help with the pre-installed and configured part. Although there are a few retailers/resellers of computers with Linux installed, once the user starts updating them even these machines can break.

So, choose how you roll, just roll responsibly.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby rivenathos on Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:57 pm

dawgdoc,

True.

When LMDE rolls into the Wheezy stage of Testing, there may be some issues with which to contend. This was the rolling part I am concerned with, and the Level system of updates will hopefully help out. When Squeeze goes stable and Wheezy gets cranked up, there will be some fun times for a few weeks. Interesting activities happened in the switch from Lenny to Squeeze in 2009, just as they happened in the switch from Etch to Lenny in 2007. Been there and done that. No major disasters, but preparation is a very good thing during those times.

As for the Squeeze part of Testing, as long as someone switches the sources list to "squeeze" instead of "testing," then all of the Levels of updates should be allowed to update since there is no change that will break anything in Stable. The updates are only security-related with no breakage. So, if I wanted to use LMDE and stick with Squeeze, I would want Levels 1-5 enabled.

Disclaimer: My server runs Stable, my desktop runs Testing, and I have one hard drive tracking Unstable. With the repositories, I enable the Volatile repo, yet I have never needed anything from the Experimental repo, as yet. This is not my first rodeo with Debian, :wink:
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby dawgdoc on Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:16 am

rivenathos wrote:As for the Squeeze part of Testing, as long as someone switches the sources list to "squeeze" instead of "testing," then all of the Levels of updates should be allowed to update since there is no change that will break anything in Stable.

Disclaimer: This is not my first rodeo with Debian, :wink:

You are definitely more experienced with Debian than I am, in fact more experienced with Debian than I am with any and all types of linux. :oops:
Nor do I have any servers, well I did set up one FreeNas server for my brother.

It does look like we have some of the same basic understanding of the way Debian stable and testing work. But it's good that we are putting this out, I am sure that there are those using LMDE who do not.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby rivenathos on Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:28 am

dawgdoc,

Yeah, we are on the same page. If someone wants an LMDE to stay with Squeeze, all Levels are fine. Since most will roll on with Testing, the Level system - while great with Ubuntu - will probably need some reconsideration with Debian.

A good thing with the LMDE 201012 and 201101 snapshots is they were released while Squeeze was still testing. That means those who want a Stable LMDE can use those snapshots. I am sure the next snapshots released in a few months will be after Squeeze is stable and Wheezy is the new testing. The new rollers will pick up with the new snapshots.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby craig10x on Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:22 am

I appreciate all the comments and feedback so far on this topic...however

I'm still not really quite clear as to whether it is best to leave the setting on level 3 or move it up to level 5...i do see various posts around here that mention that it isn't really a rolling distro unless all updates are taken in...and i notice there has been no official word from Clem or anyone on the mint team about this...while i like the idea of "playing it safe" am i doing so at the expense of not really getting the rolling release advantage of this system?

Just to further clarify, i am using the preset software sources where it will get from both debian stable AND testing...not just debian stable...
so am i looking for trouble if i go to level 5? Or should i just hang with level 3? :roll:
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby axxer on Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:31 pm

if u know what ur doing, level 4 or 5 wouldnt be a problem at all. me myself were using lmde with sid's repo for awhile and never encounter a problem. and i also apply apdates from level 4 and 5 if i'm sure its safe. i just let level 4 and 5 updates sit there for about a week while i'm occasionally visit debian forum to see if theres anyone had problem with those package. as for kernel, i'm using liquorix kernel and always update it the moment it appear in mintupdate. if i had problem with that new kernel, i can always revert back to my old one. its not like updating to the new kernel will delete my old kernel :wink: again, it totally depends on u. if u know what ur doing just go for it.
Last edited by axxer on Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby asymmetros on Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:35 pm

Personally i have a fully updated lmde, (levels 4 and 5 included) and everything runs smoothly -as good as the very first day or better perhaps. But now squeeze is a kind of frozen. When wheezy gets "promotion" as testing, the party will begin. I have not been there before but everyone says that an update-breakage will be a realistic possibility. I m trying to see the bright side of this -if any problem occurs, this will help to understand better some things. I am considering many options, eg not to upgrade very often and wait for some days at the begining, or be more conservative with my upgrades for a short period of time.
I dont think that Stable is a rolling distro -under any definition you can use for 'rolling. Rolling means to get newer versions of applications or to upgrade the basis of your system, from time to time -to get for example a newer kernel. Only security updates and patches means that you will remain with virtually the same (versions of) programs and staff for years to come.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby willie42 on Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:39 pm

asymmetros wrote:Personally i have a fully updated lmde, (levels 4 and 5 included) and everything runs smoothly -as good as the very first day or better perhaps. But now squeeze is a kind of frozen. When wheezy gets "promotion" as testing, the party will begin. I have not been there before but everyone says that an update-breakage will be a realistic possibility. I m trying to see the bright side of this -if any problem occurs, this will help to understand better some things. I am considering many options, eg not to upgrade bery often, at least at the begining, or be more conservative with my upgrades for a short period of time.
I dont think that Stable is rolling distro -under any definition you can use for 'rolling. Rolling means to get newer versions of applications or to upgrade the basis of your system, from time -to get for example a newer kernel. Only security updates and patches means tha you will remain with virually the same (versions of) programs and staff for years to come.



personally I would get me some extra hard drive space a make a bi-weekly backup just incase something does bork you can restore all your on configurations back to the previous state then you will know what and how to do after that.... :D
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby craig10x on Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:40 pm

so axxer...what you are saying is if you are not sure as far as handling the 4 and 5 levels...then it would be safer to stay at level 3?
and if i do stay at level 3...then other then mostly kernel updates...for all intensive purposes, i still have a rolling release in all other ways?
Or do i not get application updates (new versions of say chromium, pidgin, etc) security updates, bug fixes and other refinements in levels 1-3? (this question i throw out to both axxer and the rest of you out there...lol)
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby axxer on Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:00 pm

willie42 wrote:personally I would get me some extra hard drive space a make a bi-weekly backup just incase something does bork you can restore all your on configurations back to the previous state then you will know what and how to do after that.... :D


yes, backup is a must with rolling distro :D
i always do partition cloning for backup purpose :D

craig10x wrote:so axxer...what you are saying is if you are not sure as far as handling the 4 and 5 levels...then it would be safer to stay at level 3?

true.. it would be safer to just stick with level 3 updates. me myself is just a thrill hunger guy plus i want my sytem to be bleeding edge as possible. thats why i chose to use my lmde with sid's repo. but the risk is big with me, always had chance to broke my system with every update i apply. then again, i always had my partition cloned in case something like that really happen :mrgreen:
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby craig10x on Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:45 pm

thanks axxer...i probably will want to stay at level 3 then....but those who have been running LMDE for a while now...
do you still get new versions of applications you are using, bug fixes, security updates and other refinements at the preset level 3?
I imagine through the linux mint side you get all the linux mint updates...but i was wondering about the rest of that stuff...
I just installed LMDE a few days ago so that's why i don't know what to expect from the "mint update" at that level 3 default....
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby willie42 on Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:53 pm

Well Clem and his team at this point has made great efforts to pass down packages that are as bug free as possible and I am sure any upgrades will be sent down as well. I have faith in our leaders at mint and all the staff that they will not keep something from us that will be beneficial or pass something down that will bork your system. :D

edit: but I still high suggest keeping a current backup just in case.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby axxer on Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:03 pm

lmde with default install is using debian testing repo.. currently debian testing is in freeze state, in preparation to become the next debian stable (squeeze). so until debian squeeze is officially release u will not receive any major update with softwares, just minor security fix. the day debian squeeze is release u will got a bunch of updates (packages that earlier were held back). after that it'll be normal, update will come as usual from testing repo.
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Re: Question About Updates

Postby craig10x on Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:24 pm

thanks axxer..willie42 and the rest..i guess i will play it conservative and stick with "3" as long as i know i will get the newer versions of applications, bug fixes, security updates and all...no problem then :)

and of course, Clem will send over all the new mint "goodies" as they come along :mrgreen:
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