Really rolling?

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Really rolling?

Postby ej64 on Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:34 am

I discovered some level 4 and 5 updates that are kernel and Xorg related. mintUpdate's defaults don't take them into account. So how is this a rolling release?

According to the aptosid (rolling sid distribution, formerly "Sidux") manual a dist-upgrade should be performed at least once a month (to not run into dependency troubles). This dist-upgrade must be run within a tty, logged out from any X DE and within runlevel 3 to be safe.

I performed a dist-upgrade and all the level 1-5 updates have been accomplished. Now the system is really up-to-date.

What will be the "mint way" to do that? As far as I see, there are no suggestions for anything that goes beyond the mintUpdate's default method. So, how will LMDE be a rolling release for the default user?
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby vrkalak on Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:11 pm

Linux Mint Debian Edition is based on Debian's 'testing' branch.

Debian 'testing' is currently in the 'freeze' stage of it's development.
Debian 6 Squeeze (testing) is preparing to be released as the next 'stable' version of Debian.
The only updates to 'testing' are for bug fixes and security updates, for the next few months.
After, Squeeze is released as 'stable' a new version of Debian will be released as the 'testing' branch.

Debian Sid (unstable) is always Sid. It doesn't freeze or stop updating.
Sid (unstable) is the true rolling release of Debian.

Debian stable is just that ... rock solid stable always. But, application packages are not added very often, and will appear to be out-dated.
Under normal circumstances, new applications, packages and fixes are released to Debian testing within 10-30 days after a new version of an application is released.
New applications and packages are added to Debian Sid, usually, within 3 days after released.

Here's where the 'rolling' part comes to play ... with Debian 'testing' when you do an "apt-get update" all applications and packages within the 'testing' repros are automatically updated.
So if you do an apt-get update once a week ... your OS and applications are up-to-date- within the constricts of Debian 'testing'

I have been using Debian with a mixed testing/unstable sources.list for almost 2 years now ... and everything is up-to-date.
(I have the new 2.6.35.2 kernel and Firefox 4.0 Beta 5 ... as well as newer versions of every other App. I use)

I only do an 'apt-get update' about once a week and an 'apt-get upgrade' about every 3 months.
I never have to do a 'dist-upgrade' unless I am moving from stable to testing or testing to unstable.
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby axel668 on Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:54 pm

@vralak: thanks for pointing that out, was always doing dist-upgrade, too, was told to do so during my (very brief) Sidux phase
@ej64: you might always enable levels 4 and 5 in the Mint Updater settings, but I'm not sure if this would be recommended
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby vincent on Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:10 pm

According to http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_debian.php, this is a known problem.

Update Manager
The Update Manager used in LMDE is the same as the one in other editions of Linux Mint. No adaptation or changes were made yet to accomodate it to the rolling nature of LMDE.
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby ej64 on Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:30 pm

Thanks for your reply. But I think that needs some sorting ... :wink: (no offense meant)
vrkalak wrote:So if you do an apt-get update once a week ... your OS and applications are up-to-date- within the constricts of Debian 'testing'

:?: apt-get update only updates the indexes, it will not update any package.

I have been using Debian with a mixed testing/unstable sources.list for almost 2 years now ... and everything is up-to-date.
(I have the new 2.6.35.2 kernel and Firefox 4.0 Beta 5 ... as well as newer versions of every other App. I use)

I only do an 'apt-get update' about once a week and an 'apt-get upgrade' about every 3 months.

Well, actually you update only every 3 month ... which is not recommended -- sooner or later this will break you system. An apt-get update is highly recommended before upgrading or installing anything (but directly before!) for it updates the package indexes (and only these by itself).

I never have to do a 'dist-upgrade' unless I am moving from stable to testing or testing to unstable.

A dist-upgrade is more powerful. If dependencies change or there are new libraries your upgrade will do nothing. It will leave the packages whose dependencies can't be solved as is (which sometimes isn't bad at all). The dist-upgrade will try to solve these changes, install new libraries if necessary and dump old ones that aren't needed any more. Within years of a rolling release that is very likely to be essential to keep an installation vivid and up-to-date.

But this wasn't my question. I wondered how the less advanced user (at whom Mint is addressed) will keep his installation rolling with the provided GUI tools.
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby ej64 on Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:34 pm

vincent wrote:According to http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_debian.php, this is a known problem. [...]

Ah, thanks. I've missed that point ...

Seems at least a tutorial is needed.
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby tdockery97 on Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:46 pm

ej64 wrote:A dist-upgrade is more powerful. If dependencies change or there are new libraries your upgrade will do nothing. It will leave the packages whose dependencies can't be solved as is (which sometimes isn't bad at all). The dist-upgrade will try to solve these changes, install new libraries if necessary and dump old ones that aren't needed any more. Within years of a rolling release that is very likely to be essential to keep an installation vivid and up-to-date.

Just so I'm clear, what you are saying is that the proper way to do updates that include both system and packages is first do apt-get update, and then immediately do dist-upgrade?
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby misGnomer on Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:18 pm

Can't get much more rollin' than this! 8)

(a prospective Mint Debian theme song by the Blues Brothers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCRae5mRoRE
"rollin' rollin' rollin' ...
Keep movin' movin' movin'
Though their disapprovin'
Keep them doggies moving
Rawhide
Don't try to understand them
Just rope, throw and brand them
Soon well be living high and wide
rollin' rollin' rollin' ...")
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby vincent on Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:40 pm

tdockery97 wrote:
ej64 wrote:A dist-upgrade is more powerful. If dependencies change or there are new libraries your upgrade will do nothing. It will leave the packages whose dependencies can't be solved as is (which sometimes isn't bad at all). The dist-upgrade will try to solve these changes, install new libraries if necessary and dump old ones that aren't needed any more. Within years of a rolling release that is very likely to be essential to keep an installation vivid and up-to-date.

Just so I'm clear, what you are saying is that the proper way to do updates that include both system and packages is first do apt-get update, and then immediately do dist-upgrade?


For a rolling release, yes, you should run dist-upgrades instead of plain old upgrades. A "dist-upgrade" does an "upgrade" and then some more, so once you run a dist-upgrade, you don't need to run an upgrade. For a stable release, e.g. Debian Stable or Ubuntu, there should NOT be a need to do a dist-upgrade regularly, as libraries should not change and there would be no major upgrades (in fact, a truly stable release should get nothing more than security patches...), assuming you stick with the default repositories.
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby Nebeli on Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:22 am

Actually recomended by Debian update/upgrade tool is aptitude.
Command update with apt-get or aptitude only refresh information about packages.
Only upgrade can make changes, but it's recommended to run update before upgrade.
Aptitude have to forms of upgrade: safe-upgrade and full-upgrade.

update
Updates the list of available packages from the apt sources (this is equivalent to “apt-get update”)

safe-upgrade
Upgrades installed packages to their most recent version. Installed packages will not be removed unless they are unused (see the
section “Managing Automatically Installed Packages” in the aptitude reference manual). Packages which are not currently installed may
be installed to resolve dependencies unless the --no-new-installs command-line option is supplied.

If no <package>s are listed on the command line, aptitude will attempt to upgrade every package that can be upgraded. Otherwise,
aptitude will attempt to upgrade only the packages which it is instructed to upgrade. The <package>s can be extended with suffixes
in the same manner as arguments to aptitude install, so you can also give additional instructions to aptitude here; for instance,
aptitude safe-upgrade bash dash- will attempt to upgrade the bash package and remove the dash package.

It is sometimes necessary to remove one package in order to upgrade another; this command is not able to upgrade packages in such
situations. Use the full-upgrade command to upgrade as many packages as possible.

full-upgrade
Upgrades installed packages to their most recent version, removing or installing packages as necessary. This command is less
conservative than safe-upgrade and thus more likely to perform unwanted actions. However, it is capable of upgrading packages that
safe-upgrade cannot upgrade.

If no <package>s are listed on the command line, aptitude will attempt to upgrade every package that can be upgraded. Otherwise,
aptitude will attempt to upgrade only the packages which it is instructed to upgrade. The <package>s can be extended with suffixes
in the same manner as arguments to aptitude install, so you can also give additional instructions to aptitude here; for instance,
aptitude full-upgrade bash dash- will attempt to upgrade the bash package and remove the dash package.


So if one wants to be always up-to-date needs to rune at least one time per week:

Code: Select all
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude full-upgrade


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Re: Really rolling?

Postby vincent on Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:23 pm

Nebeli wrote:So if one wants to be always up-to-date needs to rune at least one time per week:

Code: Select all
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude full-upgrade


Which is the same as:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade


Yes, Debian recommends the use of aptitude. On the other hand, Ubuntu is actually planning to remove aptitude from its base system by Ubuntu 11.04, and recommend people to use its Software Centre instead (or Synaptic and apt-get). Mint's custom apt commands use a combination of apt-get, aptitude, and dpkg itself (check /usr/local/bin/apt if you're in doubt of this). In light of the above...which is better, apt-get or aptitude? There isn't a straight-forward answer to that, and in the end, it's really up to user preference. I, personally, prefer the use of apt-get because I'm simply more used to it. Honestly, both work pretty much equally well, and are full-featured.

One caveat...apt-get and aptitude use separate log files. I recommend using one or the other, not both. Make up your mind and stick with one of them...:P
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby gotjazz on Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:42 pm

vincent wrote:One caveat...apt-get and aptitude use separate log files. I recommend using one or the other, not both. Make up your mind and stick with one of them...:P


and synaptic uses apt-get right? so if someone uses synaptic that'd mean no more aptitude....
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby vincent on Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:20 am

Yes, Synaptic uses apt-get. Keep in mind that aptitude does include an user interface for package configuration...try it out, just type "aptitude" in a terminal. It's ncurses-based, and thus it's arguably not as friendly to newbies as Synaptic + apt-get is, but it's still a pretty functional interface.
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby Nebeli on Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:51 pm

vincent wrote:Yes, Synaptic uses apt-get. Keep in mind that aptitude does include an user interface for package configuration...try it out, just type "aptitude" in a terminal. It's ncurses-based, and thus it's arguably not as friendly to newbies as Synaptic + apt-get is, but it's still a pretty functional interface.


There is also aptitude-gtk, but it's very poor.

Aptitude keep record of packages installed with other packages, and when you remove one packages it cleans other too. Theoretically it should let us to have less mess in the system. Just if you choose one, stick to it.
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby vrkalak on Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:55 pm

From the Debian 'testing' ... terminal "apt-get man" pages

upgrade
upgrade is used to install the newest versions of all packages
currently installed on the system from the sources enumerated in
/etc/apt/sources.list. Packages currently installed with new
versions available are retrieved and upgraded; under no
circumstances are currently installed packages removed, or
packages not already installed retrieved and installed. New
versions of currently installed packages that cannot be upgraded
without changing the install status of another package will be
left at their current version. An update must be performed first
so that apt-get knows that new versions of packages are available.

dist-upgrade
dist-upgrade in addition to performing the function of upgrade,
also intelligently handles changing dependencies with new versions
of packages; apt-get has a "smart" conflict resolution system, and
it will attempt to upgrade the most important packages at the
expense of less important ones if necessary. So, dist-upgrade
command may remove some packages. The /etc/apt/sources.list file
contains a list of locations from which to retrieve desired
package files. See also apt_preferences(5) for a mechanism for
overriding the general settings for individual packages.
Last edited by vrkalak on Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby Nebeli on Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:56 pm

vincent wrote:Yes, Debian recommends the use of aptitude. On the other hand, Ubuntu is actually planning to remove aptitude from its base system by Ubuntu 11.04, and recommend people to use its Software Centre instead (or Synaptic and apt-get).


They are planing to remove Synaptic from Ubuntu 11.4 too... :evil:
http://www.webupd8.org/2010/09/synaptic ... -soon.html

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Re: Really rolling?

Postby tdockery97 on Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:13 pm

Another reason I don't use Ubuntu :D
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby MALsPa on Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:01 pm

You'll still be able to install Synaptic in Ubuntu and use it, though.
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby vincent on Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:17 pm

Nebeli wrote:
vincent wrote:Aptitude keep record of packages installed with other packages, and when you remove one packages it cleans other too. Theoretically it should let us to have less mess in the system.


apt-get can do the same as well, with the following command:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get autoremove

The only difference is that aptitude does so automatically, whereas you have to type "apt-get autoremove" to accomplish the same thing with apt-get. This can be both a plus or a minus, depending on how you look at it...

MALsPa wrote:You'll still be able to install Synaptic in Ubuntu and use it, though.

Ubuntu seems to insist on people using their Software Centre, for some reason (and maybe it's for a good reason...Synaptic is a more powerful tool, but newbies don't find it as intuitive as Ubuntu Software Centre or mintInstall). I'm just glad that Mint comes with both Synaptic and mintInstall by default...to be honest, I use neither (I prefer apt-get), but I like the fact that both tools are available and easily accessible if I ever choose to use them.
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Re: Really rolling?

Postby drokmed on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:57 pm

Greetings, Programs!

My second post here. I'm an old school Debian fella, just heard about LMD, thought I'd come over here and check it out.

vincent wrote:For a rolling release, yes, you should run dist-upgrades instead of plain old upgrades. A "dist-upgrade" does an "upgrade" and then some more, so once you run a dist-upgrade, you don't need to run an upgrade. For a stable release, e.g. Debian Stable or Ubuntu, there should NOT be a need to do a dist-upgrade regularly, as libraries should not change and there would be no major upgrades (in fact, a truly stable release should get nothing more than security patches...), assuming you stick with the default repositories.

If I may add my two cents to this.

Yes, in Debian STABLE, a dist-upgrade will never be needed, unless of course you are upgrading to testing (or a new stable). However, we are talking about testing. Since testing froze a few (six?) weeks ago, I've had to do more than one dist-upgrade to pick up some new libraries. In Debian, "apt-get update && apt-get upgrade" is sufficient to pick up any updates, unless a dependency issue, such as a replacement library becomes available. You'll know it, because apt-get will complain about new packages being held back. When you see this, use the dist-upgrade.

As far as apt-get vs aptitude, true, aptitude runs on top of apt-get. aptitude is a little smarter when it comes to figuring out dependency issues. I usually use apt-get, and when it has questions about dependencies, I abort, and give aptitude a try, to see what it says. btw I should state i'm a command line kind of guy, have no use for synaptic, but that's just me.

I had a corrupt system once (power loss during an upgrade whoops!), and aptitude got uber confused when trying to resolve dependency issues, but apt-get pushed through it easy enough. Strange, but true.

Back to the point I think the op was trying to make, since it's based on testing, you should do an "apt-get update && apt-get upgrade" about once a week. I wouldn't go longer than a month. Then again, it depends on how many packages you have installed. For a workstation with every Debian package imaginable, I'd say upgrade more often, every day is fine (good coffee drinking ritual in the morning), at least once a week. If it's a simple server with no gui, you could go for months between upgrades and probably be fine.

I've rambled on enough, especially for a person new here.

Greetings
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