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* [Comm-en] Re: Question regarding Sisyphus (ALT Linux Junior 2.2)
  @ 2004-01-15  8:00 ` Michael Shigorin
  0 siblings, 0 replies; only message in thread
From: Michael Shigorin @ 2004-01-15  8:00 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: D&J Bouley; +Cc: community-en

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On Wed, Jan 14, 2004 at 07:44:10PM -0600, D&J Bouley wrote:
> I'm sorry to bother you

No problem :-)  *I*'m sorry for pulling this back to maillist
without taking the time for negotiation but hey they may be
interested too.  And there's a question asked to the public.

---------------------- SHORT ANSWER --------------------------

If your system is production, you'd better stick with stable.

If you're adventurous and have some experience to
identify/report/fix things that break, then our unstable is
stable enough.

Your best bet with Sisyphus is getting "spare" Compact install on
the next partition dist-upgraded to that and figuring out yourself.

-------------------- MIKE'S USUAL RANT -----------------------

--- Junior/Compact-related

> It's regarding Junior 2.2 and the Junior Sisyphus repository
> available for Synaptic.

Ummm... no.  Junior is a _release_ branch, Sisyphus is a runaway
repo.  J is static (and considered stable), S is a moving target
and a flow of changes.

Having said that, all my workstations (where applicable WRT
traffic/CD-carrier ;-) run Sisyphus, and one experimental server
too (since this week).

> I'm looking for easy ways to upgrade my Junior distribution.  I
> know Compact is coming out soon (in Beta right now)

BTW: recent one moved to

> but it doesn't contain certain packages that I've come to
> depend on (Gnome in particular).

Yep; several people joked that it should be called Kompakt.

In fact, Compact is an OEM thing, and common users are more
comfortable with KDE in average.  So it has to lean more to "one
task -- one tool" approach.

Junior is composed with somewhat different shift: some reasonably
diverse mixture with considerable respect to "alternative"
technologies like Gnome, LaTeX, and other "rarely used things".

IIGIR there will be Junior 2.3 release.

--- Sisyphus-related

> I keep seeing new packages added to Sisyphus, but they don't
> seem to make it to my Junior repository very often (like Gnome
> 2.4).

Umm... Any given Junior is frozen, so there are only
security/critical updates.  It's reasonable both

> What are the dangers of me adding the Sisyphus repository for
> Junior to my repository list in Synaptic?

Umm... next "update" will get your APT used to Sisyphus, and
subsequent "dist-upgrade" will change you system fore^H the
lifetime of that install -- that is, it will migrate from
"stable" release to "unstable" branch.

NB: if you've done some considerable downloading and then need to
reiterate/spread the experiment, consider backing up
/var/cache/apt/archives -- it's somewhat aptish rpm collection,
which can be just copied to another system's same directory,
or transformed to "normal" names with a script like this:

ls *.rpm \
| while read aptish; do
    rpmish=`rpm -qp --queryformat='%{NAME}-%{VERSION}-%{RELEASE}.%{ARCH}.rpm' $aptish`
    [ $rpmish != $aptish ] && mv $aptish $rpmish

(note that these filenames don't contain e.g. spaces -- usually
you want to put things like "$rpmish" and "$aptish" into scripts
so that they don't break with any filenames)

> Are there any really BIG dangers?

Well you'll seem to be the first (non-casual) Sisyphus user here
then, as you understand it's a lot of media coverage,
interviewers at the door -- and maybe we'll have to set up
sisyphus-en@ :-)

Ugh. :-)

OK, there are -- you can render the system fully or partially
unusable with e.g. broken kernel update.  OTOH people (me too)
have done things like remote upgrade of Master 2.0 systems to
Master 2.2, which is sort of similar in scope to 2.2->2.3 jump.

The parts where major changes came in differ though:

2.0->2.2 involved moving from apt-0.3 to 0.5 series, hence the
need for additional repo with 0.5 built just right to fit 2.0 to
grok the newer hash format and somewhat more complicated
dependencies; also control(8) utility/framework was introduced.

--- devel@-related step-on-the-soapbox

Maybe there were other things (these should really get identified
and published in face of any new release; that is also a topic
for one of current discussion in development list), but these
were the ones I can remember at once.

(basically because when up'ing remote server, you'd do it in two
steps with MasterUpgrade repo on CD1 or in a tree -- and while at
having root console, verifying that either sudo(1) is configured
and works or su(1) is accessible from the designated user -- as
permissions on /bin/su were generally tightened up so you wanted
to do "control su public" or put your user(s) to "wheel" group)

--- The Question -- The Answer

> Can I easy break my system by using Sisyphus packages?

Jah, sure! :-)

That's one of the purposes of sisyphus@ maillist -- tracking
that, you can be reasonably sure when dist-upgrading since if
there are problems someone will usually find it out before you.
But sometimes that "someone" will be exactly *yourself* :-]

Well, I believe (and try to push that) that major/breaking things
should be announced properly and in advance anyway (and usually
they are), and maybe it could be worth tagging in Subject: so
as to improve searching/filtering those; maybe it could be worth
writing some info in English and Cc:'ing it here, but some Q's:

- if most people here don't want to risk playing with unstable,
  it will be mostly spam for them (though not entirely -- it
  helps to see what will be the next stable... but oh);
- if a person doig Cc: isn't really subscribed here, the message
  will be moderated; that's a bit of hassle, but minor one IMO.

If you want and noone complains, I can try to forward such things
here -- probably with some babelfish translation and a couple
human words. :-)

It's not very timely and reliable since I'm not getting to that
mailbox everyday (though usually do) and can just forget or skip
the matter.

--- personal experience (handle with care)

> What is your personal recommendation, if you have one, for me
> to keep my OS stable, yet make me happy with getting more
> recent builds for it?

Well I'm pretty happy with this exact system (home one) which
runs blindly-daily-updated Sisyphus.  The reason for me not
tracking sisyphus@ that closely *now* is simple: morning's
"rsync && update && dist-upgrade" -- I tend to keep the home
mirror -- just doesn't break anything at all *for me*.

Note that I don't use Gnome/KDE which are complicated and
breaking-prone things for sure (e.g. you break some build
infrastructure and KDE won't build, while some other things stil
strive -- but that's somewhat different topic... oh well).
I'm running WindowMaker, and we've got the best WM maintainer
around :-) so it's Just Working (tm).

Also may be worth mentioning that all my servers are running
Sisyphus kernel for now (moved after do_brk() pleasure since
upgrading was needed anyway).

--- 2.6.x

Ah, and the home system runs 2.6.1 prepackaged and available at:

you need mkinitrd-2.8.9-alt6+ from ed/ as current alt5 has a
thinko fixable by running

	subst 's,2.6.0,2\\.6\\.' /sbin/mkinitrd

after installing that on a Sisyphus system.  Also note that
updating bootloader-utils, modutils, mkinitrd and startup is
required/higly-recommended from the same source -- or wait for
some week or so, 2.6 is going to make it into Sisyphus as an
addition (so there will be 2.2, 2.4 and 2.6 supported within it).

 ---- WBR, Michael Shigorin <>
  ------ Linux.Kiev

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2004-01-15  8:00 ` [Comm-en] Re: Question regarding Sisyphus (ALT Linux Junior 2.2) Michael Shigorin

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