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Out of the frying pan...

 
 
Lawrence D'Oliveiro
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-21-2009
After over two and a half years running Gentoo on my main workstation, I've
decided to give Debian a try.

There's never a dull moment with Gentoo. Everything's built from source on-
demand, but its dependency management seems to have a few holes in it
(whether by accident or design, I'm not sure). For example if package A
depends on package B, and you upgrade to a newer version of B, it will need
to rebuild A against the new B, but it doesn't figure this out automatically,
you have to do a separate step. Thus, every time you upgrade something,
you've almost certainly broken something else, though you may not discover
it immediately.

Anyway, about a month ago I decided to install KDE 4.2, which had finally
made it into the official repositories. It took--I kid you not--most of a
weekend to compile it all. I hit one or two roadblocks along the way. In one
case, a newer package was failing to build against an older version of
another package that should have been upgraded first, but wasn't (missing
dependency?). So I manually upgraded the other package, then resumed the
main KDE install, and it chugged along.

At another point, the C compiler got stuck, chewing over 90% of my CPU,
seemingly without doing anything at all. I killed it after about 20 minutes,
did a hunt around, and discovered there was a newer version of GCC
available. So I upgraded that, then resumed the KDE build.

Is it a good idea to switch compiler versions in the middle of building
something that large and complex? Come to think of it....

Anyway, the whole thing finally built. And for the most part, it worked,
giving me loads of lovely 3D and other fun effects with my NVidia card. Just
one or two minor niggles: for instance, every time I opened a message
composition window in Thunderbird, the clock display in my taskbar would
start flashing. And while it was flashing, clicking on it to bring up the
calendar display would show a corrupted window. Other Thunderbird windows
would be fine--only the one that let you create a message had this effect.

And if I left it in that state, and switched to the desktop where I keep my
Konsole terminal sessions, I'd get weird highlighting corruption happening
there.

Anyway, about a week ago, I saw that an update to KDE 4.2.1 was available in
the Gentoo repositories. So last night I finally got around to doing the
update. Hit one dependency issue like before, which I was able to work
around as before. Went to bed.

Woke up this morning, and whaddaya know--it had finished! Instead of
consuming the whole weekend, it had just taken one night.

Checked the Thunderbird flashing-clock problem--still there. Sigh. What was
worse, Konsole was misbehaving even worse than before, with random holes
appearing in the window backgrounds, even without Thunderbird.

I had said to myself, during the throes of the initial KDE 4.2 upgrade, that
if I couldn't get this to work, I was going to give Debian a try. So this
time I decided--what the hell, let's do it. I had purposely left a 15GB
partition spare when I set up the hard drive, specifically so I could try a
new OS in future without having to wipe the existing installation. So I went
ahead and put on Debian 5.0.

This was my fourth Debian install. Installing Gentoo is like assembling a
kitset car: you follow the instructions, and you see it taking shape before
your eyes. Very hands-on. Debian is more like the conventional read the
question, answer it, go on to the next screen, let it do its stuff kind of
thing. Ho-hum.

Then I discovered that KDE 4.2 is not in the current "stable" Debian
release, or even in "testing" or "unstable": it is in fact classified as
"experimental", so the package system will (deliberately) not install it
without some additional encouragement.

Anyway, did all that. Logged in, and there's some of the usual KDE 4.2 stuff,
looking fine. Instead of "Firefox" and "Thunderbird", they're called
"Iceweasel" and "Icedove" (clash of trademark policies with Mozilla). But
that's no biggie. Start up Iceweasel, and it picks up my previous Firefox
bookmarks and browsing history without missing a beat. Start Icedove--hmm,
where have my Thunderbird e-mail accounts gone? That's OK, I'll sort it out
later. Open a message-composition window, watch the clock ...

It doesn't flash! How's Konsole behaving? Looks OK so far.

So I have my KDE 4.2 back again, and if anything, it looks better than
before.

Just one thing: Debian "stable" may be fine for servers, but it's a sure
recipe for dull and boring on the desktop. Not my idea of fun. I thought I'd
try "testing" instead, where hopefully new goodies will be coming in all the
time, the way they do with Gentoo. So I went into my /etc/apt/sources.list,
and changed all instances of "lenny" to "sid".

Then I discovered that "testing" is in fact currently called "squeeze", that
"sid" is really "unstable", the next higher grade of chaos beyond "testing",
where anything is liable to break at any time!

Oh ****. Oh well...

 
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Craig Sutton
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-21-2009

"Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <(E-Mail Removed)_zealand> wrote in message
news:gq24f6$esm$(E-Mail Removed)...
> After over two and a half years running Gentoo on my main workstation,
> I've
> decided to give Debian a try.
>


>
> Then I discovered that "testing" is in fact currently called "squeeze",
> that
> "sid" is really "unstable", the next higher grade of chaos beyond
> "testing",
> where anything is liable to break at any time!
>
> Oh ****. Oh well...
>


Have you considered switching to Windows XP?

 
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Nicolaas Hawkins
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-21-2009
On Sat, 21 Mar 2009 20:45:59 +1300, Craig Sutton <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote in <news:gq25t0$fn8$(E-Mail Removed)>:

> "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <(E-Mail Removed)_zealand> wrote in message
> news:gq24f6$esm$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> After over two and a half years running Gentoo on my main workstation,
>> I've
>> decided to give Debian a try.
>>

>
>>
>> Then I discovered that "testing" is in fact currently called "squeeze",
>> that
>> "sid" is really "unstable", the next higher grade of chaos beyond
>> "testing",
>> where anything is liable to break at any time!
>>
>> Oh ****. Oh well...
>>

>
> Have you considered switching to Windows XP?


[Dives behind sofa, covers ears]

--
- Nicolaas
 
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oneofus
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-21-2009
Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
> After over two and a half years running Gentoo on my main workstation, I've
> decided to give Debian a try.
>
> There's never a dull moment with Gentoo. Everything's built from source on-
> demand, but its dependency management seems to have a few holes in it
> (whether by accident or design, I'm not sure). For example if package A
> depends on package B, and you upgrade to a newer version of B, it will need
> to rebuild A against the new B, but it doesn't figure this out automatically,
> you have to do a separate step. Thus, every time you upgrade something,
> you've almost certainly broken something else, though you may not discover
> it immediately.
>
> Anyway, about a month ago I decided to install KDE 4.2, which had finally
> made it into the official repositories. It took--I kid you not--most of a
> weekend to compile it all. I hit one or two roadblocks along the way. In one
> case, a newer package was failing to build against an older version of
> another package that should have been upgraded first, but wasn't (missing
> dependency?). So I manually upgraded the other package, then resumed the
> main KDE install, and it chugged along.
>
> At another point, the C compiler got stuck, chewing over 90% of my CPU,
> seemingly without doing anything at all. I killed it after about 20 minutes,
> did a hunt around, and discovered there was a newer version of GCC
> available. So I upgraded that, then resumed the KDE build.
>
> Is it a good idea to switch compiler versions in the middle of building
> something that large and complex? Come to think of it....
>
> Anyway, the whole thing finally built. And for the most part, it worked,
> giving me loads of lovely 3D and other fun effects with my NVidia card. Just
> one or two minor niggles: for instance, every time I opened a message
> composition window in Thunderbird, the clock display in my taskbar would
> start flashing. And while it was flashing, clicking on it to bring up the
> calendar display would show a corrupted window. Other Thunderbird windows
> would be fine--only the one that let you create a message had this effect.
>
> And if I left it in that state, and switched to the desktop where I keep my
> Konsole terminal sessions, I'd get weird highlighting corruption happening
> there.
>
> Anyway, about a week ago, I saw that an update to KDE 4.2.1 was available in
> the Gentoo repositories. So last night I finally got around to doing the
> update. Hit one dependency issue like before, which I was able to work
> around as before. Went to bed.
>
> Woke up this morning, and whaddaya know--it had finished! Instead of
> consuming the whole weekend, it had just taken one night.
>
> Checked the Thunderbird flashing-clock problem--still there. Sigh. What was
> worse, Konsole was misbehaving even worse than before, with random holes
> appearing in the window backgrounds, even without Thunderbird.
>
> I had said to myself, during the throes of the initial KDE 4.2 upgrade, that
> if I couldn't get this to work, I was going to give Debian a try. So this
> time I decided--what the hell, let's do it. I had purposely left a 15GB
> partition spare when I set up the hard drive, specifically so I could try a
> new OS in future without having to wipe the existing installation. So I went
> ahead and put on Debian 5.0.
>
> This was my fourth Debian install. Installing Gentoo is like assembling a
> kitset car: you follow the instructions, and you see it taking shape before
> your eyes. Very hands-on. Debian is more like the conventional read the
> question, answer it, go on to the next screen, let it do its stuff kind of
> thing. Ho-hum.
>
> Then I discovered that KDE 4.2 is not in the current "stable" Debian
> release, or even in "testing" or "unstable": it is in fact classified as
> "experimental", so the package system will (deliberately) not install it
> without some additional encouragement.
>
> Anyway, did all that. Logged in, and there's some of the usual KDE 4.2 stuff,
> looking fine. Instead of "Firefox" and "Thunderbird", they're called
> "Iceweasel" and "Icedove" (clash of trademark policies with Mozilla). But
> that's no biggie. Start up Iceweasel, and it picks up my previous Firefox
> bookmarks and browsing history without missing a beat. Start Icedove--hmm,
> where have my Thunderbird e-mail accounts gone? That's OK, I'll sort it out
> later. Open a message-composition window, watch the clock ...
>
> It doesn't flash! How's Konsole behaving? Looks OK so far.
>
> So I have my KDE 4.2 back again, and if anything, it looks better than
> before.
>
> Just one thing: Debian "stable" may be fine for servers, but it's a sure
> recipe for dull and boring on the desktop. Not my idea of fun. I thought I'd
> try "testing" instead, where hopefully new goodies will be coming in all the
> time, the way they do with Gentoo. So I went into my /etc/apt/sources.list,
> and changed all instances of "lenny" to "sid".
>
> Then I discovered that "testing" is in fact currently called "squeeze", that
> "sid" is really "unstable", the next higher grade of chaos beyond "testing",
> where anything is liable to break at any time!
>
> Oh ****. Oh well...
>


There is a procedure that you can use with APT in your sources.list
called APT pinning.


http://www.besy.co.uk/debian/howto_s..._from_unstable

http://forum.kde.org/how-install-kde...g-t-30597.html

And it is possible to downgrade back to testing using the pinning mechanism.

I've found that running unstable is quite stable in practice, but the
upgrade traffic is quite substantial each time you run apt.
Testing with some packages from unstable results in much less traffic
for an identical result.
 
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Enkidu
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-21-2009
Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
> After over two and a half years running Gentoo on my main
> workstation, I've decided to give Debian a try.
>
> There's never a dull moment with Gentoo. Everything's built from
> source on- demand, but its dependency management seems to have a few
> holes in it (whether by accident or design, I'm not sure). For
> example if package A depends on package B, and you upgrade to a newer
> version of B, it will need to rebuild A against the new B, but it
> doesn't figure this out automatically, you have to do a separate
> step. Thus, every time you upgrade something, you've almost certainly
> broken something else, though you may not discover it immediately.
>
> Anyway, about a month ago I decided to install KDE 4.2, which had
> finally made it into the official repositories. It took--I kid you
> not--most of a weekend to compile it all. I hit one or two roadblocks
> along the way. In one case, a newer package was failing to build
> against an older version of another package that should have been
> upgraded first, but wasn't (missing dependency?). So I manually
> upgraded the other package, then resumed the main KDE install, and it
> chugged along.
>
> At another point, the C compiler got stuck, chewing over 90% of my
> CPU, seemingly without doing anything at all. I killed it after about
> 20 minutes, did a hunt around, and discovered there was a newer
> version of GCC available. So I upgraded that, then resumed the KDE
> build.
>
> Is it a good idea to switch compiler versions in the middle of
> building something that large and complex? Come to think of it....
>
> Anyway, the whole thing finally built. And for the most part, it
> worked, giving me loads of lovely 3D and other fun effects with my
> NVidia card. Just one or two minor niggles: for instance, every time
> I opened a message composition window in Thunderbird, the clock
> display in my taskbar would start flashing. And while it was
> flashing, clicking on it to bring up the calendar display would show
> a corrupted window. Other Thunderbird windows would be fine--only the
> one that let you create a message had this effect.
>
> And if I left it in that state, and switched to the desktop where I
> keep my Konsole terminal sessions, I'd get weird highlighting
> corruption happening there.
>
> Anyway, about a week ago, I saw that an update to KDE 4.2.1 was
> available in the Gentoo repositories. So last night I finally got
> around to doing the update. Hit one dependency issue like before,
> which I was able to work around as before. Went to bed.
>
> Woke up this morning, and whaddaya know--it had finished! Instead of
> consuming the whole weekend, it had just taken one night.
>
> Checked the Thunderbird flashing-clock problem--still there. Sigh.
> What was worse, Konsole was misbehaving even worse than before, with
> random holes appearing in the window backgrounds, even without
> Thunderbird.
>
> I had said to myself, during the throes of the initial KDE 4.2
> upgrade, that if I couldn't get this to work, I was going to give
> Debian a try. So this time I decided--what the hell, let's do it. I
> had purposely left a 15GB partition spare when I set up the hard
> drive, specifically so I could try a new OS in future without having
> to wipe the existing installation. So I went ahead and put on Debian
> 5.0.
>
> This was my fourth Debian install. Installing Gentoo is like
> assembling a kitset car: you follow the instructions, and you see it
> taking shape before your eyes. Very hands-on. Debian is more like the
> conventional read the question, answer it, go on to the next screen,
> let it do its stuff kind of thing. Ho-hum.
>
> Then I discovered that KDE 4.2 is not in the current "stable" Debian
> release, or even in "testing" or "unstable": it is in fact
> classified as "experimental", so the package system will
> (deliberately) not install it without some additional encouragement.
>
> Anyway, did all that. Logged in, and there's some of the usual KDE
> 4.2 stuff, looking fine. Instead of "Firefox" and "Thunderbird",
> they're called "Iceweasel" and "Icedove" (clash of trademark policies
> with Mozilla). But that's no biggie. Start up Iceweasel, and it picks
> up my previous Firefox bookmarks and browsing history without missing
> a beat. Start Icedove--hmm, where have my Thunderbird e-mail accounts
> gone? That's OK, I'll sort it out later. Open a message-composition
> window, watch the clock ...
>
> It doesn't flash! How's Konsole behaving? Looks OK so far.
>
> So I have my KDE 4.2 back again, and if anything, it looks better
> than before.
>
> Just one thing: Debian "stable" may be fine for servers, but it's a
> sure recipe for dull and boring on the desktop. Not my idea of fun. I
> thought I'd try "testing" instead, where hopefully new goodies will
> be coming in all the time, the way they do with Gentoo. So I went
> into my /etc/apt/sources.list, and changed all instances of "lenny"
> to "sid".
>
> Then I discovered that "testing" is in fact currently called
> "squeeze", that "sid" is really "unstable", the next higher grade of
> chaos beyond "testing", where anything is liable to break at any
> time!
>
> Oh ****. Oh well...
>

sid is always 'unstable' though I've been running testing with some
unstable packages for years. 'squeeze' or 'testing' should both work as
will 'sid' and 'unstable'.

Cheers,

Cliff

--

The Internet is interesting in that although the nicknames may change,
the same old personalities show through.
 
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Enkidu
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-21-2009
Craig Sutton wrote:
>
> "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <(E-Mail Removed)_zealand> wrote in
> message news:gq24f6$esm$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> After over two and a half years running Gentoo on my main
>> workstation, I've decided to give Debian a try.
>>

>
>>
>> Then I discovered that "testing" is in fact currently called
>> "squeeze", that "sid" is really "unstable", the next higher grade
>> of chaos beyond "testing", where anything is liable to break at any
>> time!
>>
>> Oh ****. Oh well...
>>

>
> Have you considered switching to Windows XP?
>

He's still got to work his way thorough Ubuntu first.

Cheers,

Cliff

--

The Internet is interesting in that although the nicknames may change,
the same old personalities show through.
 
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Lawrence D'Oliveiro
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-21-2009
By the way, people, when following up a long posting, learn to edit, OK?
There's no need to quote the whole thing, everybody's quite capable of
reading the original posting for themselves.

 
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impossible
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-21-2009

"Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <(E-Mail Removed)_zealand> wrote in message
news:gq3s2q$fbn$(E-Mail Removed)...

>>"Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <(E-Mail Removed)_zealand> wrote in message
>>news:gq24f6$esm$(E-Mail Removed)...


>> After over two and a half years running Gentoo on my main workstation,
>> I've
>> decided to give Debian a try.
>>
>> There's never a dull moment with Gentoo. Everything's built from source
>> on-
>> demand, but its dependency management seems to have a few holes in it
>> (whether by accident or design, I'm not sure). For example if package A
>> depends on package B, and you upgrade to a newer version of B, it will
>> need
>> to rebuild A against the new B, but it doesn't figure this out
>> automatically,
>> you have to do a separate step. Thus, every time you upgrade something,
>> you've almost certainly broken something else, though you may not
>> discover
>> it immediately.
>>
>> Anyway, about a month ago I decided to install KDE 4.2, which had finally
>> made it into the official repositories. It took--I kid you not--most of a
>> weekend to compile it all. I hit one or two roadblocks along the way. In
>> one
>> case, a newer package was failing to build against an older version of
>> another package that should have been upgraded first, but wasn't (missing
>> dependency?). So I manually upgraded the other package, then resumed the
>> main KDE install, and it chugged along.
>>
>> At another point, the C compiler got stuck, chewing over 90% of my CPU,
>> seemingly without doing anything at all. I killed it after about 20
>> minutes,
>> did a hunt around, and discovered there was a newer version of GCC
>> available. So I upgraded that, then resumed the KDE build.
>>
>> Is it a good idea to switch compiler versions in the middle of building
>> something that large and complex? Come to think of it....
>>
>> Anyway, the whole thing finally built. And for the most part, it worked,
>> giving me loads of lovely 3D and other fun effects with my NVidia card.
>> Just
>> one or two minor niggles: for instance, every time I opened a message
>> composition window in Thunderbird, the clock display in my taskbar would
>> start flashing. And while it was flashing, clicking on it to bring up the
>> calendar display would show a corrupted window. Other Thunderbird windows
>> would be fine--only the one that let you create a message had this
>> effect.
>>
>> And if I left it in that state, and switched to the desktop where I keep
>> my
>> Konsole terminal sessions, I'd get weird highlighting corruption
>> happening
>> there.
>>
>> Anyway, about a week ago, I saw that an update to KDE 4.2.1 was available
>> in
>> the Gentoo repositories. So last night I finally got around to doing the
>> update. Hit one dependency issue like before, which I was able to work
>> around as before. Went to bed.
>>
>> Woke up this morning, and whaddaya know--it had finished! Instead of
>> consuming the whole weekend, it had just taken one night.
>>
>> Checked the Thunderbird flashing-clock problem--still there. Sigh. What
>> was
>> worse, Konsole was misbehaving even worse than before, with random holes
>> appearing in the window backgrounds, even without Thunderbird.
>>
>> I had said to myself, during the throes of the initial KDE 4.2 upgrade,
>> that
>> if I couldn't get this to work, I was going to give Debian a try. So this
>> time I decided--what the hell, let's do it. I had purposely left a 15GB
>> partition spare when I set up the hard drive, specifically so I could try
>> a
>> new OS in future without having to wipe the existing installation. So I
>> went
>> ahead and put on Debian 5.0.
>>
>> This was my fourth Debian install. Installing Gentoo is like assembling a
>> kitset car: you follow the instructions, and you see it taking shape
>> before
>> your eyes. Very hands-on. Debian is more like the conventional read the
>> question, answer it, go on to the next screen, let it do its stuff kind
>> of
>> thing. Ho-hum.
>>
>> Then I discovered that KDE 4.2 is not in the current "stable" Debian
>> release, or even in "testing" or "unstable": it is in fact classified as
>> "experimental", so the package system will (deliberately) not install it
>> without some additional encouragement.
>>
>> Anyway, did all that. Logged in, and there's some of the usual KDE 4.2
>> stuff,
>> looking fine. Instead of "Firefox" and "Thunderbird", they're called
>> "Iceweasel" and "Icedove" (clash of trademark policies with Mozilla). But
>> that's no biggie. Start up Iceweasel, and it picks up my previous Firefox
>> bookmarks and browsing history without missing a beat. Start
>> Icedove--hmm,
>> where have my Thunderbird e-mail accounts gone? That's OK, I'll sort it
>> out
>> later. Open a message-composition window, watch the clock ...
>>
>> It doesn't flash! How's Konsole behaving? Looks OK so far.
>>
>> So I have my KDE 4.2 back again, and if anything, it looks better than
>> before.
>>
>> Just one thing: Debian "stable" may be fine for servers, but it's a sure
>> recipe for dull and boring on the desktop. Not my idea of fun. I thought
>> I'd
>> try "testing" instead, where hopefully new goodies will be coming in all
>> the
>> time, the way they do with Gentoo. So I went into my
>> /etc/apt/sources.list,
>> and changed all instances of "lenny" to "sid".
>>
>> Then I discovered that "testing" is in fact currently called "squeeze",
>> that
>> "sid" is really "unstable", the next higher grade of chaos beyond
>> "testing",
>> where anything is liable to break at any time!
>>
>> Oh ****. Oh well...
>>


> OK?


Ok, what?

 
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oneofus
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-22-2009
Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
> By the way, people, when following up a long posting, learn to edit, OK?
> There's no need to quote the whole thing, everybody's quite capable of
> reading the original posting for themselves.
>

Don't post quite such an epic then, no-one really cares that much.
 
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AD.
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-22-2009
On Mar 21, 8:20*pm, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
> Then I discovered that "testing" is in fact currently called "squeeze", that
> "sid" is really "unstable", the next higher grade of chaos beyond "testing",
> where anything is liable to break at any time!


Well you did use experimental for KDE and have used Gentoo - Sid
shouldn't bother you that much. Unstable refers to the rate of package
version change more than anything else.

Back when I used Debian Sid as a desktop (from memory around the time
woody and sarge were stable), I knew far less than I do now and it
went through some big binary compatibility changes eg gcc 2.95 to 3.x
and a few libc, KDE and Firebird (browser) transitions. Any major
breakage was rare and usually fixed on the next update.

Testing will still get occasional package breakages. While they will
happen less often, they will also take longer to fix because of the
delay between unstable and testing (it was 10 days with no new major
bugs reported). Although don't quote me on that - the whole process
might be a bit different these days.

--
Cheers
Anton
 
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