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Ubuntu To Turn Into A Rolling-Release Distribution?

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  • #76
    Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
    It is not beginner-friendly because (a) it is more difficult to install the first time and (b) it has higher upkeep, because the increased rate of updates introduces a higher potential of regressions.

    Had your wife's laptop come with an Ati graphics card, would she still be using Arch? With every "pacman -Syu" having the chance to kill drivers, chances are she'd have thrown either the laptop or Arch out of the window.
    Since my wife doesn't game, she would be using the opensource drivers, like i do in my desktop.


    • #77
      You had to set it up for her

      Sorry, but you had to set it up for her first. And you are always there for help and advice. And clearly she is no dummy so being taught how to do updates is not like talking to a brick wall.

      No beginner could be bothered to run the Arch install while reading web instructions on another machine, then hand editing config files. It can only work for a beginner if someone sets it up first and then teaches them the basics. If one of my helpees asked me to set up Arch I would happily do it, because they would have been interested enough to have found out it existed and what it all means. But generally once setup and shown the basics I rarely hear from them again. And Ubuntu works "good enough" for most people.

      My wife's business XP machine always works perfectly as well, and my daughter's Ubuntu never misses a beat - as far as they are concerned it is no problem to maintain a computer, because they don't. And they both use their machines for hours every day without a thought of the operating system. For them computers are just a tool. My daughter has suddenly got curious and wants me to instruct her in a complete build from parts and Linux install during our coming summer (Southern Hemisphere) school vacation. If she then gets interested enough to continue learning then Arch would be a great learning tool. We shall see.

      I do not think we will ever agree. My opinion will not change - Ubuntu should not become a rolling release, and they have already said that it will not happen.


      The magic keystoke is CTL-ALT-F1, that will dump you to a terminal login. I do not know why they abandoned CTL-ALT-BKSPCE, it was a Debian or Xorg thing that Ubuntu inherited.


      • #78
        No we will not agree and i will tell you why:

        I had to setup Arch for her, that is true, and i also have to make "difficult" configuration changes too. But that is not because Arch is a rolling release distro, but because it lacks gui installation and automated setup.

        What my example proves, is that a rolling release vanilla upstream model like Arch, is still stable and doesn't need that much maintainance at all.

        Imagine Arch, but with a dedicated team behind it with the target to provide GUI tools and automated scripts for setup. Something similar to Chakra for example, without the kdemod.

        Imagine if Ubuntu was based in Arch and not Debian. Would that be unstable, or user unfriendly? No.

        It will not be too difficult to create such a distro i believe. In fact, if enough users could be bothered, we could put Ubuntu to shame with such a distro easily. But it seems most Arch users do not need such a distro and do not want to spend their time on it(including myself).


        • #79
          Originally posted by grege View Post
          The magic keystoke is CTL-ALT-F1, that will dump you to a terminal login. I do not know why they abandoned CTL-ALT-BKSPCE, it was a Debian or Xorg thing that Ubuntu inherited.
          They abandoned Ctrl-Alt-Backspace because it was very easy for people with some keyboard configurations (e.g. sticky modifier keys, certain layout-switching combos) to hit it accidentally.

          Example: configured to switch layouts via Ctrl+Alt+Shift - you type a character and realize you're in the wrong layout; then you're likely to hit Ctrl+Alt to switch layout and then hit backspace to delete the initial character, and all it takes is a tiny amount of overlap to blow away all your applications with no warning/confirmation. That's pretty much a usability disaster.

          Xorg devs responded to this by making the "kill server" combo configurable via XKB, so you can still set up Ctrl+Alt+Backspace if you really want it.


          • #80
            I agree with TemplarGR. I don't really see what should make a rolling release distribution inherently unstable. It's nowhere written that software packages must be immediately available. This is, if upstream releases a new version of software X, there's no need to allow users to get it straight away with zero testing. And conversely, not having a rolling release model does not automagically provide stability. Most will agree that RH or Debian are more stable than Ubuntu, for instance. So it all comes down to how much QA is done before releasing anything. A competent team of distribution developers should be able to make sure everything is in place and that new packages don't break anything.

            Actually, a well designed rolling release distribution should be more user friendly in my opinion, since updates/upgrades are known to work and easy to perform within the mechanisms provided by the distribution, as opposed to having to chase weird repositories and bringing down the terminal to paste some commands found on some website. Also, think about kernel upgrades that provide support for new hardware (say a wireless USB adapter or a new printer). On the one hand you just let your system do what it has to do, on the other you either a) install a binary kernel from somewhere (where?); b) compile a fresh kernel (!); c) reinstall the OS (!!!).


            • #81
              Personally, and as I said before, I think it's easier to broke a distro upgrading a LOT of packages in a 6-month period than upgrading it every day. OC, sometimes, when APIs/ABIs change (and that happens a lot in Linux), there's a big chance things don't go very well if you weren't warned (although in Arch Linux, their DEV's do a very nice job warning you when there are some package bumps that migh break your system)...

              Furthermore, most of the package upgrades problems that exist in Arch are related for those who use the testing repo (like me), but in most cases, it's easy to upgrade the system as typing "sudo pacman -Syu"... And things don't mess up, almost in all situations.