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openSUSE Has A Problem, Is Seeking New Direction

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  • #31
    Tumbleweed

    Originally posted by alcalde View Post
    Going to a rolling release is not a realistic option; Tumbleweed is designed to be based off of something, not to roll forever. If the problem OpenSUSE has is integrating, a rolling release will just make things worse, not better. Disallowing certain repositories or creating parallel update paths also sounds like a recipe to make the distro more complicated to use.

    OpenSUSE is already running an 8 month release cycle and it has achieved great polish and stability from it... except for the last 12.1 release, which simply wasn't in a releasable state and needed at least 6 more weeks of bug-fixing. Now it sounds like 12.2 is in even worse shape, but at least the team is admitting it and looking for answers. The simplest answer may be switching to a yearly release cycle and then work on internal development and testing processes. Slamming code out as soon as its released (what Sabayon essentially does) destroys the ability to test or polish OpenSUSE and simply doesn't fit with the mission statement of OpenSUSE, which is to favor stability over features.
    I'm not sure what you mean by:
    "Tumbleweed is designed to be based off of something, not to roll forever".
    It's a rolling release of opensuse. It's been rolling for years now.

    I found opensuse updates the kernel almost as soon as new ones are released. KDE updates take longer to reach the repos. Sabayon was just the opposite and took much longer to update the kernel, but KDE was updated almost immediately. At least with mostly open source, I also have Flash, Tumbleweed has worked well for me. Sabayon not so much, though if you want the newest video driver blobs and kernel it's the only option.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by LenS View Post
      ...though if you want the newest video driver blobs and kernel it's the only option.
      Because what's a "Gentoo", right? (Hint: Sabayon is pretty much Gentoo unstable with a few extra ebuilds. And no QA.)

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Wyatt View Post
        Because what's a "Gentoo", right? (Hint: Sabayon is pretty much Gentoo unstable with a few extra ebuilds. And no QA.)
        I always thought Gentoo was strictly open source, but I'm not that familiar with it, so I could be wrong.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by LenS View Post
          I always thought Gentoo was strictly open source, but I'm not that familiar with it, so I could be wrong.
          Nope. Our ethos is of user choice; pragmatism is what we do. Even our more churlish developers aren't so spiteful as to attempt to dictate what choices you have. Skype 4 is already in the Portage tree as of yesterday (that's the earliest I noticed it). Heck, we even have people trying to get systemd working, despite having OpenRC already.

          Suffice to say, if they're looking to commit to rolling release, they could do far worse than looking to Gentoo for inspiration (or just rebase on us; we could absorb their patch flow easily).

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Wyatt View Post
            Nope. Our ethos is of user choice; pragmatism is what we do. Even our more churlish developers aren't so spiteful as to attempt to dictate what choices you have. Skype 4 is already in the Portage tree as of yesterday (that's the earliest I noticed it). Heck, we even have people trying to get systemd working, despite having OpenRC already.

            Suffice to say, if they're looking to commit to rolling release, they could do far worse than looking to Gentoo for inspiration (or just rebase on us; we could absorb their patch flow easily).
            Thanks, that's good to know. I'll try Gentoo again soon.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by LenS View Post
              Thanks, that's good to know. I'll try Gentoo again soon.
              To clarify the above just a trifle, it's trivial to make it a "Free" distro by setting ACCEPT_LICENSE="-* @FSF-APPROVED" in make.conf (though most of us aren't really clear on why you'd want that). In a sense, it's BSD-ish: "here's a bag of tools, do what you want".

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              • #37
                I hope they do not go the Rolling route. I have yet to see a rolling distro with good QA.
                However, if they pull off a well working rolling release distro, I'll end up being fine with it.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Wyatt View Post
                  Nope. Our ethos is of user choice; pragmatism is what we do. Even our more churlish developers aren't so spiteful as to attempt to dictate what choices you have. Skype 4 is already in the Portage tree as of yesterday (that's the earliest I noticed it). Heck, we even have people trying to get systemd working, despite having OpenRC already.
                  Archlinux had it in the official repos yesterday(fairly early in the day), as well.... There is definitely something to be said for distros that don't try to force software onto users. It was definitely something i enjoyed about Gentoo (when i was using it), and also something i enjoy about Archlinux. ~ give your user-base a basic core system, and let them decide what they will or will not use / adopt.

                  Another reason distro's with build systems can be (more) pragmatic, is that we often can more easily get around license/legal issues (often) because we aren't actually shipping software with features enabled (that may not be redistributable, etc). And obviously ports/portage/ABS allow the user to modify things however they want to on their system.

                  I think OpenSuse should try sticking with tumbleweed and shift development in that direction. If they are concerned about breakage, than don't 'roll' as quickly as Gentoo or Archlinux... instead keep behind by a month or something. Then by the time you are ready to roll out new software, chances are (at least) any big ugly / over-looked bug(s) have probably been addressed/fixed.

                  Then OpenSuse users could kiss dist-upgrades and release-cycles goodbye ~ which is a good thing, IMO.... i wouldn't even consider using a distro that has 6month or even yearly releases. it's 2012 - we shouldn't have to re-install an OS every six months to a year, it's a bit of a joke, really.

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                  • #39
                    Dolphin Crashes

                    I spoke too soon about Tumbleweed. I updated everything last night to linux 3.4.2 and KDE 4.8.4 and now right clicking any file in dolphin immediately crashes it. I filed a bug report and midnight commander works, but it's annoying. Hopefully it'll be fixed soon. I wouldn't mind waiting longer for updates if stability was better, but on the whole Tumbleweed has worked very well.

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                    • #40
                      Just to clarify, OpenSUSE never had 6 month releases

                      They were always set at a 9-month pace.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by ninez View Post
                        Then OpenSuse users could kiss dist-upgrades and release-cycles goodbye ~ which is a good thing, IMO.... i wouldn't even consider using a distro that has 6month or even yearly releases. it's 2012 - we shouldn't have to re-install an OS every six months to a year, it's a bit of a joke, really.
                        I don't really understand the idea of 'i need to reinstall cause there's a new release' - like wtf? Just do an upgrade. Either from the repos or from a new install cd, you can always make an upgrade to your working system and it will be working as good as it was.

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                        • #42
                          Reinstallation can be time consuming and annoying, but if you don't reinstall often, you're really missing out, because over time things like old configuration pile up and don't work right with newer software. Every time I do a reinstall, the system gets more stable, faster, unified, and I learn something new about the system in the process. Also, like I mentioned before, reinstallation is a natural breakpoint for updating some of the core features. Last time I reinstalled my primary OS, I switched from ALSA to PulseAudio. Before that was a switch from SysVinit to systemd. And before that a switch from EXT4 to Btrfs. It seems that it will continue to be that way in the future, too, as the next openSUSE release will see a GRUB switch from legacy to 2. You normally would miss out of those developments if you didn't reinstall. And a long enough time passes with software evolving fast enough between releases that there is usually something new to try out on each of them.

                          And, of course, if you don't have time or are lazy, you can always upgrade. And if that doesn't work, then there is always your /home partition that saves all of your configuration anyway.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Cyber Killer View Post
                            I don't really understand the idea of 'i need to reinstall cause there's a new release' - like wtf? Just do an upgrade. Either from the repos or from a new install cd, you can always make an upgrade to your working system and it will be working as good as it was.
                            Except it's exceedingly rare for a dist-upgrade to actually work without breaking a buch of crap (subtly or overtly). Really, this is well documented at this point; you're either new to this, fairly skilled at unbreaking things, or preternaturally fortunate.

                            In any event, people reinstalling when distro "versions" change is a common thread even among people who are reasonably good at admin simply because fixing everything is a time-consuming pain in the ass.

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                            • #44
                              I've been using GNU/Linux since 2001, I'm a professional sysadmin. I customize my system to a large degree that after a reinstall it takes a lot of time to get everything up and running they way that I like. Because of this I treat a reinstall as a completely last resort.

                              Also from all the distros that I was using in the past, there was only one that needed frequent reinstalls after an upgrade has gone bad - namely Kubuntu. It's because the *buntu team is so fixated on releasing on time that they keep a hoard of nasty bugs on release. Postponing the releases in favor of getting issues fixed is something I greatly value in openSUSE. I don't care if it takes a month longer to wait for a release if it means that it'll be rock solid as it needs to be.

                              Anyway - dist upgrades are ok, as long as we're not talking about *buntus (and even they improved on this in the past couple releases).

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                              • #45
                                Would a rolling release be any better upgrading in small chunks over an 8 month period than a upgrade every 8 months if distro upgrades are so poor?

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