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The SprezzOS Rewrite Of Debian's APT Continues

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  • The SprezzOS Rewrite Of Debian's APT Continues

    Phoronix: The SprezzOS Rewrite Of Debian's APT Continues

    One of the more peculiar Linux distributions to emerge recently has been SprezzOS, which debuted with claims of being the most robust, performant, and beautiful Linux. When it launched it didn't generate much attention, but recently the SprezzOS developers began rewriting Debian's APT software...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTMzNTM

  • #2
    As a Debian user, it sounds like a big pile of I-couldn't-care-less. Apt's performance is fine.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KellyClowers View Post
      As a Debian user, it sounds like a big pile of I-couldn't-care-less. Apt's performance is fine.
      Especially considering that in Wheezy, apt grabs package lists automaticlaly in the background and the desktop environments has notifications when updates are available.

      I think what they're primarily doing is making apt multi-threaded (parallelism)? If so, it seems a little pointless. I remember this being discussed on Debian mailing lists that making apt more parallel just means creating more overhead on the servers (multiple TCP connections from the same client is more expensive to the server than a single TCP connection over a longer period of time because of context switching).

      If they are in fact making apt a lot more efficient (less CPU usage and faster) without breaking it and without opening more TCP connections on the servers from the same client, I'd think they should contribute this to Debian rather than creating a whole new distro around it...

      Instead I fear what they're doing is **EXACTLY** what Debian doesn't want to do, and has good reasons for why they don't do it (being nice to their mirrors)... Which is why they split off from Debian.. Hopefully they don't use the same Debian repos or they could create problems for Debian if their users make multiple TCP connections and abuse the servers just to get faster downloads. It would most certainly mean that a lot of mirrors that are high bandwidth running on very old hardware might have to upgrade their hardware to run the exact same bandwidth due to server overhead lost to context switching / multiple TCP connections from each client.

      If they're parallelizing the package installation, then that just makes apt that much more annoying when running in the background (eating up a lot more RAM and CPU) and so it's more disruptive to the system, so that doesn't make a lot of sense either.. Unpacking multiple archives at the same time can chew through a lot of RAM, especially with some packages in Debian moving to xz compression! If you have a lot of memory heavy apps open in the foreground and then run a multi-threaded apt that unpacks a lot of archives simultaneously, you can expect a whole crap ton of swapping to happen that otherwise wouldn't have happened.

      Perhaps if you were running Debian Unstable then it would be rather benefitical to parallise apt because of all the I/O and package installations you'd be doing every week, otherwise I'm not sure what they're trying to accomplish here.
      Last edited by Sidicas; 03-25-2013, 10:28 PM.

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      • #4
        They could at least maintain consistent naming conventions, why is one rapt-show-versions, and the other raptorial-file? Stick with rapt.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pdffs View Post
          They could at least maintain consistent naming conventions, why is one rapt-show-versions, and the other raptorial-file? Stick with rapt.
          Bacause there was no official release. Devs can change naming all they want till first release

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          • #6
            Originally posted by przemoli View Post
            Bacause there was no official release. Devs can change naming all they want till first release
            Uh, that's terrible development practice though, and it speaks to a lack of experience and/or design/planning.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KellyClowers View Post
              As a Debian user, it sounds like a big pile of I-couldn't-care-less. Apt's performance is fine.
              And that's why Debian's packaging system is stagnant since the 1990s or so. No xz compression, no delta updates, no parallelism, not anything that's remotely modern.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Awesomeness View Post
                And that's why Debian's packaging system is stagnant since the 1990s or so. No xz compression, no delta updates, no parallelism, not anything that's remotely modern.
                That's right.
                Debian made their choices and kept them. But they need to understand that as time passes, some choices must be reviewed/adapted to the new realities.
                In the 1990's there was no point in paralelism. Today, there is.

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                • #9
                  This SprezzOS is a complete joke. The website is horrible. The bug tracker is full of bugs all reported by the same person; the only developer apparently. I still haven't figured out the confusing as hell partitioner in the installer.

                  but recently the SprezzOS developers
                  I'm pretty sure there's only one developer.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FuturePilot View Post
                    This SprezzOS is a complete joke. The website is horrible. The bug tracker is full of bugs all reported by the same person; the only developer apparently.
                    Instead to complain, help him to make it less a joke and more useable. Obviously he could use some help.

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