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    Stability of Testing Branch
    Contributed by mike on Saturday, November 10 @ 05:38:32 GMT

    Ask Debianplanet
    How does the stability of the testing branch (Woody) compare to frequently released distributions such as Redhat and Mandrake? I would assume Woody is getting more and more stable right now because of freezing, but how does it compare before any type of freezing occurs?

    DanielS: Because it is run by a heartless script (hey, it is Python, after all), it has a habit of randomly breaking; e.g. at the moment, the versions of php4 and apache are incompatible. Apart from that, it's stable - it's just getting everything installed that's often a hassle.

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  • "Stability of Testing Branch" | Login/Create Account | 27 comments

    The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

    Re: Stability of Testing Branch (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, November 10 @ 05:53:08 GMT

    rscheme doesn't work either.

    Running rsc gives:

    "error: could not find module: primops"

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Stability of Testing Branch (Score: 2, Interesting)
    by che on Saturday, November 10 @ 12:30:40 GMT
    (User Info)

    I really have mixed feelings about the testing branche. As matter of fact, I don't use it (any more) on a everyday basis. For servers I stay with potato (some servers with extra packages compiled from source) and I'm very happy with it (did I mention I'm very, very, very happy with potato?). For my desktop I use Mandrake.

    Mandrake? Nah, I'm not a newbie, I am a unix sysadmin and I can fix woody when it breaks (I run it on a test machine and indeed it brakes).

    But I do like to have bleeding edge soft on my desktop (that leaves out potato) and I really don't want to that the systems brakes *a lot*. Mandrake brakes far more than potato (damn rpm's), but nothing that can be fixed in a few minutes.

    I do not always have the time to fix woody, I have work to do (and the people who pay my salary expect that to :c)).That's why I had high hopes for a really not beta release of progeny (I guess we can leave that out too :c)).

    I'm veryy happyy with my schizofrenic linux use. I feel I have the best of both world. Still, don't ask me why, I know I'll eventuallyy end with woody on my desktop. Never underestimate the power of Debian :c).


    [ Reply ]

    Re: and getting everything configured (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, November 10 @ 15:23:59 GMT

    Apart from that, it's stable - it's just getting everything installed that's often a hassle.

    And getting everything configured. I'm just testing woody since I like the idea of apt-get dist-upgrade (I'm currently using mandrake, it's a breeze to install but a pig to update when a new distro get out), but I see small problems with configuration (e.g: xserver-xfree86 won't know that I have already told the system that I have a spanish keyboard and it will merrily configure it as a us keyboard without asking) to make things work that simply work right of the box with mandrake (sound, apm, almost all the harware, if I tell it during install that I want to use catalan and spanish, everything will be configured to use those two languages (they just add french even if you don't want it, though ;-).

    For a server it's probably better than potato (you can directly format your partitions with reiserfs, jfs and xfs and configure lvm right at installations) but maybe too cutting edge.

    Like I said, it has it's problems (i.e: upgrading, urmpi is mostly modelled after apt-get, and it works for routine upgrades, it won't work for "dist-upgrade" though) and I like more the development model of debian and the supposed virtues of apt-get.

    Funny, just now apt-get is giving me an error:

    dpkg: error processing /var/cache/apt/archives/kdelibs3_4%3a2.2.1-14_i386.deb (--unpack):

    trying to overwrite `/usr/share/icons/hicolor/32x32/devices/3floppy_mount.png', which is also in package kdebase

    dpkg-deb: subprocess paste killed by signal (Broken pipe)

    so even apt-get isn't perfect :-/

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Stability of Testing Branch (Score: 1, Interesting)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, November 10 @ 16:13:58 GMT

    I find woody is slightly less stable. But only slightly. Mandrake, SuSE, etc. can be quite stable, as long as you only use the official RPMs released by them. Using RPMs from many different sources just taken off ftps and random websites leads to the problems. If you only use official Mandrake RPMs you won't break something, they all work properly. So there it passes woody. But...If you only use official mandrake packages then it's not going to be updated that much faster than woody. I find Mandrake with official RPMs only is slightly more up to date, and slightly more stable. If your using any old RPMs off the net, then sure the packages can be instantly up to the most recent, but your stability takes a hit, becuase who knows what can happen.

    Really as long as the security updates are fast the rest of the updates can lag a bit. Woody only breaks once in a while, if they can just nip those last couple problems that slip through it would be very stable. But a broken X here and there, not to good. For me a broken X, on a workstation obviously, is a pain in the ass. But for newbies it can totally freak them out and leave a bad impression, especially when they are in that new "finding the right distro for me" phase. Luckily people tend to get around to trying debian last, so by then they know what they are doing.

    [ Reply ]

    Well, I can't vouch for Woody, but Mandrake is getting worse (Score: 2, Interesting)
    by twilight32 on Saturday, November 10 @ 20:41:17 GMT
    (User Info)

    Hm. I use mandrake as my main desktop, have since 7.0, and used to love it. A lot. 8.1 appeared, and I have had nothing but problems since the day it was installed.

    Autoconfiguration used to be a dream. Now, for significant parts of the install, it is a nightmare. Internet configuration is a complete mess, mostly due to the fact that the scripts claim to work but really don't. They've gone too far down the Windows path of appearing to make your life easier without actually working properly for my taste.

    Moreover, I would never recommend an existing Mdk user upgrade over simply repeating an install from scratch. It has never worked as advertised. The only sane way to upgrade a Mdk system is to hold one's /home partition separately and not fdisk/DiskDrake it.

    Mandrake's Cooker is pretty rapid in terms of development, but their beta testing has gone up the spout in the last two releases (8, 8.1), mostly because they have been more concerned with the rigidity of their schedules than the stability of their product. I don't know for certain, but I suspect that their financial situation has had some bearing on this. When they tout a Gaming Edition over the retention of both Kevin Lawton (plex86) and Jay Beale (Bastille) you know something is seriously wrong with their priorities.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Stability of Testing Branch (Score: 1)
    by CentrX (hagaratmyrealboxdotcom) on Saturday, November 10 @ 22:12:05 GMT
    (User Info)

    I don't know what all you other people are talking about. I've found woody to be very stable, with negligible package upgrade bugs. Albeit, this is a desktop machine, not a server, but woody/testing is what I recommend for a desktop machine. If someone wanted to run some stable server, it makes more sense to run potato. Woody is perfect for a desktop machine.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Stability of Testing Branch (Score: 1)
    by Pflipp on Saturday, November 10 @ 23:25:24 GMT
    (User Info)

    I have a question about that. Currently, the Objective C packages of gcc are "broken" (that is, in their .deb dependencies, not _at all_ in their functionality!) and, as said, Apache w.r.t. php4.

    Currently, base is frozen.

    To be honest, I could imagine that e.g. objc belongs to the base system, and that nobody has as of yet reported (or at least fixed) the problem. So can it still be fixed? Or would such a fix mean breaking the "frozen" stage of the packages involved?

    (OK, it's not that bright a question, but I'm just trying to get the idea of this. And yes, I should file bugs on this. But the problem with that is that I cannot configure Sendmail. Never could (never needed it). Most bug report tools need Sendmail. I consider that to be a bug, but some people claim that keeping a bug system hard to understand keeps the sillies from filing silly bugs, so hey, that's my situation in short :)))



    [ Reply ]

    Re: Stability of Testing Branch (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Monday, November 12 @ 14:07:05 GMT

    Personally, I've found testing's stability to be horrible. Especially the desktops. And I don't mean 'unstable' as in 'lots of crashing'.

    First, I used GNOME. Debian changed their setup in a way that broke Ximian (which was pretty poor anyway), so I switched to the main packages. Only to find that a lot of programs were the old, buggy versions, while others were the newer, nicer versions.

    Fed up with GNOME, I switched to KDE. All nice... Up until the recent kidelibs3 upgrade. Somehow, kdelibs3 2.2.1 got moved into Testing... Without any of the other KDE 2.2 stuff. This, predictably, broke almost everything. (And no, it wasn't a force-overwrite install that did it. That just overwrote a bunch of pngs) Alt-tabbing locks the system, kmail's pop3 support no longer works, konqueror's just plain broken...

    And that's just the latest in a whole line of poorly-thought-out and executed changes like that. I've had my resolv.conf erased three times, and numerous incompatible changes in packages that aren't documented or warned of anywhere. And fixes for anything take ages to move into Testing from Unstable.

    Am I using the wrong mirrors or something? Testing seems far less 'stable' than any of the reports I've heard about unstable.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Stability of Testing Branch (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 21 @ 20:15:18 GMT

    I personally use Redhat at work and Mandrake at home. I would LOVE to use Debian on both of these computers but I seem to always have problems with Woody (packages not compatable or broken) and Redhat is usually pretty up-to-date and stable and Mandrake, well, is not as stable as Redhat, but it is easy enough for my wife to use.

    [ Reply ]

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