[PC-BSD Testing] Rolling release criticism

Claudio L. claudio at hpgcc3.org
Mon Dec 16 17:53:20 PST 2013

It's been a while since the switch to a rolling release, and now looking 
back I can see things that are going well and things that not so much.

We used to have more stability, and the developers more time to test the 
packages. Now with the rolling release it seems nothing gets tested.

Here's my main frustration with the rolling release:

1) I'm spending 40 minutes every 2 weeks or less, applying patches to 
the OS. That's a lot of time I could dedicate to "using" the operating 
system (and for whatever reason, updates are very slow)
2) A while ago, when we switched from 9.1 to 9.2, the Conversations 
plugin for Thunderbird stopped working, now I can't use it on PCBSD 
anymore (to this day I don't know why, but it fails on all my machines, 
both upgraded and fresh-installed).
3) Last weekend, I applied updates to one of my machines. After that, 
flash wasn't working on any browser. I had to stop what I was doing and 
google how to fix it. No big deal, it works now.
4) Yesterday, I applied more updates, and when I was going to get to 
work, VirtualBox no longer starts any of my VM's (it errors something 
about permissions), so I couldn't get anything done.
5) Today, I applied updates to a PCBSD VM I have on a laptop, and turns 
out I'm gettting "sqlite: database disk image is malformed 
(pkgdb.c:1274)", and no updates are possible anymore.

What's happening? I'm not using 10.0 because I wanted a more stable OS, 
one where I can start Qt Creator and do some work, read some emails, use 
a browser and run a couple VM's. Only Qt Creator works, the other things 
are somewhat broken right now.
I'm a fan of PCBSD, but it's getting hard to use it as my main OS when 
basic things keep breaking down.
I think it's time to think of a way to prevent this from happening. 
Maybe there should be some sort of automated unit testing for things 
that are included in the basic install? Something that can be run before 
issuing the packages to make sure things don't break?

Perhaps twice a month updates is too fast, maybe it's better to do 
updates monthly? or bi-monthly? That would give more time to check the 

I don't know, just throwing ideas in the air to see if things can get 


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