[PC-BSD Testing] Rolling release criticism

Rodney Lewis rodney.lewis at tortoiseblog.com
Mon Dec 16 23:35:46 PST 2013

I agree the rolling release maybe a bit to adventurous for my tastes because of the increase in problems.
To mitigate this I use zfs and create a new boot environment or snapshot before applying any updates or apps. This has saved me many times.
I would like this to be automatically done when installing updates or apps/pbis as part of the update process. Maybe installing patches in to the boot environment so only a reboot is required also.

Rodney Lewis

From: Jeff
Sent: Tuesday, 17 December 2013 03:50
To: Claudio L.; testing at lists.pcbsd.org
Reply To: Jeff
Subject: Re: [PC-BSD Testing] Rolling release criticism

I agree, it's terribly frustrating.

I'd say more testing and release updates only every quarter unless it's a security issue.

I stopped using T-bird with Gmail because it's too slow and buggy.

I long for the day when Flash is dead!

There exists a similar problem with Drupal - but at least there I can use a deployment manager to clone a website, test updates and deploy the DB on the new platform after testing.  Pity there isn't a similar two-step process with the OS, i.e., some way of rolling back easily like setting a restore point in Windoze.


On Monday, December 16, 2013 5:55 PM, Claudio L. <claudio at hpgcc3.org> wrote:
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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