[PC-BSD Testing] Rolling release criticism

Sam Fourman Jr. sfourman at gmail.com
Tue Dec 17 03:13:11 PST 2013

On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 1:35 AM, Rodney Lewis <rodney.lewis at tortoiseblog.com
> wrote:

>  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.

I agree that the rolling release is better, I think the updates should
increase to as fast as possible, and we simply use snapshots and/or boot
environments and/or bhyve in a creative ways to inject stability for
average users.

The FreeBSD ecosystem needs MORE people running HEAD/CURRENT as well as the
VERY top of the ports tree, this is how you attract developers and power
users... and these people are the ones that will help improve
FreeBSD/PC-BSD for the general population.

I am primarily a FreeBSD user, I am using PC-BSD more and more, but part of
how I contribute to FreeBSD, is I am always testing out of tree patches Eg,
newcons or AMD bhyve, ATI.KMS stuff.
In order for people like me as well as developers, we need a easy to use
system that can be installed quickly and is on the bleeding edge.

I envision a day, when PC-BSD will have daily snapshots of CURRENT, and
PBI's mirror almost every port in the FreeBSD ports tree, and are never
more than a day or two old.
soon behyve, will come of age, it has things like PCI-PASS THROUGH, if we
get creative a behyve can be updated and tested in near real time without
the need to even reboot the running system.
I would even like to see PC-BSD become more of a port in the FreeBSD ports
tree, so converting a FreeBSD system into a PC-BSD system is as simple as
running a postmaster command and rebooting.

part of the power of PC-BSD is that it's NOT a fork of FreeBSD, we should
strive for a faster updating system that stays true FreeBSD under the hood.

Things are frustrating for sure, but as a community we should keep a eye on
the future, because FreeBSD /PC-BSD has a bright future.

*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.
> ...Jeff
>  On Monday, December 16, 2013 5:55 PM, Claudio L. <claudio at hpgcc3.org>
> wrote:
> Hello,
> 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
> packages.
> I don't know, just throwing ideas in the air to see if things can get
> better.
> Claudio
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Sam Fourman Jr.
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