[arch-general] coping with damaging updates

mick bareman at tpg.com.au
Sun Oct 30 00:15:18 EDT 2011

On Fri, 28 Oct 2011 23:56:11 -0500
Dwight Schauer <dschauer at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 12:14 AM, Mick  wrote:
> > I did make a mistake when I chose Arch. I asked friends on yahoo chat
> > for suggestions for a replacement my then distro when it focused on
> > eye-candy to the detriment of function and several suggested Arch. It
> > was only when the problems I raised here struck the first time that I
> > found Arch made no pretensions to being fit for production. By that
> > time I had come to like most of what Arch is.
> All that being said, Arch is certainly not for everyone. But I
> disagree about it not being production worthy. I have the lts kernel
> installed on every system, but only the most critical ones use it by
> default. For any system to be production worthy, you have to be able
> to maintain it and fix any issues fast that come up.
I think you need better Sys-Admin skills than I have but that isn't arch's fault.
> The only real mess up I've had was my fault, not a damaging update
> from an Arch developer. I mistakenly put an x86_64 bit repo path at
> the top of the mirrorlists of two i686 boxes and updated them. Yikes.
> I've since switched to using $arch in the mirrorlists rather than
> hardcoding the architecture. They were not out of commission long, a
> boot of the livecd, a quick $(awking) of /var/log/pacman.log in a
> pacman command line reinstalled the invalid packages and I had working
> systems back.
I'm not saying is the Arch developers fault, just that it keep on happening.

I've had the odd 'blond-moments' that were suprisingly easy to fix and been bitten by updates to libraries that have been released before all apps that needed the superceeded version had been fixed. I also got caught out when xfce4.8 came out and the mirror I was using hadn't got all of the updated packages available.
> Ok, the updated networking setup broke some of my systems earlier this
> year, but it was easy enough to fix.
The only problem I had with that was messages flashing by to fast to read and not making it into the logs so I could do something about them.
> Arch is easy to manage if you insist on having the system set up the
> way you want it and you want to be on top of every issue. Distros like
> OpenSUSE, Fedora, Ubuntu, and to a lesser extent Debian are too
> daunting and confusing to me.
Ubuntu dumbs everything down then gets in the way when you need to use setting beyond the basic. I was using Debian for a while, until they bound selinux in, after which I couldn't get  any custom kernel to boot and the default kernel was too slow and missing h/w support I needed.
> Most Linux users I know would not tolerate Arch Linux if they had to
> install and setup it up themselves. But at the same time I have no
> real like for the distros they prefer to install and manage for
> themselves. A rolling update based distro that is mostly minimal and
> lightweight is not without it's issues and problems. All distros have
> serious issues and problems, it is mainly a matter of which have the
> issues/problems that are easiest for you to manage.
> I may not be the typical Arch user, dunno. Especially since I use joe
> instead if vi, and was a not amused when joe went to the AUR. But I
> have a repo for work stuff, so I just put it there so it is ready on
> new systems.
> You may have made a mistake when you chose Arch, and I'm not going to
> disagree with on your reasoning. Arch does have major/serious issues
> if you don't want to stay on top of things. And being a rolling update
> distro, you need to stay on top of changes.
> If you think Arch is bad though as far as damaging updates, you should
> maybe spend some time to spend some time with Gentoo or Sabayon.
> One thing though, I use yaourt, so I notice every time a package gets
> dropped of the main repos and ends up in the aur. Most of the time
> that is an indication to me that I know longer need that package. So
> yeah, if you use packages that get orphaned, they might eventually
> stop working if you had them installed, and one would might blame an
> update for killing those packages.

mick <bareman at tpg.com.au>

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