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Thread: Why not use new repos on old distros?

  1. #1
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    Question Why not use new repos on old distros?

    Hello,

    While I understand the rationale for issuing new distributions on a regular basis, I don't understand the importance of sticking with the repositories devoted to a certain distribution when there are newer package versions available in repositories devoted to newer distributions. Reinstalling from scratch is a real headache. Why not make rolling releases, rather than compartmentalizing?

    Thanks,
    TJ
    IBM T42

  2. #2
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    Re: Why not use new repos on old distros?

    Rolling releases already exist: Arch, Gentoo, Debian Sid, etc.

    Ubuntu is not rolling release, and is more popular than Arch+Gentoo+Sid combined.

    So I guess "rolling release is a small niche market" is the answer to your question "why not make Ubuntu rolling release?"

  3. #3
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    Re: Why not use new repos on old distros?

    Let me clarify myself a bit. I've tried Debian and Gentoo, and I'm quite content to suffer through reinstalling Ubuntu after those experiences. I just want to know the "why". I'm interested in a lay explanation of the mechanics behind distribution upgrades than I am in switching to a different flavor of Linux. Is it impractical to treat an Ubuntu installation as if it was a rolling release by doing as I proposed? If not, why not?
    IBM T42

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    Re: Why not use new repos on old distros?

    Upgrading Ubuntu is described in detail here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UpgradeNotes

    (You do not need to do a fresh reinstall every 6 months! )

    Ubuntu is not a "rolling release" distro, but you can achieve a similar purpose by using the development release (currently 12.04). As a bonus you'll be helping to test bugs and make the next Ubuntu release better.

  5. #5
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    Re: Why not use new repos on old distros?

    New stuff might not work on an older Distro, either due to missing dependencies or something else.

    I guess you could add the 12.04 repos to 10.04 and install stuff from there, but you would probably end up with a broken system in the end.

    As a general rule, it is better to stick to the repos for your version instead of trying to add the repo for the newer version.

    If you want a newer version of a program, look for a PPA or compile it from source.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Why not use new repos on old distros?

    Quote Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
    Upgrading Ubuntu is described in detail here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UpgradeNotes
    Thanks for the link. I will read through that and see what I can learn.

    Quote Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
    (You do not need to do a fresh reinstall every 6 months! )
    Thank goodness for that. I have been using Lucid since it came out. I like that there are LTS releases for just that reason, though I may reconsider that in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
    Ubuntu is not a "rolling release" distro, but you can achieve a similar purpose by using the development release (currently 12.04). As a bonus you'll be helping to test bugs and make the next Ubuntu release better.
    Hmm, another thing to consider....

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesA View Post
    New stuff might not work on an older Distro, either due to missing dependencies or something else
    Currently I'm on an IBM T42. No worries there.


    Thank you both for your feedback. I'll read that article, and if I have more questions I may ask them here.
    IBM T42

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    Re: Why not use new repos on old distros?

    Quote Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
    Rolling releases already exist: Arch, Gentoo, Debian Sid, etc.
    Like I said above, I have used Debian Sid before. I actually like the distribution itself, but the support forum was horribly unresponsive. Can Linux users get support for other distributions besides Ubuntu variants on this forum?
    IBM T42

  8. #8
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    Re: Why not use new repos on old distros?

    For other distributions there is some information and help on this FORUM

    on this LINK its not going to be the same as going direct to the distribution Forum
    that you are interested in Arch Gentoo Mint Sabayon or others .....
    but the people there are very helpful and may point you quickly to a answer or link
    you to a place they find their information from.

    __________________________________________________ _____

    There are methods to make this seem like a rolling release ..... as said - getting into the testing area early and following it through .... but watching for any serious breakage and trying to avoid upgrading at the points where they occur - people on there are quite quick at warning if the display driver no longer works or that it will no longer boot to a GUI.

    In my experience over the last 3 upgrades ... its been possible to do

    sudo aptitude safe-upgrade

    upto the point where a distribution changes to the next one .....

    then to do

    sudo aptitude dist-upgrade


    ( after following instructions posted on the net to change the repositories to suit )
    That is at the time when the new release comes out ..........

    This I would not recommend to Newbies though ..... as getting out of awkward situations
    may not be for everyone ..... and most testers seem to have fall back systems too.

    With Linux as you will probably know .... it is possible to run more than one from the same drive and switch between them ..... this way you can usually have at least one good running system ..... to drop back to.

  9. #9
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    Re: Why not use new repos on old distros?

    Quote Originally Posted by 23dornot23d View Post
    In my experience over the last 3 upgrades ... its been possible to do

    sudo aptitude safe-upgrade

    upto the point where a distribution changes to the next one .....

    then to do

    sudo aptitude dist-upgrade


    ( after following instructions posted on the net to change the repositories to suit )
    That is at the time when the new release comes out ..........

    This I would not recommend to Newbies though ..... as getting out of awkward situations may not be for everyone ..... and most testers seem to have fall back systems too.
    This is worth a try. I have a backup disk to save everything important in the event of a disastrous attempt. I don't have a second computer but I do have a livecd to run. I will probably burn the Debian testing netinst cd first (Sid is a bit too unstable for my taste), and if things go bad I may just try starting over with that instead.
    IBM T42

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    Re: Why not use new repos on old distros?

    I use a lot of different Distros ,,,, the way I do it is with USB HDs

    I tend to add a new one in a new partition ,,,,,, a 1 Terra HDD can swallow up many but
    I stick to 16 Distros on one ...... as they tend to start messing up after that ......

    Here is a Boot Screen to give you some idea of what you could do ...... but most people stick with one
    or another distro ...... I like to keep up with what is going on in the LINUX world so do a little bit of experimenting.

    sdb as you can see from below is divided into many smaller partitions ..... 20 to 30 Gig is quite reasonable for a testing partition ..... and allows for a lot of programs too .....

    There are a lot more on here than what you can see from this small snippet ..... but it gives you an idea
    all of my systems I run and they all have there own little plus and minus features .......

    I find having a few to choose from never leaves me in a position where I cannot get a job done

    But obviously the downside is keeping everything organized ..... this is done through one main Desktop where I have access to all the other partitions ...... the home partition can be very useful - but even better I find is having a partition formatted FAT32 200 Gig ...... the access is always easy to gain for DATA from any system.

    Food for thought anyway .......

    Last edited by 23dornot23d; February 14th, 2012 at 04:24 PM.

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