posted by irbis on Mon 25th Jan 2010 23:03
Conversations The idea of rolling releases: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_release is brought up on Linux forums quite often, so it seems suitable to discuss it here too. What are the pros and cons of various rolling release Linux distros (or other OS's) when compared to each other, or to distros using traditional releases? Are there some mixed models; or what could be improved in the rolling release implementations?

At least in theory it could be ideal if you needed to install the OS only once and then update software gradually in a rolling release manner, getting also important feature updates besides of only bug fixes. The price: stability problems are typical problems of rolling release distros.

Anyway, upgrading or reinstalling your whole OS every six months or so is often a time-consuming and frustrating process at the time. You often need to reinstall and reconfigure lots of software etc.
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Comments:
My experience
by righard on Wed 27th Jan 2010 04:40 UTC
righard
Member since:
2007-12-26

I use Arch Linux which is a rolling release distro and I like it a lot. I never "have" to re-install my computer and except for some packages in the AUR repository (unsupported user packages) nothing ever got broken in more then two years.

A rolling release distro does suit some distro better than others though. For example it would not suit more tightly integrated distro's like Ubuntu. Where all different packages for a whole.

Reply Score: 2

RE: My experience
by irbis on Sun 31st Jan 2010 01:33 in reply to "My experience"
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

Yes, Arch Linux is often mentioned as one of the best examples of a distro using rolling release model. I just hope they could implement package / repository signing soon to make it even better: http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pacman_package_signing

Gentoo is another example, but compiling software from sources takes time. Also competent experts seem to prefer binary distros because of the ease of use and time saved. Also, well-tested binaries (instead of compiling software by yourself) could increase stability too.

What other rolling release distros are there? Sidux, based on Debian unstable, is one, but as it uses Debian unstable repositories (besides of its own repos and tools), it has its difficulties too.

I've also seen Foresight Linux and PCLinuxOS mentioned as examples of rolling release distros. However, Foresight seems to be going through some big infrastructure changes. And as far as I know PCLInuxOS isn't purely rolling release?

Reply Score: 2