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Jon Wilder
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:17 am    Post subject: Gentoo Out of Date Systems - My Experience Reply with quote

Hi all. I have a laptop that I've had Gentoo on for the last couple of years. I had broken KDE on it over a year ago and had since failed to maintain it. I'd use it for command line stuff but would never boot into the desktop. It had been since last year that I'd even run an emerge -auND @world on it and there were some missing dependencies.

So this last weekend I thought I'd take on the daunting task of trying to replace missing packages and get the system updated. Needless to say I was far from successful and wasted more time than it would've taken me to just build another system (It takes about 1-2 days for me to do a full Gentoo install, update, install Xorg-Server and KDE on a typical machine).

Now if you would like a lesson in resolving circular dependencies, depcleaning when you have missing packages, and just figuring out all of Portage's quirks and complaints when you have a badly out of date broken system, then it would've been a neat project to take on. However, I was more concerned with the time factor. Could it have been fixed? Sure...but far faster to just wipe the system and start over from stage3.

So yesterday I decided to use the /mnt/gentoo directory to build a new system, then use the PC reshuffle method to remove the old system from /, then reshuffle the contents of /mnt/gentoo to / (of course if space isn't a consideration you can always just edit /etc/fstab to set the root directory as /mnt/gentoo if you want but I consider that to be "lazy"). I started at 8PM last night and after the uND update to the base profile, installing my common command line tools (like gentoolkit, lspic, sudo, vim, screen, python libraries, etc), switching and uND'ing to the plasma profile, I am already emerging plasma-desktop. This is on an older AMD Turion II P520 Dual-Core laptop with Radeon graphics and 4GB RAM.

Lesson learned - keep your Gentoo systems updated. I set a Cron job to emerge --sync every night at midnight so I always have the latest Portage tree on the system and I can update anytime I want without having to remember to resync the tree. Can you fix a badly outdated Gentoo system. Sure! But the time it will take you will be far longer than just redoing everything.
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recently I've found that even if you keep your machines relatively up to date, it still sometimes can be hard to resolve updates. However, if you update frequently, you'll get fewer updates per update, and that reduces the scope of finding the culprit.

These two options are sometimes are helpful in your emerge, however:

--backtrack=30

and

--with-bdeps=y

The former will increase search depth for possible solutions, and the latter seems to help out making sure your build programs are up to date, which tends to clean up issues that don't immediately show up...
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josephg
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:35 am    Post subject: Re: Gentoo Out of Date Systems - My Experience Reply with quote

Jon Wilder wrote:
Can you fix a badly outdated Gentoo system. Sure! But the time it will take you will be far longer than just redoing everything.

i think i agree. i left a system too long (a few months) without updating, and i had all sorts of troubles. in a year's time, even the portage architecture seems to have changed over. far more efficient and quicker to start from stage3 with your old configs, than to resolve endless conflicts.

having used gentoo on my primary rigs exclusively for about a year+ now, my view is that gentoo stable is not really rock stable like debian stable used to be. stable updates happen too often like on debian testing, and ~arch is more akin debian sid. i still have debian wheezy gone oldoldstable now, i go on occasionally and still find i can live happily on it.

i am not too keen living on the bleeding edge, and i prefer my systems to be far more stable. a year on the horizon is not too long on a roadmap to dump systems and start over. imho gentoo stable needs to be more stable!
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C5ace
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I look after 20 laptops and desktops with Xfxe, libre office, thunderbired, firefox, VLC, VirtualBox, etc. Daily updates with:
Code:

emerge --sync
emerge --update --deep --with-bdeps=y --newuse --backtrack=300 --changed-deps=y --keep-going=y @world
emerge --depclean
revdep-rebuild


Python, perl occasionally cause problems and are fixed by hand.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We had a case here in March 2017, where the user had a years out of date system.
It took 6 weeks elapsed time to update it. It was indeed an interesting project.
It sticks in my mind because the fix took longer that the one month I recommend between updates.

Intermediate portage trees can be extracted from git, so its possible the get the ebuilds to fix mutual circular blocks, like gcc/glibc.
Finding sources for older packages is a challenge though.
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josephg
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

C5ace wrote:
I look after 20 laptops and desktops with Xfxe, libre office, thunderbired, firefox, VLC, VirtualBox, etc. Daily updates with:

i assume each of your 20 don't emerge everything all over again 20 times.. just curious how you do it?

NeddySeagoon wrote:
We had a case here in March 2017, where the user had a years out of date system.
It took 6 weeks elapsed time to update it. It was indeed an interesting project.

here.. as in this forum?
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luiztux
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Gentoo Out of Date Systems - My Experience Reply with quote

Well, on the one hand this shows the hard work of the developers in keeping the packages up to date. :wink:


Jon Wilder wrote:


(It takes about 1-2 days for me to do a full Gentoo install, update, install Xorg-Server and KDE on a typical machine).



Hmmm, for me the installation time was solved with:

Code:
 
MAKEOPTS="-j${nº_jobs+1} -l${nº_jobs+1}"
EMERGE_DEFAULT_OPTS="--jobs={nº_jobs+1} --load-average={nº_jobs+1}"
FEATURES="parallel-fetch parallel-install sandbox"



on a dual-core intel with 2G of RAM and I installed everything in about 6 hours. Of course, I do not use KDE, but I installed Xfce and Mate. 8)
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

josephg,

Yes. The thread ended in success and ran for about 6 weeks.
Looking back through my posts, I can't find it so maybe my memory of the date is incorrect.
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not necessarily the devs keeping the packages up to date, it's also dependent on every one of our systems being different than the devs' machines, it's very difficult for them to know exactly how each of our machines are configured...

Recently it's basically that perl problem that requires that backtrack, and individual masks that caused problems for my updates. Nvidia-drivers is pretty much my remaining holdout causing mask problems (due to trying to stay to specific xorg versions) after switching to the OSS ATI drivers.
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josephg
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
Looking back through my posts, I can't find it so maybe my memory of the date is incorrect.

how can you look back through your posts? you are one of the most prolific posters here :lol:
hence why i asked a while ago for the feature to list all my (subscribed/watching) threads. it is far too cumbersome searching back through individual posts :(

eccerr0r wrote:
it's also dependent on every one of our systems being different than the devs' machines, it's very difficult for them to know exactly how each of our machines are configured...

imho that's true for most linux systems not owned by noobs.. i have always heavily customised every distro i have ever used. probably why i ended up here :)

i think devs understand and probably expect this!
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

josephg,

I can do a binary search.

After the first page, I get https://forums.gentoo.org/search.php?search_id=693266735&start=25
Changing the start gets you further back in time, so even for me, a binary search to a date is quite fast.
When you don't recall the date properly, its harder.
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C5ace
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

josephg wrote:
C5ace wrote:
I look after 20 laptops and desktops with Xfxe, libre office, thunderbired, firefox, VLC, VirtualBox, etc. Daily updates with:

i assume each of your 20 don't emerge everything all over again 20 times.. just curious how you do it?


Very simple:
There is one "always on" laptop acting as local portage tree server synced and updated daily at about 08:00h local time. When the other desktops and the various laptops (clients) are started up they connect with rsync to the "server" and update their local portage tree do the update. The "server" has the same applications as all the "clients" installed.

If there is a problem, it will happen on the "server" and is fixed before the "clients" are started at about 09:00. There are probably better ways to do this.
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krinn
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't update my gentoo often, sometimes for months, never really had a problem updating it.
What i'm sure from my experience, is that i will just never run a script to update my gentoo without me if the script doesn't --fetch before the updates and if it doesn't enforce usage of --buildpkg
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Mr. T.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
josephg,

Yes. The thread ended in success and ran for about 6 weeks.
Looking back through my posts, I can't find it so maybe my memory of the date is incorrect.


It is probably the thread [SOLVED]: Does it make sense to upgrade or just re-install?
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing that's really annoying is all the test runs of emerge while trying to solve the conflicts ...

... on slow machines ...

That gets you pulling hairs out.
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josephg
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eccerr0r wrote:
One thing that's really annoying is all the test runs of emerge while trying to solve the conflicts ...

... on slow machines ...

That gets you pulling hairs out.

ccache might be help
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How will it help? It's the portage python script that takes forever to finish on 1GB (i.e., portage tree gets evicted from cache) slow machines with mechanical hard drives...

I suppose I could export root to a faster machine, cache, and chroot to it, might help a bit just to do the test computations, then write out the masks/use flags/etc., and once cleaned up let it go back to that machine to submit the distcc jobs so all the configure initialization scripts don't make wrong assumptions about the emerge test machine...
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it might help if you have to emerge the same package(s) again and again to test conflicts or use flags. it might not help if you don't emerge the same packages often. i won't use it on a regular basis though.
http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:X86/Working/Features#Activating_Portage_ccache_support

i also do http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Portage_TMPDIR_on_tmpfs except for large packages.
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*OUCH*

I just got my toughest update box yet... a xfce box that I haven't updated in ages, probably over 2 years.

Currently it has these portage problems:

- Perl upgrade
- ncurses 5.x to 6.x fiasco
- udev, libudev, and util-linux circular dependency (i ain't going to USE=systemd to fix this?)
- xorg-server and drivers conflicting (???still debugging)

This is going to be a real headache... and might be the first reinstall over upgrade/repair I have to do...
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eccerr0r, I'd use binary packages from a healthy machine to break the circular deps. I would even touch xorg until @system is up to date.

I always use an @system update first on an old box since everything in world can be purged and replaced by definition. It helps narrow the problem space.
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add insult to injury, there's a portage upgrade too, and it depends on ncurses being resolved...
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am lazy and let cron do an emerge update every morning. This is my simple script:
Code:
#!/bin/sh
rm /root/dead.letter
eix-sync
emerge -Duvb --newuse --keep-going --exclude llvm --exclude gcc  --with-bdeps=y @world
emerge --depclean
emerge -vb @preserved-rebuild
updatedb

To see if anything went wrong, I simply enter:
Code:
ls -ltr /var/tmp/portage/*/*/temp/build.log
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krinn
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eccerr0r wrote:
One thing that's really annoying is all the test runs of emerge while trying to solve the conflicts ...

... on slow machines ...

That gets you pulling hairs out.

I use myself --nodeps on any package from world that is troublesome. I don't care to break packages in world, and you'll see that even on slow machine, removing the dep calculation is like swapping your turtle to bip-bip. You also avoid circular dep stopper.

for system, i'll try my best avoid abuse of --nodeps, but quickpkg is also very fast and your friend.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Irre: how do you protect against a package update which requires a configuration file update due to syntax changes?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

C5ace wrote:
Very simple:
There is one "always on" laptop acting as local portage tree server synced and updated daily at about 08:00h local time. When the other desktops and the various laptops (clients) are started up they connect with rsync to the "server" and update their local portage tree do the update. The "server" has the same applications as all the "clients" installed.

If there is a problem, it will happen on the "server" and is fixed before the "clients" are started at about 09:00. There are probably better ways to do this.


You might want to look at distcc and binary packages also.

NQS
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