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Thread: Tumbleweed - our holy grail?

  1. #1
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    Default Tumbleweed - our holy grail?

    Hi Everyone,

    i should like to reflect with you on the Tumbleweed project (Portal:Tumbleweed - openSUSE).

    For the less experienced readers: Tumbleweed claims to be able to offer a rolling update mechanism starting with openSUSE 11.4. This means, if I am correct, that when openSUSE 11.4 is installed, and Tumbleweed is implemented, no future manual upgrade is necessary to 11.5 and further.

    As a relatively "vanilla" Linux user i think this is great news that deserves some attention - and a place in this forum. Tumbleweed can mean the following:

    • less maintenance capacity needed
    • the most current, supported version of OpenSUSE guaranteed
    • endless support for the current configuration
    • the timing for the introduction of new versions of packages/repositories can be perfectly composed.
    • the interdependency between packages and side conditions for packages can be better managed.
    • with some patience the issues in the current phase of the software can eventually get addresed in a later phase

    In other threads i followed (Overall install-upgrade strategy and A free LTS version of openSUSE would top my Linux wish list.) is talked about alternatives for the versioning system openSUSE Linux until now did have. In this you can think about the idea of LTS - Long term support and initiatives like the Evergreen Project (openSUSE:Evergreen - openSUSE) and the Factory project (Portal:Factory - openSUSE). The aim of Evergreen was extending the life span of a openSUSE version. And the aim of Factory is to be able to combine development releases with currently released software (aim: development and testing).

    To understand fully the meaning of Tumbleweed some questions can be addressed:
    • Are there trade offs to Tumbleweed? Does Tumbleweed offer flexibility for users to choose certain versions, or is its inflexibility as possible pitfall in itself?
    • Pitfalls of Tumbleweed? If the interdependency-analysis of the installation is incorrect or incomplete, actions of Tumbleweed can cause instability. Questions relating to this: is Tumbleweed able to fall back on the old situation etc.etc.
    • Does Tumbleweed replace (in purpose) initiatives like Evergreen? Or is this to quickly said?
    • Does Tumbleweed mean the end of the version oriented development of OpenSUSE?
    • Can we learn from experiences built with comparative mechanisms in other Linux distro's, or is opesSUSE at the front end of this deveploment.
    • Is Tumbleweed really a new mechanism, or does manny functionality already exist in the standard update mechanism of openSUSE linux?
    • Do I make myself guilty of wishful thinking and do i have to put off my pink glasses?


    Questions. Questions. Questions. Easily put, more difficult to answer. Please read this as an attempt to start a discussion and to call attention to Tumbleweed.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tumbleweed - our holy grail?

    Before switching to OpenSUSE with version 11.2, my Distribution of choice was Arch Linux, which has a rolling release versioning like Tumbleweed. Rolling release is nice, but you have to be careful, you have to know what you do and even then stuff may break. It is not like you don't have to do an distribution upgrade anymore, It is more like doing a small distribution upgrade every day...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tumbleweed - our holy grail?

    Quote Originally Posted by BuddelBob View Post
    Before switching to OpenSUSE with version 11.2, my Distribution of choice was Arch Linux, which has a rolling release versioning like Tumbleweed. Rolling release is nice, but you have to be careful, you have to know what you do and even then stuff may break. It is not like you don't have to do an distribution upgrade anymore, It is more like doing a small distribution upgrade every day...
    I agree, I have the same experience. Archlinux was great - a lot of packages in AUR, (almost) no dependency hell... But I was too lazy to take care about the system and then it doesn't work so good... And sometimes, some packages were stable too fast and then the problems came - for example an upgrade of libjpg or libpng led to serious problems with many applications, because they were compiled against older versions of the libraries... So rolling releases are great but cannot be trusted...


    On the other hand, if the Tumleweed developers give some time to package testing, it could be fine and I am looking forward to it. But I will wait for a moment to se, how it's going :-)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tumbleweed - our holy grail?

    so, as with everything, a rolling release can have it's drawbacks? Probably i want this to be too nice. Triggered by the statements of you both that Tumbleweed is not unique i've searched for rolling releases in general. The rolling release wiki Rolling release - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia remains directly connected with Linux distributions. By the way, OpenSUSE-tumbleweed is already mentioned in this general wiki too. In the blog Rolling Release Linux Distributions The Reclusive Geek someone elaborates on testing several rolling releases (he was rather positive about Arch) and his general message was not every rolling release will work for you without problems. Though the blog was very recent it dit not incorporate Tumbleweed, but it gives a picture.

    Thinking about it, a rolling release can become a complex system. The update "pulse" of packages that depend on eachother need to be in sync. A solid organisation is necessary to harness this. On top of this new functionalty can be added by the admin to a not yet updated rolling linux OS. Only this new functionality then is uptodate, and so can have a conflict with the OS.

    I do hope Tumbleweed is not only well engineered but will be accompanied with a clear set of guidelines how to use the technique to get the best possible result with respect to OS-stability. In these guidlines the following can be addressed:
    1. update frequency
    2. update timing
    3. update OS before installing new functionality

    ..things like that....

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tumbleweed - our holy grail?

    On 2011-03-13 18:36, Teaglass wrote:
    > Hi Everyone,
    >
    > i should like to reflect with you on the Tumbleweed project
    > ('Portal:Tumbleweed - openSUSE'
    > (http://en.opensuse.org/Portal%3ATumbleweed)).
    >
    > For the less experienced readers: Tumbleweed claims to be able to offer
    > a rolling update mechanism starting with openSUSE 11.4. This means, if I
    > am correct, that when openSUSE 11.4 is installed, and Tumbleweed is
    > implemented, no future manual upgrade is necessary to 11.5 and further.


    It also means that a person setting up the tumbleweed repository no longer
    has openSUSE 11.4; he now has openSUSE Tumbleweed, a new distro based on
    factory.


    Look carefully:

    > "http://en.opensuse.org/Tumbleweed"



    Right hand panel, list of current releases:

    * openSUSE 11.4
    * openSUSE 11.3
    * openSUSE 11.2
    * Evergreen - Long term support release
    * Tumbleweed - Rolling release
    * Factory - Development release
    * More about derivatives


    See the list? It is a new release. Different. Bleeding edge. Highly
    experimental. Questions on the factory mail list, and perhaps in the beta
    forum.


    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.2 x86_64 "Emerald" at Telcontar)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tumbleweed - our holy grail?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    ...he now has openSUSE Tumbleweed, a new distro based on
    factory.
    That is not quite correct. Tumbleweed is not a new distro (e.g. a new distro: Mepis based on Mandrake/Mandriva). It is a different release of openSUSE, extending 11.4 by repo. I also think "based on factory" is misleading, or at least too economical. Many programs may remain at the same level as released in 11.4. Program authors/packagers are expected to contribute their most stable versions. How stable? Only time will tell.

    I could also be economical and say that 11.4's packages are based on factory, since they are all ex factory.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tumbleweed - our holy grail?

    On 2011-03-21 12:36, consused wrote:
    >
    > robin_listas;2308956 Wrote:
    >>
    >> ...he now has openSUSE Tumbleweed, a new distro based on
    >> factory.

    > That is not quite correct. Tumbleweed is not a new distro (e.g. a new
    > distro: Mepis based on Mandrake/Mandriva). It is a different release of
    > openSUSE, extending 11.4 by repo.


    It is a new version of opensuse, yes. It is not an extension of 11.4 at
    all. It is a derivative of factory, by their definition.

    > I also think "based on factory" is
    > misleading, or at least too economical. Many programs may remain at the
    > same level as released in 11.4. Program authors/packagers are expected
    > to contribute their most _stable_ versions. How stable? Only time will
    > tell.


    No. If factory doesn't change yet a package, then tumbleweed will not
    change either - not because it is based on 11.4, but because it is based on
    factory.


    > I could also be economical and say that 11.4's packages are based on
    > factory, since they are all ex factory.


    But without the extensive testing of 11.4.


    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.2 x86_64 "Emerald" at Telcontar)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tumbleweed - our holy grail?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    It is a new version of opensuse, yes. It is not an extension of 11.4 at
    all. It is a derivative of factory, by their definition.
    No, the next new version of openSUSE will be 12.x, and you arrive at installed Tumbleweed by adding a repo to an 11.4 installation (as distributed in the first instance) and then updating. The user doesn't typically start from factory. What you end up with is a hybrid. Is it that much different from adding Packman to a standard 11.x installation, that is also a hybrid openSUSE system and also an "extended" 11.4 system.

    If factory doesn't change yet a package, then tumbleweed will not
    change either - not because it is based on 11.4, but because it is based on
    factory.
    Now you're just spinning , because all the packages go through factory at some point. If factory doesn't "change yet a package", 11.x doesn't arrive and Tumbleweed would be a non-starter. BTW, using negatives as proof is always suspect.

    But without the extensive testing of 11.4.
    I think a number of users posting about their 11.4 experience might disagree with "extensive". Some packages get more "extensive" testing than others. Tumbleweed packages could include fixes to earlier packages that (perish the thought) may have slipped through "extensive" testing between the last Milestone/RC1 and GM. Tumbleweed may also provide extended field-testing of packages by real users between standard openSUSE releases.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tumbleweed - our holy grail?

    On 2011-03-21 16:06, consused wrote:
    >
    > robin_listas;2309243 Wrote:
    >>
    >> It is a new version of opensuse, yes. It is not an extension of 11.4
    >> at
    >> all. It is a derivative of factory, by their definition.
    >>

    > No, the next new version of openSUSE will be 12.x, and you arrive at
    > installed Tumbleweed by adding a repo to an 11.4 installation (as
    > distributed in the first instance) and then updating. The user doesn't
    > typically start from factory. What you end up with is a hybrid. Is it
    > that much different from adding Packman to a standard 11.x installation,
    > that is also a hybrid openSUSE system and also an "extended" 11.4
    > system.


    It doesn't matter your point of departure. Once you enable tumbleweed, and
    make a dup as documented in the wiki, your openSUSE version is
    "Tumblewwed". This is not arguable. It is documented in the Wiki, it is in
    the list of openSUSE versions.

    And packages for Tumbleweed are those of factory, with a little
    stabilization. They themselves say it is a derivative of factory. And they
    state that questions should be directed to the factory mail list - not any
    forum.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.2 x86_64 "Emerald" at Telcontar)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Tumbleweed - our holy grail?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    ...openSUSE version is "Tumblewwed". This is not arguable. It is documented in the Wiki, it is in
    the list of openSUSE versions.
    I'm old-fashioned in that new versions tend to deliver significant new function, new releases don't usually do that. At the risk of repetition, it's clear that the Wiki page lists openSUSE "releases" NOT "versions"! Take another look (in English) .

    We can at least agree that Tumbleweed is a departure.

    And packages for Tumbleweed are those of factory, with a little
    stabilization. They themselves say it is a derivative of factory.
    On the wiki they do differentiate from "bleeding edge" factory, with added stabilization. I didn't see the adjective "little" used there.

    Unfortunately, I didn't see much commitment to testing either. Proof of the pudding will be when Tumbleweed's journey meets with the arrival of "11.5" GM. That will provide a point of convergence for detailed comparison.

    And they state that questions should be directed to the factory mail list - not any forum.
    Business as usual for openSUSE developers. In the short term, developers and packagers could be Tumbleweed's main audience.

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