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  1. #1

    Which distro is easily updated from release to release?

    Hi all. I'm looking to replace my old FreeBSD 4.10 server with a Linux server (for various reasons). One of the things that I'll miss about FreeBSD is how easy it is to update it when new minor releases come out. I started at 4.0, and every time a new version came out I just downloaded the source, did a make world, and voila, I was running the new version.

    The distros of Linux I've run at work don't seem to upgrade that easily. Does anyone have experience with a distro that upgrades easily from one release to the next rather than requiring you to reinstall the whole thing from scratch? For instance, if I install SUSE 10.1, will I easily be able to upgrade to 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, and so on when they are release? What about Ubuntu, Gentoo, and the rest?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    Maybe take a look at Arch:

    It's a rolling release so once you install it, you don't need to reinstall on the next release. In other words, you always have the latest release as long as you have been updating your packages as the new packages come out.

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer Zelmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Riverton, UT, USA
    Gentoo is also a rolling release.
    Debian works about the same way, if you're not using the stable fork. It's one of the big reasons I switched from SuSE. Even if you are using the stable fork of Debian, you can update the whole system to a new release in one fell swoop with two easy commands.
    Stand up and be counted as a Linux user!

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  5. #4
    Debian is easy to upgrade, but do you want bleeding edge on a server? When I ran Mandrake I updated every time there was a new release and 2 in a row crashed all the time and really were a pain. I switched to Debian stable and problems went away. I have had no trouble at all with testing on my other machine but I wouldn't run it on a server I was counting on.

  6. #5
    For a rolling release: Gentoo. But my tip: Debian stable.
    Windows free since 2002 | computing since 1984

  7. #6
    Linux Engineer psic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Gentoo. Oh, and then there's Gentoo. Also, don't forget about Gentoo.

    Gentoo and Debian are both good choices, though I suggest the former as it's portage tool was inspired by BSD, here's what the Gentoo FAQ tells us:

    What makes Gentoo different?

    Gentoo uses a BSD ports-like system called Portage. Portage is a package management system that allows great flexibility while installing and maintaining software on a Gentoo system. It provides compile-time option support (through USE flags), conditional dependencies, pre-package installation summary, safe installation (through sandboxing) and uninstallation of software, system profiles, configuration file protection amongst several other features.

    EDIT: to upgrade an entire gentoo sistem, the command is 'emerge --update --deep world'

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