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  1. #11

    Quote Originally Posted by v1k1ng1001 View Post
    Just stick with ubuntu LTS and upgrade every two years. The upgrade services in Ubuntu are so solid now that you can just upgrade to the newest version without reinstalling from scratch. And even if you do reinstall from scratch, the installer will preserve your files and settings as best it can.
    I'm running 10.04 LTS and it's crap. I loved 9.04 but 10.04 causes incessant crashes (esp. when switching users), problems running my VM, all kinds of things. I don't think I can trust Ubuntu any more. I don't know if it's the GRUB bootloader, the Plymouth package they went to or what, but it's been a giant pain. If I didn't have a bunch of development stuff already underway, I'd have wiped it months ago.

  2. #12
    Just Joined! ford's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    GA, USA
    Well, you can use a source based distribution. You can use Slackware... which still supports version 8.1 (which was release 2002). You could also consider trying EL (Red Hat, CentOS, or Scientific). Those tend to get ports of things for quite a while.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by v1k1ng1001 View Post
    Just stick with ubuntu LTS and upgrade every two years.
    That's not what the OP was looking for. For example if after 18 months he wants to install a newer version of a program, he is going to have to either build it himself from source or backport it...

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  5. #14
    I think that what the OP wants is somewhat impossible. There's no scape to updating something if you want something else new. The applications are usually not that "self-enclosed", independent from anything else in the system.

    The closest thing would be to only use some "stable type" release (like debian stable or ubuntu LTS) and keep with its "proper" software, which will age a bit until the next release comes, but installing a few specific newer applications in a "/opt"-like scheme, with all its newer dependencies in parallel. But I think that's more troublesome than using a rolling release distro, (or even something that is not quite that, like the "testing" or even "unstable" branches of debian), which is almost the exact opposite of this "upgrade proof" concept, as the updates are much more frequent/almost in a daily basis. The only "similarity" of rolling release with this concept is that there's no "big step" sort of upgrade (at least on actual rolling releases), which may or may not go wrong and require to actually reinstall the entire OS from scratch or something close to it (albeit it hadn't been my experience with debian 4 to 5, even though I've upgraded while 5 was still testing, for two or three months).
    Openbox + tint2 desktop. Debian testing, liquorix kernel

  6. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
    Debian testing/unstable is a good option if you want to keep up to date without constantly reinstalling. As for other rolling releases I can't really comment, but as sgosnell states, Debian has the largest repos and unlike some rolling releases packages are signed.
    As someone might point (perhaps semi-pedantically), these branches are not "exactly" rolling releases, but actually what their names say, testing, unstable, experimental. So one can not be surprised if something goes wrong with an upgrade, even in "testing".

    I have apt-listbugs installed, which, as the name says, will list bugs (if there are any) from the packages I'm upgrading or installing (before installing, so I can cancel or ignore after I've read the bug descriptions), and currently, on testing, there are 4 or 5 packages "on hold" with somewhat serious bugs, some are quite important packages such as grub, on which a bug could render the OS unusable or at least give some work to fix, which could imply in downgrading the buggy package anyway (but not necessarily).

    The only real rolling release I've used was arch and it was only for a short while, so perhaps the detail that these debian branches are not rolling releases isn't really that meaningful, I wouldn't expect them to not have any similar trouble at all. The only more meaningful difference I remember is something on the lines that with debian testing these bugs can take longer to get fixed (by the maintainers) than it would on an actual rolling release or even on debian unstable/experimental, on which, despite of fixing bugs more frequently, the chances of more serious breakages are more constantly present, again, unlike an actual rolling release. Or at least unlike what one would expect from the ideal "roll" of a rolling release.
    Openbox + tint2 desktop. Debian testing, liquorix kernel

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