Find the answer to your Linux question:
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
Like Tree1Likes
I've been using Ubuntu for awhile, and it seems that due to the constant upgrade cycle (every 6 months), that new programs quickly become incompatible with older versions. (Plus, Ubuntu ...
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    7

    Are any distros "upgrade-proof"?


    I've been using Ubuntu for awhile, and it seems that due to the constant upgrade cycle (every 6 months), that new programs quickly become incompatible with older versions. (Plus, Ubuntu only supports updates for 18 months after a release).

    In other words, I often would download a program for a year old version of Ubuntu, only to find the program requires a more recent Ubuntu, which typically requires a complete re-install.

    If I wanted to re-install my OS every year, I would have stuck with Windows.

    So: are there any distros that I can put on my PC and feel confident that 2, 3, even 5 years from now, new software will install and work on it? (I can still install pretty much any software on my 8 year old XP system with no problem. I'd like the same with Linux.)

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Either at home or at work or down the pub
    Posts
    3,653
    What you want is a rolling release distro (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikiped...olling_release). Personally, I use Linux Mint Debian Edition
    nujinini likes this.
    "I used to be with it, then they changed what it was.
    Now what was it isn't it, and what is it is weird and scary to me.
    It'll happen to you too."

    Grandpa Simpson



    The Fifth Continent

  3. #3
    Just Joined! Peter D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tintinhull, Somerset, UK
    Posts
    27
    PCLinuxOS is a rolling distro and simple to get started with. Arch is rolling, but more challenging.

  4. $spacer_open
    $spacer_close
  5. #4
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    7
    Thanks. I've actually tried both in VMs under Ubuntu 10.04 and rather liked Mint. That's what I was leaning toward once I'm ready to wipe my drive and install.

    I like to run XP in a VMWare virtual machine; is that a problem (to anyone's knowledge) with any of the rolling distros? Also, my platform is a Mac Mini (late '09), if hardware's an issue.

    Thanks again.

  6. #5
    Linux Enthusiast sgosnell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baja Oklahoma
    Posts
    507
    If you don't want to reinstall often, try Debian. Ubuntu is based on Debian, but it's a wide fork. Debian Stable is updated when needed, not on a set schedule, and it doesn't get changed often. Thus you won't see the latest bleeding-edge software. If you want newer, you can track either Debian Testing or Debian Unstable, on which Ubuntu is based. I run Unstable just for the fun of it, and I have seen few problems, all of which were fixed within days. But if you want a system that just works, all the time, Debian Stable is probably what you're looking for.

  7. #6
    Linux Newbie theKbStockpiler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    211

    The less applications on an install the less problems.

    The biggest problem I have when a Linux distro hits two years old is the print applications won't work correctly. The configuration files keep getting corrupted. I don't think the average Linux Distro can't make it past two years with a lot of applications that use shared libraries on it. Updates don't always help in fact sometimes they introduce new bugs that are worse.


    Possible solutions
    1-You can try to reinstall the same distro and leave out the applications that you don't really need but if the distro is too old you can't get the packages for it which is the real reason to update.

    2- Something I plan on doing is to clone my distros when they are working good so I can reinstall them if they go to hell from adding some frivolous application. A power user should be doing this anyways and installing needed software on an older system by Source Code. I would rather do this to keep Gnome 2 than to look at a desktop with Gnome 3 on it.

    3- You can make a partition that is mounted automatically that has all of your media and other storage on it so all you have to do is reinstall a newer distro and add it to fstab. The applications will have to be reinstalled though.

    Debian has a reputation for being stable for the longest periods like CentOS and so on but I don't believe that their repositories are very big.

    Windows will fall apart if you add lot of libraries and application to it as with Linux but you have to pay to remedy it.

  8. #7
    Linux Enthusiast sgosnell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baja Oklahoma
    Posts
    507
    Debian has the largest repositories of any distro. You can count them if you want. I haven't seen a problem with printers failing to work. I don't see how configuration files could get corrupted unless the user is editing them. Keeping backups of data is essential, but it's just about as easy to reinstall from scratch as it is to restore a cloned OS. Periodically I do
    Code:
    dpkg --get-selections > ~/my-packages
    to store a list of everything I've installed, and if I have to do a reinstall, I can run
    Code:
    sudo dpkg --set-selections < my-packages && sudo apt-get dselect-upgrade
    to restore all my packages, with a fresh set of binaries. The configuration files are mostly in /home .files anyway, and those are restored by restoring /home. There are lots of ways to get a fresh OS, and cloning / isn't my preference, but it's certainly a viable option if that's your choice.

  9. #8
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    Debian has the largest repositories of any distro. You can count them if you want. I haven't seen a problem with printers failing to work. I don't see how configuration files could get corrupted unless the user is editing them. Keeping backups of data is essential, but it's just about as easy to reinstall from scratch as it is to restore a cloned OS. Periodically I do
    Code:
    dpkg --get-selections > ~/my-packages
    to store a list of everything I've installed, and if I have to do a reinstall, I can run
    Code:
    sudo dpkg --set-selections < my-packages && sudo apt-get dselect-upgrade
    to restore all my packages, with a fresh set of binaries. The configuration files are mostly in /home .files anyway, and those are restored by restoring /home. There are lots of ways to get a fresh OS, and cloning / isn't my preference, but it's certainly a viable option if that's your choice.
    Interesting idea. I'll keep it in mind.

  10. #9
    Guest
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    312
    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.

  11. #10
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    9
    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.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •