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Some rough edges

Some rough edges

Posted Jun 30, 2005 14:39 UTC (Thu) by felixfix (subscriber, #242)
Parent article: An overview over the Gentoo community

I have had two problems with Gentoo that make me shudder.

One, an update linked /bin/ls against a /usr/lib dynamic library. A real no-no. Boot partition commands should NEVER link outside the boot partition. This one caught me because I had added some debugging ls commands to a startup script.

The second problem was updating some library which removed the old version of the library (1.00) when installing the new 1.01 version. As a result, boot failed trying to mouont LVM volumes. I luckily was able to add a temporary symlink from the new lib to the old name, reboot, and update all commands which were still linked against the old version. I hate to think of the nightmare I would have had if the library change had introduced incompatible changes.

Both indicate, for want of a better word, amateurs in control. I switched to gentoo from slackware because I got a new Opteron system and wanted 64 bit Linux. I am going to try slamd64 one of these days; gentoo is nice in a lot of ways, but it has gotten to the point that I literally do not know if a reboot will succeed or I will have to break out the rescue disk again. That is a pretty sorry state of affairs.


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Some rough edges

Posted Jun 30, 2005 14:48 UTC (Thu) by smitty_one_each (subscriber, #28989) [Link]

Glibc updates also make me shudder, but that has more to do with binary drivers. The KEYWORDS system stabilizes things, but the nature of portage is to sneak ever closer to the edge.
Live on the cutting edge, bleed frequently.

Some rough edges

Posted Jun 30, 2005 17:55 UTC (Thu) by dberkholz (guest, #23346) [Link]

> One, an update linked /bin/ls against a /usr/lib dynamic library. A real
> no-no. Boot partition commands should NEVER link outside the boot
> partition. This one caught me because I had added some debugging ls
> commands to a startup script.

I suspect this was libgpm, which was only a problem if you built ncurses with gpm support. It was also fixed quite a while ago.

> The second problem was updating some library which removed the old version
> of the library (1.00) when installing the new 1.01 version. As a result,
> boot failed trying to mouont LVM volumes. I luckily was able to add a
> temporary symlink from the new lib to the old name, reboot, and update all
> commands which were still linked against the old version. I hate to think
> of the nightmare I would have had if the library change had introduced
> incompatible changes.

This is what revdep-rebuild is for.

Some rough edges

Posted Jun 30, 2005 18:39 UTC (Thu) by felixfix (subscriber, #242) [Link]

Yes, I think it was gpm. I am glad it has been fixed, but it should never have happened in the first place. That was sloppy.

revdep-rebuild is well and good, but why delete an old library? That's one of the advantages to dynamic libraries. The LVM command should not link against an exact 1.00 version, it should link against 1. The old library should not be removed. That's why dynamic libs have all those extra symlink versions.

These two problems are indicative of a sloppiness that I do not want or expect in my system. How many other sloppy problems are out there?

Gentoo has some very nice features, but it also has this dangerous sloppiness that makes me skittish.

Some rough edges

Posted Jun 30, 2005 21:13 UTC (Thu) by fjf33 (guest, #5768) [Link]

Plus the documentation for LVM recomends that the static keyword be used so that in any catastrophic event this library dependencies are not a problem. Most of the critical components have the static option. Maybe they should default to static but somehow they don't. It is part of the learning that goes with all things Gentoo. :) I have a lot of fun with it and my emerges happen at night when I sleep. :P

Some rough edges

Posted Jul 1, 2005 14:17 UTC (Fri) by shane (subscriber, #3335) [Link]

Gentoo has some very nice features, but it also has this dangerous sloppiness that makes me skittish.

I would say that Gentoo probably isn't for you then.

I like Gentoo because it does give me total control over my system, yet does provide a certain level of help for me as administrator. But things do break, and have to be fixed. For my desktop or laptop, this is not a big deal - it's the price I pay for always having the very latest of everything, configured exactly like I want it to be.

It is a pain in the ass occasionally, and I admit I don't like waiting for compiles (I am currently compiling KDE 3.4.1 and don't expect it to finish before I go home, for instance).

Breaking things is not acceptable

Posted Jul 1, 2005 15:30 UTC (Fri) by felixfix (subscriber, #242) [Link]

...I would say that Gentoo probably isn't for you then...

You don't go far enough. Any system which breaks boot partition commands is not suitable, period. I love gentoo for compiling everything to my flags, for easy updates, for leaving UNIX mostly alone to be UNIX, not hiding all the configuration like RedHat and Mandrake. But breaking boot partition commands is a flat no-no. Requiring you to run revdep-rebuild manually is not good enough. Update simply must not break the boot process.

Some rough edges

Posted Jul 5, 2005 22:04 UTC (Tue) by g2boojum (subscriber, #152) [Link]

> Both indicate, for want of a better word, amateurs in control.

I'd just like to comment that this sentence is quite literally true. Gentoo is a community distribution, and very, very few developers are paid to work on any part of the distribution. That's not an excuse, just a statement of fact. When problems like this one occur, we encourage users to let us know at bugs@gentoo.org so that we can do our best to ensure that such problems do not occur again.


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