BE/Debian Stable too old?

Questions specific to SolydX Business Edition
Deleted User 2764

BE/Debian Stable too old?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 18 Jun 2014 23:38

After switching to BE version, I'm seriously considering going back to Home version. I'm finding bugs in the BE version of things that don't appear in the Home version, and these bugs are making some programs very hard to use if not nearly unusuable.

Notably:

- Menu editing is hard to do. Moving items is nearly impossible at times. Home version has up/down arrows to assist, if I remember right.

- Amarok has multiple bugs. The slider/progress bar is all the way to the end as the music plays, playlists only play one song and not the next in line, and all songs on a playlist are greyed out even though they do play.

- GIMP has a very bad bug where if you move to another application or even another tab sometimes and back to GIMP, the tools palette gets really messed up and you can't even access many tools that are needed for editing an image.

- libc6 (I think it is) is too old to compile newer versions of Glade.

- The folders widget won't resize to as small as it did in the Home version.

These things may be small, but I can't find fixes for them and they are fixed in the Home (testing/newer version). So I hate to think that I have to redo my computers (both) yet again, but it looks like I do. :( I do like the fact Home version is much lighter and runs really great on my old T61 (in 64-bit mode) so I am guessing Home 64 should run just as great.

I'll have to download them again and reinstall and then reinstall all the extra applications (ie. cherry tree, pdfsam, google chrom and chrome apps I use), etc. again. I'll think it over as the weekend project.

But I'm wondering, while BE is supposed to be stable, just what is "stable"? And what could be "too old" and too buggy? To me in my usage and experience, Home was actually more stable and less buggy than BE.

I wonder if there's a middle ground? Where some things that are known to be buggy can be at the newer version that gets rid of those bugs and the older stuff that is more stable than the newer can stay? Though I bet it'd be hard to figure out sometimes.

The thing is, if I'm going to be limiting bandwidth, I can't keep downloading frequent large updates. So, I am wondering how it would work if I only set the HOME to get security updates (ie. comment out the other stuff in the sources.list) and then just uncomment them and update maybe once a year or so, while keeping up with security updates? Or does the security updates rely on the other stuff being updated as well?

Rocky
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Re: BE/Debian Stable too old?

Postby Rocky » 19 Jun 2014 11:22

Hi RavenLX

I was very much in favour of the SolydXBE when Schoelje was recently developing it but have since been debating its suitability in my mind . For the target market ( small business, non-profits etc) it may well have an appeal in that they get a Debian stable based installation out of the box with non-free reps included . They would probably not need/want to tweak a lot. Same would apply to a Home user only interested in having a working system.

For others I am not sure at all about BE. I personally could not install BE originally as at that time I incorrectly assumed that my computer was 32bit and in any case there was no Xfce version available . I instead installed an Xfce edition of Debian stable ( from a Debian live iso) . To be honest it was pretty good and included most of the software one would need Libre Office/VLC/Iceweasel(Firefox) etc. So far I have not gone back to SolydXK as (for me) there is no real benefit from moving to SolydXKBE over Debian itself.

It seems to me that the main attraction of SolydXK is the Home version where you can have a Debian Testing based installation without having to deal directly with breakages etc ie the UP system should hopefully smooth out any issues ( although from monitoring the forum my impression is that the updater seems to be giving a lot of trouble). The other big attraction of SolydXK is of course the very friendly and helpful forum.
RavenLX wrote:But I'm wondering, while BE is supposed to be stable, just what is "stable"? And what could be "too old" and too buggy? To me in my usage and experience, Home was actually more stable and less buggy than BE.
I have done a lot of research/readingup on Debian in the last month or so and from my understanding "stable" refers to unchanging as opposed to bugfree ie the packages in Stable are frozen apart from security updates ( although given the Debian Sid-Testing-Stable system one would hope that by the time Testing becomes the new Stable only relatively stable ( in both senses of the word) packages remain.

I suspect that you (like me and probably most of the other posters here on the forum ) are a "tweaker" and for that reason might be happier with the Home versions. I am considering returning to the Home versions myself. I know you were/are having issues with your ISP and bandwidth - I hope these do not prevent you from enjoying your/our "hobby/addiction" ;)

Best wishes
Rocky
"All that glisters is not gold" - Shakespeare "The Merchant of Venice"

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ScottQuier
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Re: BE/Debian Stable too old?

Postby ScottQuier » 19 Jun 2014 11:39

I'm pretty sure you knew before you started down the BE road that there would be some potholes.

Just one example I know you have some experience with is LibreOffice - the File Save dialog in a previous version was giving the SolydXK HE users problems.

Another thought that might not have occurred to you is that the maintainers of the various packages are continuing to work on their product. But why? Because it's not comletely right yet; there are bugs in the software. The hope the rest of us have is that these bugs get squashed as newer releases arrive.

As for your plan to do a dist-upgrage on HE once a year .... I know I read somewhere here of another individual who posed the same or similar question. The answer he/she got from zerozero was that it was not a good idea - that the chances were better than even that something would be fatally broken during such an attempt. I would think the first part of your plan - the part about accepting only security updates - might be ok though I can see a situation where a security update might not install due to unsatisfied dependencies.

Yep - I can see where you're in something of a tight spot.

Maybe do what a boss I used to have did - he used (stole) bandwidth from those businesses where it was free, like Panera Bread stores.
Scott
Quoting zerozero, "The usage of PPA's in debian-based
systems is risky at best and entails serious compatibility
problems; usually it's the best way to destroy an install"

Deleted User 2764

Re: BE/Debian Stable too old?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 19 Jun 2014 13:21

Thanks for the input guys. Yup, I'm in a tight spot and bandwidht theft can put me in jail (something that, with my current health problems would be an agonizing death sentence - not joking on any of it). So taking any bandwidth anywhere is out of the question. I have to find a middle ground somehow.

There are SolydXK CDs for around $5 - $6. I remember that. But that would still mean money and wouldn't that equate to the same I'd pay for a service with enough bandwidth?

I'm probably going to revert back to HE this weekend and take my chances, and watch my bandwidth on my current ISP when the UP comes around. I have to figure how much bandwidth I actually do need and find a service around that.

One thing I did when I was using MINT was I new there was a ppa or something I added to the sources.list that gave me the latest KDE. I also downloaded and installed the latest GIMP and Blender and I didn't have much of a problem. But Mint was Ubuntu Based (which is based on Debian) so I don't know how that would work in my case.

As for the other problems, I do have work-around for the bugs that were in HE. LibreOffice, one uninstalls something like libreoffice-kde and installs libreoffice-gtk and it fixed the bug.

Doing another switch will take a whole weekend (I probably actually should start today) because it also involves doing another backup of partitions (on both systems) and also redoing the base VMs and backing them up. It's doable, and I'm going to go for it.

In addition, I have KNemo running so I could have it start logging the bandwidth usage. (I just now thought of that!) That would also let me know how much a full install and update would take. I dual-boot Windows on the HP and have Vista legally running VM on the T61, and both of those I don't have to touch. Just re-register the Vista on the VM after installing VirtualBox (which I actually use the one downloaded from their site and not the one from the repos - been doing that without problems).

I'm mulling it over today. I could also start the process tomorrow and hopefully be done by Monday. This is taking time from a project I wanted to finish by July 1st but at least I want to get a good OS solution going first that I don't have to tinker with too much after that.

As for tweaking things, I only tweak things until I get them working to the point that I want to, and usable for my needs.

Also thinking of it, I could clone a VM and do all this in that but I really rather just go HE all the way than take too much time figuring out what's going to work. (Probably what I should have done with BE instead). I don't know how much time before my own ISP goes under.

@Rocky: I too thought my T61 was 32-bit until someone told me how to discover that it's actually 64-bit. :) That helps a lot! I think HE is going to run as good as BE!

Oh and since I have to do a complete backup, I'll be erasing /home anyway so I only get the setup - all my data will be backed up anyway and I can always put it back on.

Deleted User 2764

Re: BE/Debian Stable too old?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 19 Jun 2014 15:45

Just found another really annoying problem. CUPS. If I print more than two pages, it will not print anymore pages, but leaves the pages in the print que. I have to literally shut off the printer, then restart the computer and then when I turn on the printer again, the print que starts printing. I can't find a way to manage print jobs like I used to be able to in HE. This is not great when you are in a hurry to get important documents out (now I have to wait for tomorrow's mail because I didn't get the papers printed out in time). It luckily wasn't "mission critical" so that's not a problem there. But a very big annoyance.

I think that the current "stable" is too buggy for everyday use for my needs. I think I'm better off with the HE after all.

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Zill
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Re: BE/Debian Stable too old?

Postby Zill » 19 Jun 2014 20:07

RavenLX wrote:Thanks for the input guys. Yup, I'm in a tight spot and bandwidht theft can put me in jail (something that, with my current health problems would be an agonizing death sentence - not joking on any of it). So taking any bandwidth anywhere is out of the question. I have to find a middle ground somehow.

There are SolydXK CDs for around $5 - $6. I remember that. But that would still mean money and wouldn't that equate to the same I'd pay for a service with enough bandwidth?...
You could join a local LUG (Linux User Group) and that might then give you the opportunity to borrow CD/DVDs from other members. You never know, some altruistic member might even let you download updates over their broadband connection. ;-)

It seems there are several LUGs in the NY area with one, Lugor, based in Rochester.

Deleted User 2764

Re: BE/Debian Stable too old?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 19 Jun 2014 20:35

Yes, there's a lot of computer clubs. See, due to my health issues, I cannot personally get to any of their meetings (I would not arrive in a very healthy state). I used to be on the Lugar mailing list a long time back though. But this is just not an option to get CDs from a local club as I can't physically go to meetings and nobody seems willing to come to my house and if they were willing, I don't trust strangers knowing where I live. So, that's out.

What I'll probably do is just watch the bandwidth (I have KNemo set up to monitor my bandwidth usage at the moment plus I can see what I use daily and per billing period via my current ISP's web site) and then try to find an affordable (as possible) new ISP that will give me what I need to in order to keep up with HE. I wonder what they do to Windows users when updates come along! I bet some get either surprise large unpayable bills and/or shutoff notices. It's amazing how little bandwidth they offer at a reasonable price and what is really necessary is so expensive (especially for those of us on extremely limited incomes).

I'll figure it out but it looks like I'm definitely going back to HE. That one worked out better for my needs.

Fargo
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Re: BE/Debian Stable too old?

Postby Fargo » 19 Jun 2014 20:37

RavenLX wrote:Just found another really annoying problem. CUPS. If I print more than two pages, it will not print anymore pages, but leaves the pages in the print que. I have to literally shut off the printer, then restart the computer and then when I turn on the printer again, the print que starts printing. I can't find a way to manage print jobs like I used to be able to in HE. This is not great when you are in a hurry to get important documents out (now I have to wait for tomorrow's mail because I didn't get the papers printed out in time). It luckily wasn't "mission critical" so that's not a problem there. But a very big annoyance.

I think that the current "stable" is too buggy for everyday use for my needs. I think I'm better off with the HE after all.

Weird, I've never had that issue with printing. I don't use gimp or tried your other issues so I can't comment.

Here is another thought for you, but keep this quiet since its not likely to be a popular idea. Check out other Stable based distros. When I used Mepis they had community repos that had updated packages. I think KWheezy has updated (backported) packages too. Or even go directly to Debian backports. Maybe you can used something from one of their repos. Mepis is still based on Squeeze so don't use them, but maybe KWheezy or Debian backports. If your issues are truely with older programs then this could be a solution. It won't help any KDE issues, but it might give some insight into other issues.

Also, do you have these same issues with the BE live cd? Maybe something got borked in your system.

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zerozero
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Re: BE/Debian Stable too old?

Postby zerozero » 19 Jun 2014 21:36

- Menu editing is hard to do. Moving items is nearly impossible at times. Home version has up/down arrows to assist, if I remember right.
this is difficult to understand. how many times you edit the menu? it might not be as convenient as with newer KDE versions but it's not impossible: it supports drag&drop.
- Amarok has multiple bugs. The slider/progress bar is all the way to the end as the music plays, playlists only play one song and not the next in line, and all songs on a playlist are greyed out even though they do play.
first thing i would do is check the phonon backend you are using; probably is vlc and probably gstreamer will give you better results;
if that doesn't fix it and you think it's a question of ancient package(s) try
http://forums.solydxk.nl/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3941
the same link is also good for gimp (i believe that it's also backported, not sure)
bliss of ignorance

Deleted User 2764

Re: BE/Debian Stable too old?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 19 Jun 2014 22:31

@Fargo: I'm not going to try with the Live because my WiFi printer requires special drivers which did work good in HE, as mentioned. I wouldn't be able to install them in the Live CD so I can't test that.
zerozero wrote: this is difficult to understand. how many times you edit the menu? it might not be as convenient as with newer KDE versions but it's not impossible: it supports drag&drop.
Yes, but trying to get it to "drop" in the right place, was not working well at all. I like to really organize even the "hidden" items. I'm a mad tweaker. :twisted: So I can admit maybe my "complaint" may be the most unusual and not a problem for anyone else. But trying to drag down say, a menu directory it won't work. Or getting that darn separator in the right place. Or just moving something sometimes. I don't know what it is but in HE it worked a lot easier. Of course once I get the menu set up the way I want, I never really touch it again.
first thing i would do is check the phonon backend you are using; probably is vlc and probably gstreamer will give you better results; if that doesn't fix it and you think it's a question of ancient package(s) try
http://forums.solydxk.nl/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3941 the same link is also good for gimp (i believe that it's also backported, not sure)
Well, it is using gstreamer by default. There isn't any other options (where HE it was VLC or gstreamer). BE it's only gstreamer.

As for backports, that was a great tutorial you wrote on it. Thing is, I think I want to avoid that fuss and go HE because I really don't (at this point right now) want to break anything. Glad that the backports are there if needed for those that want it.

For all the problems I need to have fixed, I think it would be easier for me to just use HE than try to dig up a backport for each issue I'm having now. At least, that is what it seems like to me.

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zerozero
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Re: BE/Debian Stable too old?

Postby zerozero » 19 Jun 2014 23:16

just one question:
when you switched to the BE did you used the /home from the previous installation or you started anew with a fresh, clean installation?
bliss of ignorance

Deleted User 2764

Re: BE/Debian Stable too old?

Postby Deleted User 2764 » 19 Jun 2014 23:46

zerozero wrote:just one question:
when you switched to the BE did you used the /home from the previous installation or you started anew with a fresh, clean installation?
Fresh clean install. Even to the point of writing zeros to the drive first to completely erase it. And then I installed Windows 7. Then I did the partitioning and installed BE (it's a dual-boot system now where before it was booting no windows, but SolydK HE production, SolydK HE test and SolydX HE test). I no longer have the test versions on the drive.

So, given that, there's no way that any configs from the other /home partition existed. And the only data I put back on were things like mp3s I legally purchased, photos and pictures, home videos, and documents of various types. No configuration files from applications. I did import the configs to FileZilla and that runs just fine, no problems. But I'd expect that would be unrelated.

I used also the same printer driver that worked fine in HE (the only driver the printer manufacturer has for that printer) and it's the 64-bit version which matches the fact I installed the 64-bit BE.


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