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Old 16th February 2012
daemonfowl daemonfowl is offline
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Default what maintenance is needed for -current?

Thanks Jgimmi for your always-interesting notes !

I'd appreciate it much if you could start a thread on what a current-box user should take care for at a regular basis .. things to check .. links to keep up with the current-goers pace .. etc .. I mean when you have time .. thanks again
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Old 16th February 2012
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daemonfowl View Post
I'd appreciate it much if you could start a thread on what a current-box user should take care for at a regular basis .. things to check .. links to keep up with the current-goers pace .. etc .. I mean when you have time .. thanks again
Split from its parent thread:

http://www.daemonforums.org/showthre...2556#post42556

Last edited by ocicat; 16th February 2012 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 16th February 2012
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Default Planning for first time -current use

In another thread...
Quote:
Originally Posted by daemonfowl View Post
...I'd appreciate it much if you could start a thread on what a current-box user should take care for at a regular basis .. things to check .. links to keep up with ...
The following is just opinion.

Advantages to deploying -current:
  • Early adoption of new features and functionality when they are deployed
  • Testing of new features and functionality, in cooperation with the Project, before they are deployed or fully functional, and influencing their quality and scope
  • Active participation in break/fix resolution -- your own reported bugs, or bugs reported by others.
  • Testing new and updated ports before they are deployed, in cooperation with the ports' maintainers.
  • Deploying new and updated ports
  • Deploying all bug fixes; in comparison relatively few fixes are backported to -stable.
Disadvantages to deploying -current:
  • As -release features/functions are heavily tested in comparison to developmental code before commit, -release/-stable mitigates risk of errors introduced with new functionality.
  • More admin skill is required -- synchronization of ports / packages is left to the admin to deal with.
Getting to -current has only one supported path -- binary install or upgrade: Install the most recent snapshot, or upgrade to the most recent snapshot. Source code builds to implement -current from -release/-stable are not supported.

There are two methods to staying -current: a) upgrade to a more recent snapshot, or b) Build from -current source code.
While b) may appear to be at odds with the insistence on a binary installation/upgrade for initially reaching -current, keep in mind that a supported -release will always be at least two or three months behind -current, due to the development and deployment cycle. The number of architectural changes that may occur between -release completion and when it is available for installation make building -current from source on a -release platform sufficiently complex to be unsupportable by the Project.

If one builds from source with a relatively frequent cadence, the manual steps required to implement architectural changes are significantly simpler.
Required knowledge/skill:
  • Building packages from ports
  • Diagnosing port building problems caused by sync errors -- this can be obtained through experience. While learning, the impact is not being able to update the affected package(s) or install the affected new package.
  • Using cvs(1) -- for the ports tree, at minimum.
Required documentation:
  • The Following -current FAQ. This regularly updated document lists structural changes the admin needs to be aware of since the last -release, and, what manual action must be taken. In some instances, a listed change may require significant admin skill. In others, the change may be automated by the use of sysmerge(8).
The use of -current will take, at minimum, upgrading to the most recent snapshot and running sysmerge.

So called "snapshot packages" for the popular architectures are built from time to time, and are available from your nearby mirror. But they will not be exactly in sync with the snapshot, and sometimes, install or update of some packages will fail. If you wish to install or update those packages, you will have to build them yourself, using a ports tree in sync with your OS. If you update from a snapshot, you may find the "-D date_spec" option for the cvs checkout command helpful to keep the ports tree in sync with your snapshot ... depending on the date the snapshot was built and the date of a -current tree.
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Old 16th February 2012
ocicat ocicat is offline
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While this comment may admittedly be off-topic when it comes to -current maintenance, it bears repetition.

It is very easy to get/stay in the mindset of "I'll just go out & download snapshots..." when dealing with updating/installing in the -current world, but this mindset can lead us to lose focus of the work the project developers are making.

Development takes time & resources. As opposed to how many interpret Open Source as being free, someone is having to expend time & effort to write & test the software. It's not always cheap either. The OpenBSD project has no corporate sponsorship, so money for keeping the project Website going along with Theo's time has to come from somewhere.

Although -current users tend to dismiss -release as being many months old, purchasing the official CD sets of -release is the predominant means by which the project funds itself. Sales of t-shirts & books helps, but the margin going to the project itself is highest when buying the official CD sets.

Even if purchasing the CD sets means that they are simply going into a drawer, purchasing them helps the project stay viable. If you find OpenBSD to be useful, help support the project. Buying OpenBSD swag twice a year isn't that expensive.

Open donations are also accepted:

http://www.openbsd.org/donations.html

Remember that the OpenBSD project is very small. There aren't as many users as other Open Source projects & securing enough funding to keep the project alive is an issue.

Last edited by ocicat; 16th February 2012 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 16th February 2012
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Thank you, Ocicat.

I'd like to point out that we who give back to the Project do so in a variety of ways.

Funding - always a critical need. Purchases of the CDs and monetary donations are two of the best ways for individuals users to contribute.

Testing - I listed several types of testing as an advantage, above. But the advantage is two-way, since the Project also benefits. Ports testing is the easiest way for newer users to contribute technically. New ports are posted to the ports@ mailing list constantly, and your feedback to the port developer/maintainer would be deeply appreciated, whether it is formal or informal. Ports testing is easy -- there's even a Ports Testing Guide to help you. This is a low-cost way to contribute, as it costs you nothing but time.

Hardware donation - There's always a need -- see http://www.openbsd.org/want.html for what developers are currently looking for.
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Old 16th February 2012
daemonfowl daemonfowl is offline
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Thank you Jgimmi ! very interesting points ..
I admit that I am still at odds with OpenBSD current due to my being a newcomer.. for instance lately my tor+polipo no longer work after the upgrade .. maybe it is related to libident .. I am starting to feel ashamed by posting several requests daily .. I'll try to find a solution first then come back to my teachers here ..
[quote]
but this mindset can lead us to lose focus of the work the project developers are making.
[/quote/
Thanks Ocicat .. maybe you'd agree with me if I describe that phase as 'un mal necessaire' .. with time the contributer wouldn't lag behind as keeping up with the wheel's rhythm wouldn't be so challenging ..
and yes .. donating .. or at least buying cds is a moral duty .. if not an esthetic necessity as well .. having those nice tshirts and daemon art in one's room .. cool ..
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Old 16th February 2012
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
Disadvantages to deploying -current:
Another aspect of relying on snapshots tends to get forgotten by many.

Snapshots are not merely the system built from code in CVS. Snapshots can include code which is non-committed.

The reason is because snapshots are targeted to the developers themselves. Sometimes it is simpler to disseminate new features for testing to a wider audience by including non-committed code in snapshots.

No information is ever published on what non-committed code may exist in a particular snapshot.

If this is of concern, one can always build the system according to information found in Section 5.3 of the FAQ. The method described there results in a system built exclusively from code checked into CVS.
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Old 17th February 2012
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
Building packages from ports
A common mistake is to think that the ports tree can be obtained or downloaded long after a snapshot is installed. This is incorrect, & covered in Section 15.3.2 of the FAQ:
Quote:
If you are using a snapshot of the ports tree, you should have installed a matching snapshot of OpenBSD. Make sure you keep your ports tree and your OpenBSD system in sync!
The reason for this admonition is that underlying libraries may have changed. If developers working on the kernel and/or userland find a reason for tweaking the code found in libraries used by various ports, whatever ports have been installed will need to upgraded/rebuilt whenever the system is upgraded/rebuilt.
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Old 17th February 2012
daemonfowl daemonfowl is offline
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Q:
if something kept you away from your current-machine for 2 or 3 weeks .. coming back to it , what things should you first take care of ? in this case is building from source any better than snapshots ??
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Old 17th February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daemonfowl View Post
... in this case is building from source any better than snapshots ??
As Section 5.3.2 of the FAQ states, the first thing to do is upgrade or install the latest snapshot. From that point, building is optional (also stated in the FAQ...).

Building without upgrading/installing to the latest snapshot is not supported. I got bit by this one quite some time ago.

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Old 17th February 2012
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Thanks Man ! with every post of yours I learn more !
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Old 19th February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
More admin skill is required -- synchronization of ports / packages is left to the admin to deal with.
Blindly upgrading/installing a new snapshot has to be tempered with reading the mailing lists for known issues. As an example, the recent addition of rthreads is currently having some fallout with respect to the building of some ports:This will be resolved in time, however, for those wanting/needing these third-party applications, one may decide following upgrading/installing to restore backups of the previous installation.

You do make regular backups, right? Those running -current should be taking such precautions when running newly developed code. Things happen.
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