Fri - Aug 29, 2008 : 08:55 pm
Fun Updating With Gentoo
I just thought I'd jot down an experience which may be of some benefit to others, even if only to provide a few laughs.
About 3 years ago, I built my brother a computer and he was just as sick of Microsoft as I was, so I told him about Linux. He wanted it, so I installed gentoo on his box for him. I updated it probably 2 or 3 times in the ensuing 3-4 months, and soon thereafter didn't worry about it anymore. It kept chugging on, doing everything he needed it to do.
about 2.5 years later, he pings me saying, "Yo, I think I could use an update to my boxes", and I thought, "okay...".
I wasn't about to think it would be an easy task, but I certainly thought that gentoo would be equipped to handle it.
It did handle it. Barely.
The update from Gnome 2.15 to 2.22, as well as the rest of the system, was at best, extremely painful. It took me about 16 man-hours to get everything working right. Just to give you an idea, there were 2 screenfulls (around 30) of ebuilds blocking other ebuilds. One was linux-util, which makes it impossible for you to *ahem* boot your computer should you turn it off without replacing it. Yeah... It was fun.
By the time I was done, I didn't want to even think about thinking about gentoo for weeks.
Moral of the story? Make sure you keep your gentoo boxen at least month-by-month up-to-date, unless you enjoy pain.
Oh yeah... And don't install gentoo for friends or family unless they know how to update their boxes themselves. :)