Debian

Does anyone else deal with a sort of “FOMO” being on a stable release?

Let’s get this out of the way first, I cringed a little typing FOMO too. Don’t hate.

But what I mean is this, overall I really like more stable releases. I have a lot going on in my life and get limited time to get work (or play) done on my computer, so having to spend half of that installing updates, potentially rebooting, etc. can be a real hassle.

But, sometimes I’m left wondering if somehow newer software would be better somehow. Maybe better battery life from a newer kernel, maybe better framerates from a newer Mesa, maybe some feature or bug fix for my desktop of choice.

It’s kind of silly because obviously when the “old” version was released it was super cool and everyone wanted it. And at the same time you’re late to new features you’re protected from regressions as well (vgaswitcheroo to turn off my Nvidia card in new kernels doesn’t work, and I’m pretty sure it did with Buster, I need to double check).

Anyway, I’m just trying to make up my mind whether to quit hopping between Fedora and non-LTS Ubuntu and just install Debian again.


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  • Not in the slightest. With new releases comes new bugs and I really just don’t want to deal with that.

    For example: My work uses Windows and Office 365. The last Office update now makes drop down menu’s disappear when I put my cursor on them. This update happened overnight with no notification and provided no new features that I care about. It sucks.

    At home I may pull from backports if there is a compelling reason but otherwise I really like having the same versions for a couple of years.

  • I spend a lot of time reading about linux users and their love of new updates. I can understand getting excited about updates that improve hardware compatibility for new hardware or fix actual problematic bugs, but most of the time I think for a lot of users these updates that they crave don’t actually make a meaningful difference to their system. (This doesn’t include people that use linux for a living).

    When I stepped back and looked at what I asked of my system, upgraded software simply doesn’t make a difference. My computer is from 2013, and everything works. Getting the last version of libreoffice isn’t going to make me do handstands with it’s improvements.

    When I pull up Bullseye on a VM, I look at the new software and shrug, aside from new GFX drivers which I’d like to have, they won’t even make a real difference as the current ones are up to task. I can eventually get those in backports.

    I tried out Fedora on another HDD. It uses more resources, has a new package manager that I have to learn (that I think is personally worse than apt), has it’s own way of dealing with getting software and it’s own distro philosophy.

    I know everyday I boot up Debian it’s going to work exactly like it did the day before and not pull anything on me.

  • Nope. As long as things are functioning properly and aren’t a security hazard from being out of date, it doesn’t matter at all to me if I don’t have the latest versions or features.

    The main draw of Debian (at least for me) is that everything is thoroughly tested and reliable. This isn’t always the case with the newest version of software. If you really do have a Fear of Missing Out on the newest releases, Debian might not be for you.

  • Different distros for different jobs. I run Buster on all the production boxes in the studio with the exception of one. It’s the good kind of boring.

    For home I run Fedora because playing with new stuff is fun. If I need to nuke it from orbit, no biggie.

  • I am new-ish to linux in general and I picked debian because it was advertised as stable. I didnt realize stable meant that the packages only receive security updates until later, but the machine was in fact also “stable” as in doesnt crash. So I was happy.

    Now after realizing mesa will stay on stables mesa, and firefox will stay on ESR 68, yes I am getting a little FOMO. Not really a big issue for me though because I will try to create my own backport and just have fun with it (after I figure out how to backup my stuff properly) hehe.

  • I haven’t. I know what I’m getting into when I choose stable, and I’m OK with it when I do.

    Unless you’ve got a shitty internet connection, updates shouldn’t take more than a few minutes a week, and I haven’t had to reboot after updates for ages. You might want to after a kernel update, but it certainly doesn’t have to happen immediately, so it can wait ’til you’re going out or going to bed or whatever.

  • I used to. Some time ago I needed a newer version of something and used testing to pull it in. I’ve done this many times and typically remove it or create a preferences file to control for it. I forgot. I recently did a full upgrade and didn’t realize I upgraded to testing.. everything is working fine, but a little upset that I’m off stable for awhile.

  • Kind of have that itch sometimes, I don’t know where the hell it comes from as most of the time the software versions don’t really affect my life in any conceivable way. I medicate it with Debian testing.

    What drove me from Arch to Debian was the constant need to update, as long breaks between updates tended to cause some headaches.

    But what constantly seems to lure me back to Arch is how damn snappy and simple it is. Now, if there only was the Buster of Arch…

  • When I started in linux, I had that fear, but over time, I found ‘new features!’ for the most part to be not that important. And if one is, you can just custom install that software in whatever way. To be honest, I’ve never found myself inconvenienced by missing features, only missing software (eg: MySQL Workbench is not in Stable)

  • I used to when I had more time and inclination to tinker. Now I’m lazy and suffer from CBBTTFWTBHMT*, so stable suits me fine.

    *Can’t be bothered trying to find where the buttons have moved to

  • I gave Fedora a try, for similar reasons FOMO (Shorter release cycle) however i had quite a few bugs popping up and wanting me to submit bug reports so i ended up going back to Debian Stable.

    At end of the day i think i value stabilty over cutting edge. Ive also ran Arch and had no problems with it though so rolling release can work well, just depends on what the use case is.

  • Maybe FOMO is one of the reasons that MX Linux, based on Stable Debian but with a lot of optional backports in its repos, has been getting the most clicks at Distrowatch? Or maybe it’s just because I do most of those backports, scratching my own itches.

    Anyway, here’s a snapshot I did recently (OK, MX-Snapshot is *the* killer app) that has a 5.3.9 backported Debian kernel, along with an updated Mesa 19.2.1 and friends, because tenth generation Intel laptops weren’t booting to a GUI because of the older packages: [https://archive.org/details/mx19x64updated](https://archive.org/details/mx19x64updated) I’m told that AMD Navi cards will get to a crippled GUI, but upstream Debian firmware still doesn’t include the firmware, so you have to manually download and install the firmware files into /lib/firmware/amdgpu.

  • Not any longer. Constant problems with Ubuntu in 19.04 & .10 led me to move all my remaining boxes to Debian Buster Stable. I don’t have the time to waste ATM. (◕‿◕✿)

  • I use backports for kernel and a few things and Debian-multimedia for multimedia. Absolutely zero FOMO.

    I enjoy how stable everything has been.

  • So I might comment on this as someone who went from using 50% Debian stable 50% sid to more or less 100% Arch.

    Updates: honestly you just run the command `yay`, your system updates in the background, you hardly think about it. I have never had any issues with having to downgrade, but I’ve been on arch for maybe 6 months. Also installing software from the AUR is a lot faster than hunting down PPAs or making packages from git repos. Jumbo-john and i3-gaps come to mind here. Since most of your time dealing with software is more on the install and less on the update, I think saving time there is more worth it.

    Newer software: Yes! For instance, Nautilus searches much faster/better with Arch’s release that I’ve noticed (currently 3.34.2-1 and I use nautilus-terminal 3.2.3-2, not sure if that’s in debian’s repo). If a search started in debian’s nautilus and I typed more characters the search would stall, so I’d sometimes cut and paste or use `fzf` and `nautilus .` to reach a file. Arch’s nautilus is really smooth by comparison.

    I’ve never really run Fedora, so YMMV depending on what’s in those repos.

  • Not at all.
    I love the fact that there are no new updates all the time every time, seriously.
    To each his own, I guess… Used Sid, but I found it enervating to have to be installing updates all the time, sometimes many times during a single day.
    Then again I’m not a developer but a sysadmin, so, maybe because of that I don’t need to have and use the latest release of a particular piece of software.

  • I don’t worry anymore. I use backports when I need, like once for HTTP/2 support in nginx, but I find myself needing it less and less.

    Otherwise, if there’s any changes to the packages I use, I’ll be forced to learn about them in around 2 years

  • I use a cron to automatically update all systems every day. I also currently switch to Arch Linux because i love rolling releases and don’t wanna manual upgrade systems like debian.

    So i guess i have some sort of FOMO but i don’t deal with it myself because i write cronjobs / scripts to update everything. Also that FOMO isn’t bad because you will probably have problems if you use old releases on a server which is accessible via the internet …