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1 klieber 1.2 GLEP: 19
2     Title: Gentoo Stable Portage Tree
3 klieber 1.3 Version: $Revision: 1.2 $
4     Last-Modified: $Date: 2004/01/27 01:55:37 $
5 klieber 1.1 Author: Kurt Lieber <klieber@gentoo.org>
6     Status: Draft
7     Type: Standards Track
8     Content-Type: text/x-rst
9     Created: 26-Jan-2004
10     Post-History: 26-Jan-2004
11    
12    
13     Abstract
14     ========
15    
16     This GLEP is intended to propose a series of changes to the Portage tree that
17     are necessary to facilitate the use of Gentoo in areas where stability and
18     predictability are of paramount importance, including servers in enterprise
19     environments, mission critical workstations and other such installations.
20    
21     The proposed solution involves creating a separate tree in Portage that is
22     updated far less often than the regular tree. Outside of periodic updates,
23     this tree would only be updated with critical bugfixes and security patches.
24    
25     Motivation
26     ==========
27    
28     Enterprise customers typically value stability and a predictable upgrade path
29     over having the latest packages or features available to them. Historically,
30     Gentoo Linux has been unable to provide such an environment due to the dynamic
31     nature of the Portage tree.
32    
33     Specification
34     =============
35    
36     The Gentoo Infrastructure team will need to provide an additional Portage tree
37     on our rsync mirroring system. This new tree will house the ebuilds
38     associated with the stable tree. It also impacts all Gentoo developers
39     responsible for creating and updating ebuilds as they will be expected to
40     integrate the tagging of ebuilds for the stable tree into their normal
41     development process, both for the quarterly release cycles as well as
42     off-cycle bug and security fixes.
43    
44     The Gentoo Documentation team will also be affected as they will be
45     responsible for updating installation documents to take these new features
46     into account.
47    
48     Rationale
49     =========
50    
51     A basic outline of various ways of adding a "stable" tree to Portage was
52     discussed in the gentoo managers meeting on 26-Jan-04. Consensus seemed to be
53     reached that such a solution was needed and that branching the gentoo-x86
54     repository was the appropriate way to accomplish this. The largest area of
55     disagreement surrounded how specific ebuilds should be targeted for inclusion
56     in the stable tree.
57    
58     One suggested solution was a simple branch of the CVS tree and having
59     developers work in two separate branches; one for the stable tree and
60     another for the traditional tree. However, it was felt this would prove too
61     cumbersome in practice.
62    
63     Another suggestion was to have a small group of dedicated gentoo-server
64     developers responsible for generating the contents of the stable tree, which
65     would provide more control and quality assurance over the ebuilds added to the
66     stable tree. While this might prove effective for a small number of ebuilds,
67     it is quite likely that this model would not scale enough to allow for a large
68     number of ebuilds in the stable tree and, over time, the project would become
69     resource constrained and unable to meed future deadlines.
70    
71     The suggestion that seemed to get the most traction was the creation of a new
72     "stable" keyword which would be added to appropriate ebuilds. The use of
73     "stable" would signify ebuilds that are ready for production in the stable
74     tree whils "~stable" would be reserved for ebuilds which may be appropriate
75     for the stable tree, but may require further testing before being deemed
76     "ready for production". Off-cycle bug fixes and/or security updates may be
77     examples of ebuilds that require the ~server tag.
78    
79     Implementation
80     ==============
81    
82 klieber 1.3 While a 'stable' keyword was originally proposed, after further review, it was
83     determined this offered no way to allow arch-specific stable ebuilds. As
84     such, this GLEP proposes the use of 'stable:<arch>' and '~stable:<arch>'
85     (stable:x86, stable:ppc, etc.)
86    
87     A new, stable tree will be created by scanning for the 'stable:<arch>' and
88     '~stable:<arch>' keywords in the ebuilds and pulling those ebuilds and
89     associated files into a separate branch of CVS. The stable tree should have
90     the following features:
91 klieber 1.1
92     * Updated quarterly. Frozen during other times except for security/bug fixes
93 klieber 1.3 * All ebuilds should remain in the tree for a minimum of one year. This
94     allows users to upgrade as infrequently as once per year without risking
95     the stable portage tree leaving them behind without an upgrade path.
96 klieber 1.1
97     As mentioned above, the "stable" tree will be updated quarterly, ideally in
98     unison with the release schedule of the main Gentoo branch. This tree will be
99     untouched outside of this update schedule except in the following cases:
100    
101     * Security fixes and patches which result in a GLSA
102     * Bug fixes for bugs ranked as 'maj' or above (may be overridden at the
103     discretion of the package maintainer.)
104    
105     In both cases, the maintainer of the package will be responsible for ensuring
106     these patches are properly committed to the stable tree out of cycle.
107    
108     Backwards Compatibility
109     =======================
110    
111     All features proposed here are new additions to existing processes and
112     features. There should be no impact on existing features and functionality.
113    
114    
115     Copyright
116     =========
117    
118     This document is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution / Share
119     Alike license. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)

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