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1 GLEP: 19
2 Title: Gentoo Stable Portage Tree
3 Version: $Revision: 1.7 $
4 Last-Modified: $Date: 2004/11/02 15:38:58 $
5 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: 29-Jan-2004 2-Nov-2004 7-Dec-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 Status
26 ======
27
28 Currently recruiting people who would be willing to help with this GLEP.
29
30 Motivation
31 ==========
32
33 Enterprise users typically value stability and a predictable upgrade path
34 over having the latest packages or features available to them. Historically,
35 Gentoo Linux has been unable to provide such an environment due to the dynamic
36 nature of the Portage tree.
37
38 Specification
39 =============
40
41 The Gentoo Infrastructure team will need to provide an additional Portage tree
42 on our rsync mirroring system. This new tree will house the ebuilds
43 associated with the stable tree. It also impacts all Gentoo developers
44 responsible for creating and updating ebuilds as they will be expected to
45 integrate the tagging of ebuilds for the stable tree into their normal
46 development process, both for the quarterly release cycles as well as
47 off-cycle bug and security fixes.
48
49 The Gentoo Documentation team will also be affected as they will be
50 responsible for updating installation documents to take these new features
51 into account.
52
53 Rationale
54 =========
55
56 A basic outline of various ways of adding a "stable" tree to Portage was
57 discussed in the gentoo managers meeting on 26-Jan-04. Consensus seemed to be
58 reached that such a solution was needed and that branching the gentoo-x86
59 repository was the appropriate way to accomplish this. The largest area of
60 disagreement surrounded how specific ebuilds should be targeted for inclusion
61 in the stable tree.
62
63 One suggested solution was a simple branch of the CVS tree and having
64 developers work in two separate branches; one for the stable tree and
65 another for the traditional tree. However, it was felt this would prove too
66 cumbersome in practice.
67
68 Another suggestion was to have a small group of dedicated gentoo-server
69 developers responsible for generating the contents of the stable tree, which
70 would provide more control and quality assurance over the ebuilds added to the
71 stable tree. While this might prove effective for a small number of ebuilds,
72 it is quite likely that this model would not scale enough to allow for a large
73 number of ebuilds in the stable tree and, over time, the project would become
74 resource constrained and unable to meed future deadlines.
75
76 While the original draft of this GLEP called for the creation of a stable
77 keyword, we have since discarded that idea in favor of creating a custom
78 profile, which will be used to track a subset of packages and versions.
79
80 Implementation
81 ==============
82
83 This GLEP will create a new set of cascaded profiles (one per release, not to
84 exceed two per year) which will contain a subset of packages, including
85 versions. This profile will "pin" a Gentoo Linux box to a specific set of
86 packages and will only be updated for security updates and, in rare
87 circumstances, major bug fixes.
88
89 Because this profile will be cascaded, the option exists for other developers
90 to create their own profile, containing a subset of packages not found in the
91 "main" stable tree and include those as part of the overall stable profile.
92 These cases will be treated on a one-off basis.
93
94 The initial version will be x86 only, though other people will be encouraged
95 to provide separate stable profiles for other arches. It is expected that any
96 effort to provide a stable tree for any arch or flavor of Gentoo will follow
97 the basic outline of this GLEP to ensure consistency for our users.
98
99 In addition to a custom profile, this GLEP will also create a separate rsync
100 repository, "gentoo-stable-portage", which will be available on all servers in
101 the rsync.gentoo.org rotation. This repository will be *identical* to the
102 main gentoo-portage repository except that the --delete flag will be removed
103 from the rsync option that populates the tree. This will ensure that users of
104 the stable profile will not have to worry about ebuilds for their packages
105 disappearing.
106
107 Stable profiles will be maintained on an N - 2 basis. That is to say that we
108 will maintain a stable profile for the most current release, plus the previous
109 two releases. With the expected release schedule for 2005, this will result
110 in each profile being supported for approximately 18 months. Future versions
111 of the stable portage tree may seek to increase the life of these profiles.
112
113 Backwards Compatibility
114 =======================
115
116 All features proposed here are new additions to existing processes and
117 features. There should be no impact on existing features and functionality.
118
119
120 Copyright
121 =========
122
123 This document is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution / Share
124 Alike license. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)

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