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Re: [News] Operating System 'Maintenance'

In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Roy Schestowitz
on Tue, 17 Oct 2006 10:54:38 +0100
> Do You Maintain Your OS on a Regular Basis?
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | The thing that you have to remember about your computer is that it's
> | a machine, and machines need regular maintenance. I'm not just talking
> | about the hardware components, either, because the software that runs
> | on and utilizes the hardware (your operating system) can also become
> | bloated and inefficient over time, too.
> `----
> http://www.osweekly.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2366&Itemid=449
> http://tinyurl.com/yayhu5
> Think virus scans, disk integrity checks, defragmentation, reboots, Registry
> bloat, menu clutter, etc.

Well, FWIW I try to resync my Gentoo portage tree on a
weekly basis, then 'emerge --update world'.  I've had some
issues, mostly because I accept ~x86 (unstable) packages,
and nVidia has its own weirdnesses.  I've also run out of
disk space on my /boot on my one machine -- I'll have
to fix that at some point.  One would think 8 MB is enough
for two kernels and two initrds, but apparently not... :-)
I'm debating shutting it down, pulling the disk out,
rebuilding it on my Athlon, then putting the disk back.

Integrity checks are done during reboot.  I'll admit that
could be an issue for this one box, since it just stays
up -- although I did have to reboot it several days back,
and it forced a tree check.  On my Athlon it checks every
boot, which is several times a week.

Defrag?  Virus scan?  What are those? :-)  I've not
studied the reiserfs fragmentation issue, nor am I all
that familiar with the Gnome registry, which serves a
different purpose from Windows' "catch-all" registry.
AIUI Gnome's registry is primarily for temporaries.

Of course virus scans might be useful on Linux boxes,
for checking for *Windows* viruses that come in through
e-mail, if one uses Windows (or perhaps WinE) downstream.
There's some specialty products out there for that purpose.

As for menu clutter...I prefer clicking on the panel icons.

So Linux requires *some* maintenance.  I wouldn't say
it requires *no* maintenance.  I'm not even sure that
Linux is easier to maintain than a Windows box -- but to
me at least it's more comprehensible.  Windows updates
automatically go in, and that's about all I know; Linux
updates I can watch in detail, although part of that is
that Gentoo requires updates be built on the local box.
The etc-update system is simple enough to use, though,
and anyone who can read 'diff -u' output won't have
any trouble.

I can't speak for other distros, except that long ago I
left Debian for Gentoo because it tied itself up in some
sort of dependency Gordian knot -- probably something
I confused it with; I don't know.  However, Debian is
a reasonably good "starter system" to load Gentoo on a
new box, mostly because Debian can boot from floppies --
an issue for me because of the age of some of my boxes.
If one can boot from CD, a Gentoo LiveCD should work fine
for those who want Gentoo.

And of course there's Fedora, SuSE, Slackware, Mandriva,
and the very friendly newcomer, Ubuntu, which is now tops
in the rankings on http://www.distrowatch.org , which
currently shows 355 distributions, from Ubuntu to Ekaaty
(a Brazilian offering).  And remember, that's waaaaaaay too
many; everyone should just standardize on one of the six
variants of Windows Vista, The OS That Can Do Everything(tm).

(Except show its source code.  That would be telling. :-P )

#191, ewill3@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Useless C++ Programming Idea #23291:
void f(item *p) { if(p != 0) delete p; }

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