[mythtv-users] Which distro for new system?

D. Moonfire lists at mfgames.com
Thu Aug 9 14:14:58 UTC 2007

Tom Dexter wrote:
>> From: "D. Moonfire"
>> The only reason I would go against Gentoo is a situation I had where I
>> was
>> perfectly happy with the machine and didn't touch it for six months or
>> so. I was
>> unable to update the box after that because enough things changed that
>> the only
>> suggestions #gentoo could give me was "reinstall".
>> Now, in my household, my wife specifically told me not to play with
>> the box
>> unless it was broken, so worry about being unable to update in 3, 6,
>> 12 months
>> later because of emerge/portage changes or something else makes it not
>> really
>> viable.
>> In my case, I used the debian-multimedia repository and got everything
>> up and
>> running in about three hours, including the Debian install. But, as
>> someone else
>> mentioned, I went with the distribution I knew.
> When you say you couldn't update, do you mean that installing updates
> would take longer than reinstalling?  My experience with Gentoo has
> pretty much been install once, update forever...which it quite the

Yeah, but apparently I missed three big quarterly updates in the time that made
it impossible. Profiles changes, infrastructure bumped. Basically, the
impression I got was you need to at least update your base libraries every three
months to keep up to date. Now, this was some years ago and things may have
stablized since then, but "don't touch it" is my primary method for machines
behind double firewalls. I had the same problem with RedHat when it went from
RPM 3 to RPM 4. Hence, why I use Debian now. :)

> opposite experience I've had with binary distros (though I have no
> experience with newer ones like ubuntu etc).  There are however rare
> occurances, such as the upgrade from gcc 3 to 4, which required
> recompiling the system, but those are more than rare.

Yeah, there is always going to be situations that bork everything. GCC and glibc
update screw up everyone, no matter if it is a portage, dpkg, or rpm-based
system. Even Slackware suffers from those changes.

> I can understand why some take the "if it ain't broke don't fix it"
> approach with their mythtv systems.  However if you take that approach I
> think that, when you decide you do in fact want to update to the latest
> version of MythTV, mplayer, xine, or whatever you're just as likely to
> run into binary dependency issues with binary distros.

Most of the time, on Debian, I use debian-multimedia which has everything for
mythtv and that guy does a full rebuild occasionally to keep things in sync. On
my home machine, I'm on sid so I'm used to things breaking occasionally. But, on
the MythTV box, I suspect I'll only update it when my wife is on vacation
outside of the house and probably only once every six months at the most.

As long as I avoid unstable, normally everything that gets into testing or
stable works together. So, to keep the binary compt, I'm just sticking with one
of those (probably going to upgrade to testing once the schedulesdirect stuff is

I really think in the end, it matters of what package management system you
prefer (portage, dpkg, rpm, tgz, etc) and what bleeding edge level (Ubuntu is
updated faster than Debian), and basically what you are the most comfortable
with. Everything else is kind of sugar. :) I use Debian because it works for me
and because I make Debian packages for the C# libraries now.


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