Rolling Release trouble

Sorry that it took me so long to write a new entry. And since this is obviously not the test that I promised in the last one: Sorry again.

As a less funny coincidence I had a lot of trouble with the Rolling Release model of Gentoo just after talking about it in the New Team Member! post.

Gentoo, Portage and Rolling Release

On several occasions in the past I had problems with my Gentoo – starting with my very first day where I set up a Gentoo test system. Something did not work at all and after trying to get it working myself for hours, I asked in a forum. In the end the problem was not my stupidity but something broken in the portage tree. I was advised to “wait about a day”, resync and “see if it works then”. This was actually the case so this strange experience did not make me abandon Gentoo right away. There were so many new things that fascinated me.

As I stated before, this was not the only time something like that happened. And so it has happened again during the time when I wanted to do my tests. When everything went well as I prepared the test about four weeks ago (I had a working GNOME 3 system and a KDE one), I was content with it and confident that everything would go well. Unfortunately the next week I was unable to emerge GNOME 3. Yes, I did it right the same way that had worked before on exactly the same virtual machine. I knew this already and so I decided to postpone things (it was a rather busy week and I only had one day at the weekend for my testing).

One week later, I had a new problem: This time I could not even emerge GNOME 2 (which is the base for GNOME 3 on Gentoo – you don’t install the latter directly but install it over GNOME 2)! I tried to mess with package.accept_keywords and force portage to give me a working version. However this was rather time-consuming and in the end I was forced to postpone everything again.

So what’s the status now?

I used this sunday to give it a try again. Since my VM was quite old now (and for the sake of comparability I did not want to update the base), I set up a new Gentoo VM. For a change I chose to build a genkernel this time, since I’ve always wanted to give it a try but never found the time to do so. Then I changed profile, USE variable and rebuilt my system. Next I emerged GNOME 2 – things were working again. After that: GNOME 3. Success! But when I wanted to start it, GNOME 3 reports an error and advises me to log out and try again. Which however does not help…

Scanning through Xorg.0.log, I saw that there were problems with virtualbox’ graphic drivers. For the rest of my time I tried to get things working: Setting the video card in /etc/make.conf, putting both the driver and the guest-additions in package.accept_keywords for the newest version, updating the system… Well, everything failed. It seems like I can’t get it to work soon.

What’s next?

[update 08/07:] When writing this entry, I had intended to skip the 3D-desktops and start with the other ones. But due to some more issues that have arisen in the meantime, I’m really fed up with it all. Always compiling everything simply takes ages. I wouldn’t mind that if things were working afterwards! But since that has not been the case a little bit too often now, I’m going to try out something different. It’s likely that I’ll be switching my test distribution.[/update]

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