What is the testing branch?


#1

@jonathon, what is then testing branch? It was explained to me few times that testing is only for some special packages (often Manjaro specific ones). It seems it’s not true. If it’s not special packages repo but contains all packages, what is the package “logistics”? This is confusing because it seems to be explained in different ways.

At the moment from what you said I gathered:

1. Unstable: arch stable=manjaro unstable, updates come frequently and in small portions, just like on Arch, there is very small, usually few hours delay between arch stable and manjaro unstable, although there seem to be some exceptions, like: newest (fixed) libinput is said to be in Arch stable repo since midnight and I still don’t see it on Manjaro unstable (it might be that the info is incorrect thou, I don’t have Arch install to check it). Is pushing packaged to Manjaro unstable an automatic process or someone must be involved and it is done manually hence sometimes there are bigger delays?

2. Testing: packages get moved from Manjaro unstable to testing in bulk once in a while (usually once for a few days) and then announcement shows on Manjaro forum. If packages don’t pass the test, they get withhold or sometimes re-compiled, removed, etc.

3. Stable: successfully tested and approved (read: less problematic) packages get moved from testing to stable in even bigger bulk (few testing loads may be joined for one stable update).

Please, correct me if I’m wrong.

I switched to unstable with this commands:

sudo pacman-mirrors --api --set-branch unstable
sudo pacman -Syy

I assume that switching to testing will look:

sudo pacman-mirrors --api --set-branch testing
sudo pacman -Syy

Is that correct?

My confusion about testing topics seem to come from the fact that I’m on unstable so I get update after update, after update, after update and then I see much delayed testing announcement, then I see newer updates and so on, another announcements and at some point it’s hard to track which package update belongs to which testing topic. In theory all is well described but with frequent updates and lack of time to analyze carefully intro post I might post in wrong topic. Nevertheless it’s still the best to post discovered issues in testing topics if one is on unstable.


[Testing Update] 2018-06-18 - Kernels, Mesa, Texlive, XFCE
#2

This is all correct.

Only if it’s due to packages in that specific update set.

Typically, someone on unstable will be updating several times a day and so spot an issue as soon as it occurs, and be able to say pretty easily which package might have caused it.


#3

Cool! Thanks! Now all makes sense.


#4

Ah, one thing that still remains mystery.

Are packages transitioning from Arch stable to Manjaro unstable automatic or does it requires a human involvement?

Moving to Testing and Stable definitely must be done manually but the first step is not clear.


#5

AFAIK, someone regularly syncs them. Certainly it works that way for manjaro32 (though the branch model works slightly differently in that x32-testing and x32-unstable are the same most of the time).


#6

OK. So if @philm won’t correct it, it’s safe to assume that he or @oberon do the sync manually. If they do show up here, I have a question then:

Why manually? Is there some advantage to it?

I understand why between unstable and testing and then stable a human must be involved, but the first step could as well be automatic or maybe there are some reasons or special cases when it’s worth to refrain from automation?


#7

I can only really comment on my process for manjaro32.

In my case, I sync to upstream, then check to see what the changes/differences to x32-testing are. If there’s nothing obviously risky (like the aforementioned GCC, icu, etc.) it gets snapped over. Otherwise, it stays there until the next set of upstream changes, in which case it gets synced and checked again.


#8

I’m not 100% sure, but I think it’s because there are overlay packages, as well as Manjaro specific ones, that are added to the unstable branch as well. Thus at times there has to be a slight delay between compiling, and packaging the Manjaro sources, and syncing the pre-build Arch packages to keep versions, etc. in sync.


#9

Sync from Arch to Manjaro unstable branch requires a manual command in boxit. It’s good like that because sometimes we need to be prepared for what’s coming our way and rebuild some of our own packages more or less immediately against new libraries.
Normally the steps from unstable > testing and testing > stable happen with ‘snapshots’ where a whole branch gets synced to the other.
Sometimes it’s a little more complicated like at the moment where we are holding back xorg-server 1.20 because it would break some video-drivers until we have decided on how to deal best with the situation.
At the same time all other packages still need to be passed on to testing and then further to stable.
In general snapshots make sense because like that we can decide when is a good moment where we have a good combination of tested packages to move them forward - to stable especially.


#10

Other than on arch, manjaro branches actually contain the full set of packages of the given repo, as opposed to arch or artix, where testing only contains the actually testing packages, but not the rest, which are basically same version in all the branches.


#11

AFAIK, the branches are not actually physical locations.
The packages are all actually in a pool and then separated by linkage into the branches.
Web interfaces can be a pain when it comes to showing links, but here is the physical location for packages: https://mirror.dacentec.com/manjaro/pool/


#12

Yes, but it doesn’t change the fact, a branch contains a full set of repo packages.
We also have a pool in artix and symlink into the repos, but we go the arch route with only updated packages in testing, the rest comes like on arch from stable.

The difference is pretty visible by just looking at our system(core) and gremlins(testing) repo and then compare with manjaro core in the testing branch.


#13

I din’t say it that changed anything. I was just pointing out that it’s a matter of what gets linked to where, and not that there were actually duplicate packages and files sitting on the server.


#14

Obviously no one can run a system with a subset of packages. So this is just semantics.


#15

Great! It gets more clear how it works although without getting hands dirty, some things still remain a concept ;).

I have another question: I wait for the libinput-1.11.1-2 which fixes the core dump (and makes libinput-gestures working again). It showed in Arch stable repo two days ago. I checked the link that @AJSlye provided and I see it there in https://mirror.dacentec.com/manjaro/pool/sync/. Yet I don’t see that package on unstable… It shows previous, bugged version all the time although newer packages are coming all the time.
I know I can install it manually thanks to the link to the packages that I can download but it eludes me what is happening here.

Is the sync folder “to sync” and not synced yet and overlay is the actual unstable?

EDIT: I just noticed that in announcements packages are divided into “overlay” and “sync” group. This got confusing now. What are those categories and how do they play across branches? Why I don’t see sync packages in unstable branch?


#16

What? I tried to point out the actual difference, and I think i am capable to explain that, because i used to be a manajro team member.
Its basically, manjaro has no additional testing repos, its all in branches with each branch having a full set of packages. On arch or artix, you just have stable repos plus additional testing repo which just has the actual update packages, which then get moved into stable if deemed stable. It is a different approach manjaro uses.


#17

@artoo, what is the difference between “overlay” and “sync” folder? I’m not getting the meaning in which those words are used here.


#18

sync are the packages synchronised from the upstream repo.
overlay are packages which… overlay those packages.

Something like this:

sync overlay package used in repo
Package No Package sync
Package Package overlay
No package Package overlay

#19

@michaldybczak: it is quite simple. unstable branch is used to sync from Arch-Stable as a manual step. Only Manjaro-Developers with boxit access can do that. When one user is doing a sync you can see that also on our mailing list. Our mirrors will sync then on regular basis. Status of them can be viewed here.

Unstable

Most likely we may sync almost daily new packages. With the compare cmd we then can check what might be the difference between Testing and the Unstable branch:

phil@development ~/Arbeitsfläche $ boxit compare
 host [repo.manjaro.org]: 
:: Connected to host repo.manjaro.org     
 username [philip]: 
:: Available branches:

 1) stable
 2) testing
 3) unstable

:: First Branch index: 2
:: Second Branch index: 3
:: Compare branch 'testing' with branch 'unstable'.
   Continue? [Y/n] 
:: Obtaining data...
 obtaining remote repository packages...
 obtaining remote repository packages...

:: Different overlay package(s) in repository community x86_64

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             PACKAGE              testing             unstable
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           bumblebee             3.2.1-18             3.2.1-19
       grub2-theme-manjaro-redefined                1.0-2                    -
            manjaro-gnome-maia-theme           20180323-1                    -
                  manjarobox-artwork                1.0-1                    -
                        sddm-classic             0.15.0-2             0.15.0-3
                           skippy-xd2015.12.21.r0.gd0a11f4-12016.10.20.r0.g72d1ddf-1
                      xf86-video-qxl              0.1.5-5                    -
                xfce-theme-greenbird           20150412-2                    -
                              xlogin      0.r11.a578cf2-1      0.r14.6e566b5-1


:: Different sync package(s) in repository community x86_64

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             PACKAGE              testing             unstable
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      aspnet-runtime              2.1.0-3          2.1.1+301-1
                             aws-cli            1.15.45-1            1.15.47-1
                                c2hs             0.28.5-4             0.28.5-5
                       cabal-install           2.2.0.0-25           2.2.0.0-27
                               cgrep            6.6.25-30            6.6.25-31
                             cryptol    2.5.0.20180515-27    2.5.0.20180515-28
                               darcs             2.14.1-1             2.14.1-3
                         dotnet-host              2.1.0-3          2.1.1+301-1
                      dotnet-runtime              2.1.0-3          2.1.1+301-1
                          dotnet-sdk            2.1.300-2          2.1.1+301-1
                    gimp-plugin-gmic              2.3.1-1              2.3.2-1
                           git-annex         6.20180626-1         6.20180626-3
                          git-repair        1.20170626-31        1.20170626-34
                                gmic              2.3.1-1              2.3.2-1
                 haskell-adjunctions               4.4-27               4.4-28
                       haskell-aeson           1.3.1.1-15           1.3.1.1-16
         haskell-aeson-better-errors           0.9.1.0-66           0.9.1.0-67
                haskell-aeson-compat              0.3.8-3              0.3.8-4
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             haskell-http-client-tls           0.3.5.3-51           0.3.5.3-53
                 haskell-http-common           0.8.2.0-10           0.8.2.0-13
                haskell-http-conduit             2.3.1-25             2.3.1-27
                haskell-http-streams           0.8.6.1-25           0.8.6.1-28
                  haskell-http-types            0.12.1-10            0.12.1-11
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    haskell-interpolatedstring-perl6             1.0.0-62             1.0.0-63
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 haskell-prettyprinter-ansi-terminal           1.1.1.2-12           1.1.1.2-13
haskell-prettyprinter-convert-ansi-wl-pprint                1.1-9               1.1-10
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              haskell-tasty-hedgehog           0.2.0.0-26           0.2.0.0-27
                 haskell-tasty-rerun            1.1.12-14            1.1.12-15
                     haskell-texmath          0.11.0.1-13          0.11.0.1-14
                  haskell-th-orphans            0.13.5-21            0.13.5-22
                haskell-th-utilities           0.2.0.1-44           0.2.0.1-45
                         haskell-tls             1.4.1-24             1.4.1-26
         haskell-tls-session-manager           0.0.0.2-51           0.0.0.2-53
           haskell-transformers-base            0.4.5.2-6            0.4.5.2-7
                   haskell-tree-diff             0.0.1-12             0.0.1-13
                    haskell-trifecta           1.7.1.1-73           1.7.1.1-74
                      haskell-turtle              1.5.9-2              1.5.9-3
               haskell-typed-process           0.2.2.0-12           0.2.2.0-13
                   haskell-unixutils            1.54.1-44            1.54.1-45
                    haskell-unliftio           0.2.7.0-11           0.2.7.0-12
            haskell-vector-instances               3.4-60               3.4-61
                         haskell-vty              5.21-19              5.21-20
                         haskell-wai           3.2.1.2-19           3.2.1.2-21
              haskell-wai-app-static           3.1.6.2-49           3.1.6.2-51
                 haskell-wai-conduit           3.0.0.4-29           3.0.0.4-31
                    haskell-wai-cors             0.2.6-43             0.2.6-45
                   haskell-wai-extra          3.0.22.1-15          3.0.22.1-17
          haskell-wai-handler-launch           3.0.2.4-21           3.0.2.4-23
                  haskell-wai-logger             2.3.2-68             2.3.2-72
       haskell-wai-middleware-static             0.8.2-17             0.8.2-19
              haskell-wai-websockets           3.0.1.2-28           3.0.1.2-30
                        haskell-warp            3.2.22-29            3.2.22-31
                    haskell-warp-tls           3.2.4.3-34           3.2.4.3-36
                  haskell-websockets           0.12.5.1-2           0.12.5.1-4
               haskell-with-location             0.1.0-15             0.1.0-16
            haskell-wl-pprint-extras           3.5.0.5-50           3.5.0.5-51
          haskell-wl-pprint-terminfo           3.7.1.4-50           3.7.1.4-51
                   haskell-word-wrap             0.4.1-16             0.4.1-17
                        haskell-wreq           0.5.2.1-19           0.5.2.1-21
                        haskell-x509             1.7.3-18             1.7.3-19
                  haskell-x509-store             1.6.6-17             1.6.6-18
                 haskell-x509-system             1.6.6-46             1.6.6-47
             haskell-x509-validation            1.6.10-17            1.6.10-18
                      haskell-xcffib             0.6.0-39             0.6.0-40
                 haskell-xml-conduit             1.8.0-21             1.8.0-23
                  haskell-xml-hamlet             0.5.0-13             0.5.0-15
                        haskell-yaml            0.8.30-21            0.8.30-22
                       haskell-yesod             1.6.0-33             1.6.0-35
                  haskell-yesod-auth             1.6.3-33             1.6.3-35
                  haskell-yesod-core             1.6.5-29             1.6.5-31
               haskell-yesod-default            1.2.0-331            1.2.0-333
                  haskell-yesod-form             1.6.1-33             1.6.1-35
            haskell-yesod-persistent             1.6.0-33             1.6.0-35
                haskell-yesod-static             1.6.0-30             1.6.0-32
                  haskell-yesod-test             1.6.4-34             1.6.4-36
                 haskell-zip-archive            0.3.2.5-5              0.3.3-1
                           hedgewars          0.9.24.1-22          0.9.24.1-24
                             hindent             5.2.5-42             5.2.5-43
                             hledger             1.9.1-22             1.9.1-23
                         hledger-api             1.9.1-32             1.9.1-34
                          hledger-ui             1.9.1-24             1.9.1-25
                         hledger-web             1.9.2-36             1.9.2-38
                               hlint              2.1.6-5              2.1.6-6
                              hoogle          5.0.17.3-26          5.0.17.3-28
                      hopenpgp-tools            0.21.1-18            0.21.1-20
                               idris             1.3.0-16             1.3.0-19
                   krita-plugin-gmic              2.3.1-1              2.3.2-1
                            lollypop            0.9.515-1            0.9.516-1
                  nextcloud-app-mail              0.8.1-1              0.8.2-1
                   nodejs-lts-carbon             8.11.3-1             8.11.3-2
                              pandoc             2.2.1-42             2.2.1-45
                     pandoc-citeproc          0.14.3.1-51          0.14.3.1-54
                     pandoc-crossref            0.3.2.1-5            0.3.2.1-8
                            physlock                 11-2                 11-3
                           postgrest          0.4.4.0-172          0.4.4.0-174
                            progress             0.13.1-1               0.14-1
                      python-blessed             1.14.2-2             1.15.0-1
                        python-boto3             1.7.45-1             1.7.47-1
                     python-botocore            1.10.45-1            1.10.47-1
                  python-deprecation              2.0.4-1              2.0.4-2
                     python-django-q              0.9.4-1              0.9.4-2
                python-dogpile.cache              0.6.5-1              0.6.6-1
               python-flask-talisman              0.5.0-1              0.5.1-1
                           python-fs             2.0.23-1             2.0.24-1
                    python-jellyfish              0.6.0-1              0.6.1-1
                       python-peewee              3.5.0-1              3.5.1-1
                     python-selenium             3.12.0-1             3.13.0-1
                       python2-boto3             1.7.45-1             1.7.47-1
                    python2-botocore            1.10.45-1            1.10.47-1
                 python2-deprecation              2.0.4-1              2.0.4-2
               python2-dogpile.cache              0.6.5-1              0.6.6-1
              python2-flask-talisman              0.5.0-1              0.5.1-1
                          python2-fs             2.0.23-1             2.0.24-1
                      python2-peewee              3.5.0-1              3.5.1-1
                    python2-selenium             3.12.0-1             3.13.0-1
                                qcad           3.21.0.0-1           3.21.0.0-2
                          shellcheck             0.5.0-18             0.5.0-21
                               stack             1.7.1-37             1.7.1-40
                     stylish-haskell           0.9.2.0-19           0.9.2.0-20
                      tamarin-prover             1.4.0-38             1.4.0-40
                             vagrant              2.1.1-1              2.1.2-1
                              xmobar              0.26-37              0.26-39
                             you-get           0.4.1077-1           0.4.1099-1
                                zart              2.3.1-1              2.3.2-1
                           msr-tools                    -                1.3-3
                      xf86-video-qxl                    -              0.1.5-6


:: Different overlay package(s) in repository core x86_64

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             PACKAGE              testing             unstable
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      pacman-mirrors             4.11.0-1          4.11.1dev-1


:: Different sync package(s) in repository core x86_64

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             PACKAGE              testing             unstable
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   archlinux-keyring           20180626-1           20180627-1
                             libedit       20170329_3.1-1       20180525_3.1-1


:: Different overlay package(s) in repository extra x86_64

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             PACKAGE              testing             unstable
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   linux418-virtualbox-guest-modules             5.2.12-0                    -
                   xf86-video-amdgpu             18.0.1-1                    -
                      xf86-video-ati           1:18.0.1-1                    -
                    xf86-video-dummy              0.3.8-2                    -
                    xf86-video-fbdev  0.4.4+12+ge0bce0d-1                    -
                    xf86-video-intel1:2.99.917+829+gd7dfab62-1                    -
                  xf86-video-nouveau             1.0.15-2                    -
               xf86-video-openchrome              0.6.0-2                    -
                   xf86-video-sisusb              0.9.7-1                    -
                     xf86-video-vesa              2.4.0-1                    -
                   xf86-video-vmware             13.2.1-3                    -
                   xf86-video-voodoo              1.2.5-9                    -
                         xorg-server1.19.6+24+g56547b196-1                    -
                  xorg-server-common1.19.6+24+g56547b196-1                    -
                   xorg-server-devel1.19.6+24+g56547b196-1                    -
                    xorg-server-xdmx1.19.6+24+g56547b196-1                    -
                  xorg-server-xephyr1.19.6+24+g56547b196-1                    -
                   xorg-server-xnest1.19.6+24+g56547b196-1                    -
                    xorg-server-xvfb1.19.6+24+g56547b196-1                    -
                xorg-server-xwayland1.19.6+24+g56547b196-1                    -


:: Different sync package(s) in repository extra x86_64

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             PACKAGE              testing             unstable
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              ffmpeg            1:4.0.1-1            1:4.0.1-2
                                js52             52.8.0-1             52.9.0-1
                             pyside2             5.11.0-2             5.11.0-3
                      python-pyside2             5.11.0-2                    -
                    python-shiboken2             5.11.0-2             5.11.0-3
                     python2-pyside2             5.11.0-2                    -
                   python2-shiboken2             5.11.0-2                    -
                           shiboken2             5.11.0-2             5.11.0-3
                                 aom                    -              1.0.0-1
                   xf86-video-amdgpu                    -             18.0.1-2
                      xf86-video-ati                    -           1:18.0.1-2
                    xf86-video-dummy                    -              0.3.8-3
                    xf86-video-fbdev                    -              0.5.0-1
                    xf86-video-intel                    -1:2.99.917+831+ge7bfc906-1
                  xf86-video-nouveau                    -             1.0.15-3
               xf86-video-openchrome                    -              0.6.0-3
                   xf86-video-sisusb                    -              0.9.7-2
                     xf86-video-vesa                    -              2.4.0-2
                   xf86-video-vmware                    -             13.3.0-1
                   xf86-video-voodoo                    -             1.2.5-10
                         xorg-server                    -             1.20.0-9
                  xorg-server-common                    -             1.20.0-9
                   xorg-server-devel                    -             1.20.0-9
                    xorg-server-xdmx                    -             1.20.0-9
                  xorg-server-xephyr                    -             1.20.0-9
                   xorg-server-xnest                    -             1.20.0-9
                    xorg-server-xvfb                    -             1.20.0-9
                xorg-server-xwayland                    -             1.20.0-9


:: Different sync package(s) in repository multilib x86_64

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             PACKAGE              testing             unstable
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    lib32-libmm-glib             1.6.10-1              1.8.0-1

Then we may decide if a rebuild of our overlay packages is needed. When finalized a user may snap it over to Testing. Since we currently have some issues with Xorg-Packages, we also sync to Testing and copy only the related Overlay packages over to Testing. From Testing to Stable it will be always a snap. Only when we do security fixes, they may be uploaded directly.


#20

Thanks @philm and @jonathon for explaining this. I can’t pretend I understand all details but now I understand more and my and others curiosity should be satisfied.

Now I get why I had to wait so long for this libinput package. An overlay version was lower and “overlayed” the one in sync, so despite newer version being available, it wasn’t visible in unstable yet.

This whole process is more multilayered and complicated then I initially imagined. Many people don’t appreciate those layers and the end effect that we are seeing on stable repo but I know first hand the difference of running Manjaro on unstable and stable branch. I see what is going on between them and what usual user gets. Manjaro really smooths the Arch experience strongly.
Sure, some bugged packages go to the stable anyway, but many very problematic ones are not and in result, stable branch experience is so much better and nicer. And if someone is ready to test and post bugs and reports, unstable or testing repos are there, so Manjaro can be as adventurous and raw as Arch then. Just a perfect spot where we can have all, DEs, new bleeding edge packages, more stable versions, kernels and all easy accessible without reinstalling system.
Manjaro is awesome! :smiley: