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Void Rollback Machine?



I’m a longtime archlinux user making the transition to void. (sound familiar? 8-))

One feature of the arch infrastructure that I’ve come to use routinely, is the A.R.M. (arch rollback machine), now known as archive.archlinux.org, as described here (see the history section):


With the rolling release it is difficult to “lock down” an installation to a specific set of dependencies/versions. As a software developer, I don’t want to change versions of Qt or GCC in the middle of a project. However I’ll sometimes want to install a new package (without updating the whole system).

The archive is an incredible tool for this. I simply replace the Server line in the pacman mirrorlist with a link to a specific day in the archive repos, and after that all updates come from that point in time (when hopefully, all packages are mutually compatible).

The archlinux archive is updated with the state of the package repos everyday. For my purposes (and perhaps many others) it wouldn’t be necessary to include a snapshot everyday. Even once a week or so would be sufficient.

Is there some possibility that an archive/rollback machine feature could be implemented for Void Linux?

Thank You!



Void used to have an archive exactly like arch’s.
One day it was gone, never to be seen again without any public announcement.


Hmm, that’s unfortunate.

Hopefully this feature finds its way back.

As a work around, one can snarf the entire binary repo on the day of performing an update. Then use it locally to add additional packages as needed.

Personally, i only do a complete system update once a year or so, unless there’s a specific new feature or bug fix that i need.

Thank you for the info cardinal!


Well if its connected to the internet, that’s not really a good idea.
Even if you would use a distribution like debian which would better match your update policy its advised to update packages for security patch issues.

The old archive took to much space, void does not have the storage capacity to store daily snapshots of the repo over a longer period of time.


Duncaen is right, and I may add, you will always need bug fixes, and will never know them all well enough to do as you propose. It’s just code today. It’s why rolling releases rule. If you want bitrot, use Debian or FreeBSD.

Explore virtual machines which are easy to snapshot and archive. You could run Debian Bitrot Edition in a VM on Void.

If you just need certain packages held back, read the --mode options for xbps-pkgdb command.

Anyone can keep /var/cache/xbps on a gigantic disk to archive old packages until kingdom come or the disk chokes, whichever comes first.


As a software developer, you should be developing for the platform of your users. Use that.

^ That’s really wrong. Unless 100% un-networked and locked down in a safe room.


Thanks so much for the thoughtful concern.

After using a linux workstation as my daily desktop and development machine for a few years. I settled on the arch distribution at release 0.4 dragon, in 2002.

So far, in my experience, once I get an installation where everything, as I use it, is working for me, the most likely thing to break it is the next update.

I’ve had many many more experiences of updates breaking some aspect of the system, than having some problem due to running the 6 month old version of an application instead of the very latest one.

In spite of this, I still think rolling release is superior.

With rolling release I can choose up to the very latest version of anything. When I want a new feature (e.g. qt5 w/ qml (although not so new anymore, this is just an example)) I update, test and repeat until all of my specific inter-functionality requirements are met. Then I lock onto that day’s rolling release snapshot, and use it until I need to update again for some specific reason.

In this way I create my own “release” with the combination of libraries, frameworks and applications that are serving my needs, instead of having redhat or canonical choose the release configuration for me.

I can’t think of one instance where after getting things running, some later discovered security vulnerability or bug, broke the install. In practice the thing that breaks the system has been updating. I avoid it like the plague :sunglasses:

It reminds me of the old K&R joke about the flexibility of unix: It gives you all the rope you need to hang yourself, and then 10ft more :sunglasses:

That’s why we like the configurability of toolkit type distros like void and arch, because they let us do things exactly the way we want to do them.


@Duncaen, Thank You for the insight into the historical issues of trying to maintain daily snapshots. I have to believe it starts to pile up into truly massive storage requirements. I hope the resources available to the void infrastructure increase to the point where such a feature becomes practical again.

Very Sincere Thank You for the replies!


You’re creating a snapshot release distro out of a rolling distro. Just use a snapshot distro and save the work. There is no reason for you to think rolling release is superior, using it the way you do, and in fact you are cheating yourself out of the work done by snapshot distro teams, to do it all yourself. I think you should join a snapshot distro and help it out.


Sorry you feel so strongly about it.

I’ve been using this methodology for about 15 years and it’s working really well for me.

I hope you’ll use the distro of your choice in the way that you find works best for you.


Feelings are not involved. I also use snapshot distros. Snapshot teams devote a lot of effort to releases.