Top 5 Nightlies Safe to Run Daily

by Stephen Fluin 2011.09.08

Some of us live on the edge. We sacrifice stability to be on the bleeding edge of technology, experiencing new features immediately as they are added. Here are my top 5 pieces of software that are generally safe to update on a daily basis.


ApplicationFrequency of BreakingDifficulty of DowngradingNotes
Chromium BrowserOnce Per QuarterMedium Upgrading requires only a standard package update, ie sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade. Downgrading involves searching the internet for an earlier version, or if you are lucky, finding a copy in your apt cache.
CyanogenMod 7.1WeeklyHighIt seems that nightlies for CyanogenMod don't undergo quality assurance, as occasionally very basic things like phone, internet, or battery usage will become completely broken.
Wine*NeverHighAlthough not technically a nightly, the unstable releases of Wine are often worth a lack of stability for additional compatibility. Commonly each release of the Wine project seems to take 3 steps forward, and 1 step back, breaking some functionality with each release.
UbuntuEach ReleaseExtremely HighUbuntu Unstable releases tend to be one of the best ways to preview and try out upcoming functionality. I recommend this only for the strong-willed, as attempting to run development versions of major revision changes has around a 30% chance of completely breaking your system, forcing a reinstall.
FFmpegNeverMediumFFmpeg is relatively easy to compile and install once you have the source code checked out from their repository. This project is frequently updating with additional codecs as well as improvements to processing speed and compression quality. Downgrading requires checking out an earlier version from source and recompiling.