[SATLUG] Request discussion of the automatic updating of a distro

Robert Pearson e2eiod at gmail.com
Mon Dec 17 09:06:46 CST 2007

On Dec 16, 2007 11:15 PM, herb cee <hc at lookcee.com> wrote:
> Robert Pearson wrote:
> > On Dec 16, 2007 7:22 PM, herb cee <hc at lookcee.com> wrote:
> >
> >> I wish to make a personal comment first .. I read every post on this
> >> list and it is the prime source for my basic education of things Linux.
> >> Needless to say I am unable to follow many of your discussions because
> >> you speak in command shorthand, not criticizing just reporting as a
> >> newbie trying to digest the incredible mass of data in constant flux.
> >>
> >> I am often confused because the solutions to problems and the How-to's
> >> generally involve the use of the CLI when I am coming from many years of
> >> Windows use and am only able to use Linux with GUI. I now somewhat
> >> understand the use of the Terminal and am not quite so terrified to hit
> >> the enter key after pasting in or typing a command. My Ubuntu install
> >> has been in constant use now for several months without any failure. I
> >> am currently studying  with off-list assistance from a Satlug member how
> >> networks work and how to administer them safely.
> >>
> >> So I am making progress and am grateful to all of you that make this
> >> list. Since every few days I am offered updates to Ubuntu and I read the
> >> brief tag description. Most of the time I have no idea what this will do
> >> nor any clue to some side effect that could even render my working rig
> >> unusable. I have always allowed these updates and have not had a problem
> >> that I am aware of. I started with FC-6 changed to Ubuntu 5.xx, then
> >> 6.10, then 7.04 where I am now. I have 7.10 installed on another box
> >> along with SuSe 10.2. But this box contains all my work from the months
> >> of running and has always had the 7.04 so I have held off on upgrading
> >> to 7.10 until I have the LAN working and all my files backed up .
> >>
> >> .... Ubuntu says: Quick and easy updates. The task bar contains an
> >> update area where we'll notify you when there are updates available for
> >> your system, from simple security fixes to a complete version upgrade.
> >> The update facility enables you to keep your system up-to-date with just
> >> a few clicks of your mouse. .....
> >>
> >> I would be thrilled if you experienced users would discuss how to
> >> appraise the constant flow of updates. What your feelings are about this
> >> feature and how you use it.
> >>
> >> Thanks Herb
> >> --
> >>
> >
> > The only thing better than Ubuntu that I have seen is Debian. Some
> > people feel they are the same but I'm not sure.
> > For what I do they probably are.
> > I have used Red Hat Up2date, and both Red Hat and others apt-get and
> > yum. When I first ran SuSe and then openSUSE i used first the CLI
> > YaST2 and then the YaST2 GUI. The only thing I never figured out with
> > SuSE and openSUSE was why I could get updates but when a package came
> > out with a new version I had to manually go through a process in the
> > YaST2 GUI to get those updated to the new version. Other people on
> > this list have not had that problem.
> >
> > Two things:
> > 1. When I get an update for a package I know I don't use and will
> > never use like IM (Instant Messaging) I delete the package, if
> > possible.
> > That way, in the future, I get fewer updates that I don't know what they are.
> > Sometimes there are inter-dependencies and the package can't be
> > deleted easily. Then I just do the update.
> > I use the "System/Administration/Synaptic Package Manager" for all my
> > package work. It is great for me.
> >
> Yes I am impressed by SPM I have spent some time browsing in the
> incredible selection of packages. I have installed several and just goes
> so smooth. I do sometimes have to ponder and Google which of the
> separate items that are presented, like 'cups' so most of the time I
> have only selected what appears to be the main package and go with the
> dependencies it chooses

That's what I do.

> > 2. Updates go smoothly until non-standard release packages are
> > installed on your machine by you. These come in two forms.
> > Locally compiled packages, like the kernel that Sean mentioned, and
> > third party packages not supplied by Ubuntu.
> > There can also be problems mixing repositories. So far it looks like
> > Ubuntu is pretty good about not having that problem.
> >
> I have all five choices checked in the Software Sources dialog and I did
> put one site http://apt.wicd.net feisty extras under third party
> software when I was trying to get the problem chip NIC card to work.
> Would this place me in this category of mixed repositories?

I'm not really qualified to answer the mixed repositories question fully.
You are probably fine if it installed with no gripes. Not sure what
will happen with a kernel upgrade.

My problems came with Red Hat, and third party software, and then with
SuSE and third party software.
Third party software seems to be less of a problem if you download
source and compile locally. Way over my head.
Once I went with openSUSE those problems went away. I was frustrated
with the openSUSE slow updates for Firefox.
Then, right on this list, Al Castanoli had a problem and John Pappas
in his reply shared the URL to the openSUSE Firefox updates.
There is a world of information on this list. Thanks Al and John for sharing.

Thanks for the info, herb. I had never looked at Software Sources. Handy.
"Source code" is not checked in mine.
I have the source "http://packages.medibuntu.org/ free non-free" added
on my machine.

Most of the installation HowTo's and GoBy's recommended "MediBuntu"
for third party packages.
The main installation reference I use is
"http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/index". Very handy.
I did a lot of Googling for "install Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy" and examining the hits.

What did you do for an iptables firewall?

> > There are a lot of packages I have no idea what they do and never
> > will. I just have to trust Ubuntu.
> > A lot of people much more knowledgeable than I are using that update
> > system daily.
> >
> I certainly am pleased that all five of you that have shared on this are
> a mountain of knowledge and you have all been positive. I am very
> encouraged and I feel safer now knowing that. Special thanks to Daniel
> for directing me onto Ubuntu when I was first stumbling with FC-6. I use
> this puter many hours every day being physically limited and I am not
> spending all that time facing the blue screen of death, lol.
> Thanks Herb
> --
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