[SATLUG] Ubuntu Auto Update Puzzle

Don Wright satlug at sbcglobal.net
Sun Aug 3 20:20:49 CDT 2008

On Sun, 03 Aug 2008 14:43:45 -0500, herb cee <hc at lookcee.com> wrote:

> ...  hoping one of you 
>Ubuntu/Debian/Gnome users can agree that it is safe to trust the 
>installer and proceed

Apt/dpkg as used in Debian and derivatives is pretty safe - the package information
includes what other files and libraries need to be present, and which need to be absent.
Unless all the requirements are met, the package will not be installed. For example, if
the update to whizbang-3.14 needs libfoo-28.3, and only -28.2 is currently available, then
the updater (aptitude, synaptic, apt-get, or another front end to dpkg) won't
automatically install whizbang-3.14 and leave it broken.

Similarly, if installing libfoo-28.3 will break your whizbang-3.9, the updater will make
sure the newer whizbang is installed at the same time as libfoo, so everything continues
to work. All this depends on the continuing efforts of the package maintainers, who test
each new upstream release and keep the package info updated so all this magic works as

Of course there can be a few glitches. I was installing a server and found a particular
package brought in the whole X windowing system, including a bunch of fonts. Turns out one
of the packages had an optional GUI tool to manage its settings, and the GUI tool depended
on having the whole GUI mess. Took a little hunting to find where to cut, but the package
count is a lot lighter now.

Mostly I'd trust the updater.  --Don
(You do have good backups, right?)

Be well - or at least have interesting symptoms!

More information about the SATLUG mailing list