Can we improve MintUpdate?

Discuss non-support related topics related to LMDE.
Forum rules
Before you post please read this

Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby zerozero on Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:44 pm

We start to realize that MintUpdate defaulted to levels 1-3 can do more harm than good in LMDE; the sense of protection the new users get with it will in the long (or not so long) run bring update problems, breakages, even broken systems.

Being LMDE a rolling release, all its components are in mutation, from the applications to the core libs, so makes no sense to have an update mechanism that freezes some libs updating others depending on the levels the user chose. With time we will fall in a dependency hell seeing apps breaking for no apparent reason.

This is not any kind of war against MintUpdate, but, it was stated early in the release notes that the tool was not properly ported to LMDE and now we can see some of the side-effects of its inclusion.

I's a great tool, an easy-one-click-update and fits wonderfully in Mint's idea of ease-of-use, but...

...how can we improve it to fit even better into LMDE?

The bug report is here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/linuxmint/+bug/725680
zerozero
Level 16
Level 16
 
Posts: 6467
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:29 pm

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby rhodry on Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:59 am

I agree Mint Update is not setup for a rolling release in its current form, if you hold anything back. Then again, the developers have made it quite clear that is the case and (IMHO) no-one should be using it to keep LMDE up to date! I certainly don't.

Forgetting those that have gone backwards for a moment; ie taken "testing" back to Stable/Squeeze; because they are no longer running a rolling release!!!!!! ; I believe the only way to do a proper update of a Debian-based rolling release is from the console. No X server running! This is how I do it:

Log out to Login screen,
enter Ctl-Alt-F1 to drop to console login,
login as normal user,
enter '$sudo -i' to start an interactive super-user session,
at # prompt, enter 'init 3' plus 'Enter' a couple of times to shut down X server and return to prompt,
enter # apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade
and proceed answering yes provided no "bad" things look as though they will happen (if in doubt, say n and investigate further). Also, answer Y for any changes to system config file changes.

When update finished, enter #apt-get clean followed by:

1) # init 5 && exit, if returning to Graphic login, or more likely and safer

2) #reboot, especially if any key files like kernel, video, libc etc have been done.

Works a treat every time.

Now, how to do that from Mint Update?! I think we need something akin to the smxi/sgfxi scripts! They refuse to run in GUI and drop you to console to do their work. They are superbly written IMO and could be adapted (conceptually I mean) to sit behind a FULL Mint Update.

Just my .02 worth,
cheers,
rhodry.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...
it's about learning to dance in the rain.
rhodry
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 347
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:32 am

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby viking777 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:33 am

I disagree with you rhodry. That is too extreme (and unnecessary in my opinion). I would guess that you either are or have been a Sidux user at some time, as I was. Even when I was a Sidux user I used to ignore that advice and I don't believe it ever cost me anything.

The biggest problem with this idea is that if you start telling people they can only update from a different run level they will 'run' away from LMDE like it is some dark scary monster. It isn't, and that is not what we want.

LMDE will update and upgrade perfectly well from Synaptic or the command line (and we even have people frightened of those tools!). I agree with zerozero that it will not update properly from mintupdate with 'levels' imposed, but my idea to improve that would be either to remove mintupdate altogether and use synaptic (the solution I have adopted) or disable the 'levels' function from the LMDE version of mintupdate, but I doubt if the Mint devs would want to maintain two separate versions of that tool.
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Lubuntu 13.10,Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint16 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).
Image
User avatar
viking777
Level 14
Level 14
 
Posts: 5153
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:21 am

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby kruijf on Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:44 am

I'm using the mintupdate almost all the time, and i know its not the best way to do it.
And have some time's the fix brocken packages first eror, but how do i a update whit synaptic?
Or can i bether use the terminal?
Acer Aspire 5749: Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon


dropbox

Linux steunpunt Soest

Twitter: @bdekruijf

Team Member of the Dutch support forum.
User avatar
kruijf
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 2:43 pm
Location: Soest, Netherlands

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby viking777 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:53 am

but how do i a update whit synaptic?

Open package manager, click update, click mark all upgrades, click apply.
Or can i bether use the terminal?

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade

Try both and choose which you prefer.
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Lubuntu 13.10,Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint16 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).
Image
User avatar
viking777
Level 14
Level 14
 
Posts: 5153
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:21 am

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby kruijf on Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:02 am

I think i'm going to use the terminal, i already used that way some times whit the broken packages eror.
Acer Aspire 5749: Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon


dropbox

Linux steunpunt Soest

Twitter: @bdekruijf

Team Member of the Dutch support forum.
User avatar
kruijf
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 2:43 pm
Location: Soest, Netherlands

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby zerozero on Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:09 am

Just to clarify here something about how to update:
- I don't really think we need to go that far as drop out of x to do it - even in my other box running sid since mid october i never did that and never had a problem- synaptic or the terninal are just fine for that as long as you read what they tell you and if you see something suspicious just hold the updates until everything is clear.

I think this is common sense but anyway sometimes i fell we need to say it: we don't need to update every day, no harm will come if we hold back some pkgs for a few days.
zerozero
Level 16
Level 16
 
Posts: 6467
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:29 pm

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby chris_debian on Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:11 am

Hi, all!

I'd tend to agree with the command-line solution, but I know that could scare some people. To help us focus and for discussion, my questions would be:

0. What does/ doesn't MintUpdate currently do well (with regard to LMDE)?

1. If doing things from the command line (terminal) works well, should we worry that some users are frightened of this? I'm not trying to be controversial, I'm just trying to see what the Linux Mint stance is.

2. Is anything available that could be adapted, such as the previously mentioned scripts?

3. Can a rolling distribution such as LMDE work correctly for most users? Or, does it need some greater understanding that users that may have come from Windows > Ubuntu may not have?

These questions are purely for discussion, so we can see what we are trying to achieve and then work-out where to go from here.

Hope this helps.

Chris.
Reasons why you may want to try GNU/Linux:

http://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/
chris_debian
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:14 am

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby zerozero on Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:57 am

Let's see if i can put my ideas into words clearly, chris_debian:

0- does well- it's an ease-one-click way to update; doesn't- doesn't update the system as a all, we saw that with this vlc thingy, and i'm thinking the same will happen when LibreOffice hits the repos, as it must remove OO;

1- the command line scares, even synaptic scares :lol:

2- MintUpdate can be adapted, just disable the levels, as viking777 already mentioned before, and make MintUpdate do a apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade everytime it runs;

3- imho it doesn't, not at the moment, but they will find out that by themselves quickly
zerozero
Level 16
Level 16
 
Posts: 6467
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:29 pm

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby viking777 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:08 am

0 That is such a huge question you could write a book on it and that is assuming anyone actually knows all the answers (which they don't).

1 You won't get the Linux Mint stance from a forum, you will get the Linux Mint users stance - different.

2 Overly complicated answer to a pretty simple problem in my opinion.

3 Of course it can. But if you have people that read that update X is going to remove program Y and still go ahead with it even though program Y is something they use every day, there is no helping them on any platform. Besides, as I have said before, anyone that runs a computer without a way to roll back changes is going to crash and burn eventually even using something like Windows. On Linux that means a Clonezilla (or other) disk image.

Somebody posted the comment the other day that using a rolling release like LMDE is easy but it is not flying on autopilot. I like that phrase it sums it up nicely.
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Lubuntu 13.10,Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint16 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).
Image
User avatar
viking777
Level 14
Level 14
 
Posts: 5153
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:21 am

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby tec_wiz on Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:41 am

I have had LMDE installed since the first Sept release. I upgraded to the Sid repositories in December, but then changed back to testing in January. I have two diffrent kernals one with n-vidia drivers and one stock as a backup.

I have always used Mintupdate to update my system, even when I switched to Sid. I just set it to all updates through 5. I have had zero problems, and it makes it very easy to review config file changes before accepting or rejecting.

Also, Mintupdate is already set to always use Dist-Upgrade. If you search through the options it is selected by default.

I have been unable to assertain any diffrences from using MintUpdate versus command line. The only time I use the command line is when I have a large amount of updates and I use deb-delta to lessen the time it takes. If we could just set the default behavior to update all levels then we'll be fine.

I do think a easy built-in roll back feature for updates would be great. Imagine you updated n-vidia and for some reason it didn't work right, you can only get to the terminal on reboot. From there you type in one command and it gives you a list of dates to roll back to. Then it will remove any updates applied after that date, effectivly returning your system to the state it was on that date without effecting your data. Then you can investigate the problem.
tec_wiz
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:43 am

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby hns on Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:33 pm

[quote="zerozero"]Just to clarify here something about how to update:
- I don't really think we need to go that far as drop out of x to do it - even in my other box running sid since mid october i never did that and never had a problem- synaptic or the terninal are just fine for that as long as you read what they tell you and if you see something suspicious just hold the updates until everything is clear.

I agree. I (dist)-upgrade from a root terminal in X for more than 10 years now. Never had a problem.
The only thing to keep an eye on is for a kernel update. It is better to reboot after a kernel upgrade.
hns
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:26 pm

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby CiaW on Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:40 pm

I rather like the levels 1 through 5, however in 'yum-land' (or yumex) in Fedora one didn't have levels so I learned to be selective sometimes if there was something that was prone to cause issues.

The only way I have found to set some packages to 'ignore' so they don't update is through MintUpdate. That is a big plus (for me). I haven't searched very hard to see if or where there's an apt alternative via a conf file, though in yum one could add a line to a conf file 'exclude=package_a, package_b' and even use wild cards. I have looked in synaptic and under /etc/apt and didn't see anything similar for Debian. In my case I don't yet want to upgrade postgresql to v9, and doing a dist-upgrade wants to bring those updates in; so I've been sticking with debdelta and apt-get upgrade until the VLC thing gets sorted out.

As for rolling back to a previous update, that may be a nice feature. I think that's part of what one is supposed to get with btrfs is the ability to take a snapshot then rollback to a previous version or snapshot if or when you want. But btrfs isn't 'fully cooked' yet. Same with ZFS but that has some issues too.
CiaW
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:39 am
Location: Spokane Wash, USA

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby rhodry on Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:15 pm

I disagree with you rhodry. That is too extreme (and unnecessary in my opinion). I would guess that you either are or have been a Sidux user at some time, as I was. Even when I was a Sidux user I used to ignore that advice and I don't believe it ever cost me anything.

The biggest problem with this idea is that if you start telling people they can only update from a different run level they will 'run' away from LMDE like it is some dark scary monster. It isn't, and that is not what we want.


On reflection viking777 I agree with you. :shock: :)

Yes I still have an Aptosid (Sidux) install floating around and some old conservative habits die hard I guess :?:

Given the target user base here, I can see my suggestion is too radical.

I guess my real concern though is the nature of "Levels". In a rolling release this concept does not hold up. By its very nature it "rolls" on in its entirety. Perhaps it does just need to update, upgrade, dist-upgrade with feedback to not commit if any problem is encountered .

I don't want to go off on a tangent here but would aptitude be a better back end for update/package management? Although, those differences have largely been removed I gather.

Maybe I just spend too much time living in the past, when the CLI was new and exiting?! :)

PCLinuxOS is a rolling release that simply uses Synaptic "Mark All Upgrades", "Apply" for upgrades and it works just fine. They do all their own packaging in a single repo though, but still...?

Hmmm, will need to ponder this some more :idea:

cheers,
rhodry
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...
it's about learning to dance in the rain.
rhodry
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 347
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:32 am

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby malligt on Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:09 pm

Can we improve Mint Update? Yes, of course. As with anything in our lives, there is always room for improvement.

I was recently burned in the updated process by Mint update...bricking my system; I burned myself last week on the VLC thingy, simply put...I did the "auto-pilot" Mint Update...and poof, my VLC was gone.

So my update/upgrade process has now become using the (dreaded) TERMINAL :wink: It's not really dreaded, but some feel reluctant to use it. For new users, the first couple times you use the terminal to update is a little unnerving, but it passes quickly.

Zerozero, viking777, tjdockery --just to thank them---and others called to my attention, that IF I'D BOTHER TO READ what was going on...and just say 'n'....Oh just how true that is....I grew up with RTFM...and broke my own rule...and burnt myself.

With trying to attract more users, and at the same time, minimize the number of weekly posts stating that "Just updated, and now my system has problems".....I see more than ever the need for EDUCATING the user base.

Perhaps a series of "Stickies" or "READ- ME's" permanently located at the top of the forum---here are my top ones....how to download LMDE... using md5sum, make sure to burn it SLOWLY to DVD, USB installation method, Partitioning for newbies, and separate Advanced User Partitioning, how to Multi boot system, Three Ways to Update Your New System-- The Pros and Cons of Mint Update.....

I'd volunteer to help write them if you all want to go in as a group effort....
malligt
Level 4
Level 4
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:58 pm

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby GeneC on Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:59 pm

I've learned to use the terminal the easy way! :?

I added the command to CLI Companion. Dont use MintUpdate or Synaptic much anymore.

Just two clicks...

Image

Info Download CLI Companion
http://okiebuntu.homelinux.com/okwiki/clicompanion/

Thanks to "Aging Technogeek" for the info in another post. :wink:
GeneC

AMD Phenom2x4 3.2 ghz, 12GB DDR3, Nvidia GTX 460

Qiana (Cinnamon/XFCE)
Sparky XFCE (Debian Testing)
LMDE Cin 2.2 (SID)
User avatar
GeneC
Level 7
Level 7
 
Posts: 1538
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:59 pm
Location: Maine, USA

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby zerozero on Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:04 pm

CiaW wrote:
The only way I have found to set some packages to 'ignore' so they don't update is through MintUpdate. That is a big plus (for me). I haven't searched very hard to see if or where there's an apt alternative via a conf file, though in yum one could add a line to a conf file 'exclude=package_a, package_b' and even use wild cards. I have looked in synaptic and under /etc/apt and didn't see anything similar for Debian. In my case I don't yet want to upgrade postgresql to v9, and doing a dist-upgrade wants to bring those updates in; so I've been sticking with debdelta and apt-get upgrade until the VLC thing gets sorted out.

if i understand what you are saying it looks like "lock version" option in synaptic.
zerozero
Level 16
Level 16
 
Posts: 6467
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:29 pm

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby viking777 on Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:58 am

GeneC wrote:I've learned to use the terminal the easy way! :?

I added the command to CLI Companion. Dont use MintUpdate or Synaptic much anymore.

Just two clicks...

Image

Info Download CLI Companion
http://okiebuntu.homelinux.com/okwiki/clicompanion/

Thanks to "Aging Technogeek" for the info in another post. :wink:


That is an interesting tool GeneC, I have never seen it before, but it is sort of like a command line history function. The standard bash shell has one of those but it is not well implemented so I personally run the 'fish' shell in which it is well implemented. For example the other day I was trying to learn how to use the command genisoimage - which makes iso's from file systems. To make it a small iso I used Puppy linux as the file system and tried out various commands given on the internet, some of which are horrendous and you would never remember in a million years, but since I knew I was using Puppy as the image, all I have to do is type the word Puppy into my terminal and I get this:
Screenshot1.png
Screenshot1.png (15.19 KiB) Viewed 5514 times


You will note incidentally that the word Puppy is in red - this tells me that I have no such command as 'Puppy' accessible to the present user - you won't believe how useful that is just on its own, but the next trick is even better, all I need do is press the up arrow key and my terminal changes to this:
Screenshot2.png
Screenshot2.png (19.95 KiB) Viewed 5514 times


That being the last command I executed with the word Puppy in it. It doesn't even have to be a whole word typing, 'ppy' or any other part of the command you can remember will take you to the last time that combination of letters was used.

And if I wanted to execute that command again I just press 'enter' (btw you see why I wouldn't remember that command :shock: ). You also see that the command genisoimage is in green which tells me that the command is accessible to me as a normal user (It is installed and it doesn't need sudo - again very useful time saving information).

Another nice thing about it is that if you want to run a command that is written for bash and doesn't work in fish because the syntax is different, you simply switch to the bash shell by typing 'bash' then run your bash command. (and then if you have any sense you switch smartly back to fish again by typing 'fish').

Using fish makes the command line a bit more acceptable to me than bash, just like your solution does for you. But when it comes to the point of this thread which is updating LMDE I still say there is nothing wrong with Synaptic (or even mintupdate with the levels set all the way up).

BTW you don't need 'apt-get upgrade' in the middle of the command 'sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade && apt-get dist-upgrade' because a 'dist-upgrade' will automatically include an 'upgrade', the command is the same as in Mint10 or indeed any other Debian based distro.
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Lubuntu 13.10,Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint16 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).
Image
User avatar
viking777
Level 14
Level 14
 
Posts: 5153
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 11:21 am

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby vincent on Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:19 am

I prefer the CLI way myself, but for those who shy away from using a terminal, why don't they just use Debian's Update Manager instead? Well, it actually originated from Ubuntu, but it's still in Debian's repositories.

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install update-manager-gnome
Debian Testing x64/LM9 Main x64/Windows 7 x64 - LG R580 laptop w/ Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 2.1 GHz, 4 GB DDR2 RAM, Nvidia Geforce G 105M, Ralink rt2860 802.11n, 300 GB WD HD 5400 rpm
vincent
Level 8
Level 8
 
Posts: 2220
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:10 am

Re: Can we improve MintUpdate?

Postby GeneC on Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:27 am

Hey Viking777!

I am pretty new to Linux, so the use of the terminal is still not very intuitive.
I found that ap through a post by "Aging Technogeek" a while back. (Thanks!) :)

I was using it to help me learn commands, but you can just add any commands you learn. Makes it easier to learn, and faster too, as you can just click on a command in the list, and hit the "run" button. Pretty slick.
Thanks for pointing out
BTW you don't need 'apt-get upgrade' in the middle of the command 'sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade && apt-get dist-upgrade' because a 'dist-upgrade' will automatically include an 'upgrade', the command is the same as in Mint10 or indeed any other Debian based distro.


I will edit that. I just copied and pasted it from somewhere.

That being said, to get back to "zerozero's" original question. (Sorry! I guess I got a little of course).
MintUpdate could be improved by doing away with the 1-5 rating system, or some modification of it.

Good Thread.
GeneC

AMD Phenom2x4 3.2 ghz, 12GB DDR3, Nvidia GTX 460

Qiana (Cinnamon/XFCE)
Sparky XFCE (Debian Testing)
LMDE Cin 2.2 (SID)
User avatar
GeneC
Level 7
Level 7
 
Posts: 1538
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:59 pm
Location: Maine, USA

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 
Next

Return to Open Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests