[Unresolved] LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

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[Unresolved] LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Trapper on Thu May 31, 2012 9:34 am

Let's talk some update manager turkey here. In both LM 13 and LMDE, running MATE, I have an update manager that does nothing more than always show a shield with a green check mark in the panel , yet in LM13 any time I manually check for updates I always seem to have a number available. Not one time has LM13 even given me any indication there are available updates.

In LMDE it's just as bad, if not worse. I did get notification of available updates "once". That was immediately after installation. I had updates available for Firefox and TBird. That's a month agao. Since then I have not been notified of any available update. What's worse is that when I run update manager in LMDE manually I still get no available updates. No available updates in a month????

Whatever, I cannot find anywhere in my configuration where the update manager should not be informing me of available updates. A green checked shield sitting on the panel for days (and weeks) when updates are actually available is absolutely useless.
Last edited by Trapper on Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:13 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby GeneC on Thu May 31, 2012 10:38 am

Not a fix for update manager (I personally don't like it, never use it).
But a better alternative.

Use Synaptic to do all update/upgrades. It wont notify you automatically, but always works.
The problem is that Mint chooses to disable "Mark All Upgrades" in synaptic (Or they did. I am on LMDE, not Main vers. ie. 12, 13, et).

To fix Synaptic to show "Mark all Upgrades" see this fix, by our friend 'Roken'
viewtopic.php?f=141&t=70449&start=20#p408278
REINSTALL Synaptic first! before applying fix.

Open Synaptic
Reload
Mark all Upgrades
Apply
Image

-------------------------------

NOTE:
If you've chosen to follow Update Packs in LMDE, your not going to get lots of daily/weekly/monthly ? updates. You only do if you track testing. Then LOTS :lol:
Last edited by GeneC on Thu May 31, 2012 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby squeezy on Thu May 31, 2012 10:41 am

I can't explain your LM13 phenomenon, but in LMDE it's not unusal to have no updates for a long time. If you're running against the Mint repos LMDE updates are distributed via Update Packs. You get a big update when the new UP is released but between them the repo is basically static.
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Trapper on Thu May 31, 2012 11:14 am

GeneC wrote:Not a fix for update manager (I personally don't like it, never use it).
But a better alternative.

Use Synaptic to do all update/upgrades. It wont notify you automatically, but always works.
The problem is that Mint chooses to disable "Mark All Upgrades" in synaptic (Or they did. I am on LMDE, not Main vers. ie. 12, 13, et).

To fix Synaptic to show "Mark all Upgrades" see this fix, by our friend 'Roken'
viewtopic.php?f=141&t=70449&start=20

Open Synaptic
Reload
Mark all Upgrades
Apply


I did the "fix" you linked to but had absolutely nil results. No "Mark All Upgrades" button after creating the "/etc/linuxmint/adjustments/10-mintsystem-synaptic.preserve" I went so far as even removing the /etc/linuxmint/adjustments/10-mintsystem-synaptic.overwrite" file but that does not even work.
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Trapper on Thu May 31, 2012 11:19 am

squeezy wrote:I can't explain your LM13 phenomenon, but in LMDE it's not unusal to have no updates for a long time. If you're running against the Mint repos LMDE updates are distributed via Update Packs. You get a big update when the new UP is released but between them the repo is basically static.


Okay. I understand about LMDE now. I'll just be patient and continue waiting until an Update Pack is available and then see if I get notification of the available updates or not. Thanks!
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Trapper on Thu May 31, 2012 11:51 am

Trapper wrote:I did the "fix" you linked to but had absolutely nil results. No "Mark All Upgrades" button after creating the "/etc/linuxmint/adjustments/10-mintsystem-synaptic.preserve" I went so far as even removing the /etc/linuxmint/adjustments/10-mintsystem-synaptic.overwrite" file but that does not even work.


I resolved this specific issue. I reinstalled synaptic after following the 'fix' instructions. Then I got the "Mark All Upgrades" button.

I still only consider this to be a work-around and will leave this thread open and continue searching for a resolve to the update manager issues I am experiencing.

Thanks for your synaptic help!
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby GeneC on Thu May 31, 2012 11:58 am

Hi Trapper

Yes, a workaround not a fix (dont hold your breath for a fix, its a long known issue.) :lol:
That said, if you right click 'refresh' the mint update icon, it should update the database

I edited my post above to point to re-installing synaptic itself first.
(Its stated in the fix link but easy to overlook.).
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Trapper on Thu May 31, 2012 3:07 pm

GeneC wrote:Hi Trapper

Yes, a workaround not a fix (dont hold your breath for a fix, its a long known issue.) :lol:
That said, if you right click 'refresh' the mint update icon, it should update the database

I edited my post above to point to re-installing synaptic itself first.
(Its stated in the fix link but easy to overlook.).


Yeah, I have been using the "refresh" function to acquire my updates in the update manager. I'll either continue to do that or use synaptic or just use the command line. I find it interesting that this update issue continues to exist in Linux Mint. I've installed other Linux Mint products previously and also have noted this behavior. Uniquely I don't seem to have the same issues with Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, etc.

Looking back at the 'fix' instructions I do note the initial blurp about reinstalling synaptic. Actually it looks more like a broken statement rather than an instruction to reinstall synaptic. Your emphatic statement to do so works for clarity.

Thanks for your help!
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby zerozero on Thu May 31, 2012 3:33 pm

Trapper,
i might be seeing all this wrong :D but i think you have different issues here:
- lack of updates in lmde? http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1781 and viewtopic.php?f=197&t=91405 (specially point 3)
- LM13: possibly some updates are available through level 4-5 (and the main ed. is defaulted to level 1-3). maybe? mark those 4-5 levels as visible in the preferences and see if the behavior is the same;
- on a more general note, mintupdate is not a notifier, it's not that the primary function of the tool, if you are so *worried* about timely notifications and updates you know how and can check them manually; mintupdate serves a different user-base, see this topic viewtopic.php?f=34&t=69859 is a bit lengthy but it's worthy and Clem has some posts in there that explain a lot better than me all this 8)
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Oscar799 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:41 am

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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Trapper on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:36 am

zerozero wrote:Trapper,

- on a more general note, mintupdate is not a notifier, it's not that the primary function of the tool, if you are so *worried* about timely notifications and updates you know how and can check them manually



Not meaning this as a personal attack on you but I find the updater logic to be flawed. Why would someone want an alarm clock that allows you to set a wakeup time but not support activating the alarm to wake you up?

I am not "worried" about notifications. This is 2012 and every updater out there has the ability and capability to notify the user when new updates are available ... except linuxmint apparently. It's pretty much an expectation these days and there's absolutely no reason to not have that convenience available.
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby rlindsey0 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:52 pm

I have the same issue with notifications in Maya Cinnamon 64-bit. Every edition of Mint I've used since Daryna notifies me when updates are available ... except now this one. It's not a function we never really had, it's a function we always had but have now lost. Of course I can work around it by checking manually, but why should I have to when I never did before? it's not the end of the world of course, just a minor annoyance. Still, I'd like to know what's causing it and how to fix it. I wonder if it has to do with Gnome 3 somehow?
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Trapper on Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:11 am

rlindsey0 wrote:<<<<----snipped---->>>> Of course I can work around it by checking manually, but why should I have to when I never did before? it's not the end of the world of course, just a minor annoyance. Still, I'd like to know what's causing it and how to fix it. I wonder if it has to do with Gnome 3 somehow?


I agree, in a sense. It is not the end of the world and can be seen as a minor annoyance. There's another way to look at it though. Somebody out there (probably someone new) is going to be naive and simply assume updates are done automatically in the background and that they are always up to date and are secure. The reality though is that they are not at all up to date and their security likely has a gaping hole in it.

As of today, I still have had no notification of available updates and I won't get any until I manually check for availability and discover I have numerous updates available.

I simply wonder why anyone would allow this dangerous behavior to exist. It's something that all OS's eliminated years ago. I call it a dangerous behavior because of what I stated above. There's always going to be a knowledgeably challenged person out there that isn't going to realize they need to initiate something on their own to maintain protection that they're 'assuming' is automatic.
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby eanfrid on Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:25 am

Not all updates are related to security. Indeed, there are seldom "pure" security updates. You may even install apt-listchanges if you want to get information about what was done in the newer version and decide if this update is a smart move for you, before updating anything.
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby rlindsey0 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:46 am

So there have been a couple of updates to mint-update since these posts were made, yet the problem has not been fixed. I still find it hard to understand why a function that has worked perfectly since at least 4.0 has experienced this kind of regression.
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Trapper on Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:17 am

I have pretty much narrowed my Mint usage down to LMDE 201204 now because I do not want Ubuntu counting me as a statistical user of their product in any way, shape or form. I can confirm the failure to give notification of available updates exists in LMDE too. I am aware, dependent of the repository scheme one uses with LMDE, that updates can be few and very far between. However .... I am also aware that when I install LMDE on a box that there are updates available immediately. They are updates to firefox and thunderbird. Those updates will never happen though unless I manually run the update manager. Otherwise, all I will ever see is the deceiving green, check marked shield that's indicating I am up to date, even though I am not.

So, even though I know it might be months before update packs become available for LMDE I still find it necessary to manually check for them from time to time simply because the updater has already proven to me that it cannot be relied upon and I do not trust it at all.
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Monsta on Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:40 am

Trapper wrote:I am also aware that when I install LMDE on a box that there are updates available immediately. They are updates to firefox and thunderbird. Those updates will never happen though unless I manually run the update manager. Otherwise, all I will ever see is the deceiving green, check marked shield that's indicating I am up to date, even though I am not.

I think the thread zerozero have mentioned several posts above - this one - has the answers to at least some of the questions raised here. For example, here are several things Clem said there:

Clem wrote:What's important to realise here, is that mintUpdate isn't designed to "alert" you in "real time". It's not a server admin tool to keep your box up to date "the minute" something is released in the repositories. Its primary function is to make it easy for people to upgrade and to prevent novice users from upgrading sensitive parts of their system (via the level system).

Note however, that if you wanted mintUpdate to find updates and alert you in real time, all you'd have to do is to create a cron job that regularly calls "apt update". This would refresh the cache for you in the background and mintUpdate would then be able to find new updates, whether it's in root mode or user mode.
Clem wrote:It's a nice workaround for people like you who value timing and want to be notified as soon as something becomes available. The problem with this is that it locks your APT cache often in root mode... and this is the reason why this cronjob isn't set in Linux Mint by default. There's a trade-off here, and to us it's not worth setting this up by default.

(about how fast the user is notified about the available updates in Ubuntu)
Clem wrote:As far as I know it relies on aptd.... which is extremely unstable, poorly documented, changes a lot from release to release and extremely tied with Ubuntu itself (<-- this is my personal opinion of course). We're using it in the Software Manager, and although, to you, things seem to work fine, it's a constant struggle for us to maintain release after release. What we could do, is a best effort option... i.e. a loose-couple between mintupdate and aptd... if it works then you gain better notifications, if it doesn't it just discreetly logs it and you're not affected by the failure. Just thinking loud here...


The last quote may hint there's something wrong with that "aptd" in Ubuntu 12.04/Mint 13, something that wasn't broken in previous Ubuntu-based Mints (and people weren't complaining that "mintUpdate is useless").
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Trapper on Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:50 pm

Yes, I've read all of this previously and it's contradictory within itself and somewhat misleading in several places.

The fact is 13/LMDE doesn't have a working update notifier, yet there are options in the update manager for selecting icons for update status, including an available updates icon. Also, by default, the update status shield displays and indicates the system is up to date. That's a display of erroneous information on the very first boot up.

News flash .... the update notifier does work in 12.04.
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby maarten256 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:48 am

Hi,

I'm new to Mint. I've been using Ubuntu / Xubuntu for a couple years and am contemplating switching to Mint as I like the interface better.

I'm running Mint 13 under Virtualbox to be able to play around with it. One of the more puzzling idiosyncrasies on Mint appears to be the Update Manager, which does not work like the Update Manager on Xubuntu.

As described in this thread I did also note that the Update Manager does not automatically show available updates. Even though I specifically configured the tool to check every 15 minutes I still have to manually refresh to get it to display any updates. Clearly, I'm using Xubuntu's update manager to tell me when updates are available.

Recently I updated my Xubuntu installation to the latest kernel. I had expected that this update would also be available to the Update Manager in Mint. Funnily enough it's not.

Synaptic shows me 39 available upgrades; Update Manager shows me 35.

My questions therefore are:

How does Update Manager decide what Updates it does / not make available to the user? All the updates that are shown in both Synaptic and Update Manager are of the level 3 variety... There must be something in Update Manager that prevents it from showing some level 3 updates, right? I'd expect the Kernel upgrade to show as a level 3 update?

Can anybody explain this - or point me to documentation that describes the logic implemented in Update Manager that drives this behavior?
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Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Monsta on Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:28 pm

maarten256 wrote:I'd expect the Kernel upgrade to show as a level 3 update?

No... it's usually at level 4 or 5.

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=108523
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=51243#p294877
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