[Unresolved] LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Questions about mintUpdate
Forum rules
Before you post please read this

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby maarten256 on Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:57 pm

Interesting - it indeed shows up as a level 5 update. How are the different levels for each update determined? Is that documented somewhere?
maarten256
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:51 pm

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby cb474 on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:00 am

Trapper wrote: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.


I definitely have the experience with LMDE that the update manager always shows a green check saying that my system is up to date, even when there are in fact updates available and my system is not up to date. It seems like it never automatically refreshes in the background.

So, I agree that it's pretty confusing and does not make a lot of sense what the update manager is supposed to be doing. In the quotes from Clem above, he says that mintUpate is not supposed to alert you when updates are available. And yet, as noted, the preferences show an icon for "Updates available" (which I never get, even when updates are available). The green shield check mark is supposed to indicate "System up-to-date." If I mouse over the icon in the notification area, I get a pop up that says, "You system is up to date," even though it isn't. And there's even an "Auto-Refresh" tab in the preferences that has settings for how often update manager is supposed to refresh the list of updates; but in reality it never does this automatically, only if I open it, enter a root password, and run it manually. And the "Auto-Refresh" tab has a note that says, "Note: The list only gets refreshed while the update manager window is closed (system tray mode)." All of that really seems to imply it's supposed to update in the background and notify you of updates.

So I don't understand how it makes sense that it's not supposed to have these features. And also it seems like others report that in regular Linux Mint it does work as expected, so it just seems broken in LMDE to me. I don't get it.
cb474
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:01 am

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Monsta on Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:42 am

cb474 wrote:In the quotes from Clem above, he says that mintUpate is not supposed to alert you when updates are available.

Right.

cb474 wrote:And yet, as noted, the preferences show an icon for "Updates available" (which I never get, even when updates are available).

I don't see anything strange that there's an icon for that. It'll be shown if you refresh the package list manually.

cb474 wrote:And there's even an "Auto-Refresh" tab in the preferences that has settings for how often update manager is supposed to refresh the list of updates; but in reality it never does this automatically, only if I open it, enter a root password, and run it manually. And the "Auto-Refresh" tab has a note that says, "Note: The list only gets refreshed while the update manager window is closed (system tray mode)." All of that really seems to imply it's supposed to update in the background and notify you of updates.

This is probably just a leftover from the original mintUpdate. When mintupdate-debian was forked from it, these things were just left there untouched.
Maybe.
To get the precise answer you'll have to contact Clem, or create an issue at https://github.com/linuxmint/mintupdate-debian/issues
Monsta
Level 8
Level 8
 
Posts: 2017
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:46 am

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby cb474 on Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:58 pm

Monsta wrote:This is probably just a leftover from the original mintUpdate. When mintupdate-debian was forked from it, these things were just left there untouched.
Maybe.

Perhaps that's true. But it's still extremely confusing to have those things there, which is what I said. It all certainly leads a user to believe that the update manager system tray icon will automatically let you know when updates are available.

I also thought that one of the goals of Linux Mint (regular or Debian) was to make a more seamless user friendly, just works out of the box, experience. Being automatically notified of updates would certainly fall in that category, since just about every other OS, application, smartphone, etc., does it. This doesn't seem like a particularly novel and complicated idea.
cb474
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:01 am

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Trapper on Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:56 am

cb474 wrote:I also thought that one of the goals of Linux Mint (regular or Debian) was to make a more seamless user friendly, just works out of the box, experience. Being automatically notified of updates would certainly fall in that category, since just about every other OS, application, smartphone, etc., does it. This doesn't seem like a particularly novel and complicated idea.


This is my argument and the 'reasons' why mint doesn't have a working notifier now are quite difficult to comprehend. Like you say, every other sort of OS has a notifier and they have for years. Suddenly Mint can't figure one out when they even had one before????

There's absolutely no logic in having an automatic update manager if it doesn't have an automatic notifier function .... unless, of course, you want automatic updates installed, sight unseen. Actually, I don't do auto background installations and won't do auto background installations so I don't know if that function works, either.

Quite Franky, I think the update manager doesn't work properly. The only time I ever find any logging concerning update checks is when I manually check for updates. I am set up to refresh every 4 hours. I cannot find where that logs to, if it's actually happening. I have no evidence that the updater is refreshing. I do have log evidence when I make manual checks.
Trapper
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:21 pm
Location: Sebring, Florida USA

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby cb474 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:20 am

Yeah, it's kind of messy and doesn't make a lot of sense how it is right now.

I still love LMDE. And I'm sure the developers have a lot on their hands.

But it would be nice to have a notifier that actually lets me know when updates are available. Especially since updates come so infrequently with LMDE. I end up forgetting to check. Unlike with Arch and plain Debian testing, where there were updates almost daily, so I just stayed in the habit of frequently checking.
cb474
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:01 am

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Trapper on Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:14 am

cb474 wrote:
But it would be nice to have a notifier that actually lets me know when updates are available. Especially since updates come so infrequently with LMDE. I end up forgetting to check.


As an experiment I installed debian's update-notifier. At long last an update has become available (usb-imagewriter) and the debian update-notifier showed its available update icon to inform me that the update was available. It planted itself right beside the mint update status icon which still showed a green check mark even though an update was actually available. All that really happens with the debian update notifier though is the notification. Clicking the icon does nothing. I have to click the mint shield to actually actuate the update. The point is though that I do get a visual notification that updates are available now. Another point is that automatic notification is possible and will work.

I am still failing to understand why the current mint releases do not support update notification.
Trapper
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:21 pm
Location: Sebring, Florida USA

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby squeezy on Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:53 am

I don't understand why it's not working for you guys. I do custom builds, starting from a command line install. I've built machines with both the Debian and Ubuntu CLI installers. I always install Mint Update because I like its simplicity. It never fails to show me when updates are available. The Debian SID/Xfce install I'm currently using shows updates available everyday, when there are some. Same with the Ubuntu 12.04/MATE install on the second partition. It always indicates when updates are available.

Maybe it's because I leave my computer on 24/7? Plus, I'm always logged in. Maybe it just takes a while for Mint Update to pick up the changes in the repos?
squeezy
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 567
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:05 pm
Location: The Land of Enchantment

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby squeezy on Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:22 pm

Today, as always...
Attachments
mintupdate-sm.png
mintupdate-sm.png (14.94 KiB) Viewed 2771 times
squeezy
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 567
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:05 pm
Location: The Land of Enchantment

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Trapper on Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:17 pm

squeezy wrote:I don't understand why it's not working for you guys. I do custom builds, starting from a command line install. I've built machines with both the Debian and Ubuntu CLI installers. I always install Mint Update because I like its simplicity. It never fails to show me when updates are available. The Debian SID/Xfce install I'm currently using shows updates available everyday, when there are some. Same with the Ubuntu 12.04/MATE install on the second partition. It always indicates when updates are available.

Maybe it's because I leave my computer on 24/7? Plus, I'm always logged in. Maybe it just takes a while for Mint Update to pick up the changes in the repos?


That's why we're here .... because it does not ever work for us. We're trying to figure out why. The only time we see the icon as you have uploaded as a .png is when we manually do an update check and there are packages available. Otherwise, packages can be available for years and we wouldn't know it.

I just did a brand new install of LMDE with Mate on a box this morning. I intentionally did not check for updates or anything for hours. There was no notification of updates. As soon as I checked manually the notification icon showed and a number of packages were available. Other distros I install (including those Mint is a derivative from) immediately and automatically notify me of updates just after first boot.
Trapper
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:21 pm
Location: Sebring, Florida USA

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby GeneBenson on Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:10 pm

squeezy wrote:I don't understand why it's not working for you guys. I do custom builds, starting from a command line install. I've built machines with both the Debian and Ubuntu CLI installers. I always install Mint Update because I like its simplicity. It never fails to show me when updates are available. The Debian SID/Xfce install I'm currently using shows updates available everyday, when there are some. Same with the Ubuntu 12.04/MATE install on the second partition. It always indicates when updates are available.

Maybe it's because I leave my computer on 24/7? Plus, I'm always logged in. Maybe it just takes a while for Mint Update to pick up the changes in the repos?


Hi squeezy,

You wouldn't happen to be using viking777's crontab solution (can be found in this sub-forum) by any chance? I am and it's the only way I have ever gotten update notifications from any Mint version, Debian or Ubuntu based. :shock:
GeneBenson
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 131
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:55 pm

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby squeezy on Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:09 pm

Trapper wrote:I just did a brand new install of LMDE with Mate on a box this morning. I intentionally did not check for updates or anything for hours. There was no notification of updates. As soon as I checked manually the notification icon showed and a number of packages were available. Other distros I install (including those Mint is a derivative from) immediately and automatically notify me of updates just after first boot.


Man, I wish I had more to offer. Maybe it's the custom installs I do. I should install Mint 13 MATE and see how it reacts compared to my custom Ubu 12.04/MATE setup.
squeezy
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 567
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:05 pm
Location: The Land of Enchantment

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby squeezy on Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:10 pm

GeneBenson wrote:Hi squeezy,

You wouldn't happen to be using viking777's crontab solution (can be found in this sub-forum) by any chance? I am and it's the only way I have ever gotten update notifications from any Mint version, Debian or Ubuntu based. :shock:


Hi Gene,

No special steps taken here. I just install the package from the repo and let it do its thing. Confounding, isn't it? :lol:
squeezy
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 567
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:05 pm
Location: The Land of Enchantment

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby cb474 on Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:26 pm

When I click on the icon, it asks for my root password. So I'm wondering if mint-update just doesn't have the right permissions to check on its own from my regular user account.
cb474
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:01 am

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby GeneBenson on Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:55 am

Here is what Clem has to say on the matter in another thread in this sub-forum:
Re: Your system is up to date.

Postby clem on Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:24 am
OK, I subscribed to this topic so I'll be keeping an eye on your feedback.

When you login first, mintupdate is launched with your own permissions... i.e. in user mode. When in that mode it runs only in the system tray, and it does not have sufficient permissions to perform an "apt update". In other words, it does check every X minutes whether things are available, but it cannot refresh the APT cache. So if you use some other APT program in the meantime and thus refresh the APT cache yourself, mintupdate is then able to find new available updates.... if that makes sense...

When you click on mintupdate to see its main window, it basically kills itself and re-launches in root mode. That's why it asks for a password. So, once you've seen the mintupdate main window, from that moment on, it's running in root mode. Before it shows the window, and before it checks for updates it refreshes the APT cache.

You can check the log and you'll see in there whether the update manager is running in user or root mode.

In terms of reliability and rationale, it's not important that an available update appear "immediately". What's important though, is that mintupdate list all available updates in a consistent manner... so for instance, if there's a particular update listed by Synaptic that doesn't appear in MintUpdate that should be considered a bug and we should find the cause for it. If that's the case, please give me as much info as you can, logs, apt policy for the package, versions, etc..

And further down in the same thread:

Re: Your system is up to date.

Postby clem on Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:33 pm
Well, it all comes down to one thing and one thing only: You need to refresh your APT cache to see if there are "new" updates. For this, you need to elevate yourself to root.

When you click on mintupdate, it launches itself in root mode, and that's why it asks for a password. When you type "apt update" (which is the same as "sudo apt-get update"), you're asked for a password too.. as you're elevating yourself as root to refresh the cache. Either way, you're refreshing your cache when you do that.

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.

The entire thread is here: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=69859

Hope this helps. :wink:
GeneBenson
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 131
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:55 pm

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby squeezy on Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:23 am

cb474 wrote:When I click on the icon, it asks for my root password. So I'm wondering if mint-update just doesn't have the right permissions to check on its own from my regular user account.


Now that you mention it, one of the things I routinely do when I first login to a new installation is to use the Users and Groups app and change my account to Administrator and make sure all the user privileges are checked. It's always set as Custom after an install.

Here's irony for you. I did a fresh Maya/MATE install yesterday, figuring that should be relatively close to the 12.04/MATE custom install I had running. When I logged in for the first time Mint Update immediately showed updates available, 96 of them. I knew there should be more than that so I started MU. After it had reloaded the package lists there were 391 updates available. Looks like it was reporting on the stale cache from the install, but at least it was reporting.

Did all my usual preference tweaking and making my account Administrator then ran all the updates. I rebooted and when I logged in MU only showed a red X. I started it and it ran just fine. Figured maybe the update had broken it so I purged it and reinstalled. Logged out and in and still a red X. I even tried purging it, rebooting then reinstalling it from tty1 before logging in and still no worky. That's where I left it to go to bed.

OK, so I don't have a magic touch :lol:
squeezy
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 567
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:05 pm
Location: The Land of Enchantment

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby squeezy on Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:35 am

The magic is back :D

I had replaced the preferences file with one I keep on hand that contains entries for the official MATE repo and some others. I intended to update MATE to 1.4. Turns out the permissions on that file were such that only root could access it. Once I reset it properly, "read only" for the other two entries, Mint Update worked like a charm. I logged into my session after resetting the permissions and MU immediately told me there were two updates available.
squeezy
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 567
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:05 pm
Location: The Land of Enchantment

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby Trapper on Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:03 pm

GeneBenson wrote:Here is what Clem has to say on the matter in another thread in this sub-forum:


Okay GeneBenson, my light has "finally" flashed on and I see what Clem is saying here. I've made a root cronjob for an apt-get update at bootup and also one at 3PM each day. As Clem says, this will refresh the cache for you in the background and mintUpdate would then be able to find new updates when it refreshes, whether it's in root mode or user mode.

This is what I put in roots crontab: It's untested! I haven't run it yet to verify it and creating cron jobs is not my forte.

Code: Select all
@reboot apt update
0 15 * * * apt update


Thanks again GeneBenson and everyone else that contributed to this thread.

No rest for the weary. Now it's time to find out how I can successfully get MATE 1.4.0 working on my LMDE install that now uses 1.2 ..... without breaking everything.
Trapper
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:21 pm
Location: Sebring, Florida USA

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby GeneBenson on Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:10 pm

Hi Trapper,
The correct command is: apt-get update :wink:

Hi squeezy,
Running as Administrator would explain it. Another mystery solved! :D
GeneBenson
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 131
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:55 pm

Re: LM13 and LMDE - Useless auto update manager

Postby cb474 on Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:07 pm

GeneBenson, thanks for the repost of Clem's remarks. I had seen those.

The thing is, if the purpose of MintUpdate is not to inform the user of available updates, but rather to list "available updates in a consistent manner," as Clem says, then it should not have all those icons saying your system is up to date, not up to date, etc. And it shouldn't have settings for automatically refreshing the list of updates.

It should just provide a button in the notification bar that says, "Check for updates," or something like that. This would make it clear that this app functions entirely manually and you have to invoke it manually to see if there are updates or not. As it stands, the application is very misleading and confusing. This makes all the less sense if it's intended for less sophisticated users, to make things easy and make sure they get "all available updates in a consistent manner," since it is neither intuitive nor self-explanatory.

Indeed, for those who know how to update with apt or aptitude and are comfortable with that, they don't need MintUpdate. Aptitude is invoked manually from the command line anyway, if you're going to have to do things manually, why use MintUpdate, except for the GUI?

I also am not sure that I agree with the rationale for not updating automatically provided by Clem. He writes, "it's not important that an available update appear 'immediately.'" Okay. But as it stands MintUpdate is essentially set to "never." It never lets you know of updates. Unless you invoke it manually, by unintuitively clicking on an icon with a green check telling you that your system is already up to date, so why would you click on it? I think there ought to be something between immediately and never.

I also remain perplexed why this is so complicated, when every other OS and smartphone OS notifies people of updates automatically, without difficulty. And Debian itself has it's own update notifier that works fine.

So I still think MintUpdate is a mess. If it's only for manual use, it needs to be redesigned with icons in the notification area that make this clear. If it's going to have the "you're up to date" icons and automatic refresh options, then they should work as any reasonable person would expect.
cb474
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:01 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 
PreviousNext

Return to mintUpdate

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests