[Solved] Update manager: Dangerous updates

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oligalma
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[Solved] Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by oligalma » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:31 pm

Recently have appeared dangerous updates in my update manager. I don't know why they appeared, since the "visible" checkbox is unchecked. What should I do?

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Last edited by oligalma on Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by xenopeek » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:45 pm

These are critical security updates and you should install them. Read our security notice about the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities: https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3496. Adjustment was made to Linux Mint 17.x so all users get shown these critical security updates.
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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by Cosmo. » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:48 pm

At first: You should always say, which version of Mint and which desktop environment you use. The correct answer to your questions can be different regarding those things.

From the picture I assume, that you use Mint 18 or 18.1.

Those updates appear there, because it are either security or kernel updates. For both is a separate setting on the options tab of the preferences, which overwrites the level settings for the related updates.

For the question how to proceed: I wrote the advice just a few hours ago.

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by oligalma » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:55 pm

Cosmo. wrote:At first: You should always say, which version of Mint and which desktop environment you use. The correct answer to your questions can be different regarding those things.

From the picture I assume, that you use Mint 18 or 18.1.

Those updates appear there, because it are either security or kernel updates. For both is a separate setting on the options tab of the preferences, which overwrites the level settings for the related updates.

For the question how to proceed: I wrote the advice just a few hours ago.
I use Linux Mint 17.3 "Rosa". So what should I do?

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by Cosmo. » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:15 pm

The same what I wrote in the linked advice. Timeshift is also available for Mint 17.x.

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by oligalma » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:48 pm

Thanks everyone. I've just installed Timeshift but it says that I don't have enough space in my hard drive! Can I use an external hard drive to store the snapshot?

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by Cosmo. » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:58 pm

Yes, you can, but it must be locally attached, not via network.

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by oligalma » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:39 pm

Another question: If I change my processor to an AMD, would it solve the problem?

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by eddier » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:32 pm

And the Motherboard then Presumably?

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by gld59 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:34 pm

Going with AMD would probably solve variant 3 (Meltdown), but not variants 1 or 2 (Spectre).
This is a whole new and exciting (though not in a good way) class of attacks, so we are learning more all the time.

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by Cosmo. » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:20 am

oligalma wrote:Another question: If I change my processor to an AMD, would it solve the problem?
Which problem?

You want an insurance against regressions; if you need this insurance after applying the updates is not decided.

Note that Meltdown and Spectre are the most recent threats, but not the only one. This means, you should apply security updates, not only for those 2 threats. Switching to a new motherboard (changing the CPU alone is impossible) is overkill. Besides that: What do you do, if at the next time a security issue especially for AMD CPUs comes up?
Last edited by Moem on Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: threads => threats

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by oligalma » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:57 am

Ok, I won't change the processor then :)

Apart from creating an snapshot with the Timeshift program, I've come up with another idea: Before updating the main installation, would it be wise to test the updates with a LM Virtual machine (Virtualbox) ?

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by xenopeek » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:11 am

That would be pointless. Sure, there could be an issue for your computer, where a new kernel has some new bug for your specific mix of hardware and peripheral components. That happens. But you can't test that on a virtual machine.

So use Timeshift so you can roll back if needed (and you can always boot your previous kernel anyway). If you haven't do so either yet, set up a backup for your personal files. I prefer using Deja Dup as an easy way to do backups. Any file you don't have a backup of is a file you don't care about losing (hard disks do fail suddenly and unrecoverably).
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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by Cosmo. » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:22 pm

Pointless, as xenopeek siad; out of 2 reasons:

1. Virtual Machines use an own virtual hardware, which is nearly totally independent and different from the hardware of the host. Testing hardware compatibility in a virtual machine would be as meaningless, as if you would test on a quite different hardware platform and conclude, what happens there will also happen on every other hardware identically.

2. The virtual hardware of a Virtual Machine is out the same reason nearly identical, regardless on which host the VM gets executed. A number of developers use VMs to test their software. If it would fail there, it would not even get published. If it works there it will near to sure also in your VM.

VMs are great to investigate into unknown programs, to compare old and new versions and so on. But you can forget them for testing drivers, compatibility and such.

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by oligalma » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:24 pm

Thanks everyone!! Two questions related to Timeshift.

1) I have two partitions in my hard drive. One pointing to / and the other to /home. Should I make a backup of both partitions or is / enough?

2) Storing snapshots in an external hard drive would be better or it doesn't matter?

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by Cosmo. » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:47 am

#1: With default setting TS does only deal with the system itself, home does not get touched at all - regardless, if it is placed on the same or on a separate partition. That means, if you go e. g. to a restore pont, which you created yesterday, your system will be as it had been at the time, when you created the restore point, but all in your home - or any other partition -, which you created afterwards, will be preserved no data loss. - Doing regular backups of the user data is another topic; I recommend it very strongly, as not backed up files are by definition superfluous data.

#2: In principle it doesn't matter, if there is enough room on the target partition. Storing snapshots on an external drive gives the advantage, that the restore points could even used on another computer. Or in case you need to install Mint new and have to format the system partition, you could use TS to set the system to a restore point status. So it is not necessary, but a good idea. Note, that the external drive must be locally (usually via USB) connected, connection via network are not supported by TS.

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Re: Update manager: Dangerous updates

Post by oligalma » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:28 pm

Total success!!!

I first created a timeshift snapshot, just in case. Then I installed the security updates, rebooted the system, and everything is working as a charm. No problems at all.

Thanks everyone for your valuable help!!

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