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The dangers of automatic updates

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on September 15, 2007 04:43 PM
Only issue I"ve had with the openSUSE 10.2 updater is that when mirror directory structures is changed, the Updater apparently doesn't deal with it except by giving a fairly cryptic message. You have to know to go look for the source list and change it.

The other problem with it is exactly the frequency of updates. I get an update alert every day or two saying "1 (or 2) update available". Most of them are security updates, so it's no big deal. But the problem is that every day I allow it to apply that update, it's a five minute exercise where it rebuilds the entire repository catalog before applying that one update.

Reportedly this will be fixed in version 10.3, due out shortly.

In general, whether updates tend to break your systems depends on the quality of the system in the first place and the quality of the maintainers. openSUSE has given me no problems at all with the updater (once their Zen crap was disabled - that is a piece of junk). On Kubuntu, using Synaptic, if an update fails, you have to go to the command line to unlock the database - it was an annoyance several times and would be a show stopper for a naive user. Kubuntu was much less stable than openSUSE in my view in several ways, including KDE bugs and other minor matters that eventually became too irritating, forcing me to switch to openSUSE.


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