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Author Topic: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?  (Read 2675 times)

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Pjotr

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More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« on: October 08, 2016, 07:04:42 am »
Let me begin to say that I'm a bit hesitant to come up with a development suggestion. Even though I've been a fulltime desktop Linux user for over a decade (and still am), it feels rather arrogant to do this, after just beginning with Peppermint.....

However, I'd like to make a suggestion for Update Manager. One of the reasons why I've installed Peppermint on two of my machines, and not Lubuntu, is that it contains what I see as the "crown jewel" of Linux Mint: Update Manager (mintupdate) and its protective level system. I consider that a blessing both for beginners and for system administrators (me).

It struck me that by default, its protective level system isn't being used. Have you ever considered to change its default settings to enable only security updates for level 4 and 5? What I mean is this (click on the image to enlarge it):


In my experience with the *buntus, even the LTS versions (although seldom) can stumble over regressions in update packages that mintupdate would classify as level 4 or 5. These incidents are rare, thankfully, but they do happen. Most often with new kernels, by the way.

A change in the default settings like I propose to consider, would reduce breakage risk considerably and would therefore protect beginners better.

What do you think?

Online zebedeeboss

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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2016, 07:24:11 am »
Hi Pjotr

This subject mattter has come up several times before and is always answered in the same way. 

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,4203.msg41917.html#msg41917

See this post for the explaination by PCNetSpec.

but please don't let this stop you offering suggestions. We welcome them all, even though we may not impliment them. We can't think of everything :)

Regards Zeb...
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Pjotr

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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2016, 02:48:24 pm »
OK, thanks for your answer....

Well, in any case I'm glad that the levels instrument is there for those who wish to use it. Personally, I wouldn't want to do without it.  :-)

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2016, 06:18:51 pm »
Personally I think the Mint defaults are, erm let's say 'odd' .. but we do favour 'choice' which is whey we didn't remove the feature, just changed the defaults :)

Note to new users:-
Though the choice is there (and we wouldn't have it any other way), Team Peppermint would advise against changing update manager settings from our defaults unless you fully understand the implications .. it will cause your machine to progressively diverge from the upstream repos, and when answering support questions a known level playing field is always a good thing (respondents are likely to assume your system is using the latest packages).

Sorry Pjotr, but I thought it best point out to new users that our update manager defaults aren't an oversight .. they're the way we intended them to be, but sure they are just 'defaults' ;)
« Last Edit: October 08, 2016, 06:36:40 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Pjotr

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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2016, 06:56:29 pm »
Personally I think the Mint defaults are, erm let's say 'odd' .. but we do favour 'choice' which is whey we didn't remove the feature, just changed the defaults :)

Note to new users:-
Though the choice is there (and we wouldn't have it any other way), Team Peppermint would advise against changing update manager settings from our defaults unless you fully understand the implications .. it will cause your machine to progressively diverge from the upstream repos, and when answering support questions a known level playing field is always a good thing (respondents are likely to assume your system is using the latest packages).

Sorry Pjotr, but I thought it best point out to new users that our update manager defaults aren't an oversight .. they're the way we intended them to be, but sure they are just 'defaults' ;)
Duly noted.... Let's agree to disagree on this matter.  :D

Pjotr

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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2016, 07:14:41 am »
@PCNetSpec: on second thought my previous message might be a bit too dismissive....

You may have noticed from my signature, that I've published a how-to for Peppermint on my website (10 things to do after installing Peppermint). For good measure I'd like you to know that in order to give proper weight to your remark, I've changed the text in my how-to in order to clarify the stand of the Peppermint developers.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 07:20:15 am by Pjotr »

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2016, 08:58:05 am »
Whilst I thank you for doing a "10 things" for Peppermint 7 and agree a lot of your tweaks may help some systems, I still strongly disagree with your advice on this point, mintupdate was specifically designed with the Mint repos in mind (which we don't use), there's always the chance that Mint will add a package to their repos to overcome a problem caused by their default settings, we will not as we follow the Ubuntu repos not the Mint ones.
(in fact you're making me consider locking these options)

Hypothetical example - Let's say Ubuntu release a kernel that also requires a new (tweaked) version of say pulseaudio, they'll release them at the same time .. now let's say the new version of pulseaudio doesn't work with older kernels, Mint could block the new pulseaudio in a number of ways (or release a fixed version in their repos), we will not .. okay if packaged correctly the new pulseaudio could check for the new kernel and only install if it's present, but that's not always the case as it's not something Ubuntu would need to do.
(this would obviously be rare .. but it's not beyond the realms of possibility .. we use the Ubuntu repos, it makes sense to follow their update policy)
Don't get hung up on the possibly 'bad' example, it's the 'principle' that counts ;)



I will change the "Notify me of a new Ubuntu version" to "Never" in the respin .. thanks for pointing that out :)
(change "Prompt=lts" to "Prompt=never" in /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades)
In fact I'm considering pushing an update to apply this .. but I don't like changing system settings that people may have already changed to their own preferences.



I'm a bit confused why you advise the installation of leafpad to change the swappiness setting .. why not just use pluma which is pre-installed ?
There's also no need to reboot to apply the new swappiness setting, just reload sysctl with:
Code: [Select]
sudo sysctl --system:
As for whether swappiness should be changed, this is up to the user, but it doesn't always follow that lowering swappiness will speed up a system, in fact it may slow it down .. there's a pretty good explanation of why as the ticked response here:
https://askubuntu.com/questions/184217/why-most-people-recommend-to-reduce-swappiness-to-10-20/184221#184221

Quote
When there are security updates: change it into: Display immediately

is unnecessary (and possibly dangerous, depending on whether Ubuntu's update-manager is required for these notifications .. I'll need to check that) .. mintupdate is set to update every 30 minutes and to display security updates passed to it from update-notifier, so you'd only be waiting a maximum of 30 minutes before being notified by the panel applet .. and as it's mintupdate that will be doing the installing, the setting should be left at "download and install automatically" (which really just means pass them to mintupdate).
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 10:01:18 am by PCNetSpec »
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2016, 09:25:01 am »
I've been using Linux since 2009, though I don't by any means consider myself an expert.  In all that time, I think I've had maybe two issues with upgrading the kernel and it causing problems.  One was actually in Mint, when I decided to override what the Update Manager was giving me and do a dist-upgrade.  (Mint 9 or 10, don't remember which)  I don't remember if I had one back when I was running Ubuntu, I may have.  So, in my humble opinion, not upgrading the kernel is definitely erring a bit too far on the side of caution.  But, that's just my opinion.  Of course, different computers will handle updates differently.  For some systems, installing kernel updates my break things.  For others, it actually fixes errors people are having when they first install the system.

By the way, not a bad top ten important things to do after installation.  It's nice to see you're one of the people who does one of those lists and doesn't include installing a bunch of unnecessary software.  (many people do)  And, you put most of the software installation down in the recommended section, to distinguish it from the important section.  Very nice.

Pjotr

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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2016, 09:34:46 am »
Whilst I thank you for doing a "10 things" for Peppermint 7 and agree a lot of your tweaks may help some systems, I still strongly disagree with your advice on this point, mintupdate was specifically designed with the Mint repos in mind (which we don't use), there's always the chance that Mint will add a package to their repos to overcome a problem caused by their default settings, we will not as we follow the Ubuntu repos not the Mint ones.
(in fact you're making me consider locking these options)
I sincerely hope you won't lock them....  :o

Note that the packages that get tagged as level 4 and 5, are being determined in:
Code: [Select]
/usr/lib/linuxmint/mintUpdate/rules
All of those level 4 and 5 packages appear to be from the Ubuntu repo's only. Which makes sense, because the Mint-only packages are all level 1. So there should be no fear of a conflict caused by Peppermint using only the Ubuntu repo's....

Quote
I'm a bit confused why you advise the installation of leafpad to change the swappiness setting .. why not just use pluma which is pre-installed ?
You're right.... an unnecessary remnant of copy/paste from another how-to. I'll remove it.

Quote
"When there are security updates: change it into: Display immediately" is unnecessary (and possibly dangerous, depending on whether Ubuntu's update-manager is required for these notifications .. I'll need to check that) .. mintupdate is set to update every 30 minutes and to display security updates, so you'd only be waiting a maximum of 30 minutes before being notified by the panel applet anyway .. and as it's mintupdate that will be doing the installing, the setting should be left at "download and install automatically" (which really just means pass them to mintupdate).
I hadn't realized that. Thanks for pointing it out.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 09:39:32 am by Pjotr »

Offline berliner58

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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2016, 09:36:21 am »
Pjotr,
I consider your discussion with PCNetSpec very important and am glad I found it because as a newbie in linux who has tested now about 15 or more distributions, I found your website mentioned in almost all forums.

And let me say that everybody is recommending your website as far as I know.

Yesterday I installed leafpad because I was on your site and followed your advice.
I wondered about Pluma because now I have leafpad and pluma and I like both.

The mintupdate is a subject which is very delicate.
I have read articles from authors who warn to use it and who consider Linux Mint a horrible and unsafe linux because of the mintupdate.
Some say that one should always update each level, others say that you should not.
I can't go into details and I am sure you and PCNetSpec know much more about it than I do.

My opinion about your advice:  Do it as PCNetSpec wants it to have.

Regards
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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2016, 09:49:03 am »
I was adding an example above when you posted....

Quote
All of those level 4 and 5 packages appear to be from the Ubuntu repo's only. Which makes sense, because the Mint-only packages are all level 1. So there should be no fear of a conflict caused by Peppermint using only the Ubuntu repo's....

Please see the "hypothetical example" I added to my last reply .. my point is you (or I) cannot guarantee something like that example won't occur .. "appear to be from the Ubuntu repo's only" may not always be the case, Mint may (either now or in the future) need to apply fixes in their own repos to workaround issues caused by their blocking policy.

To me it's a simple choice .. we rely on the Ubuntu repos, we do not follow the Mint ones .. to keep everything under our control it makes sense we follow the Ubuntu update policy, not the Mint one unless we're also going to add and monitor their repos (which we aren't).
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 10:03:21 am by PCNetSpec »
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Pjotr

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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2016, 10:10:42 am »
my point is you (or I) cannot guarantee something like that example won't occur .. "appear to be from the Ubuntu repo's only" may not always be the case, Mint may (either now or in the future) need to apply fixes in their own repos to workaround issues caused by their blocking policy.

To me it's a simple choice .. we rely on the Ubuntu repos, we do not follow the Mint ones .. to keep everything under our control it makes sense we follow the Ubuntu update policy, not the Mint one unless we're also going to add and monitor their repos (which we aren't).
Yes, I see your point. For me, that's a real bummer.... The presence of mintupdate and its protective level system was among the things that attracted me most in Peppermint.  :(

I can only hope then, that at some point you might consider to add and monitor the Mint repo after all.....

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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2016, 10:18:10 am »
Weirdly (and not immediately obvious) I'm actually erring on the side of caution by going with the Ubuntu update policy.

Who'da thunk it eh ? ;)

Great site BTW, you do a lot of people a real service with those tutorials .. I know I've used them before :)
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 10:21:40 am by PCNetSpec »
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Pjotr

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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2016, 10:34:45 am »
Thanks for your compliment.

I think I'll change my how-to then, on the issue of mintupdate... At least until you guys decide to add the Mint repo after all.  ;)

What I'm considering is to replace it by a "light" version, namely a how-to for pinning the kernel. Along these lines:
https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/7#TOC-Pin-Ubuntu-to-a-specific-kernel-version
(item 7, left column)

Obviously that's not your preference, but I have a purely technical question: how does that relate to the kernel tool in mintupdate? I've written and tested that tip for Ubuntu, so I'm not sure whether this will affect the usability of mintupdate in that respect (in its panel: View - Linux kernels).

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Re: More cautious Update Manager settings in next Peppermint?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2016, 11:05:13 am »
Removing the metapackages would effectively block kernel updates and shouldn't bother mintupdate at all .. obviously this is still not our advised policy for the same reason in the hypothetical example (maybe more so as effectively pinning 'just' the kernel may allow other packages, particularly things like xorg/graphics drivers through that may rely on the newer kernel .. though I'd have to think some more on that one because if packaged correctly the control file *should* stop that happening, though again there's no guaranteed the Ubuntu package maintainer will take this into account as it's not what he expects to happen)

A kernel update doesn't automatically remove the earlier kernel, so even in the rare case of a regression making your system unbootable you can still boot the older kernel .. so I see this as less of a danger than ending up with package mismatches (which would be MUCH harder to solve)

Please don't think I'm here to say you're 'wrong', your advice will obviously work for some people and it's your website .. it simply that when it's posted on this forum I feel it important to make new users aware it's not OUR policy and why ;)
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