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Old 01-26-2012, 10:11 AM
Paul Gideon Dann
 
Default User actions following system package upgrades?

I've looked everywhere, but I can't find any reference to what the accepted
wisdom is:

I know that due to the way the kernel is upgraded, it is best to save kernel
upgrade until the system can be rebooted, since the running kernel will be
unable to load modules because the modules directory (/lib/modules/<version>)
changes when a new kernel package is installed.

For this reason, I have the "linux" package in my IgnorePkg line in
pacman.conf, and upgrade it explicitly before a planned reboot.

However, for what other packages is this true? I also have "udev" in
IgnorePkg, but is this necessary? Is it safe to upgrade udev without
rebooting? I suspect that certain rules may disappear or change, and the
running udev may not be happy about that.

I'm guessing it's also best to shut down X and restart DBus after a DBus
upgrade too, although in practice a reboot is usually simpler, and that it
would also be sensible to reboot after a "glibc" upgrade too, although that's
rare. Any other thoughts? Are these sorts of considerations documented
anywhere?

This issue of upgrading system packages while the system is running feels like
a potentially dangerous situation to me. Are we lucky that it doesn't cause
too much trouble, or are in-place upgrades specifically handled gracefully by
core system components such as udev? (I don't see anything special in udev's
install script.) I suspect that most of us shrug it off and reboot only when
we see breakage, but I hope you agree that's not a very safe way to work.

Paul
 
Old 01-26-2012, 10:24 AM
Tom Gundersen
 
Default User actions following system package upgrades?

On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 12:11 PM, Paul Gideon Dann <pdgiddie@gmail.com> wrote:
> I've looked everywhere, but I can't find any reference to what the accepted
> wisdom is:
>
> I know that due to the way the kernel is upgraded, it is best to save kernel
> upgrade until the system can be rebooted, since the running kernel will be
> unable to load modules because the modules directory (/lib/modules/<version>)
> changes when a new kernel package is installed.
>
> For this reason, I have the "linux" package in my IgnorePkg line in
> pacman.conf, and upgrade it explicitly before a planned reboot.
>
> However, for what other packages is this true? *I also have "udev" in
> IgnorePkg, but is this necessary? *Is it safe to upgrade udev without
> rebooting? *I suspect that certain rules may disappear or change, and the
> running udev may not be happy about that.
>
> I'm guessing it's also best to shut down X and restart DBus after a DBus
> upgrade too, although in practice a reboot is usually simpler, and that it
> would also be sensible to reboot after a "glibc" upgrade too, although that's
> rare. *Any other thoughts? *Are these sorts of considerations documented
> anywhere?
>
> This issue of upgrading system packages while the system is running feels like
> a potentially dangerous situation to me. *Are we lucky that it doesn't cause
> too much trouble, or are in-place upgrades specifically handled gracefully by
> core system components such as udev? *(I don't see anything special in udev's
> install script.) *I suspect that most of us shrug it off and reboot only when
> we see breakage, but I hope you agree that's not a very safe way to work.

The kernel is the only package that we support ignoring on upgrade
(though even that within reason).

Upgrading udev without restarting it (or better yet, rebooting) is a
bad idea. The reason for this is that the default rules might have
changed, and they might not be supported in the existing instance
running on your machine. An almost seamless stop/upgrade/restart of
udev would be possible (fully seamless if we used systemd), but there
seems to be resistance to that kind of "magic".

Ignoring udev on upgrade is a bad idea as other packages that are
being upgraded might depend on changes it introduces (typically udisks
et al.).

Similar problems probably apply to other packages, but I haven't given
it a great deal of thought.

Cheers,

Tom
 
Old 01-26-2012, 10:26 AM
Kevin Chadwick
 
Default User actions following system package upgrades?

On Thu, 26 Jan 2012 11:11:41 +0000
Paul Gideon Dann wrote:

> I know that due to the way the kernel is upgraded, it is best to save kernel
> upgrade until the system can be rebooted,

Surely there is no point upgrading the kernel unless you are going to
reboot thereby loading in the new kernel and you could keep the old
modules.

I'd be much happier with Linux if there was a security over
functionality kernel but then I guess it would get less market share on
desktops and wouldn't be Linux anyway.

--
Kc
 
Old 01-26-2012, 03:18 PM
Squall Lionheart
 
Default User actions following system package upgrades?

I always restart applications such as Firefox, Thunderbird, KDE, and xorg
after an update otherwise they act like they have ghosts in them. I would
imagine the major components you mentioned would have the same affect.



--
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift.
That's why its called the present.
 
Old 01-26-2012, 06:14 PM
Ralf Mardorf
 
Default User actions following system package upgrades?

On Thu, 2012-01-26 at 09:18 -0700, Squall Lionheart wrote:
> I always restart applications such as Firefox, Thunderbird, KDE, and xorg
> after an update otherwise they act like they have ghosts in them. I would
> imagine the major components you mentioned would have the same affect.

It's better to close e.g. a MUA before upgrading.
 
Old 01-30-2012, 09:20 PM
Paul Gideon Dann
 
Default User actions following system package upgrades?

On Thursday 26 Jan 2012 11:26:11 Kevin Chadwick wrote:
> Paul Gideon Dann wrote:
> > I know that due to the way the kernel is upgraded, it is best to save
> > kernel upgrade until the system can be rebooted,
>
> Surely there is no point upgrading the kernel unless you are going to
> reboot thereby loading in the new kernel and you could keep the old
> modules.

Well, I usually find it a bit of a pain to have to remember to update the
kernel before rebooting. Also, since I usually suspend rather than shutting
down, I have to actually remember to update the kernel and reboot at some
point. I usually do that when a decent number of important packages get
updated and I think "I'm probably about due a reboot; I might as well". I
wish there were a better metric for this, though.

Paul
 

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