Bug#797135: gnome-software downloads updates automatically by default

Matthias Klumpp matthias at tenstral.net
Fri Aug 28 19:15:54 UTC 2015

2015-08-28 18:30 GMT+02:00 Steve McIntyre <steve at einval.com>:

> Matthias Klump wrote:
> >Hi!
> >I am inclined to demote the priority of this issue to "important",
> because:
> >
> >1) The automatic download will not happen unless there is a WiFi
> connection
> >- downloading over potentially expensive connections does not happen.
> Ummmm - how does the availability of WiFi tell you anything about how
> expensive the connection is?

Right, that's why I think this option should be exposed in the UI
somewhere, and be advertised there.
GS uses idle bandwidth to download stuff, but depending on what someone
does on the system, even that could be an issue.

>2) It does not beak the system on stable machines. It might do so on
> >unstable systems, if the user wasn't careful enough to not install updates
> >automatically. But that's something we expect users of "unstable/testing"
> >to care about, they are experienced users afterall.
> >
> >3) For users of stable systems, who expect their system to just do the
> >updates, downloading them and making them available is a very nice
> service,
> >and we shouldn't make it very hard to enable it or add additional steps
> for
> >that.
> >
> >However, I would agree that an easy and discoverable way to turn off
> >automatic downloads of packages should be provided.
> >I can't find one at time, which is not fiddling with dconf-editor.
> And what about the project-wide discussion before enabling such a
> broken mis-feature in the first place?

We did not enable anything - we just provide GNOME-Software, which only has
these options. I talked to upstream if a patch to offer online-updates in
GS alternatively would be accepted. Apparently, online-update behavior
isn't wanted by the GNOME design team (or adding an option for that). But
even if it was, someone would still need to write that patch.

If you don't want this, uninstall gnome-software and install
gnome-packagekit instead, which rpovides an online-update feature.

We already have a packaging system that works for upgrades in place
> without needing reboots like this. I strongly object to this kind of
> crap being added to Debian for the sake of certain broken upstream
> software. This is making things materially worse for our users.

I highly recommend reading
http://neugierig.org/software/chromium/notes/2011/08/zygote.html before
saying upstream software is broken.
I agree though that the reboot-for-every-update approach is merely a
workaround for the real issue, and it's one I don't particularly like.
Upstream has decided to go down this route though, so we should make the
stuff working until a better solution appears.

In any case, talk to upstream or provide a patch for this, as this is not a
feature which can be easily switched off, since it's an integral
gnome-software design decision.
(The download-in-background thing is much easier to solve, I can talk to
upstream about that later)

Debian Developer | Freedesktop-Developer
I welcome VSRE emails. See http://vsre.info/
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