Idea - Synaptic user verification & (future) automated updates

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at
Thu Dec 16 08:26:30 CST 2004

Hello all,

I just had a design idea for Synaptic and how to integrate "automated"
updates in the future.

Since the march towards progress (is that the saying?) leads to the
conclusion that Linux will evolve into an OS that is expected to be
magic (i.e. "just works") Synatpic can be expected to play a central
role in keeping a system both up-to-date for bug-fixes and security

Right now Synaptic requires admin (sudo) authentication BEFORE it
starts up. In future, it might be worth-while to have the
authentication happen when the update is to be applied (i.e. click
Apply or whatever Apply morphs into).

The reason I suggest this sequence is that this way "normal" users can
use the computer and automagic checks for updates (security and/or
stability and/or major features) can be scheduled to occur (let's say)
weekly and to fire up Synaptic if important updates are present. The
"normal" user would then have the option of post-poning the update if
they don't have access to an admin account/password or they could
inform the admin of the computer to check up on things.

Of course, there are other ways to achieve this but this is what came
to mind (as a Mac OS X user ;-)... OS X allows normal users to run the
OS software update app and download updates, but only an admin can
install them).


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