#1 Complaint about Ubuntu: Updates break things

Bryce Harrington bryce at canonical.com
Fri Dec 19 20:44:52 GMT 2008

On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 03:09:01PM -0500, Cody A.W. Somerville wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 2:57 PM, Bryce Harrington <bryce at canonical.com>wrote:
> Sure, I can buy that. I'm not saying that this error is caused by an update
> (although I can guarantee you she wasn't running anything in the commandline
> let alone under in the commandline under sudo). However, there has been
> enough times where it has been connected to an update that I feel we do need
> to discuss this.
> For example, I remember one time an update to the nvidia binary blob drivers
> caused the xserver to fail to start in certain cases. It didn't affect the
> *right* people or *enough* people for it to get the attention it
> deserved.

When did this happen?  I cannot recall ever seeing a binary X driver
update accepted by the SRU team.

(I don't even bother pushing for them anymore; instead I work with the
vendors to make them aware of our release dates and to do testing
earlier - which is a much better solution for a range of reasons).

Even if a binary X driver SRU did happen once, binary drivers are a
whole other kettle of fish since the lack of source code inhibits the
SRU team (or really any of us) from doing their job.  So conclusions
built off experiences with bad binary driver updates aren't going to
give very good generalizations for SRU processes overall.

Anyway, I can sympathize with your concerns about the SRU process; a lot
of what you're saying is preaching to the choir, and I think if you have
ideas on specific ways things could be improved, they would be well
received.  However, I have to say in my own experience, in updating
dozens of machines owned by me and family, I can't recall ever running
into a problem due to an update (at least, none that couldn't be
resolved by simply logging out and logging back in).  I do run into
problems sometimes with _upgrades_, but not updates.  I don't know if
anyone has statistical data on this, but from my anecdotal experience
the SRU process has been working quite well.


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