Avoiding fragmentation with a rolling release

Steve Langasek steve.langasek at ubuntu.com
Fri Mar 1 21:17:24 UTC 2013

On Fri, Mar 01, 2013 at 05:40:26PM +0000, Colin Watson wrote:

> > > The monthly snapshots would be for users who want the fresh 
> > > software, but don't want to manage the daily grind of updating to 
> > > ensure that their system is secure. The way I think of it is that 
> > > we "support" 2 cadences for updates, daily and monthly.

> > As above, that seems like something we'd want to discourage. Even so,
> > it is already possible in R, without snapshots. It takes two clicks:

> > 1. When Software Updater appears, expand "Details of updates".

> > 2. Uncheck the checkbox next to "Other updates", leaving "Security
> > updates" checked. (These groupings appear only if any of the updates
> > are security updates.)

> This is a good point.  (It has no real-world testing, because we have
> never had a release where we applied changes both in the release pocket
> and in -security; we have only had releases where we applied changes
> only in the release pocket, and releases where we applied changes in
> both -security and -updates.  That said, I agree that this argument
> holds up theoretically, and thus we could do this without the complexity
> of staging everything in -updates.)

Two clicks sounds simple, but it wouldn't be very obvious to users who are
meaning to track the monthly that they should be un-selecting "other
updates".  Is there a good way for us to pre-unselect this for users who are
opting in to the monthly updates?

Also, Colin, I think one of the reasons we thought we needed a separate
-updates pocket and to keep the release pocket stable between monthlies was
for installability of extra software downloaded at install time.  I don't
see that changing selections in update-manager helps with this at all; if
we're still going to have to use -updates to ensure this kind of
consistency, I don't see any benefit to tweaks at the update-manager level
rather than at the apt sources.list level.

> Another possibility that AFAIK has not been discussed is to use the new
> phased updates facility; we could set the Phased-Update-Percentage to 0
> until we want to roll something out.

Unless you mean to have users who follow the rolling release ignore the
Phased-Update-Percentage, I'm not sure how this would help.  And using
Phased-Update-Percentage that way feels dodgy to me.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek at ubuntu.com                                     vorlon at debian.org
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