Clarification wanted on apt upgrade/update and synaptic etc.

Chris G cl at
Tue Oct 14 09:54:09 UTC 2008

On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 11:43:59AM +0200, Joep L. Blom wrote:
> Chris G schreef:
> > I'm moving (probably) to Ubuntu from Fedora.  I'm installing Ubuntu on
> > new hardware leaving my Fedora system on the old hardware until I can
> > rely on the new system.  
> > 
> > I'm a mostly command line person (at work I'm a developer on Sun
> > Solaris 'legacy' systems), I cut my Linux teeth on Slackware.  Thus I
> > tend to use the command line in preference to GUI.
> > 
> > I have installed Ubuntu 8.10 beta on my new system knowing that by the
> > time I have decided to rely on it 8.10 will have been released. I understand
> > the fundamentals of what apt/synaptic are doing (having used yum/rpm for
> > a while) but I'm still feeling my way a bit as regards the details of what's
> > going on. Now on to my questions:-
> > 
> >     What does 'apt-get update' do?  Is it just updating my local copy
> >     of the distribution lists to the latest versions of available
> >     software? 
> > 
> >     If I do 'apt-get upgrade' will it do (have done?) an update of the
> >     file lists automatically?  Is there some sort of algorithm used to
> >     decide when an 'update' is required?
> > 
> >     When the GUI (from gnome-panel) pops up and tells me that upgrades
> >     are available is it taking me to the 'same place' as I will get to
> >     by doing 'apt-get upgrade'?  It seems to take much less time, is
> >     this because it has already done some of the work in the
> >     background? 
> > 
> >     If I keep upgrading my 8.10 beta will it become the 8.10 release
> >     version in due course or do I need to take any special actions to
> >     achieve this?
> > 
> Chris,
> I did it approx. 4 months ago and still don't want to return to Fedora.
> There are a few quirks. The most - somewhat irritating - quirk is the 
> fact that normally you don't have a root terminal. Yua must do 
> everything with sudo. Well, not quite, you can normally install a root 
> terminal with su -, but you must first register the root account with a 
> password. My personal opinion is that it is somewhat overprotective, but 
> maybe for green new users it is a safety factor, to prevent rm * when in 
> the root.):

I have Ubuntu server on a NAS system in my garage, I've already put a
'real' root account there.  On my new Ubuntu system I just do 'sudo
-s' at the moment.

> On the other side, the same problems with nvidia cards which you have in 
> Fedora are here as well and I find the way the distribution is kept 
> up-to-date much better than with Fedora and - to my amazement - apt-get 
> (and synaptic) are much better and more reliable than yum.

Those are the reasons I'm moving really.  My new computer has built in
Intel graphics so I've left Nvidia problems!  :-)

Chris Green

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