Problems with Updates

Derek Broughton news at
Tue Oct 28 19:07:19 UTC 2008

Kennneth P. Turvey wrote:

> In the last couple of months, automatic updates from Ubuntu have broken
> sound and XV extensions for X11 on my system.  I think that in the future
> once I have my system working correctly, I'm just going to neglect the
> updates, all of them, including security updates.
> What is the biggest risk associated with this on a laptop computer?  I
> just don't think security updates are going to be that big a problem for
> me.

They're not.  I can think of exactly one significant security exposure I've
had to patch in the last six months.  If you're not running servers your
exposure is quite small.  Not zero,  but small...
> Is there a way to mitigate this problem without my system breaking on a
> regular basis?
> Why aren't these updates more solid than this?  There is no reason that
> whole subsystems should be trashed by an automatic update.

Whole systems?  Sound and XV extensions sounds like minimal damage to me.

> Wait until they are stable!

They _are_ stable.  Both of those issues almost always come down to the
update breaking config modifications on your system (ie, setting them back
to some system default).  Yes, they can be tough to diagnose, but X is
pretty near rock solid as long as you make sure you have an xorg.conf
backup.  Sound is both less serious, and more difficult.

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