Software Updater Question (Solved)

Hi Mark,
I’m sure I read recently some questions about Software Updater but I can’t see them now.
I regularly get automatic updates and all is ok, but yesterday morning when I came off the internet there was a notification in the bar that updates were available.
I can swear I clicked ok and the updater ran and installed updates ?
This morning the same thing happened and when I clicked ok I then had to give my password before it installed.
Is there something wrong here ?
This morning I noticed it was the kernel that was updated.

As far as I Am aware, some updates require Password authentication whilst others don’t, so it’s not something to worry about. I am sure Mark will reply with the detail as to why some need the Password and others don’t.


A triangular warning symbol containing an exclamation mark in the system tray is usually a warning that update manager failed its duties somewhere along the line.

The updater daily connects to the repo’s and downloads a fresh package cache (think of it as a list of all available software packages) … if the package cache contains any new versions of software you have installed it then differentiates where those packages came from … if they’re from the “security updates” repo it should IMMEDIATELY throw up the update window and ask you for permission to install them … if they’re from any other repo it will save them up for a week, then throw up the updater window asking for permission to install them.

If you get the triangle, it usually means it attempted to download the updated package cache, and for whatever reason was unable to do so … in that case it warns you of this, then clicking on the warning will open the update window, clicking the “Update” button will cause it to try again to download the package cache and 99 time out of 100 this time it will succeed, where it doesn’t it will give you clues as to what went wrong.

Update manager should ALWAYS require your permission (password) to “install” updates … though it doesn’t require you to enter your password for it to refresh the package cache in the background (ie. to check for available updates).

Did that make sense ?

If you clicked the triangle … then the updates went through, there’s nothing to worry about.

It probably just meant that when updatemanager tried to refresh it’s package cache it was unable to do so … could have been a minor networking glitch, or that the repos were in the middle of being updated, or where offline for whatever reason.

I will check this the next time updater asks. I am sure it updated without a password, although I am also sure it can’t update without a password. I am confused ::slight_smile:

I’m going to “guess” when you clicked the triangle it asked for your password … then the updater opened … then it already had permission to install the updates, so didn’t require your password again.

Hi Mark,
After going through my mail this morning and logging off Chrome, Software Updater was again sitting in the task bar.
I chose Install Updates, and it did, no entering password. ?
I presume everything is ok ? I have not had any warning triangles ? Everything seems to be working, another case of, if it ain’t broke ???

Ahh, my mistake … seems Ubuntu changed the behaviour for automatic updates:

Here’s their rationale (one I must say I’m not entirely sure I agree with … but as it can only get updates from repos authorised in your sources.list, with valid GPG signatures, and only if you’re logged on as an administrator, I don’t suppose it’s too much of a risk) … it still can’t install them without user intervention (clicking the install button) or unless you’ve manually set up automatic installation in the background:

Hi Mark,
To avoid any more confusion (on my part) I will mark this one solved.
Thanks again

Okey dokey.

In short (assuming you’re logged on as an administrator)-

If the updater is ONLY installing updated versions of already installed software packages … you won’t be prompted for a password.

If a previously NOT installed package is required (such as during a kernel update, or something requiring a new dependency) you WILL be prompted for your password.

Thanks Mark,
This morning there was another update and I just chose update and it did, no problem.
I am intrigued by
" Okey dokey. In short (assuming you’re logged on as an administrator)-"
When I open the computer and logon with my password is this ok ? or should I start another thread about how to logon safely :wink:
I think I read somewhere that I should set up a user account so that I couldn’t mess up anything. Any advice

Depends how paranoid you want to be :wink:

Personally on an OS that has root disabled, and uses “sudo” to elevate privileges (such as Ubuntu and derivatives) … I can’t see any real benefit of having a separate account that’s not part of the sudo group (on a single user system).

But at the end of the day it can’t hurt either … so your call.

Thanks Mark,
I will stay with what I have thanks. As the only user I reckon I should be safe enough. :wink: