Yet more update manager woes!

So Mint “test” the Ubuntu kernel updates, more than Ubuntu ? :o

They may wait and see what happens on the Ubuntu forums … but my point remains, they have no more or less idea if a kernel update will cause peoples systems to become unbootable than Ubuntu do … there’s an easy way to boot an earlier kernel if necessary … and they may be leaving you open to exploits longer than Ubuntu.

Just doesn’t make sense … your argument only makes sense if there was no way to boot an earlier kernel … which there is, as a kernel update does not remove the previous kernel.

Mint update is just dumb … including the ridiculous system tray icon that blatantly lies to people lulling them into thinking they have ALL system updates (Green tick) when they may not have.

People say Ubuntu is dumbing down Linux … this is Mint out Ubuntuing Ubuntu :wink:

I think you are a bit too harsh on Mint. Like chemicalfan said, newcomers would welcome some hand holding. Mint does not hold packages back, they are there all along, but just uses a rating system to differentiate between updates that could break your system and the ones that would not.
After all there is nothing stopping you to tick all the boxes and get ALL the updates straight away.

@ SeZo
But I don’t think it “holds your hand” … more like it “holds you back” … sacrificing the majority for a (possible) few.

Of course there’s nothing stopping you changing the settings, but newcomers won’t know how to change them or if they should … so effectively the updates ARE being held back … and for no valid reason.
(you could equally argue you “can” hold them back in Ubuntu … but a newcomer wouldn’t know how or what there either)

Plus the mintupdate tray applet suggests it checks for updates in real time “your system is up to date” … when (last time I looked) it clearly wasn’t in real time, and only checked on a schedule the same as update-manager … so IMHO it’s misleading at best, half the time it’s just lying to you.

To me it’s really simple…

[b]Not having a new kernel will ALWAYS leave broken drivers broken, and security holes open.

Having the latest kernel will on a RARE occasion break something for a few … but the old kernel is ALWAYS still there for you to fall back to should the need arise.[/b]

So a kernel update may fix issues, but will never truly break your system, as there’s always a fall back kernel that you KNOW works … it makes no sense to me to hold them back.

Makes more sense to me to install them by default … I don’t see why EVERYONES system should be hobbled because a FEW people MAY experience problems, specially when there’s nothing stopping those few from booting the previous kernel.

You’re preaching to the converted - I use apt-get!

Don’t forget that we’re of an age where the majority of kids & young adults have only seen the command line on any OS in the movies, being worked by an “expert hacker”. If the new kernel tanked on boot, and they were left staring at a kernel panic, they would panic! And immediately blame the distro for issuing a dodgy update. If they didn’t have access to internet forums via another PC/tablet, or even if they did, that may make them jump ship back to Windows, tarring all Linux distros with the same brush. Gone are the days where Windows Update will toast an install (hell, I’ve shut my computer off during an update, when it specifically says not too!). Beginners like user-friendlyness (so they know where to click, intuitively) and stability (knowledge that they can’t break the system themselves, and the system won’t break itself). I think Mint does this pretty well.

If you think regular Mint is bad, don’t look at LMDE! When Debian Testing gets frozen, you don’t get ANY updates from upstream for 6 months! Their daft “Update Pack” method is the worst update method I’ve encountered - you don’t even get the fruits of “all the testing”, as 8 out of 10 systems get broken in some way by the new pack every time! But it’s the lack of frequent application & kernel updates that is unacceptable for me; the main reason I ditched it, tbh.

So wouldn’t it make more sense to advertise the fallback option by not hiding the GRUB Menu … which if done right would show how Linux “has your back”.

Gone are the days where Windows Update will toast an install

I take it you’ve not installed the Windows 8.1 upgrade then :wink:

Read this (made me laugh):

LMAO, that is awesome! Funny!!! ;D

Oh dear!! What have I started?

Seriously, thanks to all for your input on this. I’ve taken Mark’s advice (thank you Mark) and removed Mintupdate and replaced it with update-manager on my pc.

At the moment it is sitting in the taskbar showing as a gear-wheel with a green arrow on it. Does this icon change character when updates are available, or is it a ‘manual’ updater that will only work if you click it?

Either way, I can simply add this to my pal’s lappy and simply instruct him to give it a spin every week or so. I’m sure that in very quick order he will have got the hang of Mint and will soon be delving into the underbelly… ;D

'Til the next time…


upate-manager shouldn’t need user intervention …

update-manager doesn’t have a system tray icon … I can only assume that’s still part of the mint system tray … can you remove it ?

The way update manager (and mint-update) work …

update-notifier runs as a daemon

Once a day a cron job runs /usr/lib/update-notifier/package-data-downloader … if any updates are discovered update-notifier fires up update-manager which warns you that updates are available and displays them, then asks if you want to install them … if you click “Install”, it prompts for your password, then downloads/installs them.

So when updates are added to the repos, as soon as cron.daily runs, update-manager will open automagically … no need for user intervention except when it prompts you.
(so no need for a tray icon)

Ok, thanks again for that!

I pinned the icon to the kde taskbar myself, assuming I might have to operate it manually - I’ve done the same for Synaptic PM and System Settings etc - it simply saves time searching through the menus. I’ve deliberately ‘not’ run it manually in order to wait to see if it notifies me of available updates, ergo it is running correctly in the background. Of course, Mint has many fewer updates than Windows so I might have to wait a while!

If all proves to be well, I’ll install update-manager on the lappy, remove mintupdate and tell my pal not to worry about it! :wink:



I find Mint has many more updates than Windows (which only seems to update monthly) ???

I’ve got a feeling that mintupdate will allow updates without root/sudo access now - would be a useful feature if giving the rig to someone else, as they wouldn’t need the root password then (therefore, it’s much less likely they’ll hose the system). Maybe they’ve created a new group for it, that all users get added in to? Or maybe this is all rubbish :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi Mark - I’ve waited a few days to see if I received auto notification of updates but no change. I opened update-manager this a.m. and it found 18 updates pending. It seems that the ‘cron job’ file that you refer to may be missing from the config file?

How do I check if it exists? And how do I set up the ‘cron job’ to check on boot-up, either daily or perhaps every few days? I’ve never done one of these before, so extremely simple instructions please! ;D

Incidentally, (and this may have nothing at all to do with it), I’ve been experimenting with Mint since first install - adding and removing bits and bobs as you do - as part of the learning process of how the o/s works and can be managed etc. Somehow I seem to have installed the Debian bootloader (well, at least I see the Debian grub screen - the one with the planets on it!). Would this be because I have the KDE edition or might I have got it in by some other method? (I seem to recall installing/removing some sort of boot-manager, but the name escapes me?)

Thanks again for advice - a cracking site, btw, now my first port of call for all issues Mint!



ps aux | grep [u]pdate

respond with:

and is there any output from:

ls -l /etc/cron.daily/update-notifier-common


if the answer to both those is YES … then it would have eventually prompted you :wink:

ps aux | grep [u]pdate

richard@Richard-Ei-306-Home ~ $

ls -l /etc/cron.daily/update-notifier-common

-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 214 Apr 20 2012 /etc/cron.daily/update-notifier-common
richard@Richard-Ei-306-Home ~ $

For some reason the u + square brackets is missing from the preview screen even though I copied and pasted direct from your text.

I assume the answer to both is no?


OK, the cron job IS in place, but the update-notifier daemon ISN’T being autostarted

Can you post the output from:

ls -a /etc/xdg/autostart

As per -
richard@Richard-Ei-306-Home ~ $ ls -a /etc/xdg/autostart
. mate-keyring-ssh.desktop
… mate-settings-daemon.desktop
gnome-fallback-mount-helper.desktop mintupdate.desktop
gnome-keyring-gpg.desktop mintupload.desktop
gnome-keyring-pkcs11.desktop mintwelcome.desktop
gnome-keyring-secrets.desktop nautilus-autostart.desktop
gnome-keyring-ssh.desktop nvidia-settings-autostart.desktop
gnome-settings-daemon.desktop polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1.desktop
gnome-sound-applet.desktop polkit-mate-authentication-agent-1.desktop
gsettings-data-convert.desktop print-applet.desktop
hplip-systray.desktop pulseaudio.desktop
jockey-kde.desktop pulseaudio-kde.desktop
mateconf-gsettings-data-convert.desktop synaptiks_init_config.desktop
mate-keyring-gpg.desktop xfce4-settings-helper-autostart.desktop
mate-keyring-pkcs11.desktop xfce4-volumed.desktop
mate-keyring-secrets.desktop zeitgeist-datahub.desktop
richard@Richard-Ei-306-Home ~ $

I see that mintupdate is listed although I removed this via Synaptic and is no longer available via the launcher?

Thanks again

I’m assuming the gedit is the default text editor in Mint … otherwise adjust the command below


sudo gedit /etc/xdg/autostart/update-notifier.desktop

when a BLANK file opens, make it read:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Update Notifier
Comment=Check for available updates automatically

SAVE the file and close gedit.


Then post the output from:

ps aux | grep [u]pdate

As instructed -
richard@Richard-Ei-306-Home ~ $ ps aux | grep [u]pdate
richard@Richard-Ei-306-Home ~ $

Am I missing something? Followed your instructions - copied and pasted so no spelling errors… ???

(KDE editor is Kate, btw, but I added gedit a while ago to save having to alter the text every time).

Is update-notifier installed ?

sudo apt-get install update-notifier


Now is there any output from:

ps aux | grep [u]pdate

Update-notifier not installed - now installed!

output as per -
richard@Richard-Ei-306-Home ~ $ ps aux | grep [u]pdate
richard@Richard-Ei-306-Home ~ $

did you reboot before running the ps command ?