KDE neon introduces “offline updates”

KDE neon - Offline Updates

I have few complaints about KDE neon, but here is a new one: the «offline updates” O “offline updates«, A literal but unrepresentative translation of the original ‘offline updates’, which is not a KDE developers’ idea, but rather a standard freedesktop.org directive for updating systemd-based systems. A directive that is already enforced in the stable version of the distribution.

This offline updates, however, is nothing new: we are talking about the classic Windows update method, in which download the updates first and then restart the system to apply them. It has nothing new and nothing bad either, since it aims to avoid problems derived from conflicts with applications or libraries that are updated with processes that continue to run.

«This has the tremendous advantage that you no longer need to interrupt what you are doing to update the system.«, Can be read on the KDE neon blog, to which he only knows how to answer” as if it couldn’t be done exactly the same before. ” «They also prevent the system from going into a curious state of inconsistency, resulting in a higher probability of errors and crashes right after the update.«, They explain, and this is what it is really about.

«Before, it is possible that Firefox looked at you angrily, that Dolphin crashed or even that the session was locked because the lock screen jumped into the void after applying an update. The reason for this is that most complex pieces of software don’t really work well if the essential files change underneath them. Offline updates solve this problem simply by moving the installation stage to a time when the system is in a less vulnerable state.«, They add.

KDE neon - Offline Updates

To be honest, all that they tell me has happened to me on rare occasions and very isolated from each other, but I understand the most and the change seems correct. Now, with moderation, because it is one thing to be asked to reboot the system when updating base system components such as the kernel or desktop libraries, but Loose apps that aren’t even running? For example, that the qBittorrent update arrives, installed from its own repository and without any package being used by another application and it asks you to restart … For me it is excessive.

But the final straw is that you not only have to restart to apply the update: once you reboot, the update is installed and the system is rebooted… even if it is, as in the example – one hundred percent real – of an independent application like qBittorrent whose only potential problem is that that particular application was wrong. Not to mention that those two reboots, when you use disk encryption, don’t like a thing.

I repeat that I understand that this is a better method of doing things, but it has to be polished a bit so that it is not so cumbersome. Even psychologically it is much more annoying and pressing to see the icon for “you need to restart the system” than for “you have pending updates”, or so I see it.

In any case, this offline updates does not apply only to KDE neon, but it points to a requirement for practically the entire Linux desktop, and in fact makes several versions that are applied in Fedora through GNOME Software, as it does now in KDE neon via Discover. The terminal update is not affected yet and unless it is done with that intention (in the article linked above they give the command for KDE neon), it can continue to be used to update specific applications that will not give problems.

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