Tag Archive | updates

Kubuntu-16.04 and updates

The quick “tl;dr” version — updates don’t work, but updating is still possible.


I installed kubuntu-16.04 in April.  Although I don’t use it much, I occasionally boot into it to check a few things.  Whenever I booted into Kubuntu, I looked to see if the update applet was notifying me of updates.  I left the system running for an hour or more, to give it plenty of time to find out.

It never showed any updates.

So I clicked on the applet (hidden tray icon) and asked it to check for updates.  It told me that my system was up to date.

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Tumbleweed notes

Early today, there was a Tumbleweed update to snapshot 20160128.  So I took a look at both the live rescue system and at updating my computers that are running Tumbleweed in one of their partitions.

Live rescue iso

There has been a problem with the live rescue iso for a month or two.  As far as I know, it works fine if you burn the iso to a CD.  But writing it to a USB flash drive has been troublesome.

On reading the email notification of the update (or publishing of this snapshot), it seemed to hint that the problem had been fixed.  So I downloaded the iso, and wrote to a 4G USB.

Alas, the problem is still there.  What you notice, is that it seems to hang during boot.  If you look at the messages, they indicate problems starting journald.

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UEFI and opensuse Leap 42.1

There have been several problems with UEFI on Leap.

As originally installed, it suffered from bug 950569, where some hardware would hang during boot unless secure-boot was disabled.  This bug was originally reported for Tumbleweed, but also showed up in Leap.  It was recently fixed in Tumbleweed.  And today, an update showed up for Leap to fix this bug.  The update also fixed a MokManager problem, which I have not personally experienced.

There’s a problem, though.  The updated shim package has been installed.  But the updated shim.efi was not installed in the EFI boot settings (normally in “/boot/efi/EFI/opensuse”).

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Sharing updates with opensuse

I have opensuse on my main desktop, on my laptop and on a test machine.

When there’s an update, the update has to be downloaded for each machine.  That raises the question of whether they can be downloaded just once, and then used on multiple systems.

There was a discussion of this question on the opensuse mailing list last May (beginning May 21, 2015).  I liked the suggestion offered by Carlos.  So I decided to give it a try.  I didn’t do it exactly as Carlos suggested, so this post will describe what I actually did.

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What I am doing about “heartbleed”

Well, I’m not actually doing much other than being alert.  In this post, I’ll go through my decision process, and hope that is a useful guide to others.

What is “heartbleed”?

“Heartbleed” is the name being given to a bug discovered in the openssl code.  Its name comes from the bug being in the heartbeat code, the code that keeps ssl connections alive.  A recently discovered bug allows attackers to access server memory,  leaving no trace of their activity.  Bruce Schneier calls it catastrophic, and that assessment is probably correct.

My first step was to assess my risk.  And my next step was to apply the update available from opensuse.  I used Yast online update for that, though using “zypper” at the command line, or using the update applet for your desktop should do just as well.  Normally, I do updates on Mondays and Fridays, just before I boot to Windows to allow it (Windows) to update its anti-virus tables.  Although I assessed my own risk as low, I decided it was worth an extra update check and reboot.  I rebooted after the update, so that running software would all be using the updated version of the libraries. Read More…

Software updates

There are several ways that we can keep our software up to date.  In this post, I shall describe my own practices.

For background, I am currently running opensuse 13.1.  And I normally use the KDE desktop.  So I will be discussing updates from the perspective of the KDE user.

Why update?

I suppose some folk find it strange that we would need to update our software.  However, it’s a fact of technology, that all software has defects (often called bugs).  These defects are discovered, over time, and many of them are corrected.  So the main reason for updating is to incorporate these corrections (or bug fixes) into our systems.

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Opensuse Tumbleweed and UEFI

The main significance of Tumbleweed, for UEFI systems, is that there are frequent updates to newer kernels, and those newer kernels are not signed for secure-boot validation.  Here, I will describe how I am dealing with that.

As described in a recent post about my UEFI setup, I installed two separate instances of opensuse.  The second instance was intended just for testing things, so I decided to convert that to using Tumbleweed.  After a few fumbles that worked well.  So, when I decided to replace that instance of opensuse with an install of 13.1 Milestone 1, I decided to convert my primary instance of opensuse on that box to Tumbleweed, so that the Tumbleweed experience could continue.  This post reports on my combined experience of Tumbleweed, spread over those two different instances. Read More…

32-bit computing – the end of an era

We appear to be approaching the end of 32-bit computing.  Much of the newer hardware uses 64-bit processors, with a 32-bit compatibility mode.  However, support for 32-bit computing is on the wane.

I was reminded of this change this morning, when I updated my opensuse 12.3 systems.  The update brought KDE to version 4.10.2.  And on my one 32-bit system, I discovered that KDE activities have been crippled.  The full activity capability is still there for 64-bit systems.

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The UEFI scene, and linux

Someone recently posted this link at opensuse forums:

It is a tale of woes and partial successes.  If you google for “UEFI linux” (without the quotes), you will run into quite a few tales of woe.

My own experience is one of success.  In all honesty, I did run into some of the same problems.  I reported on those in an earlier post.  Today, I want to describe what I have working.

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Notes on fedora 18

As I noted in my earlier review, I did not particularly like Fedora 18.  But, now that it is installed, I have been using it from time to time.  So here are a few comments on what I have noticed.


I am surprised at the frequency of updates.  I suppose that I should not have been surprised, as Fedora has a reputation for this.  When I booted Fedora 18 on Tuesday, there were 85 new updates waiting.  Then, only three days later, there were an additional 28 updates.

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