Features/OfflineSystemUpdates

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Contents

Offline Updates using systemd and PackageKit

Summary

Make updating of system components more reliable by doing it in an minimal, controlled environment.

Owner

Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 18
  • Last updated: 2012-06-06
  • Percentage of completion: 50%

The necessary systemd infrastructure has landed in rawhide with the systemd 183 release. The PackageKit and GNOME pieces are still being developed.

Detailed Description

By "offline" OS updates we mean package installations and updates that are run with the system booted into a special system update mode, in order to avoid problems related to conflicts of libraries and services that are currently running with those on disk.

Note that this feature does not prevent you from using yum to install updates whenever you want to. We also differentiate updates of 'OS components' (which we want to do in this offline fashion) from application updates and installations, which should still be possible from the UI without restarting the system.

Benefit to Fedora

Replacing libraries and files while the OS is running can cause problems ranging from application crashes to inconsistent system states where processes are using different versions of a library at the same time. By installing system updates 'outside' the normal system operation, we avoid these problems.

Secondary benefits of the work done for this feature include that we are downloading all updates before we notify the user about available updates, and thus avoid unpleasant wait times.

Scope

  • Complete the PackageKit support for offline updates
  • Update gnome-packagekit to support offline updates
  • Update gnome-shell to offer 'Install updates and restart' when updates are available

How To Test

TBD

User Experience

The desired user experience for System updates is described in https://live.gnome.org/GnomeOS/Design/Whiteboards/SoftwareUpdates

Dependencies

none outside of systemd, packagekit and GNOME components

Contingency Plan

If offline updates don't work in time for F18, we can go back to installing all updates while the system is running.

Documentation

Release Notes

  • Fedora 18 introduces offline system updates, which means that updates of system components are installed in a special environment outside the normal system operation.

Comments and Discussion