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Re: [LUG] Upgrades


You don't say which distro' you are using, but from you comments about using .Deb packages, it is Debian or Debian based (ie Ubuntu or something of the sort).

The version of any software that is provided by a distro's package maintainer is contained within the distro's repositories. Your updater looks for any new or updated packages when doing an update, and updates accordingly. Any mis-match or lag between a publisher's version and your distro's version is simply a product of the fact that the newer version has not yet made it into the package maintainer's repositories yet. Indeed, it may never make it there at all in some cases, or tale a long long time to get there, or it may make it there remarkably quickly. For example Debian stable is noted for just that - "stable". That said, it is stable because of it's thorough and even-handed approach to the way it handles these things. On the other hand, Arch and Fedora are typically up there on the bleeding edge of now, which again is all fine and dandy, but you will probably need to sort out a few problems when things break.............it's just the way of things........

Personally I have no problem with using a mix of .Deb's, and no problem with editing my /etc/apt/sources.list file if there is a ppa available.

Snap and Flat-Pack packages are all the rage the moment. I rather think that we will see more of this sort of thing in the future. Basically, these are distro agnostic packages of software that allow the author and/or maintainer to publish their software once only and in one form. Thereafter the package will run on any distro thereby relieving the maintainer of the workload of maintaining an individual package for each and every distro. The structure of them is simplicity itself. To install a snap it's just a case of going to the terminal and sudo snap install (packagename) and all the heavy-lifting is done for you. From memory snap is installed by default on Ubuntu 16.04 and later and will shortly be coming to 14.04 as well.

apt-get update refreshes and sync's your apt cache against the package maintainer's repositories - - - get's you both on the same page so to speak, so you now know which component parts of your system are different from the latest versions

apt-get upgrade downloads and makes the actual changes and gets you both on the same versions of everything, system wide

Remember that there is always the man pages to read if you get a bit lost with this ie, in the terminal man apt-get

Hope that helps


On 07/02/17 09:00, Neil via list wr.ote:
I have been using Linux for many years, but I still get puzzled about updates to the software. Perhaps someone could help.

I do get occasionally get a message that some updates are available, of course. Simple, 'install now'. I also run update manager myself via alt-F2, again easy. I notice however that some of my programs don't get updated. The latest version of Libre Office, for example, is 5.3. When I check my current version I see it is So it seems that all my updates have not touched libre office. So I looked at updating it for myself.

There seem to be four possibilities.

1. A deb file is available. or to be exact a deb.tar.gz file. In the past I have always used a deb file if possible, but recently I was warned by the group that this is not necessarily a good idea.

2. A ppa is available. Again I have used them in the past, but I know that this is frowned upon by some. These files do get added to the repository so then any updates are automatic.

3. Libre office, it seems, is now available as a 'snap' package, whatever that is. It will install the new version alongside the old one, so that both are available. Two problems for me. I don't seem to have a snap package on my system. Also, this method will install the whole suite. I just use writer and calc.

4. In a terminal use apt-get update and apt-get upgrade. The first three methods are aimed a libre office only. This fourth method will, presumably, go through the whole computer and upgrade all files.

Is it any wonder that I am confused? If anyone could help me here I would be very grateful. Others on the list may also find it useful.



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