[Mageia-dev] Copying dependencies to Updates (Testing), or changing mgaapplet to use urpmi --auto-update instead of urpmi --update.

David W. Hodgins davidwhodgins at gmail.com
Thu Aug 25 11:03:42 CEST 2011

My apologies for previously mixing up the roles of the sysadmin
team, and the council, in asking for a decision to be made.

Anyways, as I mentioned in the packagers meeting, before I had to
leave, due to other things going on,
needs to be solved quickly, as it is blocking several other updates.

I used to see "broken updates" from time to time, in Mandriva, and
never understood how those updates could get pushed.  Now I do

The problem with the current way things are being done, is that, if
a user tries to install an update, and that update requires a
dependency that the user doesn't already have installed, and is the
update is not in the updates repository, the update will fail.

The problem showed up with an update to kipi-plugins-expoblending
where the purpose of the update was to add a requires on hugin.

The update passed qa because I used urpmi to install it, rather then

In that case, the problem was solved by an update (really just a copy)
of hugin, to the updates repository.

I finally understood why broken updates become available.  The mgaapplet
uses "urpmi.update --update", which will not resolve dependencies from
repositories other then those marked as updates, in /etc/urpmi/urpmi.cfg.

There are two methods to try to fix this.

The Mandriva way, where all dependencies of any update also get copied
to the Updates Testing repository, and then pushed together to Updates,
or, change mgaapplet to use "urpmi --auto-update", instead of
"urpmi.update --update".

In my opinion, the Mandriva way is too easy to lead to broken updates.
It lead to broken updates often enough, the half dozen "new to linux"
people I currently support rely on me to install updates, as it's too
confusing for them to sort out.

If the packager, and the qa team already have the dependencies installed,
they won't realize the problem will exist for users (or if they use
urpmi, and don't pay attention to which repository the package is being
installed from).

There is also the problem with duplicating packages from Core Release
to Updates Testing, and then Updates.  An automated solution to ensure
all dependencies are available would effectively duplicate Core Release
in Core Updates Testing, and in Core Updates, (and in tainted, and in
non-free).  Determining which requires might not already be installed
in the users system, therefore needing to be available in updates is
not simple.  Especially while we support upgrading from Mandriva, where
the update for a dependency may have been blocked, due to Mageia not
yet having the package available.

The problem with using "urpmi --auto-select" is that it increases i/o
and cpu usage for every execution of the check for updates by mgaapplet.
On my 6 year old system 5 seconds for "urpmi.update --update" versus
24 seconds for "urpmi --auto-select", when the system is up-to-date.

If the Mandriva way is kept, we must ensure all needed dependencies
are available in Updates (Testing too).  In addition, all packager must
be willing to copy the dependencies from Core Release to Core Updates
Testing, and the sysadmin team must push them.

If changing mgaapplet is chosen, that must be given a very high priority.

Either way, a decision is needed quickly.

Thanks, Dave Hodgins

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