Sunday, October 11, 2009

Home Users Don't Need to Update their Linux Frequently

home users need up update their linux frequentlyThere are certain Linux distributions, those so called rolling distros, generally don't break after you update regularly. But some bleeding edge distributions (like Fedora) break or behave badly. Good thing is, if you are running Linux on a home desktop, you don't need to update it frequently.

You can update Linux same way as you did on Windows. Either you choose regular updates, or you pull in the bulk updates following the said distro's systematic instructions for update. But very often the later is recommended for desktops. Regular update (those related to security bug fixes, performance enhancements) is a must if you are running some critical applications on server.

Suppose, you installed PCLinuxOS 2009.2 which detected and configured all your hardware devices. You did a full update plus pulled in all the necessary apps of your choice. Period. You don't need to regularly upgrade it. Frequent updates don't bring about great improvements. They only kill bandwidth, your time, some extra power and memory. You don't need to keep that "Fetch Updates" (or something similar) apps running in your system tray. It just consumes some extra CPU and RAM. If your system works don't break it - don't pull in unnecessary upgrades!

Stick to your distro of choice and make a clean install when a mega release shows up.

12 comments:

Big Bear said...

Actually, That is a bad idea to not make a somewhat regular attempt to keep up with updates.

Even 'good' distros with rolling repos make dramatic modifications that can 'break' if you let updates go too long. Especially when big jumps are being made.

One day (for example) you might find as a home user that your version of Firefox isn't loading certain pages, due to compatibility issues. The requisite updates are necessary to keep your home system usable.

Big Bear

Anonymous said...

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Anonymous said...

Yep, sure don't want those security updates. Blohole..

ruel24 said...

This is pretty idiotic... First of all, it's rare that PCLinuxOS breaks your install from an upgrade. Does it happen on occasion? I've never had it happen to me, but I'm sure some obscure user has - after all it's developed by human beings.

But to recommend that users avoid upgrading is downright bad advice. Newer kernels, newer apps...they all add security and bug fixes. Why would you not want that?

manmath sahu said...

Hi Ruel and Big Bear,

Thanks that you dropped by!

I never said that PCLinuxOS updates break the system. Nor does Mepis or Debian spins. But some distros (fedora) do break. I have seen it.

However, my point was that - one does not need to update his/her home desktop if he has a perfect kernel, a complete set of apps that work perfectly. Of course, he/she should make a clean install of a new release, when it shows up.

Well, let me support my view with a few examples. I have been using PCLinuxOS from the very first version. I rarely ever updated it. Rather I made jumps from pclos 91 to 93, Big Daddy, 2007 and now 2009.2.

In my view a home user should optimize his/her install by adding/removing some packages and doing the necessary tweaks to suit his/her needs. Then he/she should keep working till the next big release comes his/her way. I don't understand why should he/she regularly update. Why should he/she make updates an extra task?

Sorry, if I could not make my points clear.

Regards,
Manmath

Anonymous said...

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

ruel24 said...

In making your jumps from .91 through .93 Big Daddy and from 2007 to 2009.2, you've essentially just installed an updated version of what you had. Everything up through .93 Big Daddy was just a snapshot of the .91 ISO fully updated to that point in time. 2007 was not, and required a fresh install. 2009.2 is an updated 2007 ISO. You could have arrived at the same place simply by updating through the repositories.

Fedora is not on a rolling release. It's not advised to try and update it without a clean install. Also, Fedora simply is a bleeding edge distro, and like anything bleeding edge, you can be severely cut living on that edge. It's not uncommon for updates to hose a system with Fedora. That's the nature of the beast.

manmath sahu said...

Thanks Ruel, for such nice explanation. Hope those who read this post will read your comment also.

AdamW said...

As others have said, this is not just bad but dangerous advice. You should install, at a minimum, _all_ security-related updates your distribution provides for packages you have installed. Otherwise you will be vulnerable. There have been many security vulnerabilities in commonly-used Linux applications which could have been trivially exploited to attack regular everyday Linux users. For example, if you ran an outdated version of Firefox your system could be vulnerable to the execution of arbitrary code as the user running Firefox, which is really not a good idea in anyone's book.

I'd say ruel somewhat overstates the case when it comes to Fedora updates. We don't very often ship an update which could really *break* anyone's system. Probably the closest we get is shipping kernel minor version updates in stable releases, which most distributions don't do, but even here regressions affect relatively few people. Also, when a kernel update is installed, the last two older kernels on the system are kept, so even if a new kernel _does_ break your system, you do have an older one available to use instead.

hadiduadua said...

yes i agree. my company's server using mepis 6.5 for fileserver, installed 3 years ago with no updates packages at all, and still running well. :)

so in my opinion, we should updates our linux IF we had a problem about the programs / packages.

"If it ain't broke don't fix it"

manmath sahu said...

thanks hadiduadua,
that's exactly what i meant. if you are happy with the existing set of packages you don't need to update. imo, newer is not always better.

hadiduadua said...

yes... right now i have more trouble after updates all packages in ubuntu-netbook-remix 9.04, everything was ok before i update it... and now i can not open my wireless AFTER updated... :(


so, manmath sahu, i'm behind you, to said, "Home Users Don't Need to Update their Linux Frequently"

who's said updates would make our Linux better??

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