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20 June 2012, 14:32

Fedora 18 will install certain updates when rebooting

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Fedora logo A proposal to integrate an "Offline Updates" feature in Fedora 18 was recently approved by the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee. In certain cases, the upcoming Fedora 18 release will only install software updates when a system is rebooted, similar to how some updates are handled on Windows.

The feature is designed to avoid problems that can occur with some applications and background services if they, or the libraries they use, are updated while they are still in use. Instead of installing the software updates directly, the updated packages are saved to a special location within the filesystem. When a user reboots their system after selecting the "Restart and install updates" menu option, these updates will be installed in a special "system update mode", after which the system will again be rebooted to the standard system target.

However, this feature will only affect users who update their systems using gnome-packagekit; the update process via Yum will remain unchanged. Furthermore, the new update procedure will only be used for core OS components, not for applications. Further information can be found in a blog post by developer Richard Hughes, on the GNOME developers' wiki, and on the "Offline system Updates" feature page.

At its most recent meeting, the Fedora Steering Committee also approved various other features for Fedora 18, which is scheduled to arrive in November. For example, when using GNOME, the initial system setup after installation will no longer be handled via "firstboot"; instead, the distribution will use an alternative solution developed by the GNOME project for GNOME 3.6. Also, the developers have included the DNF packet manager, a Yum fork that was developed as a possible successor to Yum, and the Hawkey packet management library it requires; however, these components are currently only intended to be an alternative to Yum, not a replacement. Some debug information will be included in the default packages to improve the quality of bug reports, and the distribution will offer extended Clojure support.

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