Home > Fedora Docs > Fedora Docs – Software Management Guide – puplet

Fedora Docs – Software Management Guide – puplet

So here is the back story…

There is a little annoyance (to me) with the conflict between puplet and yum. Yum is the program that connects to one of many mirrors all over the world that hosts software updates for packages within Fedora and then can download and install those updates (or can install packages and can manage your software and…). Yum operates within the CLI and is very fast. Puplet works in a similar manner except it operates from the GUI and just notifies the user that there are updates pending.

To me, the two programs go hand-in-hand. As an, in my opinion, advanced user I get a notification from puplet that there are updates and then I go to the CLI and run yum to get the updates. Very simple. For general users, puplet also allows you to download the updates and install them from the GUI so there isn’t any need to “learn” yum unless you are ready to dive into the CLI. Downloading via puplet (actually using pup) isn’t as fast as yum which is why I use yum.

Here is the problem, and why I’m writing this:
When puplet is actively querying it blocks yum from doing its thing. A message will come up saying that yum can’t do what it needs to, please wait. You can either wait or you can kill the process that is locking out yum. A simple task for me as I’m comfortable with the CLI. That process might not be so comfortable to someone that is just learning CLI and what some of those programs do and how they interact between each other. This can be quite troubling to the newbie and apparently is very frustrating to the folks that monitor the #fedora channel of freenode as they have to deal with this problem quite frequently.

Since I’m currently documenting yum and its related plugins for the Software Management Guide (SMG) I took note of this frustration and I want to try to make the best case for remedying the problem while not putting anyone in a poor security posture.

My thought is that if puplet is giving you problems and you remove/disable it you may forget about updates or not get the patches in a timely manner leaving your system vulnerable. There are ways around this, including a cronjob that would automatically check, download, and install updates for the user without the user ever knowing there were updates. This could be a problem if you are running a 3rd-party piece of software that isn’t known to Fedora, an update could break that 3rd-party software. Advanced users and system administrators probably don’t want this because they want to know what was updated, when, and how it affected their system.

So what’s the best way to address this? I’m leaning towards the education and choice side instead of recommending one solution over another. I believe that if people see the choices and understand the risks then they can make an educated decision and take the risks associated with those choices. Of course this means careful documentation must be done so as to not confuse the users that have come to the guide in search of help. I’m going to work on developing this plan and see if I can come up with something that reads well.

Stay tuned for news and weather…

Categories: Fedora Docs
  1. 2008-01-25 at 15:05 EST

    PackageKit is the answer!Check out http://www.packagekit.orgIt solves the pup/pirut locking issue, and we’re working on trying to get it into F9.

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