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Cumulative Updates in Linux?


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#1 Nicholas_Kang

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 07:58 PM

Hi all,

 

Now that I have a working dual-boot environment, I have some questions about the way MS Windows and Linux release updates/patches for their systems. 

 

So, talking about MS Windows first, we know that beginning from Windows 10, updates and patches are now cumulative, which means that if I miss this month's update from Microsoft (say I don't turn on my computer for this whole month), I should be able to get it in next month, together with some more updates and patches in next month's release.

 

My question is does Linux release updates "cumulatively" as well, like Windows 10, as mentioned above?

 

That means, if say I don't turn on my PC for this whole month, does that mean that when I update my Linux OS the following month (run sudo yum update or sudo yum upgrade for the case of RHEL/CentOS/Fedora/etc.), I will get this month's update as well, or I will just miss this month's update and only get the update/patches released on the month I update my Linux OS?

 

Also, does this vary across Linux distros or they apply in general to all Linux distros?

 

Thanks for answering.  


Edited by Nicholas_Kang, 29 June 2018 - 09:00 PM.

"When the product is free the real product is YOU."
 

An offer of free anti-virus or anti-malware software is essentially a marketing techniqueBottom line...it's all about generating revenue and finding new and creative ways to do so. As such, users may have to deal with occasional nagging pop-ups, nuisance advertising and prompts to upgrade to the paid version or purchase other products.

By using such free programs, you are essentially agreeing to the terms of the vendor's service which includes those annoying pop-ups and ads.
 
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#2 MadmanRB

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 09:13 PM

No Linux doesnt have this, instead we have package updates and the more you update linux the better.

To maintain a healthy system and to ensure you get the latest for your system its best to update once every two weeks or so.

Now since you use centOS this is a very good idea, if you were to say use linux mint than a update once a month is fine (but it may be a big one) but CentOS you should update whenever you see it.

If you were to use a rolling release such as Manjaro then it would be even more frequent, a rolling release means that a big pack of update happens a lot over time with is similar to cumulative updates but certainly not the same as even on a rolling release you can update as you wish, just dont make it too long.

 

So we are on the same page there are two main release methods to a linux distro.

First is the LTS or long term service release, Ubuntu has this as does CentOS.

A LTS distro normally has a 5 year lifespan but gets regular security updates but the latest software isnt always available in the default repositories.

Then there is rolling which is always being updated, Arch and gentoo follow a method like this as does spin off distros such as manjaro which is based on Arch.

There is something in between called semi rolling which is what fedora is, fedora's versions have short lifespans but one can always change to a new version within the OS


Edited by MadmanRB, 29 June 2018 - 09:14 PM.

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#3 Nicholas_Kang

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 12:19 AM

Hi MadmanRB!

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

Ok, so there are no cumulative updates in Linux. Updates for application software come in package updates. Updates/upgrades for various distros either exist in the form of LTS or rolling.

 

My concern is this.

 

Now say, my CentOS is of version 7.5.1804, and let's assume that CentOS release a minor update in June, but for some reason I missed it, and the next time CentOS releases its update (say in July), I installed it.

 

So, now, in July, my CentOS contains the July version bug fixes and updates, but I did not install the June update.

 

My question is will the July update automatically fix the bugs discovered in June and add the feature updates I missed in the June update. Or it will simply install the bug fixes/updates for July and skip all bug fixes and updates for June?  

 

 

The same goes to software packages in Linux, so if I install a package called "foo" in May (assume that it is the latest one, until May, at least.) Assume that the developers of foo release updates monthly.

 

Now for some reason I accidentally skip the June update and I update/upgrade foo again in July, will the July update automatically install bug fixes/feature updates for both June and July or it will only install the July update and skip all the June updates?

 

So, basically, I am asking if the updates released by Linux packages and distros are cumulative in nature.

 

Thanks for clarifying.


"When the product is free the real product is YOU."
 

An offer of free anti-virus or anti-malware software is essentially a marketing techniqueBottom line...it's all about generating revenue and finding new and creative ways to do so. As such, users may have to deal with occasional nagging pop-ups, nuisance advertising and prompts to upgrade to the paid version or purchase other products.

By using such free programs, you are essentially agreeing to the terms of the vendor's service which includes those annoying pop-ups and ads.
 
Read more here...


#4 MadmanRB

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 04:22 AM

Here let me clarify as you are still thinking in windows terms

 

Linux unlike windows relies on packages to maintain itself, these packages can contain all sorts of things from program updates, to kernel updates, to dependencies and system libraries.

Windows uses binary executable files while linux its more like a bunch of .zip files.

This means that yes you can skip a month or so under linux but next time when you update a update can contain a lot of packages.

Now certain things like programs such as firefox or chrome will just overwrite the previous version, its the dependencies and libraries that can really add up.

Kernel updates can be skipped entirely but its not recommended.

The only reason why i say keep your linux system up to date more often is to avoid the big huge updates like you often get in windows and the way that CentOS uses its package manager needs a more consistent upkeep as DNF and YUM need to be refreshed quite a lot compared to other package management solutions.

If this was say Linux Mint or Ubuntu this sort of thing can be let go for a long time but it will add up over time

And on a rolling distro like arch hoo boy leaving those go for a long time will really make big huge updates that would make windows jealous.

In the linux world everything is updated via the package manager while in windows each program needs to be updated on their own.

The more you keep your CentOS updated the better however


Edited by MadmanRB, 30 June 2018 - 04:38 AM.

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#5 Nicholas_Kang

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 05:48 AM

Ah, that makes things clearer. Thanks. 

 

So, I will just let the DNF/YUM to do the update regularly. 

 

One question. Why is it that DNF and YUM need to be refreshed quite a lot compared to other package management solutions?


"When the product is free the real product is YOU."
 

An offer of free anti-virus or anti-malware software is essentially a marketing techniqueBottom line...it's all about generating revenue and finding new and creative ways to do so. As such, users may have to deal with occasional nagging pop-ups, nuisance advertising and prompts to upgrade to the paid version or purchase other products.

By using such free programs, you are essentially agreeing to the terms of the vendor's service which includes those annoying pop-ups and ads.
 
Read more here...


#6 MadmanRB

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 05:59 AM

Its just the way DNF and YUM work really, both rely on metadata.

I mean yeah you could let a DNF or YUM based linux distro unattended for months like you can do with some distros but the metadata is always being refreshed and this is part of the reason why fedora can be so slow to update.

CentOS uses YUM still and that was notorious for needing upkeep, at least with DNF you dont need to be as tight on it though you still need to ensure its refreshed.

I mean yeah CentOS doesnt get too many big updates as its a enterprise grade distro but I remember how YUM was back when it was on fedora... miss a month and BAM! System was not that great to work with, lots of hands on trying to get updates to work.

Fedora and DNF are actually so much better now, DNF inherited some of the issues with YUM but not all of them and its so much better.

DNF is just a modified YUM and its a good thing as YUM was a nightmare.

In fact it was YUM is the reason why i was never a fedora user, nowadays I am more open to fedora.

Yeah i still prefer other Linux distros like Manjaro or Linux mint but its gotten so much better.


Edited by MadmanRB, 30 June 2018 - 06:11 AM.

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#7 Nicholas_Kang

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 06:13 AM

Ah. Got it! 

 

Thanks for the kind help MadmanRB. 

 

Glad to have a Linux expert helping out! 


"When the product is free the real product is YOU."
 

An offer of free anti-virus or anti-malware software is essentially a marketing techniqueBottom line...it's all about generating revenue and finding new and creative ways to do so. As such, users may have to deal with occasional nagging pop-ups, nuisance advertising and prompts to upgrade to the paid version or purchase other products.

By using such free programs, you are essentially agreeing to the terms of the vendor's service which includes those annoying pop-ups and ads.
 
Read more here...


#8 MadmanRB

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 06:26 AM

I just remember how things were last time i used anything with YUM on it, trust me the more you keep it maintained the better.

Even if you dont see a update make sure the repos are refreshed at least once every two weeks at maximum.

I mean yeah in many respects CentOS doesnt get big huge updates like say Manjaro does, its more like debian where you dont always get the latest version of things.

But that doesnt mean its insecure, far from it as even debian keeps up to date if there is something serious like a needed update to the kernel or firefox.

This is more of a downstream type of update cycle, there patches from future versions of the system are sent down and checked for compatibility and then put into the OS.

This is what makes both CentOS and Debian so stable.

Compare that to something like Arch linux where everything is upstream, latest packages and versions but far more breakages.

Then you have something that is a little more in between such as Ubuntu or Linux mint, where you can make both update upstream if you wanted to.

This is why I like linux so much as you can make it update on your own terms (depending on your distro of course) rather than the whims of some company that make updates on their terms.

Granted this is better then it was as i remember how lazy Microsoft was back in the XP days, you rarely got big security patches now its far more regular which is one of the few things I actually like about windows 10.

 

Actually in a way Windows 10 has a very similar style of updating that a rolling release of linux does.

But its more like Manjaro than arch.

Manjaro (what i use a lot of the time) does have smaller package updates but every so often there is a big update that changes the kernel and the main libraries of the OS.

For something like manjaro you dont need to be as attentive as you do in CentOS (ironic as its rolling) but the more you keep it updated the better as the longer you dont update it the more packages it will give you.

Manjaro is a very special case as you can install older "versions" of it but you will always be able to update, Manjaro uses its versions as more of a snapshot of the OS though and not a new version.

Its like a photo in time, you take a photo one month and that nice new building is all fresh and clean... take a photo a few years later and hey someone sprayed graffiti on it! its always good to have a fresh snapshot of Manjaro.

 

Compare this to the way say ubuntu releases and its a totally different animal.

Ubuntu is also a special case as not only can you run it as stable for 5 years but there are point releases and new versions every 6 months and a new LTS every 2 years.

Ubuntu has a very unique system of upgrades, one can swing from version to version if they wished or go from LTS to LTS.

For Ubuntu the latest LTS is 18.04 however the next version is in October and that will be Ubuntu 18.10

For ubuntu users this means if they want to they can upgrade to the latest and greatest but this comes with the caveat that ubuntu 18.10 will only be supported for 9 months.

This means in that time they must update to 19.04 or be unsupported or go back to 18.04 if 19.04 doesnt work.

But 19.04 will have a 9 month lifespan as well, so will ubuntu 19.10 but 20.04 will have a 5 year lifespan as it will be LTS

The ubuntu version numbers are a indicator of how this all works, 18.04 is not the 18th version of ubuntu it only came out in 2018.

18 is the year and 04 is the month (April)

Ubuntu 18.10 will release in October of 2018

Then will come 19.04 In april of 2019 but it will not be LTS, then comes 19.10 also wont be LTS

But 20.04 will be LTS

So to sum it up:

18.04 = LTS, 18.10, 19.04, 19.10 = Not LTS, 20.04 = LTS


Edited by MadmanRB, 30 June 2018 - 07:03 AM.

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#9 Nicholas_Kang

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 07:28 AM

Thanks for the long explanation! 

 

Now I have questions again.  :orange: (Sorry.)

 

You mentioned that "Even if you dont see a update make sure the repos are refreshed at least once every two weeks at maximum."

 

How do I make sure that the repos are refreshed? How does one check that?

 

I only know simple yum commands like sudo yum update and sudo yum upgrade to update my CentOS, but I have no idea how to ensure that the repos themselves are updated.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks again for the kind help, MadmanRB.   


"When the product is free the real product is YOU."
 

An offer of free anti-virus or anti-malware software is essentially a marketing techniqueBottom line...it's all about generating revenue and finding new and creative ways to do so. As such, users may have to deal with occasional nagging pop-ups, nuisance advertising and prompts to upgrade to the paid version or purchase other products.

By using such free programs, you are essentially agreeing to the terms of the vendor's service which includes those annoying pop-ups and ads.
 
Read more here...


#10 MadmanRB

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 10:40 AM

https://www.centos.org/docs/5/html/5.1/Deployment_Guide/s1-yum-useful-commands.html

These are commands that you use in yum. These are for a older version but will still work, you can also use the red hat yum commands cheat sheet
https://access.redhat.com/articles/yum-cheat-sheet

Even though that is listed for red hat it will still work

Edited by MadmanRB, 30 June 2018 - 10:42 AM.

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#11 britechguy

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 10:50 AM

The above discussion is a perfect illustration of why I strongly prefer fully automated OS updates, at a minimum, whenever the OS itself makes that option available.

 

The OP is clearly a user that is far, far, far more sophisticated than "the average user" and knows exactly the right questions to ask.  That's highly unusual.

 

There's very good reason that Windows (and not only Windows, iOS, many Android versions, OSX, and others do it, too) adopted the "set it and forget it" fully automated update feature as the default.  I've seen so many Windows machines eventually end up as smoldering heaps because some poor person got the horrible advice to turn off automatic Windows updates and to take care of the updates themselves.  They virtually never do, and when they do they have no idea of how to pick and choose which updates to apply.

 

The maintainers of any given OS know far more than I will ever claim to know about what needs to be updated, when, and why.  When they supply a mechanism that allows them to deploy updates that are, in their judgment, needed I am not going to stop them.


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#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 11:07 AM

I believe Mint 19 is giving the option for automatic updates in that it has installed TimeShift as a default program.



#13 MadmanRB

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 11:15 AM

The above discussion is a perfect illustration of why I strongly prefer fully automated OS updates, at a minimum, whenever the OS itself makes that option available.

 

The OP is clearly a user that is far, far, far more sophisticated than "the average user" and knows exactly the right questions to ask.  That's highly unusual.

 

There's very good reason that Windows (and not only Windows, iOS, many Android versions, OSX, and others do it, too) adopted the "set it and forget it" fully automated update feature as the default.  I've seen so many Windows machines eventually end up as smoldering heaps because some poor person got the horrible advice to turn off automatic Windows updates and to take care of the updates themselves.  They virtually never do, and when they do they have no idea of how to pick and choose which updates to apply.

 

The maintainers of any given OS know far more than I will ever claim to know about what needs to be updated, when, and why.  When they supply a mechanism that allows them to deploy updates that are, in their judgment, needed I am not going to stop them.

 

 

Because no one ever had issues from Microsoft automatic updates like ever right?

 

There are reasons why some people dont have automatic updates enabled


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#14 britechguy

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 11:21 AM

 

Because no one ever had issues from Microsoft automatic updates like ever right?

 

There are reasons why some people dont have automatic updates enabled

 

 

Did I make that claim?

 

The number of problems generated from lack of updating, which you never hear about on forums like these (at least not directly in most cases), far outstrips the occasional problems that are occasionally major from automatic updates from Microsoft.   We always hear about those from users who don't know how to get out of those problems on their own, but we don't hear about systems crashing and burning that have remained in an unmaintained state because those users generally don't even realize what's happened.

 

With regard to Windows, no one has ever put it better than one of BC's own BSOD experts:

 

There really isn't a point to checking for updates and not installing them. . .  It's important to install all available updates. I've been doing this since the days of DOS, and I still don't have the confidence to pick and choose among updates.  There are just too many variables involved - and most people can't evaluate the full consequences of installing/not installing updates.

        ~ John Carrona, AKA usasma on BleepingComputer.com, http://www.carrona.org/

 

Everything in my decades of professional experience has illustrated to me, time and again, that the problems caused by people thinking that they can pick and choose their updates, when they cannot even accurately describe what they're for, causes far more pain and sorrow than automatic updates, even with the occasional spectacular failure, ever have.  I would be remiss if I did not point this out at every available opportunity, and for every OS that has the feature.


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#15 britechguy

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 11:23 AM

I believe Mint 19 is giving the option for automatic updates in that it has installed TimeShift as a default program.

 

Hallelujah!! 


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 





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