Package Updater Notifications Not Working in Gnome 3.14.1

I just freshly installed Linux 13.2, Gnome 3.14.1. Notifications for the Package Updater is on in Settings. However, something is wrong with the notifications. I had more updates today when I manually reviewed YaST > Online Updates, but received no notification from the message tray about them.

Does anybody know why this may be?

M Ridzon

Is this the Notifications panel is System Settings? I guess it’s confusing for Package Updater to be listed there; your assumption that it will notify you about new updates is wrong (though I guess that is what I would assume if I didn’t already know better). Just because you can configure whether the app will show notifications does not mean it will notify you about anything in particular.

Since GNOME 3.12, Package Updater no longer checks for updates automatically. All that code has moved to GNOME Software, since Software is an uninstallable system app that every distro really ought to install by default, whereas Package Updater is cruddy/old and not intended to be installed by default anymore (although openSUSE still has it by default). We don’t want two competing applications handling update notifications, hence the code was moved. Software will check for updates daily, and notify you of new updates once per week, or immediately if it sees a security update. This is not configurable, except you can turn it off completely with dconf editor (sounds like the opposite of what you want to do).

(Note: This is an answer from an upstream GNOME developer perspective. I confess I don’t use openSUSE anymore, but I know GNOME Software is installed by default, so I presume that it’s working. If not, most likely a bug in the SUSE-specific zypp backend of PackageKit. I’m also not completely sure if the zypp backend knows the difference between security and non-security updates, but I think it does.)

GNOME Software and GNOME Package Update both use PackageKit to perform updates, and so should have a consistent view of your updates, although GNOME Package Updater will check whenever you launch it, whereas GNOME Software will only check for new updates if you press the refresh button (except when it does its daily automatic check). That is… non-ideal, because it means Software says “Software is up-to-date” even when that’s a lie (but pressing the refresh button should always make it tell the truth). But Package Updater should always do a full check whenever you start it, so if you start Package Updater and it shows fewer updates than YaST, that would be a bug, most likely with the zypp PackageKit backend.

If you want to use Package Updater rather than Software to perform updates (say, because you want to perform the update without the reboot, accepting the minor risk that something will go wrong; that’s why Software requires the reboot), you can wait for update notifications to come in from Software, then ignore the notification and launch Package Updater instead when you see it. That should work well enough.

Note that YaST online updates is completely separate and has nothing to do with GNOME or PackageKit.

Hope that helps!

One more detail: once Software realizes there are updates, it will start downloading them all, and it will only notify you after it has finished downloading them. If you then try to update with Package Updater, it will go a bit faster than normally because it will have the updates already downloaded. But if you try to update with YaST after that, I imagine it probably downloads them all again somewhere else (not sure).

It all depends on how often the notifier checks for update or if it is only checking for patches. I don’t use gnome I prefer KDE but it should be more or less the same. Ther aer twor levelesl of “updates” ther are patches which are basically for the base distro and are for the most part security and bug fixes this corresponds to zypper patch there are also updates which brings in new packages from all active repositories not just the base corresponding to zypper up. Note these two may not bring in the same packages. I have my notifer set to check once a week but it also does a check and each login

Thanks for the very thorough reply. It gave me understanding of how the updating works. I was not aware of the difference between the PackageUpdater and the Software updater. I ran them today and saw consistency between them in terms of the updates available (same updates shown in each).

Can you elaborate on what YaST > Online Updates is? In another discussion forum, an individual gave strong inference that Online Updates was effectively doing the same as Software updater or PackageUpdater. I was not aware of any difference.

M Ridzon

It is tricky. Some updates come as patches Yast as a rule only pulls from the update repos and this is generally patches. But you also may get updates from other repos when newer version are available, such as packman.

In Yast you won’t generally see updates from anything other then the standard update repo. zypper up and the GUI notifier in general will be in closer agreement on what gets updated. But that also depends on how things are configured

It sounds like gogalthorp is more familiar with YaST than I am. Suffice to say that it is completely separate from anything GNOME and KDE deal with, and that most distros install exactly one graphical software updater by default, not two (Apper, YaST) or three (GNOME Software, GNOME Package Updater, YaST).

Each tool is built on lower-level libraries, in a chain that looks sort of like this:

GNOME Software -> PackageKit -> ((barrier between upstream GNOME and SUSE world)) –> PackageKit zypp backend -> libzypp
GNOME Package Updater -> PackageKit -> ((barrier between upstream GNOME and SUSE world)) –> PackageKit zypp backend -> libzypp
Apper -> PackageKit -> ((barrier between upstream KDE and SUSE world)) -> PackageKit zypp backend -> libzypp
YaST -> libzypp (I presume)
zypper -> libzypp

I don’t know much about what goes on beneath PackageKit, except that zypper is pretty nice. Be grateful for zypper: it’s on par with dnf (Fedora’s new CLI package manager) and way better than apt-get (Ubuntu/Debian’s).