I made a video about this very subject just a couple of days ago. It covers delaying / deferring updates, and even configuring putting updates on hold when you’re on a limited connection. Should answer all your questions. if not, feel free to come back and ask.
Would those ‘default’ snap apps still be available in the repos as debs, or are you taking them off the repos?
I love that feature, for example I use Firefox beta snap, I don’t have do anything to it as it gets updated in the background for me and I will have the latest beta on my system. Very handy.
Would these be accessible via the new Snap Ubuntu Software store?
This one raised new questions for me (perhaps this is off-topic, could move this post to the snapcraft forum?)
- How does one know if a snapshot is ‘restored’ or not? Does there need to be a new column under
snap savedheaded ‘Status’ and with values ‘archived’ and ‘restored’?
- I’m assuming the hold on metered connection still only holds updates for two months (or some other limited time) before using the metered connection anyway? Allowing it to hold indefinitely is handy from a user perspective but does allow people to basically turn off automatic refreshes (by telling NetworkManager that the connection is metred and telling snappy to hold off on metered), I assume also that it’s still the case that a refresh will happen outside of schedule if the system is off or the update is held too many times in the specified schedule. Is this also the case for inhibiting a refresh when an app is running? Will snapd eventually refresh the snap anyway if one had that application open for months? Additionally, it would nice to have all these options in Software & Updates.
That source dropdown in the top-right, is Ubuntu Software finally grouping the same app in different formats (Deb, snap, Flatpak (the latter when the plugin is installed)) on the same page?!
Switching off updates completely is not something that’s currently on the roadmap. However there are ways to work around it. If you
snap revert (snapname) it will go back to the previous release, and won’t be updated. In addition, if you
snap download (snapname) and
snap install (snapname) --dangerous you’re opting out of updates for that snap too. If you’re creative, yes, there are ways to avoid auto updates.
So far in my test yes, it seems like Apps are being grouped into, where you an choose Snap or Ubuntu repos. Not sure about Flatpak, I should try it out.
@popey I’m sorry but honestly this deferring thing sounds too much like Windows 10. I want no auto updates, period. Even Android and iOS allow that via a simple settings toggle, why can’t snap?
I don’t completely understand why people compare this to Windows 10 as if that’s a bad thing. If you have any kind of history in the computing industry (or indeed didn’t live under a rock over the Windows 95 through Windows 7 era) you’d recall how users didn’t update their systems, and thus missed out on security updates. The platform was rampant with virulent malware. Having a system which encourages people to stay up-to-date is a good thing.
Why no toggle? Because we want to ensure people are up to date, that there’s no machines out there running outdated and insecure software. Sure, we could put a big fat switch in there which turns off updates, and that would please you and a few other users.
Meanwhile what we have seen happen is bloggers write articles listing “10 things to do after installing Ubuntu” and one would be “Turn off updates”, “Just click this button”. Users will blindly copy and paste the instructions, turn off updates, and thus be less secure. This is not hypothetical, it happens. They don’t understand the implications of their actions. There are millions more of those people than there are of you. We try to cater to the widest possible audience we can, so we try and do the best for the majority, which is, automatic updates, not easily turned off.
Alright, I do want auto updates.
This discussion is pointless. It is not what you want or what I want. It’s about what makes sense for the most people. Now please stop to stress your opinion like it would matter more than anyone’s else opinion.
It’s better not to have auto updates. It’s good to know what’s getting updated and why.
People talk about security updates, without exactly explaining what they might be. What might be the problem with security on such a little app like the Gnome Calculator, for example?
Of course it’s a good point, for a lot of users that do not care about this forum or Ubuntu’s dev in general – e.g. my wife ! – to have auto updates.
- I sometimes use a hot spot with slow wifi rate and I don’t want to wait some dozens of minutes that snapd updates all his children ;
- it may be a good point to know what apps are updated (because bugs happen in new versions too – aren’t they ? – and it could be smart to advertise updates) ;
- the underground question is whether snap apps do propose two versions LTS-security-stability or not, like Firefox ESR does e.g. ;
- @popey : I can imagine it’s possible to have a block-updates-by-session switch, which turns ON again when a new session is started, avoiding ever-blocked updates.
I haven’t followed the full discussion. But if what I quoted is true, please, no. I am using Ubuntu because auto update broke Windows 10 on this machine. Please do make auto update off by default. No matter core OS or software installed.
I want them, but let me choose. A list as we have now, tick or untick them individually before going for install.
… in your opinion. The vast majority of people do not believe this.
You’re conflating things. GNOME Calculator was put on the ISO as a snap to help us test the whole “seeding snaps” process, not because it was a fast-moving, CVE-prone applications. Chromium, Firefox and LibreOffice fall more into that category. They are updated often, and sometimes have security issues which need delivering to users quickly.
As previously mentioned, by default snapd detects when users are on slow or metered connections. if it doesn’t, you can force snapd to think it is, by setting this (bottom) tickbox in Network Manager.
For some users, yes, and again, not all users think like this. It really is beneficial to get your brain outside your own head and consider how other people think sometimes. Most “Normal” users do not care what was updated, what version number something is, which libraries are used. They just want the latest version of the software, which works. If something breaks, they expect the developer to fix it and a new update to come along. They’re not remotely interested in these details because the computer is a black box which they use to do a job. Version numbers are meaningless to them, and only people like us care about them.
There are way more of them than there are of us.
It is possible for a developer to publish two versions of a snap in the store. See for example the Skype snap. It has both a stable and an ‘insiders’ build available. Users can switch between them. Many other snaps do the same thing. Firefox could do the same with ESR.
You can certainly imagine all kinds of things. Indeed it is possible to defer updates to later, if you want, for example this will defer until tomorrow.
sudo snap set system refresh.hold="$(date --date=tomorrow +%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S%:z)"
Currently we don’t have a GUI to present that in a friendly way, but that could be made, I think.
Most of them don’t use Linux at all, they don’t even know it does exist.
Let’s consider, outside of my brain, Android. You would agree that it’s not geek-designed but does tell users if some apps have to / were updated. No need to display the changelogs… A simple GNOME notification is not a problem for them : they just don’t care about that, the notification disappears and end of the story.
I’m talking about the them who do, who are running Linux already, not the great pile of potential Linux users.
So do we. GNOME Software pops up a dialog to suggest the user should do their updates.
Ah ok, sorry I didn’t understand that snaps will be included in current updates notifications, I believed snaps will do silent updates in Focal.
Actually both. If you happen to see it, then you’ll be able press the button to update. But if you miss it, you’d get automatically updated by default. See also my previous comments about deferring updates. If you choose to defer updates for 60 days for example, you’ll keep getting the notifications in GNOME Software, and can pick when to install them, but the default is indeed auto update.
Will the deb packages be auto-updated too ? I know I can choose to auto-update security updates (I did that for my wife who belongs to them, I don’t remember if it’s default) but I do not have any option to do the same for regular updates. If i was one of them, I won’t understand why some are and some aren’t updated automatically.