When apport complains package is outdated, it doesn't let you update

Bug #340970 reported by Matthew Paul Thomas on 2009-03-11
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
apport (Ubuntu)
Abhinav Upadhyay

Bug Description

Binary package hint: apport

Reportedly, when a package crashes but a newer version is available, apport tells you that it won't report a bug because the bug might have been fixed in the newer version. But it provides no obvious way of installing the newer version.

This could be fixed by adding an "Update…" button to this message, that launches Update Manager.

Martin Pitt (pitti) wrote :

If only we had a tray icon for package updates.. :-) (SCNR)

Changed in apport (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Triaged
Jamin W. Collins (jcollins) wrote :

An after the fact (after crash) package update is of little use. The packages need to be updated prior to the crash so the crash data is of use. the after the fact update assumes the package updates will help or prevent the crash, or in other words are some sort of corrective action. My experience thus far is that they are not. So, what winds up happening is that instead potentially useful crash information never gets reported.

Martin Pitt (pitti) wrote :

Jamin, I think Matthew just suggested to make it easier for people to actually upgrade, not to retroactively report the crash after the update (which doesn't work for the reasons you described).

Martin Pitt (pitti) on 2009-06-02
tags: added: bitesize
Changed in apport (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → In Progress
assignee: nobody → Abhinav Upadhyay (er-abhinav-upadhyay)


I did work on this bug sometime back, however, I am not sure if it works because I was not able to test it on my system.

Here is what I did:
In apport there is a check to see if the package being reported is obsolete (apport/ui.py) , so the previous behavior was to show a message box informing the user that perhaps updating the packages might solve the problem.

I added my code here, so instead of displaying the messagebox on finding outdated (or obsolete ?) packages it will display a dialog box asking the user if he would like to update the packages ? . I consulted Martin Pitt about this and did as he told me to do.

I am not sure if it works, just attaching the patch so that someone might give a review.


tags: added: patch
Evan (ev) on 2012-11-01
tags: added: whoopsie-daisy
Evan (ev) on 2012-11-30
Changed in apport:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Confirmed
John Gilmore (gnu-gilmore) wrote :
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The issue is worse than as reported above.

apport in Ubuntu 14.10 beta1 won't even let you report a bug in an application when ANY package in the system is not the absolute latest!

I got a core-dump crash in Rhythmbox and this was the eventual result from apport (when I came across it on my screen hours later):

The problem cannot be reported:

You have some obsolete package versions installed. Please upgrade the following packages and check if the problem still occurs:

acl, apt, apt-utils, bsdutils, cgmanager, coreutils, dbus, dbus-x11, dictionaries-common, enchant, firefox, geoip-database, gettext, gettext-base, gir1.2-gdkpixbuf-2.0, gir1.2-gst-plugins-base-1.0, gir1.2-gstreamer-1.0, gir1.2-gtk-3.0, gir1.2-javascriptcoregtk-3.0, gir1.2-peas-1.0, gir1.2-soup-2.4, gir1.2-webkit-3.0, glib-networking, glib-networking-common, glib-networking-services, groff-base, gstreamer1.0-plugins-base, gstreamer1.0-plugins-good, gstreamer1.0-pulseaudio, gstreamer1.0-x, gvfs, gvfs-backends, gvfs-common, gvfs-daemons, gvfs-libs, iproute2, isc-dhcp-client, isc-dhcp-common, libacl1, libapparmor1, libapt-inst1.5, libapt-pkg-perl, libapt-pkg4.12, libarchive13, libasprintf-dev, libasprintf0c2, libattr1, libblkid1, libbsd0, libburn4, libcap-ng0, libcgmanager0, libclone-perl, libcups2, libcurl3-gnutls, libdbus-1-3, libdmapsharing-3.0-2, libelf1, libenchant1c2a, libexif12, libfile-fcntllock-perl, libfreetype6, libgdk-pixbuf2.0-0, libgdk-pixbuf2.0-common, libgettextpo-dev, libgettextpo0, libglib2.0-0, libglib2.0-data, libgpg-error0, libgstreamer-plugins-base1.0-0, libgstreamer-plugins-good1.0-0, libgstreamer1.0-0, libgtk-3-0, libgtk-3-bin, libgtk-3-common, libgudev-1.0-0, libhunspell-1.3-0, libimobiledevice4, libio-pty-perl, libisofs6, libjavascriptcoregtk-3.0-0, libldap-2.4-2, liblist-moreutils-perl, liblocale-gettext-perl, libmirclient8, libmirclientplatform-mesa, libmircommon1, libmount1, libmpdec2, libnet-dns-perl, libnet-libidn-perl, libnet-ssleay-perl, liborc-0.4-0, libpam-systemd, libparted2, libpeas-1.0-0, libpeas-common, libperlio-gzip-perl, libpopt0, libpulse0, libpython2.7, libpython2.7-minimal, libpython2.7-stdlib, libpython3.4, libpython3.4-minimal, libpython3.4-stdlib, librsvg2-2, librsvg2-common, libsepol1, libsmartcols1, libsmbclient, libsocket6-perl, libsoup-gnome2.4-1, libsoup2.4-1, libsqlite3-0, libstartup-notification0, libsub-identify-perl, libsub-name-perl, libsystemd-daemon0, libsystemd-journal0, libsystemd-login0, libtelepathy-glib0, libtext-charwidth-perl, libtext-iconv-perl, libtext-soundex-perl, libudev1, libuuid1, libwbclient0, libwebkitgtk-3.0-0, libwebkitgtk-3.0-common, libxcb-util0, lintian, mount, multiarch-support, parted, perl, perl-base, perl-modules, python-apt-common, python-gi, python-gobject, python2.7, python2.7-minimal, python3-apt, python3-gi, python3.4, python3.4-minimal, samba-libs, systemd, systemd-shim, t1utils, tzdata, udev, usbmuxd, util-linux, uuid-runtime, x11-common

So, on how many levels is this wrong?

First, this problem may not be easy to reproduce. So throwing away the bug report "until every package is updated" will mean the bug just doesn't get reported, which means it will never be fixed.

Second, the bug ...


Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

John, I appreciate your frustration. But look at the Ubuntu bug list. <https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu> Ubuntu has no shortage of bug reports -- as I write this, there are 73192 that haven't even been confirmed yet. The purpose of a bug tracker is not to record every bug that people have ever encountered. The purpose of a bug tracker is to help developers make best use of their time. Generally, developer time is better spent fixing known-reproducible bugs than investigating unreproduced ones. And ensuring that people have installed all updates is a simple way of preventing bug reports that may not be reproducible at all.

Since I reported this bug, for a large majority of Ubuntu users, apport has switched from helping them report bugs to submitting error reports. Because this requires only one click, and no Launchpad account, we get orders of magnitude more error reports than we ever did of bug reports. And error reports are accepted regardless of whether you have installed all updates. So it is not correct that if apport prevents you from reporting a bug, the bug will never be fixed.

Nevertheless, fixing this bug would still be useful. If you want it to be fixed, the best thing you can do is to find someone to test and/or review Abhinav's patch. Commenting in this bug report is the least effective way of doing that, because everyone subscribed to the bug report already knows that the patch exists.

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