feature request: concurrent operation, etc.

Reported by whitis on 2009-04-28
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
synaptic (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: synaptic

Synaptic should fork a separate process for the Applying Changes window or run in a separate thread. When installing lots of packages, such as on a new system, both package selection and applying changes can take hours. You should be able to start making the next set of package selections while it is applying the last set. For example, I got as far as Development (universe), saved my package list (713 new packages), hit apply, went to bed. When I got up it was waiting for a package to be manually configured (dialog), did that, and it is still a long wait (about 45 minutes).

It is also very annoying that you can't run apt-get while synaptic is running. For example, I wanted to do a quick install of smartmontools so I could check the temperature of my new hard drive while in the midst of a multi-hour package selection session. This happens fairly often which is a reason I don't use synaptic often. Synaptic should not lock the package database until applying changes. Instead, it should monitor /var/log/dpkg.log for any changes.

Synaptic should log everything it does as an equivalent apt-get command (at least what it does shows up in /var/log/dpkg.log). And the whole dpkg/apt-get/synaptic suite should do better logging. Packages actually intentionally installed vs those installed as dependencies should be distinguished. This could be done using 'dpkg --comment "Needed for g++" ...', or '"dpkg --comment "apt-get install g++" ...', a new option that would add the comment field to the appropriate log lines. And /etc/logrotate.d/dpkg should NOT allow rotation of the log.

You should be able to click to package dependencies, suggested/recommended packages, and packages that are part of the same package set.

Package organization is still a train wreck.

There should be options to:
   - mark all -doc packages for installed (or selected for install) packages
   - mark all -dbg packages for installed (or selected for install) packages
   - mark all -dev packages for installed (or selected for install) packages
   - smart selection of internationalization (translation) packages based on installed
     One could do apt-get install `dpkg -l | sed ...` except that is hard for newbie admins and it doesn't actually work since dpkg -l truncates long package names. probably get the fullnames from dpkg.log since it hasn't had a chance to rotate yet and few packages have been removed.

Installed size should be displayed for uninstalled packages.

License info should be displayed for uninstalled or installed packages, in the details and an optional column. Of course, this requires it to be in the package headers. Package details should include a link to the package homepage (this seems to be available for at least some packages on the web package summaries). And you should be able to retrieve more information like file lists, etc., not just screenshots. requires that a server serve that up.

The package status icons should differentiate between to be installed by request and installed as a dependency.

Also getting a lot of packages that show up:
   debconf: unable to initialize frontend: Gnome
   debconf: (DISPLAY problem?)
   debconf: falling back to frontend: Dialog
Then no dialog appears.

ProblemType: Bug
Architecture: amd64
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 9.04
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
Package: synaptic 0.62.5ubuntu2.1
SourcePackage: synaptic
Uname: Linux 2.6.28-11-generic x86_64

whitis (whitis) wrote :
Changed in synaptic (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in synaptic (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
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