RFE: ask all config-file questions at the start or end of the upgrade

Bug #86028 reported by Bordiga Giacomo on 2007-02-18
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
One Hundred Papercuts
Software Updater
update-manager (Ubuntu)
Declined for Gutsy by Henrik Nilsen Omma

Bug Description

Binary package hint: update-manager

I've just upgraded with update-manager from edgy to feisty. During the dist upgrade, some of the packages asks questions about the configuration files (substitute or keep, etc...) and the installation of the subsequent packages stops. This requires the user to check if the process is waiting for an answer (and it will take much longer to complete).
I think the upgrade should be non-stop and only in the end it should ask the questions.

Michael Vogt (mvo) wrote :

Thanks for your bugreport.

What kind of questions did it ask? About changed configuration files? Or debconf questions (general questions asked by the package)?


Changed in update-manager:
status: Unconfirmed → Needs Info
Bordiga Giacomo (gbordiga) wrote :

About replacing or keeping configuration files (with the option to check diffs). I remember php and cups asking, and one or two more packages i do not remember.

Maybe i can attach the apt log later. Does anyone knows if and where apt stores the log?

Michael Vogt (mvo) on 2007-02-19
Changed in update-manager:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: Needs Info → Confirmed

The same happened from feisty to gutsy, and still happening from gutsy to hardy.

Tom Adams (holizz) wrote :

When I upgraded from Feisty to Hardy beta recently, it asked about replacing a /etc file related to Bluez, and it re-asked me if I wanted to accept Java's contract.

There must be a way to determine if a package upgrade is going to ask a question. In which case it should be possible to move those to the end.

Bordiga Giacomo (gbordiga) wrote :

Still from hardy to intrepid cups and sensord asked me to replace or not the config file.

LKRaider (paul-eipper) wrote :

I agree, the upgrade process should be as much automatic as possible, preferably the questions should be asked at the end without interruption of the upgrade.

Since it is so long a process, the user should not be expected to be available to be responding these questions at random moments during the upgrade process.

ShawnJGoff (shawn-goff) wrote :

I agree that this is very annoying. It drove me crazy last time I upgraded. However, I don't expect it to be a trivial fix; it's probably across several packages.

Lightbreeze (nedhoy-gmail) wrote :

I also doubt this is a trivial fix. However since it is not encountered on a day to day use of Ubuntu by an average user, this is not a "paper cut" anyway.

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: New → Invalid
Rolf Leggewie (r0lf) on 2010-02-17
summary: - RFE: ask all config-file questions that the start or end of the upgrade
+ RFE: ask all config-file questions at the start or end of the upgrade
Andrew Somerville (andy16666) wrote :

I suspect that this bug is a result of the design of dpkg. Does anybody know specifically what causes the popups? Is it the installation scripts in the individual packages?

There is no doubt in my experience that this is a stopper for some users. Specifically experienced users who've used other platforms and later tried Ubuntu. As an experienced Linux user I'm just glad to be able to upgrade, although honestly I've yelled at my computer over this one after walking away to let an upgrade run, only to come back and find that it's stopped and waiting for input several hours from completion.

What it comes down to is that this issue requires the user to attend the upgrade which can sometimes take 10-12 hours, and which clearly should not require periodic user input. So from an HCI standpoint it's extremely bad behavior. And while I realize the difficulty in bringing together thousands of separate package scripts into a coherent user interface, I think this bug really deserves much more developer attention than it seems to have gotten.

PS - It's definitely a major paper cut.

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