Unimportant update notifications are sent to root from cron script

Bug #1402183 reported by Martin Stjernholm on 2014-12-13
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
update-notifier (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Whenever flashplugin-installer installs a new version, the cron system sends a mail to root:

flashplugin-installer: downloading http://archive.canonical.com/pool/partner/a/adobe-flashplugin/adobe-flashplugin_11.2.202.425.orig.tar.gz
Installing from local file /tmp/tmphusER_.gz
Flash Plugin installed.

This isn't appropriate to mail root about. /usr/lib/flashplugin-installer/install_plugin sends some output to stdout, which is probably reasonable. I believe the problem here is that the /etc/cron.daily/update-notifier-common script doesn't redirect stdout to some other place.

Martin Stjernholm (msub) wrote :

update-notifier is 0.154.1ubuntu1
flashplugin-installer is

Steve Langasek (vorlon) wrote :

To some other place> like where? This is where cron jobs report their output. There isn't really an alternative channel for presenting this information.

Changed in update-notifier (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Martin Stjernholm (msub) wrote :

Something like /var/log/update-notifications perhaps, or /dev/null. This isn't any kind of error, just status - other systems (thankfully) doesn't mail about such things.

Changed in update-notifier (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → New
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

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

Changed in update-notifier (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Landon Thomas (lthomas) wrote :

Does anyone have a creative solution for this? I just got over 400 emails from workstations this morning. I wonder if the bug should be fixed in the flashplugin-installer package rather than update-notifier.

tags: added: trusty
tags: added: utopic vivid
Changed in update-notifier (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Jani Uusitalo (uusijani) wrote :

Needless verbosity is the problem here, IMO. I'd expect to receive output from the installer only when the download or install fails for some reason, not when it succeeds.

(Also, to me the culprit here seems to be flashplugin-installer and not update-notifier, as plenty of other packages also report their installation progress, but only flashplugin's seems to get forwarded to root's mail even when nothing abnormal occurs.)

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