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October 5th, 2016

Fedora Warns Against ‘dnf update’ in Graphical Environment

Users of Fedora 24 might want to put any update plans on hold until this bug issue is resolved.

Breaking News

A warning was published Tuesday by Adam Williamson on the Fedora website against running dnf update in a graphical environment in Fedora 24. The warning was issued after numerous users began reporting “duplicated packages” and “kernel updates not working” error messages after running the update.

Fedora logoDNF is the updated version of yum and has been the default package manager in Fedora since version 22. The dnf update command is used to update a computer’s packages to the most recent version available in the repositories. Running the command produces a list of all packages that need to be downloaded and installed.

“[I]t sounds a lot like what’s happening is that something in the ‘dnf update’ process can cause a GNOME or X crash, possibly depending on hardware or package set installed,” Williamson explained. “When that happens, the update process is killed and does not complete cleanly, which is why you get ‘duplicated packages’ and other odd results.”

He goes on to say that he’s working to get to the root of the issue and hopes to have the issue patched soon. In the meantime, he suggests not running the update from a desktop environment.

“If you’re using Workstation, the offline update system is expressly designed to minimize the likelihood of this kind of problem, so please do consider using it,” he advised. “Otherwise, at least run ‘dnf update’ in a VT – hit ctrl-alt-f3 to get a VT console login prompt, log in, and do it there. Don’t do it inside your desktop.”

FOSS Force will continue to monitor and update this story.

9 comments to Fedora Warns Against ‘dnf update’ in Graphical Environment

  • What if X is not running and the user has stopped GDM3 and run dnf update then?

  • Since you posted this story a day late, you could at least have gone with the version which has all the specific details, rather than the mail I sent out very early on before we figured out exactly what was happening:

    https://www.happyassassin.net/2016/10/04/x-crash-during-fedora-update-when-system-has-hybrid-graphics-and-systemd-udev-is-in-update/

    Dimitris: that’s totally fine.

  • Mike

    As the octopus of systemd spreads, the resulting problems appear more and more Windows-like. Go figure.

  • Artem

    Damn, switched to Fedora few days ago because my friends convinced me that it is a REALLY solid distro.

  • Widget

    I suppose as a Debian user with a great prefrence for APT I should gloat.

    This would be silly. The problem is easily avoided by using the cli. dnf sounds from what I read as a real improvement over yum.

    The gui package management tools are just front ends running the cli commands for you. dnf had to be written with some backwards compatibiliy for those tools.

    Obviously doesn’t effect cli usage. So this is not a major problem. Just a problem with the implementation of the gui tools.

    Growing pains in any change are pretty much a sure thing.

    A general unknotting of knickers would be a good thing.

  • Eddie G.

    I’ve been with Fedora since 13/14….not abandoning ship now. They’ll get through this like they do with everything that crosses their path. I can live without updating for a month or more, since I only use my Fedora box for writing, and nothing web-centric. I’m not worried in the least over this. I guess it would be different if someone has a server running this OS, but then again why in the world would you run a “bleeding edge” distro as a server?….especially one that’s production?…either way this isn’t anything to worry over. Now…if we can just get the LibreOffice people to FIX the “persona/theme” issue in LO 5.x.x!!! LoL!

  • Mike

    @Widget

    > “Obviously doesn’t effect cli usage. So this is not a major problem. Just a problem with the implementation of the gui tools.”

    That’s not accurate. It isn’t a problem with gui tools. The problem can happen when running the cli tools in a terminal within an X session.

    From the link profived by Adam: “The bug is actually triggered by restarting systemd-udev-trigger.service; anything which does that will cause X to crash on an affected system.”

  • Miorin

    Shortly thereafter, the Manjaro project posted the same warning for the same update (udev) on their news page and forums.
    No one ran to the press and cleared the front page.
    This was not a fedora issue, but they caught most of the flak for letting everyone know about it.

  • Mike

    This is actually a systemd problem.

    Big surprise there!

    If these distros weren’t so eager to swallow everything their dealer (aka RedHat) is pushing, they’d be better off.