System Updates

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The System Updates tab, seen in Figure 6.1.4a, allows you to easily apply security patches and update system drivers. If system updated are available, they will be listed; if your system is fully up-to-date, there won't be any entries in this tab.

Figure 6.1.4a: Using the System Updates Tab to Apply System Patches or Upgrade Drivers


Though the installation of updates is recommended as they make your system more secure, add more functionality, and fix bugs, system updates are not mandatory. For example, if you don't wish to apply an NVIDIA update because your system uses a different video driver, simply right-click the entry and choose "Ignore this update" to remove it from the menu. If you check the "Show ignored updates" box, the ignored updates will be displayed.

To receive more information about an available update, highlight the entry and click the "View Details" button. This will open up a web browser and display the details regarding what the update addresses and whether any special instructions are required, such as a reboot after applying the update.

To install an update, highlight the online update(s) you wish to install, and click the "Install selected updates" button. You can watch the update's progress as seen in Figure 6.1.4b:

Figure 6.1.4b: Installing a System Update


If the update requires a reboot, you will be notified to do so after the update has been installed. If a reboot is needed, clicking the OK button at the informational message won't reboot the system. Update Manager won't automatically reboot, meaning you can continue to use your computer for other tasks while the system is being updated. Finish whatever you're doing and reboot the computer at a time that is convenient for you.

If you're curious as to where Update Manager stores its information regarding updates, check out the contents of the following subdirectories:

ls /PCBSD/SystemUpdater/system-updates
available  ignored  installed
ls /PCBSD/SystemUpdater/system-updates/available/8.1/
patch-kqueue-08162010.upd     patch-nvidia-08132010.upd.sig
patch-kqueue-08162010.upd.sig patch-nvidia-09012010.upd.sig
patch-libbz2-10042010.upd     patch-nvidia-10272010.upd
patch-libbz2-10042010.upd.sig patch-nvidia-10272010.upd.sig

In this example, 5 updates have been issued since 8.1 was released. Each update ends in the .upd.sig extension and is dated and signed. Files that end in .upd are the details for an update; these files are ASCII text so can be sent to a pager or text editor:

more /PCBSD/SystemUpdater/system-updates/available/8.1/patch-kqueue-08162010.upd
Name: KDE / QT FileWatcher Bugfix
Date: 8-16-2010
MD5: 44da6422cd20464e47056331776626bb
Size: 21
FileURL: /system-updates/8.1/amd64/patch-kqueue-amd64-08162010.lzma
StandAlone: NO
RequiresReboot: NO
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