I'm likely giving up on trying to read Fedora package update information
Perhaps unlike most people, I apply updates to my Fedora machines
through the command line, first with
yum and now with
part of that, I have for a long time made a habit of trying to read
the information that Fedora theoretically publishes about every
package update with '
dnf updateinfo info', just in case there was
a surprise lurking in there for some particular package (this has
sometimes exposed issues, such as when I discovered that Fedora
maintains separate package databases for each user).
Sadly, I'm sort of in the process of giving up on doing that.
The overall cause is that it's clear that Fedora does not really
care about this update information being accurate, usable, and
accessible. This relative indifference has led to a number of
specific issues with both the average contents of update information
and to the process of reading it that make the whole experience
both annoying and not very useful. In practice, running '
updateinfo info' may not tell me about some of the actual updates
that are pending, always dumps out information about updates that
aren't pending for me (sometimes covering ones that have already
been applied, for example for some kernel updates), and part of
the time the update information itself isn't very useful and has
'fill this in' notes and so on. The result is verbose but lacking
in useful information and frustrating to pick through.
The result is that '
dnf updateinfo info' has been getting less
and less readable and less useful for some time. These days I skim
it at best, instead of trying to read it thoroughly, and anyway
there isn't much that I can do if I see something that makes me
wonder. I can get most of the value from just looking at the package
list in '
dnf check-update', and if I really care about update
information for a specific package I see there I'm probably better
off doing '
dnf updateinfo info <package>'. But still, it's a hard
to let go of this; part of me feels that reading update information
is part of being a responsible sysadmin (for my own personal
Some of these issues are long standing ones. It's pretty clear that
the updateinfo (sub)command is not a high priority in DNF as far
as bug fixes and improvements go, for example. I also suspect that
some of the extra packages I see listed in '
dnf updateinfo info'
are due to DNF modularity
I'm seeing updateinfo for (potential) updates from modules that
either I don't have enabled or that '
dnf update' and friends are
silently choosing to not use for whatever reasons. Alternately they
are base updates that are overridden by DNF modules I have enabled;
it's not clear.
(Now that I look at '
dnf module list --enabled', it seems that I
have several modules enabled that are relevant to packages that
updateinfo always natters about. One update that updateinfo talks
about is for a different stream (libgit2 0.28, while I have the
libgit2 0.27 module enabled), but others appear to be for versions
that I should be updating to if things were working properly.
Unfortunately I don't know how to coax DNF to show me what module
streams installed packages come from, or what it's ignoring in the
main Fedora updates repo because it's preferring a module version
Comments on this page:Written on 09 February 2020.