[sle-beta] Transactional Updates in Leap 15

Thorsten Kukuk kukuk at suse.de
Thu Apr 5 07:31:31 MDT 2018

On Thu, Apr 05, Joe Doupnik wrote:

>     My suggestion appears, in essence, in Windows. Some patches are done on
> the fly. Others are stashed, the machine is rebooted, and the boot steps are
> interrupted to make changes to sensitive things before proceeding.

Correct, and you know how much damage this "I have to do urgent things
with my machine, but Windows does not let me do this, it wants to update
itself" already made?

Only as example, as it was widely in the press in germany: 
"Baseketball team being relegated to lower division due to
Windows Update".

It maybe ok for Microsoft to live with such bad press, but I don't
want to read Linux there.

Only because Microsoft wasn't able to find a good solution, it does
not mean there is no better solution ;)

>     The matter of long down time, or the possibility of it occurring, is
> always with us. Where we can we provide fall back systems to provide
> continued service and be insurance against possible irreversible changes.

The feature request number one we get is still: long down times are 
inacceptable. Most often mentioned example is the Windows Updater ...

>     My suggestion side steps the issue of BTRFS or not, large disk space,
> running with r/o file systems, complicated partitioning finesse designed in
> at system creation time, etc. It safely deal with apps which are not built
> to do freeze/thaw, and it allows for regression without further
> complications. Of course it does not provide the running fallback.

Don't know why you think you need complicated partitioning finesse.
If you want to have reliable backups, you need to seperate your data from your
applications. But this does not require complicated partitioning finesse.
It only requires that your applications conform to the Linux FHS.

>     The notion is worth thinking about. My own feeling is on the fly
> patching of important systems is asking for trouble over the long term, and
> I would rather not have that be in a life support system.
>     A <not so> humorous mental picture is a doctor operating upon
> him/herself and discovering the need for three hands or careful visual
> control or the need for specialized knowledge not yet accumulated, etc.
> Another case of not knowing in advance what we don't know.

Looks like you should really watch a presentation from me about transactional
updates. What you describe is what everybody is doing today, but not what
transactional update is doing.


Thorsten Kukuk, Distinguished Engineer, Senior Architect SLES & CaaSP
SUSE LINUX GmbH, Maxfeldstr. 5, 90409 Nuernberg, Germany
GF: Felix Imendoerffer, Jane Smithard, Graham Norton, HRB 21284 (AG Nuernberg)

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