Improving the offline updates user experience

Stephen John Smoogen smooge at
Wed Oct 22 14:31:19 UTC 2014

On 22 October 2014 04:31, Lennart Poettering <mzerqung at> wrote:

> On Wed, 17.09.14 13:58, Miroslav Suchý (msuchy at wrote:
> > On 09/17/2014 11:54 AM, Bastien Nocera wrote:
> > >All those OSes require reboots when updating the OS.
> >
> > Define OS.
> >
> > Firefox is definitely not OS. While systemd is OS.
> > I am fine with reboot after systemd upgrade, but not after upgrading
> > Firefox.
> Well, on Fedora and Unixes the apps are just part of the OS, they are
> all dropped into /usr, and not isolated out.
> It would be great if we could nicely isolate the apps from the OS so
> that we can restart the apps independently from the OS, but this
> requires isolating things first.
> We are working on app sandboxes, and they will make this available,
> but it's the traditional Linux model cannot really deliver this.
Well it depends on the traditional model that you are going to refer to. In
the model of the Unix systems I had to set up in the late 1980's and the
1990's... there was a separation in that items for the OS were in the root
directories (say /bin and /sbin), and stuff that was not  OS critical but
user critical were in /usr/{bin,sbin}. And then local critical were in /opt
or /usr/local depending on the OS.

We (Linux distributions) lost that distinction sometime in the past decade
and then undid it completely with the various /usr/ merges. [This isn't
meant to open that can of worms.. the distinction was broken before the
merge.. the merge just made it clear.]

I am not sure how to best move from here. A complete reinvent of
hierarchies is always tempting.. but it has always been the deathknell of
every OS that has done it in the past due to chasm crossing issues (too
much old stuff needing old things causing any benefits from new stuff to be
actual detriments). Doing a more thorough job of packaging items so that
system only items were in /bin,/lib, etc has never worked because too many
things sit between the two. [its a user component AND a system component!]
At best I can say it comes down to operating systems are too damn
complicated and I need to go back to potato farming :)

> Lennart
> --
> Lennart Poettering, Red Hat
> --
> devel mailing list
> devel at
> Fedora Code of Conduct:

Stephen J Smoogen.
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