[PC-BSD Dev] App-Cafe problems + system update suggestion

Kris Moore kris at pcbsd.org
Fri Feb 1 12:40:54 PST 2013

On 02/01/2013 11:54, Fabrizio Parrella wrote:
> Hello list,
> I have found a few issues with the App-Cafe.  Those issues have been
> in place since 9.0, I just forgot to send an email to the list.
> All my systems have two users because they are installed in bulk and
> then distributed to different user when needed.  We always create an
> user called "admin" and then when we give the system to a person we
> create that person user and configure it.
> We do install all the Apps initially as "admin", then it might happen
> that some apps are removed and installed as the the person name (I.E.:
> open office changes).
> When it happens that we need to update the PBI, if we are not logged
> in as the user that initially installed the APP it might happen that
> we find ourselves with a few issues:
>  - /var/db/pbi/  has the old copy of the PBI as well as the new one
>  - /usr/pbi/ doesn't get updated
>  - App-Cafe runs the update, download, does all the "work" but then it
> shows that the PBI still needs to be updated

Ok, I think whats going on is that the updates aren't really happening,
since the /usr/pbi/<pbidir> is owned by the original user, and not
writable by the 2nd user. In this case they would have to do the update
as root in order to update it. I'll have to add a check so that it stops
the user and prompts for root first.

> I believe this can be fixed by changing the permissions on those
> folders to a different user (let's call it pbi_user) and run app-cafe
> as that user so that the updates will always work no matter what user
> I am logged in as.
That would be workable. What you could do is make it always run
"AppCafe" as your Admin user, so you aren't trampling the other persons
installed files.

> Another solution would be to make those folders writable by the group
> operator, but I do understand that it might be dangerous as some apps
> might write in the PBI folder breaking the "to each user its own info"
Yea, I wouldn't go this route if you can avoid it :)

> About the system update, would it be possible to have some settings
> that I can change in the interface ?
> I would like the option to tell the system to automatically apply all
> the system updates that are not going to require a "restart", maybe
> even the ability to give a time when to check for updates and the
> ability to turn off the "check for updates when program starts" but
> still "run program when computer starts".
> A small issue that we are having here (behind an http[s] proxy),
> sometime the icons says that there are system updates available, I run
> the program and it takes a very long time to check and then it says
> "system updates available" but nothing is listed.  I am slowly
> converting everybody to 9.1 and so far the issue has been appearing
> only on 9.0, but I do want to make sure that you guys were aware and
> maybe it is fixed on the 9.1 .
> Another important thing would be to know what the updates actually
> fix.  For example I just applied a patch that fixed the user manager,
> but what does it actually fix ?  is it something that I should go back
> into the user manager and confirm some options for the users or is
> this something that did not effect the users already created ?  I know
> i can probably go into the trac system or google or go to a site and
> find out, but a "click here for more info" would be great, or make the
> mouse over info a bit more descriptive.
I'm in the middle of a HUGE set of changes to how we do updating, which
will include system updates and package updates. I'll be writing some
details about this to the dev@ list soon, stay tuned.

But to answer your question, you will be able to automate the
installation of updates, since they will just be distributed as updated
pkgng packages. The only things that would require a reboot now will be
when you move to a new FreeBSD world / kernel :)

> Thank you
> Fabry
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Kris Moore
PC-BSD Software

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