Update to ‘polkit’ and ‘libpolkit’ today.

Modern Linux computers, that have a considerable GUI, also have a feature called ‘polkit’. The purpose of this feature is not hard to understand. There exist certain operations which require ‘root’ privileges on a Linux computer, but actual users run Graphical User Interfaces, in ‘user mode’, i.e, without elevated privileges. Usually, Linux users want to be able to do such things as to install and update packages, which requires ‘root’ privileges, but want to be able to do so using the GUI. And so the way the feature ‘polkit’ is organized, there exists a daemon running as user ‘root’, which can among other things update packages, and there exists another daemon running as the specific user, which makes requests to the ‘root’ polkit daemon, to update packages. The root daemon carries out the requested action.

This arrangement may seem to make more sense for Ubuntu, where there is no such thing in a pronounced way, as ‘root’, as there is under Debian. But even some Debian setups have partial Ubuntu installs running, and many Debian users also like the ease, of being able to install a package, just by clicking on it, and then, by convincing the ‘root’ polkit daemon, that the user in question is privileged enough to do so.

Well today, my two Debian / Jessie systems, which I name ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Klystron’, have received routine updates to the polkit packages themselves. But the rather unbalanced, immediate result of this is, that on both these computers, the user-space daemon is still running the old binary, from before the update, while a new ‘root’ daemon has been launched, as part of the update. The two versions of ‘polkit’ running on both these computers, may or may not continue to be compatible with each other.

If they should turn out to be incompatible, then in the very near future I’ll need to reboot both computers as well, which could therefore also lead to brief downtime for this blog.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed, that the new service may be running in a way that remained compatible, with the old client.



Upgrade, Downtime

Today, the computers I name ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Klystron’ received major updates to their core ‘libgcc’ and ‘libstdc++’ libraries, as part of a combination of 25 actually-updated packages. Even though this did not upgrade the (Linux) Debian version of either O/S, which is still ‘8.10’ , This type of an upgrade requires a reboot. So I rebooted.

But, The PC which I name ‘Phoenix’ is also my Web-server. Therefore, there is no way for my blog or site to be visible to the Internet, during a reboot. My blog was offline from 20h15 until 20h25.

I apologize for any inconvenience this might have been to my readers.



System Update Today, Downtime

I take the unusual measure, of hosting my Web-site, and therefore also this blog, on a PC running at home. The PC I use is the Debian / Jessie (Linux) computer I name ‘Phoenix’.

This morning, I installed a major set of updates on this computer, which included 137 packages, and doing so, brought it from Debian version 8.9 to version 8.10 .

But, because this PC is also my Web-server, the required reboot also meant, that the site was offline from about 10h20 until about 10h30.

I apologize for any inconvenience.

BTW, ‘Phoenix’ had been Up, for 62 straight days.

It’s too early really to tell, whether this large an update has affected reliability adversely, but they usually do not. So for now, I’m counting this as a successful update.