Piwik told me that people are still sharing my post about the state of GNOME-Software and update notifications in Debian Jessie.
So I thought it might be useful to publish a small update on that matter:
- If you are using GNOME or KDE Plasma with Debian 8 (Jessie), everything is fine – you will receive update notifications through the GNOME-Shell/via g-s-d or Apper respectively. You can perform updates on GNOME with GNOME-PackageKit and with Apper on KDE Plasma.
- If you are using a desktop-environment not supporting PackageKit directly – for example Xfce, which previously relied on external tools – you might want to try pk-update-icon from jessie-backports. The small GTK+ tool will notify about updates and install them via GNOME-PackageKit, basically doing what GNOME-PackageKit did by itself before the functionality was moved into GNOME-Software.
- For Debian Stretch, the upcoming release of Debian, we will have gnome-software ready and fully working. However, one of the design decisions of upstream is to only allow offline-updates (= download updates in the background, install on request at next reboot) with GNOME-Software. In case you don’t want to use that, GNOME-PackageKit will still be available, and so are of course all the CLI tools.
- For KDE Plasma 5 on Debian 9 (Stretch), a nice AppStream based software management solution with a user-friendly updater is also planned and being developed upstream. More information on that will come when there’s something ready to show ;-).
I hope that clarifies things a little. Have fun using Debian 8!
It appears that many people have problems with getting update notifications in GNOME on Jessie. If you are affected by this, please try the following:
- Open dconf-editor and navigate to org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.updates. Check if the key active is set to true
- If that doesn’t help, also check if at org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.updates the frequency-refresh-cache value is set to a sane value (e.g. 86400)
- Consider increasing the priority value (if it isn’t at 300 already)
- If all of that doesn’t help: I guess some internal logic in g-s-d is preventing a cache refresh then (e.g. because I thinks it is on a expensive network connection and therefore doesn’t refresh the cache automatically, or thinks it is running on battery). This is a bug. If that still happens on Debian Stretch with GNOME-Software, please report a bug against the gnome-software package. As a workaround for Jessie you can enable unconditional cache refreshing via the APT cronjob by installing apt-config-auto-update.