[arch-general] Why irrelevant updates?

Oliver Temlin temlin at gmail.com
Tue May 12 23:35:44 UTC 2015

On May 13, 2015 12:45:58 AM CEST, Francis Gerund <ranrund at gmail.com> wrote:
> Sometimes pacman presents updates that just don't seem to apply to my
> system.
> Just one example: sudo pacman -Syyuv presents btrfs-progs, even
> though:
> 1)  I do not, and have not, used the Btrfs file system with my Arch
> setup.
> 2)  It is "Required by: None"
> 3)  It is "Optional for: None"
> But I hate to reject it. After all, there must be some reason it was
> presented . . .  right?
Every installed package is updated on your system. Btrfs-progs is part of the base group, which is part of most arch installations.

> So, if I just say "yes" to all upgrades, won't my system over time get
> weighed down by excess stuff, until it grinds to a halt?
No, since updates rarely ever bring new software to your machine and cleaning the pacman cache gets rid of the additional storage space as well.

> Or, if I just make my best guess at what is really need and reject the
> rest, won't I have a Frankenstein system that will eventually break?
You could try doing that, most packages will have the correct dependencies and complain on a breaking uninstall, but others (usually in community) just plainly (and fairly in terms of packaging effort) expect that you have everything installed from the base group.

> And why, why, why doesn't it just present upgrades appropriate for my
> system?
You have an outdated version of a package installed. It might not even work when some of its dependencies are newer than itself.

--Oliver Temlin

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