Update Your PCLinuxOS
This page deals with the method of keeping your PCLinuxOS system up-to date.
PCLinuxOS is a Linux distribution that follows the system of rolling updates. It means that you do not need to reinstall each time an update is released and when fully updated you already have the most current system. However it is very important to update properly to make sure that your system does not break. It is recommended that you do a proper system update as outlined below once every week or two. Leaving a long gap between system updates may cause the update path for some software to breakdown. Do not wait more than 60 days to update your system.
The update procedure below will properly update your system by updating, adding and removing packages as necessary. There are some important exceptions:
- The kernel is not updated but new kernels may be added if you have the kernel-latest package installed. See Kernel Updates for details.
- The LibreOffice suite is updated manually or by using LibreOffice Manager. See this forum post for details.
- VirtualBox is updated manually or by using VirtualBox Manager.
PCLinuxOS updates are delivered over the internet so a working internet connection is needed. Broadband connections are preferred because sometimes the updates can be of the order of hundreds of MBs. So before proceeding with the update, make sure that you have a working internet connection.
Updating using Synaptic
Synaptic is the software that manages the task of downloading and installing updates for your system. The software on your system is delivered as packages and hence Synaptic is also called package manager. You can launch it by any one of the following methods:
- By clicking on Synaptic Package Manager icon in the taskbar near the left hand lower corner of your screen.
- By going to PC Menu (Also called Kickoff Application Launcher) at the left hand lower corner of your screen > Applications > Software Centre > Synaptic Package Manager.
- By typing 'synaptic' into a root terminal.
- If you have one of the update-notifier applications installed they usually have an option for launching Synaptic.
As soon as Synaptic starts, it scans your system for existing software and gets ready.
Now you need to reload the package information to become informed about new, removed or upgraded software packages. Click on 'Reload' button.
A window labelled 'Downloading package information' will come up and show the progress of this operation. Once the download is complete, Synaptic will do another scan and get ready for the next step.
Now click on 'Mark All Upgrades'.
You will get another window with the prompt "Mark additional required changes?'. Go through the list and click on 'Mark'.
Now click on 'Apply'. You will be presented with another summary window. You can expand To be upgraded To be installed and To be removed sections by clicking on the small triangle before each line. Pay attention to the To be removed section. While it is normal for a few packages to be removed as part of an upgrade, if this list is very long without corresponding packages appearing in the To be installed section it could be an indication of a problem. After going through the list, click on 'Apply' to begin the actual process of downloading and installing updates.
Once the process is complete you may see another window showing some output. Some of the changes effected by Synaptic might require you to either log-off and log-in again or rarely in case of kernel update etc require you to reboot which would be shown in this window. After this you may close Synaptic.
If required, as mentioned above, log-off/log-in or reboot.
That completes your system update.
Updating using the command line
For those who prefer to update using the command line the correct procedure is to use is:
apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade
The apt-get command is used to access the package management system. You may be familiar with this command from Debian based distributions and it works in a similar (but not exactly the same) way on PCLinuxOS. First we use update to get the current package list and only if that is successful then use dist-upgrade to perform the actual updating.
The most common problems encountered occur if you are trying to update at the same time as your chosen repository mirror is syncing with the master repository. In this case you may see an error like the following:
'DO NOT click Yes. Say NO and try updating sometime later after reloading the repository indexes (press Reload).
If the message continues to appear even after a day, report the issue to the forum.