DSAs, USNs, udev, and… reboots

As I’ve posted about a couple of times already, reboots are real productivity killers. So please spare me any unnecessary reboots. Like, possibly, the one last week.

It occurred to me that, after a patch came through for some udev vulnerability, a Debian 5.0 system that I’m running did not prompt me for a reboot, whereas Ubuntu 8.04 on my laptop did. Indeed, the related USN mentions a reboot as necessary, and there’s no such mention in the corresponding DSA. A quick look at the process IDs on the Debian system shows that the update just restarted udevd. Now, I understand too little of the intrinsics to judge if this was impossible for the Ubuntu system, so I’d like to put that out there as a question: why couldn’t we just restart udevd on Ubuntu?

In fact there was a similar issue some time ago. A NetworkManager update came through, and then I was prompted to reboot. As far as I could tell, restarting dbus was actually sufficient here to start using the updated binaries (but of course the update manager thingy kept bugging me to reboot nonetheless…). APT could have done that automatically, I’d think.

So what’s the policy with that? Just reboot to be on the safe side, avoid peculiarities with some users’ systems? User friendliness in some intractable way or another? Any thoughts?

(On a related note, the whole boot-time benchmarking obsession permeating the geek blogs lately obviously doesn’t resonate with me – if I reboot my laptop once a month at most, it may take five minutes for all I care. I’m much more interested in the kernel mode-setting advances, with its promises of more robust resume/suspend. Getting all excited here :))


2 Responses to “DSAs, USNs, udev, and… reboots”

  1. 1 Maxim 5 May 2009 at 18:56

    Maybe you should switch to Fedora then ;-) After all, NetworkManager was created by Red Hat. Same goes for Plymouth, btw.

  2. 2 yungchin 5 May 2009 at 19:08

    Yeah, maybe…

    Actually, NetworkManager would be a reason NOT to switch to Fedora, if it wasn’t moving into all distros now. I might switch for Plymouth though.

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