Update Center: Updates Made Easier
By Chris Kasso on Jun 09, 2009
In prior releases the Update Tool GUI or the pkg(5) CLI were the primary mechanisms available to apply updates. This had its limitations. For example if a developer wished to update multiple applications, each need to be selected, "Available Updates" checked and then applied before repeating for the next application in the list. Easy enough if only one or two applications are being maintained. More than that and the process becomes fairly heavyweight.
Enter Update Center 2.2. In this release we have introduced a new streamlined update mechanism. The new Software Update GUI can detect and apply updates simultaneously across multiple application images maintained on a system. Applying updates is as easy as two mouse clicks (1. accept the license 2. click Install) to update the applications.
Here's a look at the new Software Update GUI:
How does it work?
The new Software Update GUI is typically started by clicking on the notification balloon generated by the Update Center desktop notifier. The tool checks for updates in the application images registered with the Update Tool. Only those applications with pending updates are displayed. These applications will be preselected in the tool. To apply the updates just accept the license and click Install.
The tool will then apply the updates in a serial fashion to each of the selected applications. An install dialog tracks the progress:
Details of each update are available for review after the update completes.
There are a couple of other features of the tool worth mentioning. If an application update contains security related fixes or enhancements they will be identified with the security emblem:
You can also select an application to view more details about the update:
The Software Update GUI is also connected to an atom feed that allows it to recommend featured add-on software that is applicable to the applications which are already installed. Select the add-ons you wish to install and they will be included in the update process when you click Install. If the add-on can be applied to more than one image you will be prompted to indicate which images to apply the add-on to. Overall a fairly streamlined process.
The Update Tool is still available to provide finer grain control over which components in an application are updated. To access the Update Tool simply click on the "Manage Details" button at the bottom of the tool.