What’s the deal with zypper in openSUSE 11?

The zypper tool in openSUSE 11 has been catching me off-guard. I guess previous versions were like this too, but for some reason I never noticed it or it never bothered me…. Anyway, here’s a tip or two about zypper‘s behavior…

I’d been noticing that the “PackageKit” update applet in the GUI Panel seemed to be notifying me about more patches than the zypper command-line tool was aware of. Right now as I type this, in fact, the applet is showing me the green star in my panel, alerting me about 6 optional updates. I run the “zypper lu” command as I always have, and I get “No updates found.

So after looking into it just a *tad* further… um, actually reading the man page…. I discovered that this behavior is because the zypper only operates on “Patch” type updates by default, and does not show — or operate with — updates of other types. According to the man page, there are 4 types of updates: Package, Patch (the default), Pattern, and Product.

And since I did all the one-click install for the media handling, I have quite a bunch of repositories and packages and updates and things that are ignored in the standard query.

So now, if I want to see the same updates in zypper that I see in PackageKit, I type the following:
zypper lu --type package

…and viola… it tells me about the same 6 updates that I’m being notified about in the Gui Panel. Then if I want to get and install the updates, I run:
zypper up --type package

I hope that makes sense to y’all… I don’t know why I never noticed this behavior in the previous versions of openSUSE, maybe it was different… maybe not… If you noticed something I missed, as always, please let me know!


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