No, no fear. Orca’s still not a girl geek, not a woman geek and not even a lady geek. Actually she no geek at all. Orca’s just one of the lucky few who got away from the
concentration camp walled garden of WinApple and computerizes now on the sunny side. With her GNU/Linux operating system.
But here is the difference: Contrary to most Linux users who are happy with one of the many Ubuntu forks, she went on to greener pastures and operates with an Arch Linux distro. That’s highly unusual. And even more so for girls. Welcome to the fringes of the fringes. 🙂
Why am I telling you this very interesting stuff? Because it is indeed interesting. If it weren’t interesting for you, you’d already clicked outta here and would be looking at better interwebzy schtuffz, right? And kinda easy is is too, maybe even easy-peasy lemon squeezy. See, I’m gonna show you an almost daily, often even multiple times a day, appearing occurance in the life of an Arch Linux user. And it’s a thing we gotta do, almost religiously, in order to keep our computers up to date and in good working order. Talking about the dreaded chore of updating your system.
In Windows 10 you don’t have to do anything, since your system will update itself, if you want or not, if you’ve got time for that shit or not, if you’re in the middle of a TrYC Shields race with Lucy or whatever. Microsoft will log you out and update your computer and reboot. That’s easy for you since you can stay clueless. But it’s also not nice of Microsoft to disturb your session in such an unfriendly way.
In contrast to that Linux needs you to care and do the update yourself. You need to be a freaky geek for that. NOT! In fact it’s easy, as I already said. Whenever the distro developers and code contributors think it’s time to send out the newest and most sexy shit a little red light will appear somewhere in your panel. It’s pretty much different from distro to distro, from desktop to desktop. On Orca’s it looks like so:
See that red dot? Congratz on your eagle eyes. The dot lets you know new and fresh sexy stuff is ready and waiting for you. But no Linux distro will ever force these updates on you! If you don’t feel like updating, the red dot will just sit there and patienty wait until your system breaks and the machine don’t werk no more. That might be next week, in half a year or never. Anyhoo, as ungeeks we just do the update as soon as we’ll find the time. I’m a highly nervous person so I update every time. Usually once a day is very good, if you do it on a weekly basis it’s ok as well.
So after you click the Red Dot (or similar sign on your distro) the rest is self explanatory. Two or three clicks, typing in your password … and off you go. And, as I stated quite often in this blog already, you can just go on with your normal computing tasks while the system downloads and installs the new sexy packages and deletes old outdated stuff.
As Arch Linux user I’m on a rolling release distro, which means I never need to reinstall the system but just roll with it into eternity. Logically I don’t only get the hugh important packages but every little shit program. Most of the stuff are just tiny little geeky packages which are good for specific tasks your computer might never perform under your reign. Still, who am I to question the usefulness? Not a geek here, remember? So we just follow protocol and do all the updates. It doesn’t hurt and is mostly done in a matter of seconds or a few minutes.
Is that a reason to stick with Ubuntu-ish or Debian-esque distros?
Only if you really need the most stable system in the world, if the whole internet and the complete NASA space program are running on your private server. Or if you’re working on your doctor’s thesis or on The Novel of the 21st Century! And are too lazy to backup your data on external drives or your trusty cloud application. Apart from that I’d say no. You’re better off with a pseudo geeky Arch than with a lame-ass *buntu clone.
So, after that long-winded explainification we’re finally back at our sytem update. I just did it on OrcNet, my fukn stupid netbook. I had it open on my desk so I thought why wait for the red dot, let’s do the update manually. So I did this:
Oy! Looks geeky af, no? NO! I only typed in one command. A pretty simple one:
sudo pacman -Syyuu
As it so happens I kinda know what the command means in detail. But it isn’t necessary on a need-to-know base, as I’m not much more than a trained chimp anyway. What that command does is it goes and syncronizes your database, finds all the new packages and installs them onto the system.
So after I typed in the command I only confirm with my password and at a later point I confirm the installation with a Y (respectively J for Germans) or better, just hit the enter key. The whole feared and dreaded Linux system update was over in, like, two minutes. Of course it’s not always so quick. Sometimes the devs have major packages for us, for example when there is a jump in versions, a new Nvidia driver hits the circus, or when Linus Torvalds (the man himself) and his cronies hand out a new Linux kernel.
As an Arch user you can (but you’re not forced to) upgrade then to the new kernel or wait a couple days or whatever. Fact is it might take like half a year until that new kernel trickles down to Ubuntu. And even longer until it hits Debian installations. And that kinda explains why I do each and every update and upgrade and why we non-Ubuntus are often feeling so smug and arrogantly superior. 😉
Not that I’ve really earned my dangerous but elevated position in the Linux food chain. And yet, here I am!