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SUSE 10.3 Auto-updatesThursday 18th October 2007
I've just upgraded my home server from SuSE 9.1 to openSUSE 10.3.

I was shocked to find out that by default it will not auto-update it self with security patches. This is what got my last installation out-of-date, years with no security updates!

According to the openSUSE web-site, "users don't like this behavior", and "There might be cases, when an update is undesirable".

With all the bad press Microsoft gets for Window's poor security and not doing enough out-of-the-box to protect users I'm amazed that people don't look at the alternatives. My last install went funny as, although I turned on automatic updates, they never worked.

This is exactly the same with 10.3. I selected automatic updates, but it wouldn't have worked if I hadn't had the experience of knowing you have to manually find a repository of updates, and add it into the configuration of the system. In the end I have used Mirror Service's repository.

I can understand that some users don't want automatic updates, especially in an enterprise environment where configuration changes must be thoroughly tested with existing systems prior to rolling out. But enterprises either have decent support contracts, or the in-house expertise to know how to turn this off.

If projects such as openSUSE want to push into the home user arena they really need to make the experience as fool proof and pleasant as possible.

Security is only something that you can boast about if it stays valid for more than a week. You can add in the claims of masses amounts of open source software available for free on Linux, but it seems every single one requires a different developer library to be installed, manually, first.

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