Automated Metadata Updates in Urpmi

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Maintainers who constantly deal with development branch of ROSA often meet a problem with outdated metadata when trying to install a package using urpmi - it often happens that a newer version of the pakcage has been already built and published, but the local metadata still contains only information about old version of the package which is now missing. If this is the case, one have to launch urpmi.update and try to install necessary package again. To be sure, one can simply launch urpmi --auto-update, but execution of this command can take significant time and usualyl maintainers don't want to wait for it.

A good news is that in rosa2014.1 development branch (which should become ROSA Desktop Fresh R4 soon) we have improved urpmi to automatiaclly update metadata and relaunch itself in case when something goes wrong with package download and it is likely that metadata update will help. This behavior is the default one in rosa2014.1, though one can disable it by means of «--no-restart» option. Note that to avoid looping, in any case the metadata will be updated only once - if this doesn't help, then urpmi will fail as before. In addition, you can specify a timeout for urpmi to wait until trying to update metadata. This option will be useful for ABF, since sometimes package builds fail due to the reason that old version of some package has been already dropped from repositories, while metadata for the new version hasn't been generated yet. When ABF will adopt a new urpmi, the number of such failures should decrease.

The new urpmi feature is primarily useful for maintainers. Most of ordinary users rarely meet such kind of problem, at least while they have automated updates enabled - the thing is that in order to perform automatic updates, urpmi.update is launch automatically on a regular basis, and updates in repositories of the released systems doesn't happen as often as in development branches. Though users are very different, so it is likely that some of them will notice that the number of routine actions necessary to update a package has decreased a little.

So, enjoy and be ready for the next ROSA release!

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