The officially official Devuan Forum!

You are not logged in.

#1 2022-04-28 00:57:03

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

[SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

I am running Devuan Chimaera xfce on a Dell Latitude E6400 laptop.  I occasionally use Synaptic to double check which repos I currently have enabled.

Today, when I tried to do so (Settings > Repositories), nothing happened.  The Repositories window did not open.

So I tried launching from terminal to see what errors might be getting thrown, and got this (after choosing Settings > Repositories in Synaptic):

john@devuan:~$ sudo synaptic
[sudo] password for john:
ERROR:root:Cannot import UbuntuDrivers: No module named 'UbuntuDrivers'
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/software-properties-gtk", line 101, in <module>
    app = SoftwarePropertiesGtk(datadir=options.data_dir, options=options, file=file)
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/softwareproperties/gtk/SoftwarePropertiesGtk.py", line 109, in __init__
    SoftwareProperties.__init__(self, options=options, datadir=datadir)
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/softwareproperties/SoftwareProperties.py", line 109, in __init__
    self.reload_sourceslist()
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/softwareproperties/SoftwareProperties.py", line 599, in reload_sourceslist
    self.distro.get_sources(self.sourceslist)   
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/aptsources/distro.py", line 91, in get_sources
    raise NoDistroTemplateException(
aptsources.distro.NoDistroTemplateException: Error: could not find a distribution template for Devuan/chimaera


Not being expert enough to know what this implies, I tried purging Synaptic and reinstalling.  I got exactly the same result.

I am trying to determine what I may have done recently that may have caused this problem with Synaptic.  The only recent change of any significance (that I can recall) is the installation of package-update-indicator from the chimaera main repo. 

john@devuan:~$ apt-cache policy package-update-indicator
package-update-indicator:
  Installed: 7-1
  Candidate: 7-1
  Version table:
*** 7-1 500
        500 http://deb.devuan.org/merged chimaera/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

One of the packages that came along with it (by default, as a recommends) was gnome-packagekit.  I have read about people running into problems with this "UbuntuDrivers" business where gnome packages are involved.  Is it possible that this is the source of the problem I am having?  If so, what is the best way for me to remediate this?  Try uninstalling gnome-packagekit?

I know I could just go ahead and try this, but I feel like I am on a slippery slope, and don't want to mess things up any further.

I would appreciated any insights on possible causes for losing the ability to view Repositories in Synaptic.  Thanks much, in advance.

Offline

#2 2022-04-28 01:47:30

alexkemp
Member
Registered: 2018-05-14
Posts: 43  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

Hi Iggy64

I also run Devuan Chimaera xfce and thought that I may be able to offer help, but have only come up with a big set of negatives.

• Synaptic opens fine for me & likewise Settings > Repositories quickly opens with zero issues.
• I can get zero response for any file (using "locate") named 'UbuntuDrivers' & using just 'Ubuntu' gives nothing close.
• Searching within Synaptic for 'UbuntuDrivers' gives zero result.
• package-update-indicator is NOT installed. The help for the package says “This small utility which regularly checks for software updates … It is primarily intended for desktops which do not already have this functionality built-in, such as Xfce”.
• I do have PackageKit installed, and possibly this is the package that replaces package-update-indicator for xfce.

Sorry I could not offer any help.

Offline

#3 2022-04-28 02:11:32

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,503  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

The Ubuntu reference indicates that it might be self-inflicted:

From: https://www.devuan.org/os/packages

Devuan package repositories are exclusive. Other repositories, including Debian, Ubuntu, Mint etc, should NOT be used directly.

Offline

#4 2022-04-28 04:09:39

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

Thank you both for your kind responses.

As I have already noted, Synaptic was working just fine until today, when it would no longer show me the repos (which it did before today).

I don't know what caused this change.  I am just wondering if installing package-update-indicator yesterday might have caused the issue.  I have used package-update-indicator in Debian for some time, without incident.  I was hoping it would be OK to use it in Devuan.  I am well aware that the Devuan repos are exclusive, and I have been religious about following that policy.  Therefore, I was happy to see that this package is - in fact - included in the Devuan repos, as I noted earlier in my original post:


john@devuan:~$ apt-cache policy package-update-indicator
package-update-indicator:
  Installed: 7-1
  Candidate: 7-1
  Version table:
*** 7-1 500
        500 http://deb.devuan.org/merged chimaera/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status


That is, package-update-indicator is included in deb.devuan.org/merged chimaera/main amd64 packages!

I did NOT get this package from an Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, or whatever repo.

So I am confused about the reference to UbuntuDrivers in the error message. 

Also, I don't know if having gnome-packagekit dragged in as a dependency could somehow be responsible.

And further, I don't even know if package-update-indicator is the actual cause of the problem with Synaptic.

If no one has experience with this problem, I will have to take my chances and experiment further.  - I can uninstall package-update-indicator and see if Synaptic returns to normal.  If so, it would suggest that a package I got from the Devuan repo broke Synaptic, and I should mention it as a "bug."

However, if someone knows some OTHER reason (besides package-update-indicator) that Synaptic would stop showing my repos, I would be grateful to hear about it.

Thanks, again, for the responses.

Offline

#5 2022-04-28 05:20:46

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 2,326  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

Iggy64 wrote:

I occasionally use Synaptic to double check which repos I currently have enabled.

^ This has set off my PEBKAC alarm :-)

Please post the output of

apt policy
cat /etc/apt/sources.list{,.d/*}

Thanks!


To obtain a root shell use su -. Using just su will result in "command not found" messages.

Offline

#6 2022-04-28 15:36:14

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

Thank you very much for taking time to help me.

I am fairly certain you are correct: I must have done something foolish to put the kibosh on Synaptic.  I also feel silly that I cannot diagnose this for myself -- at least so far.

Before I paste in the info you requested, let me provide my own little update:

I purged the package-update-indicator package from my system.  This removed the recommended-depends gnome-packagekit along with it.

I then ran Synaptic and still failed to access the Repositories listing.

I then purged Synaptic and reinstalled it.  Now it will show me the repositories, as it did before I installed package-update-indicator.

It would appear, then, that package-update-indicator created a problem for Synaptic.  If this is in fact true, it is disappointing, as xfce lacks its own update notifier, and I have found this package to be very helpful in Debian as well as in Peppermint (which is now based on Debian). 

I mentioned earlier that I found mention  on the internet that other people received similar error messages (regarding "UbuntuDrivers" and so on) when running certain gnome-related apps.  Now I am wondering if I should try installing package-update-indicator again, but avoiding the gnome-packagekit (which is listed in the dependencies as a "recommends."

Now here is the info you requested.  Perhaps it will shed some new light on all this  ------------

john@devuan:~$ apt policy
Package files:
 100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     release a=now
 500 [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged[/url] chimaera-security/main amd64 Packages
     release v=4.0,o=Devuan,a=stable-security,n=chimaera-security,l=Devuan-Security,c=main,b=amd64
     origin deb.devuan.org
 500 [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged[/url] chimaera-updates/main amd64 Packages
     release v=4.0.0,o=Devuan,a=stable-updates,n=chimaera-updates,l=Devuan,c=main,b=amd64
     origin deb.devuan.org
 500 [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged[/url] chimaera/non-free amd64 Packages
     release v=4.0,o=Devuan,a=stable,n=chimaera,l=Devuan,c=non-free,b=amd64
     origin deb.devuan.org
 500 [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged[/url] chimaera/contrib amd64 Packages
     release v=4.0,o=Devuan,a=stable,n=chimaera,l=Devuan,c=contrib,b=amd64
     origin deb.devuan.org
 500 [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged[/url] chimaera/main amd64 Packages
     release v=4.0,o=Devuan,a=stable,n=chimaera,l=Devuan,c=main,b=amd64
     origin deb.devuan.org
Pinned packages:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


john@devuan:~$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list{,.d/*}

#Devuan package repositories are exclusive. 
#Other repositories, including Debian, Ubuntu, Mint etc, should NOT be used directly.

#This list shows all repos compatible with Devuan Chimaera
#Backports, proposed-updates, and experimental are NOT enabled by default.


# Package repositories
deb [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged/[/url] chimaera main contrib non-free 
deb [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged/[/url] chimaera-updates main contrib non-free 
deb [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged/[/url] chimaera-security main contrib non-free 
# deb [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged/[/url] chimaera-backports non-free contrib main  
# deb [url]http://deb.devuan.org/devuan/[/url] chimaera-proposed-updates main contrib non-free
# deb [url]http://deb.devuan.org/devuan/[/url] experimental main contrib non-free


# Source repositories
# deb-src [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged/[/url] chimaera main contrib non-free
# deb-src [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged/[/url] chimaera-updates main contrib non-free
# deb-src [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged/[/url] chimaera-security main contrib non-free
# deb-src [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged/[/url] chimaera-backports main contrib non-free
# deb-src [url]http://deb.devuan.org/devuan/[/url] chimaera-proposed-updates main contrib non-free
# deb-src [url]http://deb.devuan.org/devuan/[/url] experimental main contrib non-free

cat: '/etc/apt/sources.list.d/*': No such file or directory

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And, for completeness:

john@devuan:~$ apt-cache policy package-update-indicator
package-update-indicator:
  Installed: (none)
  Candidate: 7-1
  Version table:
     7-1 500
        500 [url]http://deb.devuan.org/merged[/url] chimaera/main amd64 Packages

Offline

#7 2022-04-28 16:04:51

rolfie
Member
Registered: 2017-11-25
Posts: 643  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

Got the package-update-indicator installed, but used --no-install-recommends as option. No issues with Synaptic on Cinnamon.

Offline

#8 2022-04-28 16:46:29

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 2,326  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

@OP: what did you install from experimental?

aptitude search '?narrow(?installed, ?archive(experimental))'

I've just installed package-update-indicator (and gnome-packagekit) in a Devuan chimaera live ISO environment and Synaptic works just fine afterwards.


To obtain a root shell use su -. Using just su will result in "command not found" messages.

Offline

#9 2022-04-28 19:08:15

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

To rolfie:  Thanks for sharing!  I planned to try that myself, but had to be away from the machine for a few hours.  I will try it here shortly and report back.

To head_on_a_stick: I have not installed anything from experimental, or from proposed-updates, or from backports.

Of my own choosing, I have only installed perhaps five packages, and ALL are from
deb http://deb.devuan.org/merged/ chimaera main contrib non-free
deb http://deb.devuan.org/merged/ chimaera-updates main contrib non-free
deb http://deb.devuan.org/merged/ chimaera-security main contrib non-free

The package I installed at all recently was package-update-indicator, which brought along gnome-packagekit as a recommend.  Both of those are in
merged chimaera/main

The only reason I have experimental, proposed-updates, and backports listed in my sources.list is to provide myself a reminder of the only six repos that are valid to use in Devuan.  Of course, I have them commented out, as they are not something I want included in regular upgrades.  But, if I should ever want to try something from backports, it's already listed there, so all I would have to do is uncomment it temporarily.

Thanks for your continuing support!

Offline

#10 2022-04-28 19:42:50

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

I have reinstalled package-update-indicator using

sudo apt install package-update-indicator --no-install-recommends

The dialog showed that the "recommends" package gnome-packagekit was indeed held back and not installed.


Then I enabled gnome-package-indicator  in the Application Autostart list, and logged out and back in.

This gave me the indicator icon in the system tray, and a hover tells me all packages are up to date.  That is correct (as I checked in terminal).
When updates are available, this icon should change to a red triangle to alert me, and a click will allow me to choose which items I want to upgrade.

Now I opened Synaptic and asked to see the Repositories.  This was now successful, so I have the update indicator and Synaptic working properly at the same time.  It seems the problem is now solved, although I will await the arrival of some updates to know whether the indicator will alert me properly.

It would appear that gnome-packagekit is likely the reason why my earlier installation of package-update-indicator caused a problem in Synaptic.

So I looked here:

https://help.gnome.org/users/gnome-pack … ro.html.en

where it says:

PackageKit is designed to unify all the software graphical tools used in different distributions. It abstracts the various underlying package management technologies like yum, apt, smart etc. and provides unified graphical and command line frontends. It also provides a framework that includes programming interfaces that other software applications can take advantage of. It is not a replacement for existing package managers like yum.

Also

The software repository viewer allows you to enable or disable software sources - also known as “repositories”.

So it looks like this package might well conflict with Synaptic, as it is trying to do some of the same things.  And, as it is aimed at working across various distros, it accounts for my getting an error message complaining about UbuntuDrivers. 

Although it is listed as a "recommends" for package-update-indicator, and comes along with it by default, it appears that it must be rejected in our case.


Thanks, again, to everyone who took time to help me along.  Even after a couple of decades of using Linux systems, I'm still learning new concepts, and that makes me very happy.

Offline

#11 2022-04-28 19:53:12

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 2,326  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

Iggy64 wrote:

if I should ever want to try something from backports, it's already listed there, so all I would have to do is uncomment it temporarily

If you install backported packages the repository should be left enabled so that the package(s) can be updated from there.

Iggy64 wrote:

It would appear that gnome-packagekit is likely the reason why my earlier installation of package-update-indicator caused a problem in Synaptic

Please confirm that by installing gnome-packagekit in your now functional system. As I said that package does not break Synaptic in the live environment.


To obtain a root shell use su -. Using just su will result in "command not found" messages.

Offline

#12 2022-04-28 20:03:30

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

Some follow-up thoughts (in case someone might be interested in this issue down the road):

I checked on the Peppermint machine and the Debian machine where I have been using package-update-indicator without disturbing Synaptic.  In both cases, the "recommends" package gnome-packagekit was - by default - installed along with package-update-indicator.  Both those distros use systemd.

Yet, for some reason,  gnome-packagekit causes a problem with Synaptic in Devuan. 

I am not knowledgeable enough to know why this might be. 


In any case, the info at

https://help.gnome.org/users/gnome-pack … ex.html.en

seems to indicate it is redundant with respect to Synaptic at best, and a problem in the case of Devuan.

Offline

#13 2022-04-29 09:55:19

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 2,326  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

Have you tried installing gnome-packagekit again? It didn't break the live system so this problem seems peculiar to your machine rather than Devuan itself.


To obtain a root shell use su -. Using just su will result in "command not found" messages.

Offline

#14 2022-04-29 15:22:43

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

Thanks for following up!

My plan is to wait until some updates show up, to see if the update notifier and Synaptic bother behave properly.  I would like to vet the current arrangement as 100% OK before running further experiments.

The gnome-packagekit is just a "recommends," and - from its description - it's not clear what it would add to what I already have.  However, that remains to be seen (will the update indicator work as-is?).

Regardless of the outcome, I will probably go ahead and install the gnome-packagekit just to satisfy our curiosity, and to see if I get the same error messages regarding UbuntuDrivers, etc.

As I mentioned earlier, I read that other people have received similar error messages (although not regarding the update indicator) when playing with gnome-packagekit.  Perhaps there, too, it is something specific to certain machines, or to the sequence in which things get installed, or how many competing daemons are running.

And gnome-packagekit appears to be designed to be a "Synaptic-of-all-Distros," a tool to run in GNOME on any distro,  albeit with less capabilities than Synaptic.  If it doesn't offer me any benefits, I don't know why I would want the unnecessary redundancy, and the addition of yet one more daemon running in the background.  Plus, gnome-packagekit is designed for the GNOME desktop (see below), not xfce.  If the update indicator works OK without it, I will probably run without the gnome-packagekit for those reasons.

Thanks, again, for your continuing support.  I'll check back in as I learn more and after I run the experiment you suggested.


https://github.com/GNOME/gnome-packagekit

                                            gnome-packagekit

                      A PackageKit client for the GNOME desktop

gnome-packagekit are PackageKit client programs designed for the GNOME desktop.

Offline

#15 2022-05-04 20:09:42

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

As promised, I am following up (just for the record) with a report on performance of package-update-indicator now that some actual package updates are available for detection.  Here are my observations:

* With package-update-indicator installed and gnome-package-kit (recommends) also installed, the Update Indicator does detect available updates.  Its icon changes to a different shape, and clicking it allows me to choose "Install updates."  When I do so, its window opens and shows me the available updates, allowing me to select which ones to update at this time.  Unfortunately, it shows me MORE updates than I find when I run sudo apt update in the terminal.  The names of the "extra" packages shown by the Update Indicator are almost duplicates of some of the other packages, but not exactly.  Very confusing!

* In addition to the above issue, with package-update-indicator and gnome-packagekit  both installed, Synaptic will no longer show me the repositories -- which is the reason for my original post. 

* If I completely remove gnome-packagekit, the package-update-indicator will not show me avaialble updates, and Synaptic remains broken, even after a reboot.

* If I then completely also remove package-update-indicator, then reboot, Synaptic still remains broken.

* If I then completely remove Synaptic and reinstall it, Synaptic is fixed, and it shows me my repositories list.


I have tried these steps in various combinations and sequences, interspersed with reboots, for several hours, and have not found a combination wherein both package-update-indicator and Synaptic work together without problems.

On my system:

* package-update-indicator will not run (i.e., show me available updates) without gnome-package-kit being installed

* When package-update-indicator is running, Synaptic refuses to show me my repositories.

* When package-update-indicator and gnome-packagekit are removed, Synaptic remains broken until it is reinstalled.


Since xfce does not have an update indicator, I have used package-update-indicator to alert me to updates on Debian and on PeppermintOS (which is Debian-based).  For some reason I have yet to discover, it is conflicting with Synaptic on my Devuan install.  Frustrating, but certainly not a big deal.

I have removed package-update-indicator and gnome-packagekit, so that Synaptic will function completely.

I will probably set up a cron job to remind me to check for updates on a regular basis, until I just get into the habit.

Thanks, again, to those of you who were so kind to offer me assistance in trying to resolve this conflict.

Offline

#16 2022-05-04 20:19:13

rolfie
Member
Registered: 2017-11-25
Posts: 643  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

I repeat my previous post: Got the package-update-indicator installed, but used --no-install-recommends as option. No issues with Synaptic on Cinnamon. Also works on Mate DE.

This pulls in package-kit which is mandatory for package-update-indicator to work. But it does not inflict with Synaptic. gnome-package-kit is not required for update-indicator to work fine.

Last edited by rolfie (2022-05-04 20:20:08)

Offline

#17 2022-05-05 00:20:44

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

Thank you rolfie for your continuing support and patience.

I'm pretty sure I did the install that way when you first suggested it, although I've run so many iterations I'm really not sure of ANYTHING ;-)

I believe what happened was:

- Package Updater installed OK (without gnome-packagekit)

- At this point, Synaptic was still fine (showing me the repos)

- Rebooted, to get the Updater daemon running via Autostart, and to get the icon in the system tray.

- Waited for updates to arrive (several days elapsed), but no action from the Update Indicator

- Eventually, sudo apt update revealed 5 updates were available, but Update Indicator did not alert me.  When I clicked on the icon, it did not offer to show me any updates.  Synaptic still fully functional.

- Thinking that maybe gnome-packagekit might actually be required to make Update Indicator show me the updates, I installed it.  After reboot, Update Indicator now showed updates available.  But now Synaptic would not show me the repos.


Now, maybe in my tiredness, I made mistakes with this -- even though I went through this multiple times.  Maybe I screwed it up multiple times.


Anyway, I am right now giving it another shot.

sudo apt install package-update-indicator --no-install-recommends

then rebooted to get the app up and running, with icon in the tray.  Synaptic is still AOK, as before.

Now waiting to see if Update Indicator will actually announce any updates and show them to me.  This is where things seem to fail for me until I add gnome-packagekit.  But maybe I've just somehow messed this up multiple times.

So now I await the next batch of updates, to see what happens.

I am very grateful for your putting up with my long-winded story.

Offline

#18 2022-05-05 06:43:43

rolfie
Member
Registered: 2017-11-25
Posts: 643  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

BTW: package-update-indicator installation does not mean you immediately get a notification when an upgrade is available, there is some process in that background that needs to update the package info from the server. This is handled by package kit.

But its working, in my eyes fast and accurate enough.

Though I use a root console and apt to install updates.

Offline

#19 2022-05-06 11:33:23

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 2,326  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

@OP: have you considered using unattended-upgrades instead? Hands-free updating should be "safe" for the stable release and ensures timely security fixes.


To obtain a root shell use su -. Using just su will result in "command not found" messages.

Offline

#20 2022-05-15 21:00:22

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

@HoaS: Sorry for the late response.  I have been waiting for some updates to arrive, so I could see if the Update Indicator actually alerts me to available updates.  So far, no recent updates (I check via terminal).  I figured I would add a response to this thread once I got the results.

And, yes, I have considered unattended-upgrades as a viable alternative.  Once I get completely at ease with Devuan, that may well be where I end up.  However, for the moment, I am interested in seeing exactly what updates are available before I choose to allow them.  I have a couple of apps that I rely upon regularly that only work properly in older package versions; I therefore have them on (apt-mark) "hold" status.  So far, apt seems to be honoring that status, and is not offering to upgrade them.  Nevertheless, I am still interested in seeing specifically what is available to update, and from what repo, before signing off on any updates.

Update Indicator has helped me get comfortable with how updates are delivered on my Debian installs, and I am now following that same learning curve on Devuan. 

As you suggested, though, I will likely end up going with unattended-upgrades once I have learned how the updates are coming down, and how well my "holds" are being honored.

Thanks for taking time to help me along!

Offline

#21 2022-05-16 00:19:49

alexkemp
Member
Registered: 2018-05-14
Posts: 43  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

Iggy64 wrote:

Since xfce does not have an update indicator

All the suggestions that I found within Synaptic whilst researching this said that XFCE did NOT have an update indicator, yet I could not find one either (I mis-understood the Synaptic info for package-update-indicator).

To the best of my belief, the way that XFCE deals with this is that:-

  1. The Menu: Settings | Sessions and Startup | Application Autostart is used to set an app as default notification agent for Updates

  2. You write your own App / install a pre-written App

That seems like the XFCE way to do things (it is designed to be very light).

Last edited by alexkemp (2022-05-16 23:31:57)

Offline

#22 2022-05-16 15:03:53

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

@alexkemp: Thanks for your input.

I have been using the xfce desktop for many years, originally on MInt, then on MX, then on Debian, then on Peppermint, and now on Devuan.   

Mint provides its own home-brewed update indicator, which is a very nice one, allowing you to pick and choose which updates to apply, and to control kernel versions, etc.

MX also provides its own indicator, albeit not quite as full featured or flexible as the one in Mint.

Debian gives you a very basic xfce desktop, with no update indicator added.  While xfce is faithful to the Linux paradigm of modular design, it does not provide its own indicator module.  Therefore - as you pointed out - you have to create your own, or find a third-party app.  The package-update-indicator works great for me on Debian.
https://packages.debian.org/bullseye/pa … -indicator
This web page confirms that: "It is primarily intended for desktops which do not already have this functionality built-in, such as Xfce."

Peppermint used to borrow the update indicator from Mint, but dropped that when Peppermint shifted from Ubuntu to a Debian base.  So I once again resorted to package-update-indicator, and it works just fine there, too.

Now I am hoping to get it to run well on Devuan.  As noted in my OP, I have had some hiccups this time around.  I have done the install a few different ways, and could not get the updater and Synaptic to play nice together.  I am on my fourth iteration.  Synaptic is still working properly with this latest updater install.  I'm just waiting for some updates to arrive, to see if the updater is also functioning properly.

Thanks, again, for your comments.

Offline

#23 2022-05-18 23:56:40

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

Well, a couple of updates have finally arrived, so an opportunity to test the re-installed package-update-indicator.

When the updates arrived, the indicator's icon in the system tray changed from a globe (the earth) to a gold-colored gear wheel.

Hovering over the icon revealed a little dialog box stating "Software Updates."  (Normally it would say "Up to Date.")

So far so good.

However, clicking on the icon does not give me the opportunity to actual perform the updates.  Instead, the option "Install updates" is still grayed out.

Meanwhile, both the CLI and Synaptic show that two updates are - in fact available.

So, at this point, Update Indicator is installed WITHOUT the recommended gnome-packagekit, and the Indicator only partially works.  It DOES indicate that there are updates, but won't open the actual updater window.  Synaptic is working fine, showing me available updates, and also showing me what repos are currently enabled.


All this is pretty much a repeat of what happened to me in previous attempts, before I purged and re-installed both Update Indicator and Synaptic.

Presumably, if I now install gnome-packagekit, I will once again have Update Indicator working 100%, but Synaptic will no longer show me my repo listing.  That is what happened in my first two tries.  I can have either Synaptic or Update Indicator working 100%, but not both at the same time.

The two programs play together fine in Debian xfce and in Peppermint OS xfce (which is based on Debian).  I'm not smart enough to guess why they're not 100% compatible in my Devuan install.  I haven't made many changes to the as-installed system, and my few added packages have all been from the main stable repo.  No backports, experimentals, etc.

Certainly not a deal breaker.  The Update Indicator is just a handy convenience.  I could go with unattended-upgrades, but I really like to see what is changing on my system, preferably before it changes --- and have the option to skip certain changes if I haven't had the foresight to put a hold on them.

I may just set up a  cron job to remind me to check for updates on the CLI, so I don't miss out on any security updates.

Thanks, again, for the various suggestions from everyone.

Offline

#24 2022-05-19 17:51:29

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

One last update, just for the record (in case anyone else has problems with Update Indicator. and might be interested):

- As of my last post, I had Update Indicator installed WITHOUT the recommended gnome-packagekit.
Synaptic was working 100%, but the update indicator was only partially working (wouldn't open the actual updater window).

- I therefore once again installed ("recommends") gnome-packagekit.  Synaptic was immediately (without even rebooting) partially broken, as it would no longer open its repository listing.

- After a reboot, Synaptic remained partially broken, but Update Indicator was now working 100%.

I can't figure out how to fix Synaptic.

I ran Synaptic from the CLI, to get some feedback.

When I open  Synaptic this way, it opens fine.

But when I click Settings > Repositories, I get this output from the terminal:

john@devuan:~$ sudo synaptic
ERROR:root:Cannot import UbuntuDrivers: No module named 'UbuntuDrivers'
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/software-properties-gtk", line 101, in <module>
    app = SoftwarePropertiesGtk(datadir=options.data_dir, options=options, file=file)
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/softwareproperties/gtk/SoftwarePropertiesGtk.py", line 109, in __init__
    SoftwareProperties.__init__(self, options=options, datadir=datadir)
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/softwareproperties/SoftwareProperties.py", line 109, in __init__
    self.reload_sourceslist()
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/softwareproperties/SoftwareProperties.py", line 599, in reload_sourceslist
    self.distro.get_sources(self.sourceslist)    
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/aptsources/distro.py", line 91, in get_sources
    raise NoDistroTemplateException(
aptsources.distro.NoDistroTemplateException: Error: could not find a distribution template for Devuan/chimaera

So the installation of gnome-packagekit has caused the above error when trying to open the repo listing in Synaptic.  I am not smart/educated enough to understand what the message means.  It does make reference to the sources.list, and says it could not find a distribution template for Devuan/chimaera.  As I do not experience this problem in Debian, perhaps Debian has some sort of template available that Devuan Chimaera does not?

Interestingly, if I uninstall gnome-packagekit, Synaptic (repo listing) remains broken.  I have to purge Synaptic and reinstall in order to get it fully working again.

Anyway, I've gotten this same result after three purges and reinstalls of these packages, so I do not know the solution to getting the Update Indicator and Synaptic both working 100%.

Offline

#25 Yesterday 22:15:17

Iggy64
Member
Registered: 2022-04-23
Posts: 19  

Re: [SOLVED] Synaptic No Longer Shows Repositories

Upon much further review, I have a solution.  Just in case anyone else using Devuan xfce is interested in using the Update Indicator and encounters errors in Synaptic, I am posting the following account of some workarounds.  It is lengthy, but I hope not offensively so.


It IS possible to run package-update-indicator in Devuan, but this requires some adjustments.

First of all, the package gnome-packagekit is listed as a “recommends” for installing with package-update-indicator.  In fact, it will install by default if you do not specify --no-install-recommends.

If you do NOT install gnome-packagekit, package-update-indicator will function only partially.  It will show you when updates are available, but it will not open a window for you to view and choose what to update.  Of course, now that you are alerted of pending updates, you can easily apply them via Synaptic or CLI.

If you DO install gnome-packagekit (either concurrently or subsequently), it provides the shared library gpk-update-viewer.  This is what package-update-indicator uses to show you available updates and lets you select what to install.  That is, you now have a fully functioning Update Indicator.

Unfortunately, there is an undesirable side effect.  If you now run Synaptic > Settings > Repositories, you will not be shown the Synaptic repository display.  You will get no response.  Running this from the CLI will show you an error message, which appears right after you click on the Repositories menu item:

john@devuan:~$ sudo synaptic
[sudo] password for john: 
ERROR:root:Cannot import UbuntuDrivers: No module named 'UbuntuDrivers'
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/software-properties-gtk", line 101, in <module>
    app = SoftwarePropertiesGtk(datadir=options.data_dir, options=options, file=file)
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/softwareproperties/gtk/SoftwarePropertiesGtk.py", line 109, in __init__
    SoftwareProperties.__init__(self, options=options, datadir=datadir)
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/softwareproperties/SoftwareProperties.py", line 109, in __init__
    self.reload_sourceslist()
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/softwareproperties/SoftwareProperties.py", line 599, in reload_sourceslist
    self.distro.get_sources(self.sourceslist)    
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/aptsources/distro.py", line 91, in get_sources
    raise NoDistroTemplateException(
aptsources.distro.NoDistroTemplateException: Error: could not find a distribution template for Devuan/chimaera

There seems to be a problem associated with /usr/bin/software-properties-gtk, caused by a lack of distribution templates for Devuan.

Through the process of uninstalling and reinstalling package-update-indicator and gnome-package kit a few times, I observed that when gnome-packagekit is installed, you get not only gpk-update-viewer (discussed above), but also software-properties-gtk.

software-properties-gtk is a Python3 script from Canonical.  It says it is a “graphical abstraction of the sources.list.”
It is found in /usr/bin.
A launcher is automatically created in the xfce Whisker Menu, with the name “Software & Updates.”

If you run this script, it will fail to run.  Trying it from the CLI will show you the problem: you get the exact same error message (see above) that you get when you try to view your repositories in Synaptic.  That is, the system “could not find a distribution template for Devuan/chimaera.”

Upon further investigation:

software-properties-gtk appears tied to these related items:
/usr/bin/add-apt-repository
/usr/share/python-apt/templates

The latter contains templates for Ubuntu and Debian, which is to be expected as the script comes from Canonical.  For each distro, there are two files: an “info” file and a “mirrors” file.  The latter lists the available mirrors for each localization.  The former defines the urls for the various repos, series by series.

By default, there are no such entries for Devuan, so this leads to the error message we get when we try to run “Software & Packages,” (aka software-properties-gtk).

But can this somehow explain the problem with Synaptic, as it will no longer show us our repositories, and gives us the same error message as Software & Packages?

I checked on my Peppermint OS machine (based on Debian Bullseye), where I also have Update Indicator and Software & Updates running.  Software & Updates is running fine on there.  When you launch it, you get a multi-tabbed menu of options for
- adding/choosing/enabling various repositories
- scheduling checks for updates
- and more

Even more interesting --- when you run Synaptic > Settings > Repositories on Peppermint, you get the elaborate “Software & Updates” menu, rather than Synaptic's traditional simple “Repositories” menu that just shows you a listing of your distros and which are enabled.

That is, the installation of gnome-packagekit has somehow replaced Synaptic's normal “Repositories” menu with the “Software & Updates” menu (software-properties-gtk). 

On the Devuan system, however, this does not work, as software-properties-gtk eventually depends on having Devuan distribution templates that do not exist in /usr/share/python-apt/templates.  Hence the error message
“could not find a distribution template for Devuan/chimaera” when trying to view the repos via Synaptic.

So what to do?  Some options:

- Dump Update Indicator (package-update-indicator) and find another way to get alerts

- Use Update Indicator without gnome-packagekit.  This will show an alert when updates are available.   Although it will not be able to help you apply the updates (without gnome-packagekit), you can easily use Synaptic or the CLI to run the updates.

- Use Update Indicator WITH gnome-packagekit, and create python-apt template files for Devuan, so that Software & Updates will run properly and not break Synaptic.  It appear that Richard Missenden has done something very much like that:
https://bugs.devuan.org/db/54/549.html
This seems fraught with risk, however, as periodic maintenance may be required, especially as Devuan evolves.

- Use Update Indicator WITH gnome-packagekit, but subsequently remove software-properties-gtk ("Software & Updates), which came along with gnome-packagekit.  I gave this a try, and Synaptic was instantly fixed, without needing to reinstall it, or even reboot or log out/in.  Running Synaptic > Settings > Repositories now shows the old familiar “Repositories” menu.  Of course, “Software & Updates” is no longer present in the Whisker Menu. 

The above solution now allows us to autoremove the packages orphaned by software-properties-gtk:

john@devuan:~$ sudo apt autoremove
[sudo] password for john: 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  python3-distro-info python3-software-properties software-properties-common
  unattended-upgrades
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 4 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 961 kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]

Both the Update Indicator and Synaptic are now running fine.  I will monitor both carefully for a while, and report back on any anomalies.

Offline

Board footer