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How will I know if I need to reboot my Laptop?

asked 2016-02-15 15:27:46 -0500

standard7452 gravatar image

I set up dnf-automatic so that the system will update automatically (at least I think that is what it does).

While reading information about it, many folks said that the only time an update needs a reboot is if it is done to the kernel.

If the updates are happening in the background, then how do you know if a kernel update has happened?


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answered 2016-02-15 15:36:16 -0500

sideburns gravatar image

That's a very good question. Personally, I do an update every day, while I'm cooking/eating breakfast, but I use a GUI so that I can see what's being done and approve it. (Once in a while, there's a package that's not installing correctly, and I can simply uncheck it and let everything else go.) After that's done, I run needs-restarting in a terminal, as root, because it's not always obvious what programs need restarting. (e.g., firefox might need it because a library it uses was upgraded.) Occasionally, there are so many things to restart that it's just easier to log out and back in, or even reboot. YMMV, but this has worked for me for the last several years.

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answered 2016-02-15 15:36:10 -0500

robyduck gravatar image

I think this question is more theoretical, because unless you have your system running 24 hours a day you can wait until next reboot. And yes, you need to reboot only for kernels and kernel modules, applications you can just restart within the same session. To know if you have a newer kernel installed you can compare your actual running kernel:

uname -r

with the kernels on your system:

rpm -qa | grep kernel | sort
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What makes you think it's just theoretical? My desktop only gets rebooted for kernel updates and only gets turned off for power outages or hardware issues. Otherwise it's running 24/7.

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2016-02-15 15:43:29 -0500 )edit

Well I suppose in robyducks defense the question is somewhat theoretical in the sense that I just switched to Fedora in March 2015, as a long time Windows user who has just been conditioned to worry about reboots.

This is only a personal use laptop that my Wife and I share, so I suppose the better question (after all the helpful answers!) is this:

"Even if there is a kernel update installed by dnf-automatic to a computer for everyday use, does it really matter if it takes a few days for a reboot to take place?"

standard7452 gravatar imagestandard7452 ( 2016-02-15 15:54:48 -0500 )edit

It doesn't matter a bit, unless you have a reason to be running the new kernel.

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2016-02-15 16:55:56 -0500 )edit

answered 2016-02-15 15:39:50 -0500

fcomida gravatar image

I am not aware of any automatized solution for your issue, you can configure dnf-automatic to send an email to a chosen email address after each update and maybe configure your email client to "notify" you (filtering those emails i guess). Anyway you better check regularly /var/log/dnf.log for any potential problem with auto updates.

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picking on robyduck answer you can always write a cron job running a script that saves current kernel version somewhere and regularly compares new installed version and do whatever you want to do, even reboot the system. Linux is very powerful

fcomida gravatar imagefcomida ( 2016-02-15 15:47:43 -0500 )edit

I saw this in the options (thanks for your answer!) but since this is a machine nothing depends on, I was just wondering if there was a notification that would come up on the system to say "reboot now to install updates."

standard7452 gravatar imagestandard7452 ( 2016-02-15 15:57:04 -0500 )edit

notify-send is there for you if you are willing to write your own cron job

fcomida gravatar imagefcomida ( 2016-02-15 16:03:37 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2016-02-15 15:27:46 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 15 '16