Saturday, July 2, 2011

Don't drink the ice tea!

Admitted: Upgrading your Linux computer isn't just about going "cool, more free stuff!".

There's a green arrow on the little cogwheel symbol next to my clock these days. And it's really tempting to click it having enjoyed the ease of installing software updates. I bet many have almost stopped reading what the updates are about. Recently, I installed something called Iced Tea with the auto-updater. And that doesn't sound too bad, does it?
The update window in Danish.
Wrong. Iced Tea updates Java only, not the Java browser plugin. Meaning it's probably nice if you are a bleeding edge Java software developer or run security sensitive network Java applications. But if you, like me, just run Java occasionally inside a browser whenever a website initiates it you will find stuff not working.

Search for java from inside YaST and you will find the plugin isn't updated, only the actual java thingy is blue. The two must be the same versions for stuff to run smoothly.


To downgrade an accidentally installed upgrade click the package in question and go to the Versions tab. Put the dot in the previous version (ie java 1.9) and see if your stuff works now.
Each time any other software receives a notification of an update I now have to uncheck icedtea to avoid it corrupting my web banking etc. Slightly annoying.

Disclaimer: Issues like this may have to do with which repositories are added. And there may be magical tricks (in which I haven't been initiated) to perform that may eliminate your troubles.

Mac users does not have this kind of worries, do they? At least I didn't yet.

Update: Yes, there are threads about this issue at the site I should be contributing to in stead of writing this blog; well at least there is the thread Lost java after update.... Here the advise given is to (use YaST to) shift from the open source Java to the Sun Java. Could be a better advise, don't know. It also contains the gossip that the autoupdate is "broken".