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Software - Support => Installing Software => Topic started by: DenW on November 01, 2017, 08:24:21 PM

Title: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: DenW on November 01, 2017, 08:24:21 PM
It appears that the update procedures used by LL have some problems right now based on other posts (but I have not experienced any of those so far!).  I am reporting that on at least three recent occasions when updates were detected the gui-window which allows you to see the updates before install did not populate but remained blank.  If I then pushed the install button on the blank window the update progress window opened and correctly installed the updates, which I could check in the log file window then available.  Tonight it happened to me again so this time I cancelled the install and then initiated the install software procedure from the menu again.  This time the updates appeared as they should and installed correctly.

This possible minor "bug" does not trouble me personally as I do get available updates.  However I am intending to install LL on a friends old laptop for his use and I do not like to raise doubts in his mind about the reliability of Linux (he is a Windows convert).
Has anyone else experienced this problem and if so is there a solution?
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: bitsnpcs on November 01, 2017, 08:36:25 PM
Hello DenW

it was similar in (

Solution member found was to turn on firewall.

Hold down Ctrl and Alt press T

Type this text

Code: [Select]
sudo ufw enable
type you password when prompted
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: DenW on November 01, 2017, 08:48:22 PM
Thanks for your response. Unfortunately I have always had my firewall turned on with no rules specified so do not think that is the problem in my case.  Any other ideas out there?
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: bitsnpcs on November 01, 2017, 08:53:53 PM
There are some other ideas for solving it on the above thread.
Idea that was wrote by LL developer team member Ralphy.
Other than this I see no other ideas about it.
Maybe someone else will have some other/new things to try, like is usual.
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: trinidad on November 02, 2017, 05:30:43 AM
It is  an incomplete or time lagged permissions issue, or an underrun. Several things can cause it. Multiple sudo users is often the cause when people use incomplete code to set a second sudoer that botches permission levels, or only partially installs sudo. This also involves firewall settings for each sudoer. Mismatched BIOS and OS user time settings can cause it as well depending on the mirror used though this is very rare for backports anymore. Routers can occasionaly cause it as well when set to generate new maccs on a scheduled update table if you use an ethernet connection, combined with a slow disk, slow 64bit CPU and limited RAM. (though not wifi). Proxies can foul up firewall settings as well.  If your LL conky widget is running wait until the CPU falls back to single digit usage levels before updating. I can't think of anything else at the moment. If the screen came back the permissions are resolved.

**Also as far as LL updates, almost all of the problems are caused by users still on a learning curve adding PPAs that they don't know how to manage properly.

Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: Jerry on November 02, 2017, 05:55:17 AM
Please run Install Updates with nothing else open make sure that everything is closed first and that Resource Usage reports minimal cpu and ram usage, then report back.
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: DenW on November 02, 2017, 09:07:52 AM
Thank you all for your replies.  Last night I did a reinstall of lite-software in Synaptic as mentioned in the referenced message.  I also checked the /tmp directory and found several empty pdf files and empty config-err-xxxx files.  I deleted all these files.  I then rebooted and found a new config-err-xxxx file in /tmp. I usually perform the install update with nothing else open and my cpu and ram usually settle quickly to under 5% and 350MB after waking from suspend.  I just did install update this morning and no updates available yet; in /tmp there was a new empty pdf file so maybe these are generated after each update check?  I will check /tmp if updates become available BEFORE I do actual install to see if .txt file exists there.
In reply to @trinidad I am the only user on this machine, I use wifi, and I believe there is only one PPA that I added for youtube-dl-gui (I think LL already added gimp, smplayer, systemback, ubuntu-wine).  I understand that you and Jerry are suggesting that this is an incomplete or time-lagged permissions issue and that makes sense from my observations so far.  I know I can do manual updates via terminal or synaptic but that kind of defeats the "easy for beginners" aspect of LL.  If you continue with update issues from your unique method of providing gui updates might you not consider changing to Mint style updates as also used in Peppermint - I have never had an update issue in those distros.
I will report back on this thread when I the next set of updates arrive.

Just as a (off-topic) comment for you and Jerry I guess you are aware that Mint will be using Timeshift as backup manager with the passing of systemback and are actively working with Tony George to improve that application.  Are you set on Deja-dup as file backup manager or would you consider Backintime or lucky-backup instead (as I understand it these do not encrypt/compress saved files like Deja-dup)?

Thank you for all your work and prompt responses to our questions.  I appreciate the nice community here at Linux Lite.
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: Jerry on November 02, 2017, 10:02:25 AM
Deja-dup has arguably the easiest to follow GUi available. But that is for another thread.
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: bonnevie on November 02, 2017, 06:26:14 PM

I'll keep an eye on this thread as I was the one having this problem in a previous thread. Unfortunately, it was only solved for a day or two.
The only personal observation I can add here beside the fact it looks like a canadian problem:-) is that I started having blank updates when HTML output was added to LL Updates. And yet there are very few of us having this problem so...maybe I'm on the wrong track with this.  I will follow Trinidad & Jerry's suggestions for the next couple of days and report back. (
Edit: blank screen only occurs in my old machine.  OK with my 2 newer setups
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: Jerry on November 02, 2017, 10:57:40 PM
@DenW do you have any additional language packs installed? What is your default language & keyboard layout?
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: DenW on November 03, 2017, 12:24:06 PM
Hi Jerry:  I have not touched my Language settings since the original install3.4/update3.6 so my default language is English (US)/English - other options for English Aust/Canada etc are grayed out. It tells me I can install language extras but I used "Remind me later" for now.  My keyboard is set to Asus laptop using English(US) layout.
As an update on my experience with Updates, this morning I unSuspended and waited for CPU/ram to settle down (around 5%/400MB) then launched Install Updates from Menu.  Towards the end of fetching and checking I noticed the CPU was quite busy around 50-60% but ram only 500MB.  Anyway I had the same situation of being offered Blank Updates but unfortunately forgot to check /tmp before I cancelled and tried again.  As previously this produced the desired result of seeing updates offered - I then did check /tmp and saw the updates.txt file there (together with the other updates files).  Update then worked fine as expected.  Cannot think of anything else to offer you as to why this might be happening - the only thing else that I did not shut down was the xfce4-weather-plugin on the panel.  I will check /tmp next time I draw a Blank (if I remember!) and post again here.
I would like to solve this puzzle but as long as the updates arrive OK it is a minor problem - if you get offered Blank updates just hit the Update Now button and all is well - you can check the resulting log file for what was installed if interested.
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: Jerry on November 05, 2017, 01:47:35 AM
Folks, I have been looking into this but first I need those having this issue to try something.

1. Open /usr/scripts folder as Administrator.
2. Right click on updates-gui and select 'Create backup copy'.
3. Right click on updates-gui (not the backup) and select 'Open with Leafpad'.
4. With this part be very careful!

Copy and paste the following replacing all of the existing text: (

5. Then run Menu, Favorites, Install Updates at least 5 - 10 times in a row. Cancel updates each time! Do not proceed with updates. This is for testing only.

Please let me know asap if the list now appears each time. It should look like this (very plain looking):


I'm going to leave this here for now and not move it to bugs as we're not getting widespread messages about this.

This has given me some impetus to move Install Updates from Zenity to Yad. Initial tests show Yad to be way more flexible and it's part of our overall plan to move off Zenity and make Yad more dominant.
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: DenW on November 05, 2017, 06:28:54 PM
Hi Jerry:  I did a regular update yesterday and it showed updates in window, so I proceeded without problem.  No more updates are yet available so I must wait until I get another Blank update window before carrying out your requested changes, otherwise any test of your script would not prove that it solves the problem (I just thought that repeating the update process immediately for me has twice resulted in the update window populating correctly at the second attempt anyway so am not sure if using your script a second time would prove anything either).  However when I do change the script as soon as I experience a Blank update window I will leave it like that indefinitely for testing purposes.  Presumably I can safely do actual updates then thru terminal or Synaptic - you suggest we do not use your script for actual updating.
I do not do bash scripting myself but see that generally Yad is considered superior to Zenity - but I leave it to the "experts" to reach the right solution.
Thanks for your consideration in pursuing this puzzle.
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: ralphy on November 05, 2017, 10:28:23 PM
I do not believe there is a problem with the current script from what I've seen. I think that the issue in this case was caused by a temp file not being removed properly or by the inability to write a new file for the HTML output. Generally, a reboot should have solved such issue since /temp clears on reboot.

The created files should have read and write permissions only by the user who's executing the Updates. It was written as such to prevent other users/processes from writing something into the created temp files as updates are executed, so users don't end up executing and installing something other than the listed updates.

The easiest way to see what happens when checking for updates is to open /tmp in Thunar, run Updates and watch it create temp files with the correct permissions for the user, as well as the removal of those files after updates exits out either when updates are installed or canceled before installation.
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: Jerry on November 05, 2017, 10:53:57 PM
I'm experiencing this myself now. The only way I can get it to work each time, is to remove the html from the code.
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: ralphy on November 05, 2017, 10:58:11 PM
That's interesting Jerry. Chances are there is an update that causing the issue perhaps? I have not debug it myself but I'm not experiencing the issue- maybe because I have not installed the latest updates


Worth debugging I guess.
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: ralphy on November 05, 2017, 11:34:39 PM
Well, see if you can debug it on your install since you mentioned that you're also experiencing the issue.

I installed updates (few at a time) up until the latest lite-manual and lite-tweaks which I'm guessing were pushed no more than a couple hours ago, yet I cannot reproduce the issue :(
I did restart the computer too...



Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: Jerry on November 06, 2017, 01:16:35 AM
I was looking through the Zenity deps to see if one of those had contributed to the issue.
Whats strange is that this only affects some. I'd like to resolve this in case it goes global. I can send you my Yad fork of Install Updates if you want to have a play, improve it. Would not hurt to have an alternative sitting in the background, ready to go.
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: DenW on November 07, 2017, 10:18:47 AM
Jerry/Ralphy:  This morning I did regular Install Updates and got another Blank window.  So I carefully did change to script as per Jerry's post, but I find it does not execute properly for me - I get a brief flash of first update window then nothing.  Checking the /tmp file there were a lot of strange files/folders as expected which I deleted.  After generating a new Jerry script I tried again but with the same result.  So I reinstalled the regular updates.gui file and ran Install Updates again while watching the/tmp file as suggested by Ralphy.  Everything worked just fine this time, as experienced before by me on second attempt (as Blank window counts as first attempt) - installed updates and all /tmp updates files were deleted by the program correctly at end of the update process.  I ran another Install Updates and got correct UptoDate response.

In future I will open /tmp in Thunar before I run Install Updates to see what is different about the /tmp files when I get a Blank updates window.

If I can make any other useful contribution please let me know - I am retired so time is not an issue for me.  I have used Linux for some time but am a tinkerer rather than scripter.
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: bonnevie on November 14, 2017, 08:58:05 AM
Thanks for your work on this, Jerry.  Very happy with the results.
Title: Re: Blank Install Updates Window
Post by: firenice03 on December 05, 2017, 07:48:41 PM
So a week or so ago on the 64bit, I ran updates rebooted to a initramfs message. Now the HD maybe having issues so didnt give it too much thought. But past couple times running updates GUI doesn't display - Seems ok via terminal.

I tried updating scripts via the thread above but still no GUI display.
I may wind up replacing drive at some point.. But if I can test anything in the meanwhile...