With the Ubuntu 20.04 release out of the way, a significant chunk of users are doing clean installs or updates from older releases of the worlds most popular open source desktop operating system
A number of conversations have arisen online since (and indeed before then) around the policy of snapd doing automatic updates of applications. Some of these result in user frustration that there’s no simple way to control frequency of updates.
Currently we have the capability to push updates back a number of days, or defer updates to particular times via the methods documented. In addition we can suppress updates for up to 60 days when on a metered connection - if such a connection is correctly identified. We also have the upcoming experimental feature to hold updates for applications while they’re open.
One problem for desktop users is that all these settings are command line driven. There’s no graphical way to adjust the time when updates happen, putting them on hold, or any of the experimental features. Back in 2018/19 during the metered connection discussion it was suggested we should re-visit this topic.
Let’s revisit that. While I appreciate that desktop stuff isn’t really the domain of the snapd developers per-se, I think the conversation should happen here (as opposed to the Ubuntu discourse) as it’s something cross-desktop and cross-distro which should probably happen with involvement from snapd developers.
As a straw-man, I suggest the following:
“An easy to use, graphical user interface to control snap refresh parameters should exist”
A the minimum it should allow users to see:
- When the next update is likely to occur (to be informed) - [Due in 2 hours]
- If snapd believes the user is on a metered connection [-] - Metered connection
And allow them to control:
- Triggering an immediate refresh [Update Now]
- When the next update will happen [Tomorrow] / [Next week] / [DD-MM-YYYY]
- Whether the network is actually metered [X] - Metered connection
- Put one application update on hold [X] - Hold Libreoffice.
- Use case for this is where you are happy to get security updates for most applications, but this one you’re giving a presentation from needs to stay stable for the next week of training.
Bonus requested feature by people who like complete control.
- Ability to completely switch off automatic refresh. [X] - Do not refresh at all
Should this exist? Who would work on it? Should it be part of GNOME System Settings? What about XFCE / LxQt / KDE users?