PackageKit: Mobile Broadband Aware

PackageKit now knows the type of connection you are using, thanks to NetworkManager. Many thanks for Dan Williams for the pointers, and the guys in #gnome-hackers for the wording. Now you can be less scared using PackageKit and “automatically install” when occasionally using expensive GPRS on a laptop.

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Richard has over 10 years of experience developing open source software. He is the maintainer of GNOME Software, PackageKit, GNOME Packagekit, GNOME Power Manager, GNOME Color Manager, colord, and UPower and also contributes to many other projects and opensource standards. Richard has three main areas of interest on the free desktop, color management, package management, and power management. Richard graduated a few years ago from the University of Surrey with a Masters in Electronics Engineering. He now works for Red Hat in the desktop group, and also manages a company selling open source calibration equipment. Richard's outside interests include taking photos and eating good food.

11 thoughts on “PackageKit: Mobile Broadband Aware”

  1. Given you can get unlimited gprs plans for 8eur/mo, are there really any users that wouldn’t have such?

  2. > Given you can get unlimited gprs plans for 8eur/mo, are there really any users that wouldn’t have such?

    Most “unlimited” plans (certainly in the UK) have a bandwidth cap you can smash through very quickly if you’re downloading lots of packages. Heck, mine describes 1GB/month as unlimited (which is enough if you’re just browsing on your phone).

  3. Seems kind of short-sighted to hardcode the words “Mobile Broadband” in the GUI. Does it not work for Satellite connections? Or any other expensive-per-bit service?

  4. Ian: as far as I know, only mobile broadband is currently supported by NetworkManager. Using abstract language to hedge against future improvements to NetworkManager seems unnecessary; PackageKit should have sufficient time to accommodate if it becomes relevant.

  5. It would be nice to have this as a graph of “allowed” vs. “disallowed” interfaces.

    For example, while I do not have a mobile broadband card in my laptop, I do use both wireless and wired ethernet connections. I would rather wait until I am on my gigabit wired interface to do updates than on my 802.11g wired interface.

    I could also see corporations needing the same sort of filter. While we have and use wireless at work, it would be brought to its knees quickly if we all had a yum update occurring at the same time over it. We all plug-in to our desks (or to the single wired connection in each conference room, if you’re lucky enough to be first in the door!) so it would be nice to defer updates until then.

    Same concept, just different preferences.

  6. NetworkManager is realy great, I choose Fedora 9 just because its NetworkManager as I can only connect to the internet with my Mobileband, it works great

  7. It seems inconsistent with the rest of the Gnome philosophy to have such an option in that dialog.

    All the “advanced” nautilus options are hidden in gconf, so why is this option here?

  8. @Ken:

    It would be nice to have this as a graph of “allowed” vs. “disallowed” interfaces.

    This doesn’t really belong in the PackageKit UI. This kind of filter would be best in NetworkManager itself. In fact, that would be my opinion of the option this blog post is about – if it belongs anywhere, it should be in a filter dialogue in NetworkManager.

    – Chris

  9. @Ken: I don’t want a list of allowed interfaces, that’s not very easy to use at all. You can manually toggle the /apps/gnome-packagekit/connection_use_wifi setting in GConf editor if you don’t want to autoupdate or check when on wireless LAN connections.

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