Why is PackageKit such a wreck?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Gullible Jones, Apr 2, 2014.

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  1. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

    May 16, 2013
    On almost every Linux distro I've tried that uses PackageKit, since ~2011, I have seen the following behavior:

    - packagekitd starts updating the repo database in the background
    - one or more of its child processes maxes out the CPU
    - the child processes continue to peg the CPU for about 5 minutes before appearing to finish up
    - all is quiet for a few seconds, and then packagekitd starts the process all over again

    So far I have found one workaround, which is to completely disable automatic repo DB updates (using the gpk-prefs program). This way you have to run the updates manually, either using the PackageKit GUI or yum/zypper/whatever backend... But your computer will stay usable.

    So far I've found a lot of posts and bug reports about this, and as far as I can tell it was never fixed at any time in any distribution. Which leads me to ask:
    a) How did PackageKit get to be such a wreck
    b) How did it stay a wreck for ~3 years and counting
    c) If it's demonstrably, verifiably a wreck, why on Earth do so many distros use it, when alternatives have existed since the 90s?
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