How to Remove The Annoying Update manager Pop-up in Ubuntu Jaunty

For those who are using Ubuntu Jaunty, you will notice that there is a change in the way the system notifies you to upgrade software. In the past, an icon will appear on the system tray whenever there is new update available. In Ubuntu Jaunty, instead of showing the icon, the update manager will now pop up the window as and when it detects new update. While this is a good way to grab the user attention and get them to upgrade to the latest software version promptly, it can be pretty annoying for many, especially when you are in the midst of your work. To make it worst, if you close it without updating, it will keep on popping up in regular interval until you have upgraded your system.

Luckily, you can turn off this pop up feature easily and switch back to the old icon-appear-at-system-tray mode.

Open up a terminal, type

gconf-editor

This will load up the gconf editor window

Navigate to Apps->Update Notifier. On the right, unchecked the auto_launch box. Close the window.

gconf-autolaunch

That’s it.

To recover the auto launch pop up function, simply repeat the above step, but place a check in the auto_launch box.

Alternative method (via the terminal)

If you are just plain lazy, here’s a much easier step.

In your terminal, type the following command:

To recover:

15 comments

  1. Does this make the behavior return to the way it was before 9.04: put an icon in the system tray when there’s an update?

  2. I don’t get Update Pop window.

    Here is how I did it.

    – Right Click on the Update icon and uncheck “Show Notifications”

    I also do NOT see the Update icon from the Panel. Here is how to remove the Update Icon from the panel.

    – System >> Preferences >> Sessions >> uncheck “Update Notifier”.

    Since I MUST HAVE security updates, I have selected automatic download and install of “Important Security updates”.

    If you want to access the Update Notification preferences, go to System >> Preferences >> Software Sources >> click on the tab “Updates”.

    Jared

  3. Thank you for such a simple solution to such an irritating problem. I have no idea why this was not included on the settings menu from within the update manager or why it was ever thought to be a good idea to set this as default behavior in the first place. On another note, I wonder why gconf-editor is not included in the system preferences or administration menus…?

    • gconf-editor is akin to the registery in Windows. I think it is not included in the system preferences because the developers don’t want people to mess with it.

  4. This is especially annoying behavior for Mythbuntu. Picture it. You’re sitting there watching your favorite TV show, just veging out and the keyboard or remote stops working. What the hey? Took me a while to figure out that the upgrade manager had the focus, despite its not being visible on the screen.

    Don’t suppose the guys who build Mythbuntu are ever going to get the concept that its supposed to be an appliance, not a hackers toy. That would be a great day. Nobody wants to see how clever you are, just watch TV.

    BTW, while we’re on the subject of upgrades. Upgrades for an appliance are not a real smart idea anyway. Since most of the time, upgrading invariably breaks something, how do you explain to the user that their DVR isn’t talking to the network anymore? Last time I did an upgrade (two weeks ago), the NIC stopped working, my NVidia driver went away, the capture cards didn’t work because the saa7134-dvb driver was removed, smbfs was left out so my shared video volumes wouldn’t mount, I couldn’t hear the sound, etc., etc. Hardly a seamless upgrade that you’d want to foist off on some hapless TV viewer automatically.

  5. A couple of additional notes.

    Gnome options are local options that belong to the logged-in user. Thus, if you set this option for the wrong user (e.g. root), the setting could appear to disappear if you log out and log in again (as someone else).

    This is especially important for Mythbuntu because you usually need to set the option for the user that is automatically logged in and runs the frontend.

    Also, there’s no secret registry involved. All of the Gnome options are stored in a directory called “.gconf” under the logged in user’s home directory. In this case, you’ll find the option in question in:

    /home/trainboy/.gconf/apps/update-notifier/%gconf.xml

    If you are comfortable hacking XML, you could just hack this file directly.

  6. A couple of additional notes.

    Gnome options are local options that belong to the logged-in user. Thus, if you set this option for the wrong user (e.g. root), the setting could appear to disappear if you log out and log in again (as someone else).

    This is especially important for Mythbuntu because you usually need to set the option for the user that is automatically logged in and runs the frontend.

    Also, there’s no secret registry involved. All of the Gnome options are stored in a directory called “.gconf” under the logged in user’s home directory. In this case, you’ll find the option in question in:

    /home/trainboy/.gconf/apps/update-notifier/\%gconf.xml

    If you are comfortable hacking XML, you could just hack this file directly.

  7. Many thanks for this blog post. That’s fixed it for me.

    Now I have to go round every user on every ubuntu box and change it…

    > trainboy wrote:
    > Also, there’s no secret registry involved. All of the Gnome options
    > are stored in a directory called “.gconf” under the logged in user’s
    > home directory.

    You’re having a laugh, right? .gconf is a hidden directory that’s invisible to ‘normal’ users. The Update Manager is an excellent and easy way for all users to stay up to date. Shoving it in their face is very very annoying. Having to run a configuration editor which is not on the menus to change this in-your-face behaviour is exactly the sort of thing that pushes ‘normal’ users away.

    The file you cite (~/.gconf/apps/update-notifier/%gconf.xml) does not appear to exist until gconf-editor is run, so the can’t even be scripted across a system. Also my tests show that editing the %gconf.xml file does not update the value displayed in gconf-editor.

    In short, it’s a mess.

    Cheers, al.

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