Rpm-ostree update vs rpm-ostree upgrade

Since I am using Silverblue, I’ve always typed rpm-ostree update. I also think that’s how all old docs etc. called it.

You cannot image then, how shocked I was when I saw rpm-ostree upgrade!

It’s easy to check that one is an alias of the other and they both seem to do the same.
The big question is: Which is the correct one?

You can e.g. check the autocompletion with tab:

$ rpm-ostree u
uninstall   upgrade     usroverlay

Additionally, the man page only mentions the upgrade command:

           Download the latest version of the current tree, and deploy it,
           setting it up as the default for the next boot. By design, this has
           no effect on your running filesystem tree. You must reboot for any
           changes to take effect.

And also the official docs only mention rpm-ostree upgrade.

It seems upgrade is the “real”/“recommend” command and now I have to change years (is rpm-ostree even that old?) of (by heard) learned typing behaviour… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

$ rpm-ostree --version
 Version: '2020.2'
 Git: f6cdd9765f1c0d1d88210e448756fc22a9a18c57
  - compose
  - rust

That said, I still think most of the community/people in this forum, do use rpm-ostree update? I am really surprised to see the upgrade command being used…

But hey, let’s actually ask the community:

What command do you use for refreshing your Fedora Silverblue system?

(or CoreOS too, for that matter…)

  • rpm-ostree update
  • rpm-ostree upgrade

0 voters

Despite all that, I would be glad if someone could explain me the history of how that change happened (and when?? I did not notice it…)

I.e.: How could that happen?

(And what’s the reasoning behind that?)

Just for “finger compatibility” with other software managers like dnf and flatpak which also use update:

(Though fun fact: dnf update is technically deprecated in favour of dnf upgrade :wink: )


[mike@mustang etc]$ rpm --update
rpm: --update: unknown option

My habit has always been upgrade
This is because I came from Mint where I had to run apt update first and then apt upgrade. When I shifted to fedora I was so happy all I had to do was upgrade.

Right, update only updates the repo package list. Upgrade will actually make changes to the system. So glad this is all consistent with rpm, dnf and ostree commands.

1 Like

:thinking: is it so? I’m new to rpm-world and I find dnf update also upgrades apart from refreshing repos and if I do dnf upgrade immediately afterwards it says nothing to do. On the other hand, this behavior matches deb-world (update updates the repos and upgrade actually upgrades the packages), so is useful for people like me.

Yes, this is an oddball exception. That command should probably be removed IMO.