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It seems the updating technology in Ubuntu is just as much a mess as other distributions. After much forum reading I've got the problems associated with updates limited to the following:
I get these errors:
W: GPG error: http://ubuntu.beryl-project.org edgy Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 3FF0DB166A7476EA
W: GPG error: http://nightlies.videolan.org ./ Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 902817E4AA5F4DE6
Ive followed the instructions on the web sites of these repositories but clearly they aren't complete.
Can someone help with this?
Also - is there a different distribution that isn't plagued with this ridiculous update technology?
Wow, you failed to update the GPG key for the repository (YOUR MISTAKE) and you blame the distribution ? How nice.. If you don't want the biting sarcasm in the replies, please ask your questions without trying to assign blame to others.
What you see happening is Ubuntu is downloading updates and wants to verify they are authentic by checking against the Ubuntu GPG Public repository key. It is failing because you do not have the current key in your keyring. the repository Keys in Debian are changed annually, I imagine Ubuntu changes theirs on a similar cycle.
Try the following method to retrieve the keys and place them on your public keyring
Well, Linux isn't like Windows. It's still (sadly enough) a minor phenomenon and hackers generally do not want to spend their time on something minor. And if they do, they'll be way more interested in all those many Linux servers than in a simple home user. Also Linux has always been written with security in mind while security, even with Vista, was clearly only an afterthought to MS.
The most important thing is to use Linux sensibly, i.e. to avoid using the root account as much as possible; root gives anyone absolute powers, that is including any intruder.
Also updates do not necessarily fix security issues, there are a million reasons: better code, new features, bug patches, etc etc
Btw, there are times when you should be a bit sceptical about updates: while they are intended to bring some improvement at least, they may have exactly the opposite effect. Personally, I'm having major trouble with kernel updates right now, with each update solving one hardware issue only to introduce a new one at the same time. This is an odd case but a real one, too.