The software update manager appeared last night to tell me it wanted to install Java 1.4.1. Great. but then I noticed the little note at the bottom of the window.

Status: Not installed, restart will be required.

(Emphasis mine.)

What the fuck?!

I have to reboot my machine afater upgrading Java? What is this, Windows?! It's JAVA for god's sake!

I'm really sick of having to reboot every time Apple throws some new software my way. It sure makes Linux shine. I have a Linux box with an update of over 420 days. I use it daily. I upgrade stuff all the time (thanks to apt-get). But the only time I'd have any need to reboot is if I have to physically move the mahine or upgrade the kernel.

Now let's think about my TiBook. I can move it all I want without a reboot because it has a built-in battery. So.... what? Is the kernel written in Java now?

Can someone please explain the necessity of the reboot? I honestly don't understand.

See also: Crash Different. Mabye I should make a video too.

Posted by jzawodn at March 12, 2003 08:19 AM

Reader Comments
# Gregg said:

I have a theory, which is: the OS X userspace is much more static compared to "regular" Unix. Apple has decided that more often than not, a reboot ensures that everyones environment (paths to files, correct file associations, etc) will be correct more often than not.

I think (read: hope) that this will be fixed in the future. Right now Apple still thinks of its customer base as people who don't mind rebooting. If they want the enterprise, they can't advertise a stable system then demand a reboot all the time.

on March 12, 2003 09:16 AM
# Josh Woodward said:

Heh, even Windows doesn't require a reboot after a Java upgrade if I recall. Cute.

on March 12, 2003 10:05 AM
# pete said:

It is rather annoying. I tend to not apply updates for a few days until I finish a project, because I hate to reboot...

on March 12, 2003 10:29 AM
# Joe Grossberg said:

Is it really that freaking bad? I mean it's a minor annoyance, but am I missing something? Restart. Go grab a drink. When you come back, the computer is up.

on March 12, 2003 10:52 AM
# Dan said:

So why reboot? They want one because things may be running that use Java and they want to guarantee that everything using it gets restarted. That's fine, and a reboot's not out of line for what's mostly a consumer-level OS.

OTOH, I just force-quit the installer after it's done installing and ignore the darned reboot request. There's no reason you can't, and for things where the reboot's just a safety issue I don't see the problem.

on March 12, 2003 11:40 AM
# Erik J. Barzeski said:

It's a lot easier to ask people to reboot than to put up with the potential trouble something could cause by a running app loading in part of a new framework while running part of an older one, or goodness knows what.

It's the least common denominator approach, yeah, but most computer users are not uber-geeks or developers.

I'm annoyed at my uptime being lopped off, too, but whatever. I get over it and go grab a coke, return, and get back to work. It's not like it updates without your permission. You get to choose when to reboot.

on March 12, 2003 11:40 AM
# Harrison said:

Heh, I noticed the same thing. It was even better with the sendmail upgrade. It required a reboot to upgrade sendmail, which I wasn't even running. Come to think of it, I can't remember a time it didn't require a reboot after an upgrade.

The worst part is that there is no cancel option, you HAVE to reboot, unlike most Windows things which give you the reboot later option. I normally end up just moving the Reboot dialog to an unused virtual desktop and leave it till a natural time for shutdown. It would be nice if Apple would do something though.

on March 12, 2003 11:44 AM
# Dan said:

You do not have to reboot. Option-click on the updater icon in the dock and choose the "Force quit" option. That kills the updater, tosses the reboot request box, and leaves you just fine. (Well, unless it really did need a reboot, but that's rare)

on March 12, 2003 11:50 AM
# Argod said:

It is because of something called SharedVM.
It is configured on startup.

"On other platforms, each Java application consumes some system memory. So you might end up using more memory than you need to when running multiple Java applications. Other languages, such as C or C++, solve this problem using what’s called shared libraries. Apple developed an innovative new technology that allows Java code to be shared across multiple applications. This reduces the amount of memory that Java applications normally use. And it fits right into Sun’s Hot Spot VM, allowing Mac OS X to remain compatible with standard Java. In addition, Apple has given this implementation to Sun so the company can deploy it on other platforms. Just one example of how Apple supports standards and shares ideas to benefit all."

on March 12, 2003 12:11 PM
# Shawn said:

Java I more or less understood, being a system update and all... but when things like installing iMovie requires a reboot it gets a good headsmack out of me. (At least one of the iApps required a reboot when I updated it)

on March 12, 2003 06:56 PM
# Jeff Boulter said:

From last week:

*Although it is not confirmed for the Panther release, Apple is working on making many application and even system software installations require no restart. Core OS updates, such as the recent 10.2.4 and forthcoming 10.2.5 releases, will still require a reboot, but a rapidly increasing number of other updates that presently require restarts are being prepared, through significant changes to the way OS X loads newly installed software, to be independent of that requirement. Much more on this soon.

on April 8, 2003 04:06 PM
# Jon Wright said:

Am i the only one that shuts down my computer in the evenings?

I must admit the big sell of OSX was the way software just installed without the reboot.

Maybe their preparing us for the forth coming Intel ;-)

on December 14, 2005 03:30 PM
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