[REQ] Suggestion for update process. Check for package downloads first.
I just did the update for my pfSense install, and on reboot I noticed it was taking forever. So I switched over to it and checked what was on the console, and it was trying to re-install packages with each timing out and failing. I understand that poo happens and DNS failures, server issues, and other internet related snafus can happen, but ouch.
I have to reconfigure the network to not use squid for now, and since I'm just a SOHO user, my headache is probably much less than someone who runs a much larger network, and requires certain packages to be installed.
So, I have a suggestion that I think would be excellent for pfSense. When there is an update, and you invoke the upgrade, it should check the installed packages, and download those along with the update before actually updating. This way, if there is any issue, it should abort instead of proceeding – saving a lot of headache, and forum grief.
Hopefully the servers will come back up soon and I can get back to using squid. I don't like it when I get close to reaching my monthly transfer cap and squid has helped a lot with that -_-
It already checks the availability of the package server before it starts the reinstall process. However, if a package pulls in data from a different server than where the package's main files come from, it can fall into a different kind of trap there.
There are probably ways to make the whole process more robust, but there isn't an easy way to redesign the whole process to download all of the files first and then reinstall.