When I tried to update, a popup told me that it can't, and that it tried various mirrors. Finally, I checked one. Fedora was looking for kernel 5.1.9 but an update mirror was already at 5.1.11. I've been having frequent update problems but this is the first time I diagnosed it, which I did by copying the URL from the popup, editing the URL by deleting the filename and extension from the URL, and looking at the resulting directory listing. Installing eventually succeeded, but it succeeded when Fedora wanted 5.1.11, not 5.1.9. So I guess that when I'm too late I have to await a new update that is in sync with what's available to be downloaded. Since I check for updates every few days, and that's because I don't get automatic updates but have to manually check the Software app to see if anything is available, this meant that my kernel was not updated to 5.1.9 or 5.1.11 but was still at 5.1.8 and I assume anything else in the update was not applied, either. If I miss the availability timeframe for an update, I have to wait for Fedora to distribute a new update. By the way, if I did get updates automatically but didn't keep my machine on and online all the time, I could still miss the availability timeframe and I'd have the same problem about missing an update until Fedora prepares a new one.
Arguably, I could have byppassed the update method altogether and downloaded 5.1.11, but then I wouldn't know if I had gotten all the files I needed or if the update method would have included various steps not obvious to me, like editing config files.
(I have since been updated to kernel 5.1.12 and lastly 5.1.16.)
What I expect: The ability to update to the latest offered by Fedora on whatever date I get around to doing it.
Thanks for taking the time to create this bug report.
Unfortunately it is probably difficult to give a satisfying answer.
> What I expect: The ability to update to the latest offered by Fedora on whatever date I get around to doing it.
Fedora mirrors are run by volunteers, which means that Fedora does not have control when they sync. To make sure mirrors are up to date we scan all mirrors every 12 hours, but this takes a lot of time and a lot of resources. Between updates being available and a mirror syncing the content and Fedora verifying that the content is on the mirror it might require up to 48 hours. To give users access to updates through all the mirrors we tell yum/dnf that the last three update pushes are valid. So depending on the mirror you hit, it might be not the newest content but reasonably up to date. For really important updates there is a way to make sure all not up to date mirrors are not offered to a user.
yum/dnf (in most cases) handles this pretty good and gracefully and you should not see any errors.
Unfortunately you did not mention how (which tool/application) you are using to update your system, which would make it easier to decide if the tooling on your side does not handle the situation correctly or if something is wrong on the mirroring side. It would have been good to include which tools you used and which URLs have not been working. There is always a small chance that our mirror tooling does not correctly detect a broken mirror.
If it is a problem with the mirror tooling the correct place to report this would have been: https://pagure.io/fedora-infrastructure/issues
If it is a problem with the tools on your side, then it needs to be assigned to one of those tools.
I hope this explanation helps you to understand the setup a bit better and if you have any more information about your update problems, please let us know.
I update using the Software app, using the Updates button. I think different mirrors are cited in popups on different occasions, even a few minutes apart, but I generally don't copy the URLs.
Unless I misunderstand you, there's a possibility you misunderstand, though. I think you think I'm complaining that the synchronizing is too slow. Actually, it's too fast. At that point, the latest update the Software app is offering has become too old for the mirrors it's checking, because the mirrors are already offering newer content, so no update is allowed at all. I have to await a still newer update via the Software app and then implement it quickly, before the mirrors are updated (sync'd) beyond what what the Software app is offering, and then I'm probably okay. But if the sync'g does not match what the Software app is trying to offer me, the Software app won't update.
This raises a more general concern. Is it possible that when I implement an update I'm really implementing only part of it? Might I be getting one component but not another that's supposed to be in the update because sync'g is not consistent? Or is all updating an all-or-nothing activity?