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I installed IntelliJ Idea using Ubuntu Software Centre, but now Idea's build-in update manager notifies me that there is an update available, but the app does not have the permission to update it.

If I click ok to Idea's build in update manager, then the update downloads, but I get an error: "There are some confilecs found in the installation".

Looking at the detail, you can see that it's trying to install a whole bunch of jar files, but that it results in "access denied" failures.

I can update the app as root, using sudo, but then it only update's the version started as root, so when I run the app as my local user again, then it's back at the old version.

Is there a way to run an app as local user, but at the same time give it root permission? This should solve the problem?

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you can run the app with gksudo nameOfApp and then use it's internal update mechanism. However this is not recommended, essentially because you have no way of knowing what harmful things the app might do to your system. Waiting for an update in the Sotware Center of Ubuntu is way safer. – con-f-use Aug 2 '12 at 13:14
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you installed a program via the systems package manager (i.e. Software-Center, aptitude, apt-get, dpkg...), you shouldn't use this programs internal update mechanism to update this software (I even wonder why this is not deactivated, as it is done e.g. for Firefox). If there's a new version, you have about 3 choices:

  • wait for an updated package (which then would be updated using the systems own update tools -- again, the updater, Software-Center, aptitude...)
  • remove the package, and do a manual installation from the developer-provided sources
  • do a parallel manual installation

Never ever mix them up by e.g. replacing files the system (package manager) itself maintains, unless you know exactly what you are doing -- otherwise you might really mess up your entire system.


If there is an "urgent update" available for some software you are using (e.g. with fixes of bugs affecting you, or the new feature you urgently need), you might want to check with the community: in most cases, there's a special PPA (personal package archive) available at Launchpad (see: Questions tagged ppa + launchpad), which you can integrate with your package manager's configuration, and then receive new updates from there -- if they are not served via the "official repositories".

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Cool, I also found it a bit silly that it tried to do it's own thing, but ended up making the assumption that they had a good reason to do it. I'll just ignore the nagging :-p – Jack Aug 2 '12 at 11:38
Yepp, that's probably the best solution. For Firefox they take care to disable its own "Update check" (for the app itself, not for addons etc.) -- guess they simply missed it here. If you urgently need some update (e.g. for bugs fixed or new features introduced), check with the community: quite often there is a PPA (personal package archive) available at Launchpad, which you can integrate with your installation and then receive those updates from. – Izzy Aug 2 '12 at 12:17

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