, 'update' and 'upgrade' are two distinct things.
'update' refers to updating the local database on your machine so that it contains an up-to-date list of all the packages (including version numbers and other package details) available in the Entropy repository. Note that this does not constitute the packages themselves. Obviously keeping the list
of packages up-to-date is essential.
'upgrade' refers to actually downloading and installing any new versions of packages currently installed on your machine, as well as removing (uninstalling) any packages dropped from the repository. So the thing that may require significant throughput would be an upgrade, not an update.
If you wanted to perform a full upgrade of your installation, you would do the following if you were using the command line:
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# equo update # Make sure your local database is up-to-date.
# equo upgrade # Download any new versions of packages already installed on your machine, and install them.
# equo conf update # Upgrade configuration files of newly-installed/upgraded packages, if they have changed.
# kernel-switcher switch linux-sabayon-<new version> # Optional. Only if you also want to upgrade the kernel image.