04-05-2012 10:04 AM - edited 04-05-2012 10:05 AM
The short answer is you can't access the updates except via the automated update process on login. However, my recommendation is that you do not use the automatic update as problems are by no means unknown using this method. It's better to uninstall the old viewer then download and install the latest version. LL tell you about a new version on the login screen so you'll know when one is available.
You can disable automatic updates via the drop down menu in Preferences > Setup > Software updates.
04-05-2012 10:32 AM - edited 04-05-2012 10:35 AM
Nyll and Valerie are right. I too think having auto-update on is not a good idea.
Consider. The Lab cannot test all hardware combinations. So, if you have an older, newer, or unique machine you may run into problems they have not caught. When that happens you need to be able to roll back a version. In Windows there is System Restore that can roll you back. I think that is a bit drastic, but it works. Especially if you make a Restore Point just before installing a new viewer version.
I prefer to have a copy of the previous version to reinstall. To have that one must use the SL Download page. Download and run the install program. Save the install file. Keep the current install and at least 1 previous install.
There are no other notices of a viewer update than what you see on the splash screen. But, you can look to see what is out and what is coming next by looking at the download page. It shows the current stable viewer and the Beta viewer. Pay attention to the 6 digit build number at the end. A larger number is newer with more bug fixes and possibly new features.
The Beta version is for those that want to help test viewer changes. Use the current main version unless you have a specific problem and are looking for a fix.
For people like myself that are interested in new viewers and tools for SL, there are a half dozen or so Linden Lab viewers to play with. However, you can be certain they are all more buggy than the main viewer as they are from various parts of the QA Testing Pipeline. They may contain a fix for any given problem you run into in the main version. They may also have new problems in the process of being fixed.
All of those viewers can be found starting at the download page.
If you decide to run more than one viewer, read: Second Life Clean Install. While you don't need to do a clean install, the article provides information that will help prevent running into problems. It was written for those of us that multiple brands of viewers.
04-05-2012 12:28 PM - edited 04-05-2012 12:30 PM
Please also know that several past viewer downloads are available on the Supported Viewers page of the Wiki maintained by Linden Lab. The supported versions are found in the section titled "Channel: Second Life Release" [the link is included below] - Using an older non-supported version of a viewer will get a message indicating you have to upgrade when you try to login with it after a long stay away from SL.
Enjoy and good SecondLifing!
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible" !
-- Audrey Hepburn
on 04-05-2012 10:06 AM
Unless I missed something, the updates only show on the login screen. You have to be outside SL to do the installation. You cannot upgrade while SL is running. In any case, you can downloard the latest version at the bottom of this screen.