"Software Update" seems to take a long time. What's it doing?

Utilities -> Activity Monitor yields:

  • CPU usage low ( 1% - 2% ) by the "Software Update" process.
  • + network traffic inbound,

[picture of Network activity after starting "Software Update"] Network activity from Activity Monitor

[Network activity after ~30 seconds to ~90 seconds] enter image description here

[Network activity after ~90 seconds]
enter image description here

*note: pictures modified to remove "Data received: [total] and Data Sent:[total]". Network activity recorded after shutting down all other applications.

  • It's impossible to objectively answer this question. – Philip Regan Apr 15 '11 at 20:16
  • I disagree. Answers might include: "the duration depends on the available network speed." or "the duration depends on the how quickly Apple.com servers determine the necessary updates." Would you suggest re-phrasing, such as "What is 'software update' doing when 'checking for new software?'" – jpwco Apr 15 '11 at 20:55
  • It would be a lot of guesswork, likely it is waiting for a response from the update server on if there are any updates, I see behavior similar to this on networks with redirected dns records for the apple update server, where it never responds. – ConstantineK Apr 15 '11 at 21:07
  • I think that one could answer this objectively. For example, someone could use some of the command line 'snoop' utilities to find out what SO is doing, or someone might know more about exactly what SO does than the rest of us. Of course, please make sure that all answers are factual; speculation probably isn't useful. – Nathan Greenstein Apr 15 '11 at 21:14
  • 1
    @Nathan: iI'll concede that it may not be impossible, but it will certainly be difficult, so much so that I think there will be more speculative answers than worth the trouble of finding out what's going on. Seeing as how this question is about guessing then behavior of Apple software, and therefore Apple policy which we consistently close, I really don't see what change will be affected by lgeaving this open. It's not as though Apple is going to improve their software as a result of this. I don't see this question as having much benefit to the community at large. – Philip Regan Apr 15 '11 at 22:03

Todays Date - Tue May 15 2018 By Philscbx Mpls Mn

This Question ( Software Update ) was stated incorrect ~ Activity Monitor lists only one term - Titled ( Softwareupdated ). It's not a CPU concern of near Zero - It's the Memory it holds at 460MB. This memory load is needed just to run a normal moment at average web site, when only 4GB is available.

This is totally un-necessary load just sitting there when an updater process can randomly access applications when system is idle,, and report, and only report any needed, then owner can access list before going to sleep, and pick from list their choice.

There was a time one could trust Apple Update, not anymore. As for security updates,,, thats fine, but forcing OS updates is underhanded world order of destroying high end image apps at several thousand dollars each. Thinking it was safe to upgrade to Yosemite last month, but was wrong again, as it wiped out some of the finest software made to force merge Pro Devices to clone themselves as iPhones & iPads.

When You recall 10.6.8,, this software OS was perfect.

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