How does it work - Updater restarts networking VM stack without shutting client qubes

I used to drive myself crazy on 4.1 or less closing down chains of qubes when I updated something (e.g. sys-firewall).

Now we have a wonderful Updater tool that manages to shutdown and restart all the networking sys-qubes (disposables) without their client AppVMs needing to be shut as well.

I may never understand the answer, but - how does that work, and can it be done manually (i.e. is it only Updater’s special power)?

You can do the same from the Qubes Manager using the restart function. Only the widget won’t work because it checks for attached qubes first.