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Following on from an earlier question: Is there a way to download security updates and notify admin without installing the update?

A large number of packages interact with Apache (especially PHP) such that security updates to those packages can cause the server to attempt to restart the service. While my earlier question was answered, I'm now thinking that I need a different solution.

So - is there are way to allow security updates to be applied using apt, have an email sent to an administrator, and, most importantly, prevent services from being restarted at the end of the installation/update process? The administrator will then be able to log in and restart the service manually.

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No, the postinst script of the apache package (and some others) will always restart apache. There's no way to avoid that. If your service is critical enough that these few seconds of downtime are a problem, consider adding another server and creating an HA pair.

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ordinarily, the time to restart the package is not an issue - but because of a configuration setting on our server, automatic apache service restarts stall because a manual input is needed as part of the service startup - so it's more than a "few seconds" of downtime. I'm trying to remove this particular configuration setting, as well... –  HorusKol Nov 12 '12 at 0:24

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