Someone told me to use the command "apt-get update "to update my software and hardware updates frequently. What exactly is updated and how often should I update it.
As for your specific question, @Braiam and @Alaa have very well done answers, read theirs first. Your friend is rather mis-informed. This is from the man-page for
update: update is used to resynchronize the package index files from their sources. The indexes of available packages are fetched from the location(s) specified in /etc/apt /sources.list. For example, when using a Debian archive, this command retrieves and scans the Packages.gz files, so that information about new and updated packages is available. An update should always be performed before an upgrade or dist-upgrade. Please be aware that the overall progress meter will be incorrect as the size of the package files cannot be known in advance.
I like what @Braiam broke this down into:
upgrade: upgrade is used to install the newest versions of all packages currently installed on the system from the sources enumerated in /etc/apt/sources.list. Packages currently installed with new versions available are retrieved and upgraded; under no circumstances are currently installed packages removed, or packages not already installed retrieved and installed. New versions of currently installed packages that cannot be upgraded without changing the install status of another package will be left at their current version. An update must be performed first so that apt-get knows that new versions of packages are available.
In your case you would want to run
Unless you want to force Ubuntu to check for updates, you don't need to run any special commands, just use your computer normally and you will eventually be alerted to the updates and be allowed to install them.
I'll try to put this in layman's terms.
In Ubuntu, "software" is stored in repositories. Repositories are basically machines that contain an archive of all the software that you can install in Ubuntu.
So now, to answer your questions:
I don't think there's a definitive answer here, but Ubuntu takes care of that for you. By default, Ubuntu is pre-configured to run the command
Please, don't trust this "someone". He seems to be mal informed or misinforming on propose.
Lets explain what each commands of
Now, this is confusing if you don't have previous knowledge. APT stands for Advanced Package Tool, and
That said, apt-get is the transmission that controls the
Now apt-get accepts differents commands or orders, this is what each of them do, from man again:
Long story short: this download the list of packages and their versions from repositories so you can use them later to install, remove or upgrade packages. This don't update/upgrade packages on their own. It just refresh the list of the packages. For upgrading packages you use
Once this confusion is cleared, I think I answered the "What exactly is updated" part of the question. For "how often should I update it" is more like a opinion based behavior, but is common believe and the update-manager (a GUI) is configured like that too, is updating the indexes and upgrading the packages once a day.
Please, tell that someone that is in his wrong and direct them here or to some documentation before misguide users giving flawed advise.