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I noticed today that when I opened the update manager through the system settings in Ubuntu touch running on Nexus 7, it showed no updates. But the I ran the following two commands in the terminal:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Certain updates started getting downloaded, and upon my consent, they were installed.

Why is this so? Why doesn't the over the air updates facility show the updates? I am running the latest daily build image of Ubuntu touch.

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The correct 3 commands are: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade, followed by sudo apt-get dist-upgrade. You should also first use (once): sudo add-apt-repository ppa:phablet-team/ppa. That said, the OTA updates are intended to support a (R/O) image. – david6 Oct 14 '13 at 6:59
Will that update my ubuntu touch to the latest daily build image?? – Pushkar Oct 14 '13 at 16:23
It should, but with beta code you will still need to do a full refresh (-b) every few weeks. Some of the underlying code may cause problems, with changes to interfaces (to underlying ROM or Android) or UI architecture. – david6 Oct 15 '13 at 7:51
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Updating through the system settings will do an image upgrade which only works when the image is not in writable image mode.

This rather different than doing a package update through apt-get.

These two mechanisms are mutually exclusive:

  • Image Based Upgrades work on non writable images (read only filesystem)
  • Apt get works on writable images

Once on writable image mode the way to get back is to reflash the system (not necessarily losing your user data).

adb shell rm /userdata/.writable_image
ubuntu-device-flash [--channel channel_name]

Details on image based upgrades can be read further here:

There is a third possibility and that's the one that you may have installed a cdimage based image which is writable by default and today is considered an intermediate image to get to the system images.

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