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This is probably an easy thing to do but I found no answers while googling for it.

I have unattended-upgrades installed and running successfully for the past few months. It will run again tonight - but I want to run it right now.

Is there a simple command to do so?

I know it is a cron job, ideally it would execute in the same context as it always does

I am running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, if that helps.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

You can execute unattended-update with -d option to run it any time you want :)

Open terminal and execute this command:

sudo unattended-upgrade -d

It will start checking for available updates and if found it will upgrades your system.

In addition to this I also want you to go through this site:

Reply if you need any clarification.

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Thanks - I knew it had to be something simple. – house9 Apr 7 '14 at 23:43
@house9: Yes you are right :) – Saurav Kumar Apr 7 '14 at 23:44

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