I'm working on some system admin automation using fabric and I'd like to be able to monitor the number of packages that need upgrading on a given machine. This is the same information that I can see when I first log in to a machine, i.e. this part:
35 packages can be updated. 22 updates are security updates.
Is there a command that I can run (preferably without
sudo) that gives just that information?
I'd also like to know whether or not apg/dpkg thinks that the machine needs a reboot after packages are installed/upgraded.
bybobu shows this at the bottom of the screen. That way I can decide whether or not to reboot machines after I update packages a bit more intelligently.
I've looked at the apt-python bindings, but they seem to have a high learning curve and they also appear to be changed around a lot -- I'd like something that will work at least as far back as lucid without needing to do different things on different Ubuntu versions.