I have Ubuntu 16.04. "Software Updater" suggests periodically many update components. I can't understand the usefulness of everything. I am wondering whether it is safe to let it install all suggested updates.


Here are screen-shots of the "Software & Updates" selected options:

Ubuntu Software

Other Software


Additional Drivers

Developer Options


3 Answers 3


The answer depends almost entirely upon which software sources you have enabled in your Software & Updates control panel.

If you stick to the official Ubuntu repositories, you usually will get safe, signed, tested updates that you can install worry-free. Perhaps once or twice a decade one of these update may cause a problem, so regular backups are still wise.

Caveat: Do NOT enable the Ubuntu -proposed repository unless you are helping to test the proposed software. Those will sometimes cause problems. That's what testing is: Discovering the problems.

If you have added a lot of non-Ubuntu sources (like third-party sources and certain PPAs), then the risk of a crash, conflict, or other problem goes up substantially.


This is a very relative question.

In general speaking; the answer is yes, it's safe. Especially, if you did not configure your software sources to include Pre-released updates and considering that the 16.04 is an LTS release, updates shouldn't break anything.

That being said; you might have a software, application that ties into a certain version of a module, component which might stop working after an update. Or, an undiscovered bug in an update might cause problems. These are edge cases, not very likely (but still possible) especially when using software from Ubuntu repositories.

I really wouldn't know how your Ubuntu setup would effected.


Many bugs reported in First Quarter 2018

I'm both answering this question and voting to close it as "Opinion based".

Normally there is no problem updating Ubuntu LTS from Canonical sources. However since they rushed out patches for the Meltdown and Spectre theoretical security attacks there have been many problems in January and February 2018:

What to do?

I turned off Automatic Updates on January 4, 2018 when bugs started appearing in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS updates. Why shouldn't I? My system was and still is working perfectly so there is nothing to gain from regular updates.

In order to get Meltdown and Spectre protection plus regular kernel enhancements and bug fixes I manually installed kernels as per How to update kernel to the latest mainline version without any Distro-upgrade?. I started with Kernel 4.14.10 on January 3, 2018 and installed every new one until version 4.14.19.

As soon as we go say 30 days without major bugs reported here by other users then I'll turn Automatic Updates back on and forget about this sad saga.

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