I recently upgraded from 16.10 to 18.04.2. On 16.10 I ran /usr/lib/update-notifier/apt-check indicating the number of unapplied updates and how many of them are security updates. On 18.04.2 this returns "0;0" until I run sudo apt-get update. As I was using the apt-check to tell when to run the update this is less useful.

Have I missed a piece of configuration or what steps should I take to raise a useful bug report

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    It always shows 0 before apt update because the system doesn't know about new updates. You probably think that apt update installs updates. ;-) – Pilot6 Feb 25 at 19:47
  • Well on 16.10 it used to return the number of updates without the need for sudo apt update (at least not a manual one). I guess I could set up a cron job to regularly issue the update command. – djvines Feb 25 at 20:06
  • It runs already by default. Why are you trying to do something that already is set by default a different way? You can set all that in Software & Updates app. – Pilot6 Feb 25 at 20:07
  • Because it doesn't run for days at a time on my system :) I may have disabled I guess?? (as a side effect of wanting to manage the timings of the actual installation of the updates rather than have an update. I guess that if I have (on the software updater GUI) the "install updates from" options unticked, but the "Automatically check for updates" set to something other than "never" that'll give me what I want. – djvines Feb 25 at 20:15
  • Not correct. Install updates from should be checked. But you can set it to e.g. "Show daily". – Pilot6 Feb 25 at 20:17


sudo apt update

It will show how many updates are pending.

For more details run

apt list --upgradable
  • The apt-check command doesn't require root - I'd rather my montioring program doesn't need root access (it didn't before) – djvines Feb 25 at 20:00
  • But list relies on downloaded lists, that are got by update. – Pilot6 Feb 25 at 20:23

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