Every day my computer says it has updates that I have to click and install. Now, the updates have settings in which I can supposedly control what is being checked and how often, and what to do when updates are being found.

Yesterday I only left the Important security updates checked (and I unchecked Recommended and all that other stuff), and under Automatic updates section I set to check Every fortnight (which is the rarest possible option). Then I selected the option to Install security updates without confirmation. It asked me for password to make the changes, and then saved. Today I got on my PC, and again, I get the notification that updates are available, and it's waiting for me to click to install them.

For what difference it might make, I have the "regular" Ubuntu 18.04. installed with KDE desktop manually installed afterwards.

Can I get it to not ask me about updates, ideally ever? If this is not possible, how can I have it at least respect the Every fortnight option so I don't have to click it every day?


One of the reasons that Linux is secure is that distributions provide package managers which inform you of updates, and function to install the updates as you configure. It is very important that you install security upgrades as soon as possible. When updates comes out, if the issues weren't already being used to exploit systems, the new details and fix may make it easier for others to create exploits against unpatched systems.

It is understandable that you don't want to be bothered with the UI constantly telling you to update. After you set the interval at which to check for updates, you should only see the warnings if apt is already aware of updates, or you run sudo apt update in the terminal. At that point, the system becomes aware of new updates, and tells you about them.

You should try taking in the changes as you see them become available, and hopefully more often than every two weeks. Think of the benefit of updating each day, and the slight annoyance of having to type in your password, vs waiting two weeks or ignoring updates altogether. If you stick with every two weeks, try updating now and leaving everything alone and seeing if you wake up to notifications tomorrow.

The system will always show you updates of which it is aware. You are adjusting the frequency at which the system checks for updates. Do a complete update/upgrade, and do not apt update after, and you should only see notifications every two weeks.

If you are worried about specific packages being upgraded, you can lock packages within apt. Be careful, though, as you will have to unlock, or forcefully upgrade from this state. Please consider updating frequently, and only locking a small set of packages, such as database or your graphics drivers. Everything else should update very smoothly at the hard work of many package maintainers, making it easy to take on updates quickly.


Have you considered installing Livepatch?

You can set this up from within Software and Updates and select the Updates tab.

enter image description here

Whilst Livepatch uses snap as a base, it is primarily intended for use in a server environment and there are definite benefits in making use of this facility.

Further information here.

  • 1
    You could mention that livepatch uses snap as base, for some that is a dealbreaker. – Videonauth Apr 4 '19 at 8:47
  • I don't think Livepatch reduces the frequency of checking for updates. It only patches kernels in a way that does not need a reboot. For example if Firefox needs updating, Livepatch won't be any help. – user68186 Apr 4 '19 at 15:52

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