Like many people around the world, my life has moved entirely online through videocalling platforms like Zoom.

Most of my software updates automatically through the terminal when I run

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

However, it seems that Zoom is not updated this way, and it keeps periodically asking for manual installation of updates.

Is there a way update Zoom automatically through the terminal, e.g. by adding the right repository? Even the 'terminal' instructions in their Help Centre ask for a manual download for every update.

  • how did you originally install zoom? – totalynotanoob Aug 29 '20 at 20:19
  • I'm not entirely sure; I imagine it was probably a download from the official Zoom website. – Remy Aug 29 '20 at 20:22
  • 3
    according to zoom's download and update page the only officially supported way is manually. so unless someone else goes out of their way (and propably against zoom's will) you will be out of luck. sorry. see the page at: support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/… – totalynotanoob Aug 29 '20 at 20:31

Zoom is not available in Ubuntu repositories. It also doesn't appear that the software can be installed via PPA, at least not officially, from the page you linked.

apt and your GUI software center only deal with packages that can be updated via sources in /etc/apt/sources.list or PPA sources or snaps.

There is a zoom-client snap in the snap store, but it appears that you did not originally install the software using this method, so you will need to follow the manual installation and update/upgrade instructions from the developer of the software via the link that you referenced.

  • 3
    The 'zoom-client' snap is available in the snap store. Happily, the OP recalled how they installed Zoom. – user535733 Aug 29 '20 at 20:36
  • Zoom is in my synaptic package manager. @Nmath – fixit7 Feb 14 at 0:55

If you have Zoom install by any way other than snap you must first uninstall. Try uninstalling via apt-get

sudo apt-get remove <zoom package name>

then you can reinstall it via snap. Do so either in Terminal:

sudo snap install zoom-client

or by use of the snap-store which can be installed with

sudo snap install snap-store

then updating all snap packages is done by

sudo snap refresh

At the moment, there is no official PPA for zoom, but there is an unofficial snap. However, last time I tried, the zoom-client snap did not keep my local preferences every update. It was also behind on updates at times.

If you want to use apt-get, apt or the GUI upgrade-manager, the following script will set a local repository for zoom, which will auto-update every time apt-get update runs:



sudo mkdir -p $debdir
( echo 'APT::Update::Pre-Invoke {"cd '$debdir' && wget -qN '$url' && apt-ftparchive packages . > Packages && apt-ftparchive release . > Release";};' | sudo tee $aptconf
  echo 'deb [trusted=yes lang=none] file:'$debdir' ./' | sudo tee $sourcelist
) >/dev/null

sudo apt update
sudo apt install zoom

Alternatively, you can use the following script to update zoom:


cd ~/Downloads

wget -qN $url$file
downloadedVer=`dpkg -f $file version`

dpkgReport=`dpkg -s zoom`
echo "$dpkgReport" | grep '^Status: install ok' > /dev/null && \
  installedVer=`echo "$dpkgReport" | grep ^Version: | sed -e 's/Version: //'`

if [ "$installedVer" != "$downloadedVer" ]; then
  sudo dpkg -i $file
  echo "Zoom is up to date"

Both methods will continue to work as long as Zoom keeps updating the same location and file.


To automate zoom updates on Ubuntu I wrote this tool.

It's a install/uninstall script for a systemd timer/service that checks daily whether there is a newer version of zoom available on the website than the one that is installed locally. If there is a newer version, it downloads the Linux .deb package from the zoom website and installs it. No guarantees I'll maintain this but for me this solution works for now.


You could use the following general approach to create your own, local APT repository with a regularly downloaded copy of the file zoom_amd64.deb as provided on the Zoom server:

  1. Set up a personal repository and add it to your APT sources. These instructions are probably a bit outdated, with the necessary updates found here.

  2. Set up a local cron job to download the Zoom package regularly, let's say once a month.

    The file to download is https://zoom.us/client/latest/zoom_amd64.deb (according to here). Since there is no APT repository, and no version number in the filename, speculative downloading every now and then is the only option. But the package is currently "only" 40 MiB in size, so it's kind of acceptable. The cron job has to place the file into the personal repository and also run the update script of that repository created in the first step.

  3. From now on, updating Zoom is included in your usual sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade process resp. the equivalent done with a graphical package manager or software updater.

Advantage: since this does not involve uploading zoom_amd64.deb anywhere, Zoom folks can't be against this, unlike if somebody made a PPA and uploaded the file there.


(This is not yet a complete answer, and I did not try it out yet. Feel free to comment or improve when you find out in more detail how this approach works.)

  • 1
    Instead of cron job to download, I suggest to use apt hooks. – niry Feb 14 at 0:02

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