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Is there a place where I can look what updates I've installed?

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7 Answers 7

216

You can read the history.log file in /var/log/apt.

Eg. less /var/log/apt/history.log.

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  • 14
    Worth noting that there may be older history files in that folder, not just /var/log/apt/history.log. Maybe something like /var/log/apt/history.log.1.gz Nov 22, 2019 at 16:17
  • 4
    Still working even on Bionic. Just in case someone's afraid because of the response's age.
    – Alfabravo
    May 20, 2020 at 15:24
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    To read and filter rotated logs: zcat /var/log/apt/history.log.* | perl -00 -ne 'print if /\ninstall/i' (with -00 each paragraphs is a record) Jun 9, 2021 at 17:04
  • Terminal log /var/log/opt/term.log could also be useful if you need to figure out what happened during the installation.
    – Danijel
    Mar 7, 2022 at 8:26
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In 10.10, Ubuntu Software Center has a list of all the updates you have downloaded in the past.

enter image description here

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  • 4
    +1 This answer works on more recent versions too. Jul 26, 2014 at 19:05
  • 13
    @JamesBradbury This option is gone from Ubuntu 16.04 on
    – feeela
    Apr 3, 2018 at 11:00
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/var/log/apt contains a history of package installations. However, by default, it is managed by logrotate which compresses and ages out old entries.

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24

As an alternative to lgarzo's answer, you can grep what you are interested in from /var/log/dpkg.log. E.g., if you want to see everything you installed or upgraded yesterday, you could run:

cat /var/log/dpkg.log | grep "^2012-03-25.*\ installed\ "

One thing to note: this will also list manually installed packages (sudo dpkg -i ...), which won't show up in apt's history.

Even better use zgrep if it's installed so you can find lines in gzipped files as well

zgrep "^2012-03-25.*\ installed\ " /var/log/dpkg.log*
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On 10.04 Click (System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager > File > History)

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  • 12
    All I get is a list of packages that I installed via Synaptic, it doesn't show all the packages I updated via Update Manager.
    – Isaiah
    Nov 21, 2010 at 19:39
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It's now possible to do this through the software center as well! Go to History and you can display all of your updates and installations.

Software Center History

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  • I suppose it is 10.10 ?
    – vrcmr
    Nov 21, 2010 at 19:36
  • Sure is. I don't think this was available in previous distributions... Nov 21, 2010 at 19:53
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It became useful for us to have a slightly more easy and accurate answer to the question "when was the last time we patched this thing?". So I put this together. I tested it on 12.04 and 14.04 and 16.04. It returns reasonably accurate answers for that question. Note: "reasonably accurate" probably isn't "completely accurate". Note: "for that question" only.

sample output:

xenial% 9: ./linuxpatchdate 
2016-07-19 54
2017-02-24 363
2017-03-08 7
2017-03-09 2

subroutines and program:

#!/usr/bin/perl

#------------------ subroutines --------------------

sub parseRecord {
    my $sdate = "";
    my $useful = 0;
    my $packages = 0;
    my @ptmp;
    while (my $recordLine = shift() ) {

       if ($recordLine =~ m/^Start-Date: ([\d\-]*).*/) {
          $sdate = $1;
       }
       elsif ($recordLine =~ m/^Commandline:.*upgrade/) {
          $useful = 1;
       }
       elsif ($recordLine =~ m/^Install: (.*)/) {
          $recordLine =~ s/\([^\)]*\)//g;
          @ptmp = split(/,/,$recordLine);
          $packages = $packages + $#ptmp + 1;
       }
       elsif ($recordLine =~ m/^Upgrade: (.*)/) {
          $recordLine =~ s/\([^\)]*\)//g;
          @ptmp = split(/,/,$recordLine);
          $packages = $packages + $#ptmp + 1;
       }
    }



    if ($useful) {
       return ($sdate,$packages);
    }
    else {
       return ("0",0);
    }
}


#------------------ main program --------------------

@lines = split(/\n/,`/bin/zcat -f /var/log/apt/history.log  /var/log/apt/history*gz`);
my %patchHash;
my $line;
my @inputLines;
my $pushDate = "";
my $pushNum = "";

foreach $line (@lines) {
    # all records separated by blank lines
    if ($line !~ /./) {
       # no-op
    }
    elsif ($line =~ m/^Start-Date: ([\d\-]*).*/) {
       @inputLines = ();
       push (@inputLines, $line);
    }
    elsif ($line =~ m/^End-Date: ([\d\-]*).*/) {
       ($pushDate, $pushNum) = parseRecord(@inputLines);
       if ($pushNum != 0) {
          $patchHash{$pushDate} += $pushNum;
       }
    }
    else {
       push (@inputLines, $line);
    }
}

foreach $pushDate (sort(keys(%patchHash))) {
   print "$pushDate $patchHash{$pushDate}\n";
}
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