I'm looking to learn a new way to update sources without having to revert to the terminal or the software updater. When I'm trying to explain how to add a PPA to new users it sounds really silly having to do that.

The Ubuntu Software Center does auto update, but a few minutes "after" adding the PPA. Is there a way to click a button to refresh that instant?


First I want to declared that the easy, good, recommended, etc. way to do this is sudo apt-get update. Also you can enter sudo add-apt-repository ppa:the_name_of_ppa && sudo apt-get update to add the PPA and update at the same time.

Then the answer:

  1. Open Update-Manager from the dash DASH

    or use the gear icon on the Unity Bar, the menu selection you need will be the fourth one down, it will either say Software Up to Date or Updates Available (depending on if you have all your software up to date or not) here is a screen shot from my Desktop with all software up to date: Update manager in Unity Bar

  2. Either way you open it, now you should see the main window, then click on the Check button U-M
  • A great solution, but feels out of place still..why isn't there a "check" or "update" sources button in the "Software Sources" page? Would that be hard to implement? – Matthew Aug 30 '12 at 22:29
  • The Software Sources is used to manage the source of the system, adding removing, etc.. Would be confusing and unnecessary to have a Update button there. Precisely for this function is the Update-Manager. That is the main difference between they. I could do a similarly question like: Why there isn't a shutdown button on the Nautilus windows? It is just would not be appropriate. – Lucio Aug 30 '12 at 22:37
  • I must think completely different than others then =P The way I think it would be better to have a "refresh" icon or a button saying "refresh" to reload the repository with the recently added PPA's. Sometimes I hate being so unique. :) – Matthew Aug 30 '12 at 22:44
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    Do you know how to add the "sudo apt-get update" command to the current "add" function? that way after it's done adding the PPA it'll update instantly, and I can just click close and find what I want in the software center? (I'm a man, who believes that any click saved, is worth while.) – Matthew Aug 30 '12 at 22:56
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    +1 good answer. Just to add a little more information, you can open the update manager buy clicking on the gear in the unity bar, the fourth item in the menu that pops up will open the update manager as well. It will either say software up to date or updates available – TrailRider Aug 30 '12 at 22:58

You could set up something with the cron command to run sudo apt-get update every minute or so, but I suspect that's not what you want.

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    Running that command every minute is quite prohibitive as with certain internet connections, it can take as long as 15 minutes. Once every two hours is useful. – nanofarad Aug 30 '12 at 22:55

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