How can I avoid having to restart after an upgrade?

I usually lock kernel upgrades as well as all libc packages. However, from time to time, after an upgrade I still am requested to reboot so that upgrades are completed. So my question is: what packages do I have to lock in order to avoid an upgrade restart?

  • 1
    Just do it... whats it hurt to restart your machine every now and again... – TheXed Sep 28 '12 at 23:33

I think GUI packages like GNOME, Cinnamon require restart too

  • They require you to log out of, and back into, any graphical sessions using them (if you want to be running the updated versions, or avoid artifacts arising from combining old and new versions). But they do not require rebooting. – Eliah Kagan Oct 2 '12 at 5:23
  • Actually, upgrades to your desktop manager (e.g., lightdm) would require a restart of that service, and at that point (for most desktop users), you might as well reboot. – nfirvine Oct 2 '12 at 17:17

The only upgrade that requires a restart is the kernel. Even then, you don't have to restart as long as you're happy to still run the old kernel. However, you might be unable to load any more modules if the upgrade has changed binary compatibility of the kernel (which might have happened if the new kernel package has a different version, even if it's the minor version that indicates that only the Ubuntu patch has changed).

You do need to restart any programs you've upgraded if you want to run the new version. For your desktop environment, that might mean logging out and back in (system services, on the other hand, can just be restarted in the background). You also need to restart programs that use a library or data file that has been upgraded. Again, this is only if you want to be running the new version: if you're happy to keep running the old version, just don't reboot.

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