I see the following lines in /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades. But I'm not able to find the man page for them. Could anybody point me the detailed document for each of them? Thanks.

Unattended-Upgrade::Allowed-Origins {
//  "${distro_id}:${distro_codename}-proposed";
//  "${distro_id}:${distro_codename}-backports";

1 Answer 1


Warning, this isn't the "detailed documentation" you wanted, just a simple answer.

To quote ubuntu.com:


  • The security updates are holes in software that need to be patched for, obviously, security reasons.

Important security updates

These are obviously the only ones you will have to enable if your computer is connected to the Internet, in order to keep you secure.

Enabling this is smart. Even if you don't connect to the Internet, it won't hurt.

Updates (Recommended Updates):

  • The Recommended Updates are just software changes, but not updates that will affect the security of your system, just the apps installed and stuff like that. They tend to fix bugs and annoying problems.

Recommended updates

These updates contain non-critical updates which can remove major annoyances and broken packages, but which do not affect your security. Other than fixing some, they do not enable any features.

Enabling this is generally a good idea. The amount to download as well as the changes are not too big, but it improves your system stability in various ways.

Proposed: (For getting married with :D Just kidding)

  • The Proposed updates are updates that have to be tested before they can be officially put into the Recommended updates repository. They may have issues that could break your system, and quite often do. You get Beta features, but often a broken system. I managed to nuke an installation by enabling this. Unless you like testing and fixing issues, I don't recommended this one.

  • There is a question regarding this here: What is the "proposed" repository?

Proposed updates

WARNING! Enabling the proposed updates repository can break your system. It is not recommended for inexperienced users.

The proposed updates are updates which are waiting to be moved into the recommended updates queue after some testing. They may never reach recommended or they may be replaced with a more recent update.

Enabling this is reasonable if you want to participate in testing minor updates, or know that your specific problem has been solved here but the package hasn't reached recommended yet.


Backported updates

Backported updates are pieces of software which come from a newer major release. Thus, they can contain new features, but may also break compatibility with their older version. However, they are compiled specifically for your version of Ubuntu. In effect it saves you the hassle of broken dependencies and major downloads.

Enabling this is reasonable if you want new features but don't want your system to be unstable.

Read more in UbuntuBackports.

  • 1
    In never thought about these update categories. When doing the manual update via "sudo apt update" and "sudo apt dist-upgrade" how do I know if backport updates are included? Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 13:06
  • Your description of "Recommended Updates" conflicts with the quote: they tend to ... add features vs. they do not enable any features.
    – ZachB
    Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 17:59

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