This question already has an answer here:

This is probably a real noob question...

I would like to understand what the "updates" alerts I get when logging onto my Lubuntu box actually mean.

When I read:

35 packages can be updated.
22 updates are security updates.

I understand that there are 22 security updates and 13 "regular" updates, for a global count of 35 updates.

As I want to run only security updates, I run:

sudo unattended-upgrade

But after that, I do not get any update notification any longer until the next updates cycle, so all the packages, security and not security, seem to be updated.

This seems also confirmed with:

sudo /usr/lib/update-notifier/update-motd-updates-available

Which replies with a blank output.

Someone can explain? Thanks!

marked as duplicate by Eric Carvalho, 2707974, Byte Commander, v2r, Andrea Corbellini Sep 27 '15 at 8:10

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • What is the output of your /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades file? – Bruno Pereira Mar 23 '15 at 11:05
  1. The security updates are updates that fixes security bugs that can compromise the system, the rest are updates of improvement that fixes non-critic bugs or adds new features to a program. However, its recommended to install all updates.

  2. When do you see this:

    35 packages can be updated.
    22 updates are security updates.

    Yes, you think correctly, there is a total of 35 updates, 22 of which are security updates, and the rest are normal updates.

  3. unattended-upgrade upgrades all packages, in the man page says this:

    automatic installation of security (and other) upgrades

    You can test this running man unattended-upgrade

  • 1
    Well, no, unattended-upgrades come by default to only upgrade security packages in Ubuntu, if you read its configuration file you will see that. More info here: askubuntu.com/questions/87849/… +1 – Bruno Pereira Mar 23 '15 at 11:04
  • Good one! Upvoted! ;-) – Fabby Mar 28 '15 at 10:03

Firstly, to quote the man page: "unattended-upgrade - automatic installation of security (and other) upgrades"

and other - it's going to do the lot...

The difference is that security upgrades are deemed important for security - so things like vulnerabilities in programs - & the others are just upgrades to a program with no bearing on security.

The point being, security ones should be done rapidly, the others aren't as important - but, if you avoid them, your system will become less up-to-date & eventually something will probably break. If you carry on as you are, you'll be fine.

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