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I maintain a all of the computers in my house. The other users couldn't be bothered with the system updates by Ubuntu. What I currently do is borrow a few seconds of mouse and keyboard control and launch updates manually.

What's the best way to perform system updates on other computers within the home network...

  • remotely from my desktop
  • in the background without disrupting the other users' activities?

I'm fine with using command line.

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TL;DR Use SSH.

Install openssh-server, set the computers IP addresses to static (something outside the DHCP pool of your router/modem), then from you computer, open a terminal and type ssh USER@IP.ADD.RESS.HERE accept the warning, type your password. You now have a terminal of the remote computer at your computer. You can now update the computer however you do so normally with apt-get.

Hopefully it all makes sense.

| improve this answer | |
  • That looks easy. Does user mean you have to have your own admin user with login on the remote machine? Does it have to be a static address? Is it possible to use instead user@hostname-laptop? – kelvinilla Apr 21 '15 at 4:54
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    @kelvinilla whatever username you use to login to a machine (when you borrow the keyboard and mouse) is used for user in ssh. The password is also what you use to login to the computer (when you borrow the keyboard and mouse). Static IP is for you not having to try guess the new DHCP IP set by your router. Hostnames should work instead of IP addresses. I personally use the static IP method because hostnames don't work on my setup for some reason (avahi-daemon used to complain and auto-disable until I removed it.) – user371765 Apr 21 '15 at 7:46

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