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Are there situations where applications/processes need to be closed before running apt-get dist upgrade?

If so, out of curiosity what happens if you run apt-get dist upgrade anyways, without stopping the application first?

If not, do you need to restart the application after the upgrade?

I'm asking because I have a server running Ubuntu, and I am thinking about having a cron job automatically run apt-get dist upgrade every so often.

Also, it is my understanding that a reboot shouldn't be necessary unless there is a kernel update.

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No process in a server environment need to be stopped/closed during an update with the package manager. The installation and removal scripts in /var/lib/dpkg/info start and stop the services for you, if it's necessary. Mostly it's only a reload, e.g.

sudo systemctl reload service_name

or a restart

sudo systemctl restart service_name

A reboot is usually also not necessary. Read this When is it necessary to reboot an Ubuntu system?.

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