I know that there are three command to update and then upgrade the whole system, these are:

  • sudo apt-get update # Fetches the list of available updates
  • sudo apt-get upgrade # Strictly upgrades the current packages
  • sudo apt-get dist-upgrade # Installs updates (new ones)

Is there a super-upgrade command that combines all these commands to one?

  • 1
    No, you can do at most sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
    – heemayl
    Feb 14 '16 at 8:46
  • 1
    It's still one command-line! ;-)
    – Fabby
    Aug 30 '18 at 18:33
  • For those who shall stumble upon this question someday, here's a related one to run update and upgrade as one-liners askubuntu.com/a/1086022/295286 Oct 22 '18 at 8:28
  • I have a folder that contains all of the custom commands I run /NSCS/bin
    – Nate
    Sep 23 '20 at 18:22

There are 3 decent choices:

  1. You could create a script something like the following:

    set -e
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    Call it something like update.sh and place it in /usr/local/bin and then make the script executable by running:

    sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/update.sh
  2. Another method would be to create a bash alias (in ~/.bashrc) or wherever you normally store your aliases:

    alias update='sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade'
  3. A final method would be to simply string the 3 commands together on the commandline:

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

A few choices...


  • 8
    When you are using dist-upgrade there is no point in doing upgrade beforehand..
    – heemayl
    Feb 14 '16 at 9:03
  • 3
    @heemayl: In theory yes. In practice there are corner cases where a direct dist-upgrade may fail but upgrade followed by dist-upgrade will not. This is largely due package dependency definition bugs or mixing packages from different releases/distributions/PPAs. If one only uses packages from Canonical's official repositories for exactly one release (the default), such errors should be extremely rare and fixed quickly. Sep 21 '16 at 17:50
  • 2
    There's also the impress-friends variant of #3: for x in update {,dist-}upgrade; do sudo apt $x; done Jun 7 '18 at 23:30
  • 2
    In step 1, what does "set -e" do? Dec 19 '18 at 3:43
  • @karjedavpalaa - "-e Exit immediately if a command exits with a non-zero status."
    – Josh
    Aug 24 '20 at 16:30

We can have a one-liner command (no need to scripts, just copy-paste)

sudo apt update -y && sudo apt full-upgrade -y && sudo apt autoremove -y && sudo apt clean -y && sudo apt autoclean -y
  • update - updates the list of packages but do not install
  • upgrade - install new versions of packages if new versions are available
  • full-upgrade - performs the function of upgrade but will remove currently installed packages if this is needed to upgrade the system as a whole (fixing bad dependencies then)
  • autoremove, autoclean and clean - clean old packages which are not needed any more
  • option -y does not request for permission on every step
  • && states that it just runs the next command if the previous was successfully executed
  • You can skip the apt autoremove if you add --auto-remove to apt upgrade Jul 18 at 6:12
  • @CameronTacklind: For me, it is better to have autoremove in a different step to double-check if something would get removed which I use.
    – emk2203
    Sep 10 at 13:56
  • @emk2203 It will ask you to confirm the removals as well, unless you add -y. Sep 10 at 19:44
  • Good to know, should have just tried it once before commenting. Thanks.
    – emk2203
    Sep 11 at 8:05

If you are annoyed by too much typing, you can define yourself an "alias". This can be done e.g. by adding a line to the end of your $HOME/.profile like this:

alias sau='sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude upgrade'

(of course you can replace "sau" by something else -- for me that's an acronym to Sudo Apt-get Update). After saving the file, open a new shell (or "source" the .profile again running . $HOME/.profile. Now you can always simply type "sau" to do the complete job. Works great for me with multiple machines.

  • Hm. I guess I was just asking someone to tell me to alias it :P
    – polandeer
    Jul 10 '12 at 0:09
  • Yeah, but that's the only way to do it with a "single command". And your question did not exclude this ;)
    – Izzy
    Jul 10 '12 at 8:13
  • Tricky. Anyways, the only reason I asked was because I wanted to understand apt better, not because I'm too lazy to write sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude upgrade The reason I asked was because you can do it with pacman (sudo pacman -Syu --noconfirm).
    – polandeer
    Jul 12 '12 at 12:14
  • If you have to do that often and on multiple machines, you're glad you can at least have an alias. However: apt-get update has a parameter -u, according to the man page that shows available updates. Did not try whether it then asks to apply them (have no Ubuntu/Debian near me to check right now).
    – Izzy
    Jul 12 '12 at 13:31

Unfortunately, the two commands have to be executed separately.

sudo apt install unattended-upgrades

This is the best line yet. All of the other solutions you have to type the one line over and over again every day. This is truly the one-command solution. See offical apt documentation from ubuntu!

By editing the .conf files of this package in /etc you can set the frequency of update, install, clean, autoremove...

Or simply and email including A notification that an update is available with the list of package names

A nice little log file is generated with each change, and I imagine a little script could be written as a gui extension to pop up in the desktop notifications too (off topic haha)


Is there a super-upgrade command that combines all these commands to one?

Well.. bad news is that no, there isn't. Good news though is that here I've put together one.

And to go on with the idea of simplification I've turned its creation into a "single" command line. So here it is:

echo "sudo apt update && sudo apt -y upgrade && sudo apt -y dist-upgrade && sudo apt -y autoremove && sudo apt autoclean" > update && sudo mv update /usr/local/bin/update && sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/update

Now, whenever the need for updating arises you just type update in the terminal, input your password and voilà.

This might look like one of those incomprehensible things you only copy-paste from. But it doesn't really have to be ! See it's actually quite simple, so..

What this is :

  1. Every update command (and then further commands) were concatenated using && (including apt autoremove to remove no longer used dependencies).
  2. -y was added to every apt command that would otherwise prompt for a positive answer to perform its actions.
  3. echo was placed in front of the command and the line was surrounded with "" so its characters wouldn't escape.
  4. > was used to redirect/write echo's output (our line) to an "update" file.
  5. The file is moved to /usr/local/bin/ so it is executable from anywhere. Writing on this path requires superuser access which is why it's not possible to do it in the step before.
  6. The file was turned into an executable using chmod.

just copy paste the following alias command and execute it:-

$ alias fup='sudo apt-get -y update;sudo apt-get -y full-upgrade;sudo apt-get -y autoremove; sudo apt-get -y autoclean'

now, execute it as

$ fup

it will automatically do all its jobs.

Now, you may need to use this frequently. So for that create a file name .bash_aliases in your HOME directory and pase this following command mentioned above as alias like:-

$ touch ./.bash_aliases

now save the file and exit, after this edit your .bashrc file to export your .bash_aliases file for everytime you need to run this command by.

$ gedit .bashrc

now paste the following code in the end of file.

if [ -f /home/abhyam/.bash_aliases ];then
source /home/abhyam/.bash_aliases

now save the file and exit and so source .bashrc

now you can run the command fup to fully update and upgrade your system anytime.

The benifit of creating that .bash_aliases file is you can also create custom aliases in that file for future help and that will automatically sourced each time you open a terminal.

Thank you.


found this thread looking for the same treasure. In case anyone is still interested, I've been working on a git project which runs through the same commands. Note, I used a loop on the apt update command because I was getting "mirror sync in progress" errors and wanted it to keep trying. Hope this helps and let me know if you have suggestions! https://github.com/HastedHamster/BasherUpdate/blob/main/BasherUpdate.sh

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