I have Ubuntu 16.04 and when I go to into my settings into the Details/Overview page I see a button on the bottom right that says: "Install Updates". Pressing it gives a small progress windows, that does not really install anything new. How can I change the button to display system up to date, instead of doing this pseudo update nothing thing?


The main problem is that the GUI does not show the error message from the terminal, which in my case was: "The following packages have been kept back:" Then following the answers from here should work to fix it.


Just install updated using any one of the following methods.

method 1 (GUI):

search 'Software Updater' in unity search bar then select 'install now' once its queries all updated.

method 2 (CLI):

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade -y
$ sudo apt-get install -f -y

Note: make sure that you have an uninterrupted internet connection.


Install Updates option

When you select System Settings, Details your screen looks like this:

Settings Details Install

The lower right option "Install Updates" could best be described as:

  • Check if updates exist and then give me option to install them

Terminal equivalent

To mimic the steps in the terminal the first step is to update repository information similar to sudo apt update:

$ sudo apt update
Ign:1 http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb stable InRelease
Ign:2 http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu trusty InRelease                               
Ign:3 http://dl.google.com/linux/earth/deb stable InRelease                              
Hit:4 http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb stable Release                               
Hit:5 http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu trusty Release                                 
Hit:6 http://dl.google.com/linux/earth/deb stable Release                                
Hit:9 http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-security InRelease                        
Ign:11 http://ppa.launchpad.net/daniel.pavel/solaar/ubuntu xenial InRelease              
Hit:12 http://ca.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial InRelease             
Hit:13 http://ca.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-updates InRelease                      
Hit:14 http://ppa.launchpad.net/fossfreedom/indicator-sysmonitor/ubuntu xenial InRelease
Hit:15 http://ca.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-backports InRelease                    
Hit:16 http://ppa.launchpad.net/graphics-drivers/ppa/ubuntu xenial InRelease             
Hit:17 http://ppa.launchpad.net/mkusb/ppa/ubuntu xenial InRelease              
Hit:18 http://ppa.launchpad.net/peek-developers/stable/ubuntu xenial InRelease 
Hit:19 https://download.01.org/gfx/ubuntu/16.04/main xenial InRelease          
Hit:20 http://ppa.launchpad.net/peterlevi/ppa/ubuntu xenial InRelease          
Hit:21 http://ppa.launchpad.net/sethj/silentcast/ubuntu xenial InRelease       
Err:22 http://ppa.launchpad.net/daniel.pavel/solaar/ubuntu xenial Release      
  404  Not Found
Reading package lists... Done
W: https://download.01.org/gfx/ubuntu/16.04/main/dists/xenial/InRelease: Signature by key 09D6EF97BFB38E916EF060E756A3DEF863961D39 uses weak digest algorithm (SHA1)
E: The repository 'http://ppa.launchpad.net/daniel.pavel/solaar/ubuntu xenial Release' does not have a Release file.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.

Next to see what packages would be updated use:

$ sudo apt list --upgradeable
Listing... Done
conky-std/xenial 1.10.1-3 amd64 [upgradable from: 1.9.0-4]
libpoppler-glib8/xenial-updates,xenial-security 0.41.0-0ubuntu1.6 amd64 [upgradable from: 0.41.0-0ubuntu1.5]
libpoppler58/xenial-updates,xenial-security 0.41.0-0ubuntu1.6 amd64 [upgradable from: 0.41.0-0ubuntu1.5]
poppler-utils/xenial-updates,xenial-security 0.41.0-0ubuntu1.6 amd64 [upgradable from: 0.41.0-0ubuntu1.5]

In this case the much awaited Meltdown security hole patch is probably available to install which would be accomplished with sudo apt upgrade. But I'm going to hold off until others have installed it and tested it.


The option on the Details screen is designed to check if updates exist when you click the button. To have it check for updates before mounting the screen and changing the button to "System up to date" or "Install Updates", would provide a delay of many seconds to a minute. A third button label of "Internet unavailable" would also have to be created.

I don't think the change you are seeking is possible for the System Details screen.

Update - Errors in packages

OP posted answer that some packages are being held back. This can happen frequently for a variety of reasons:

  • Dependencies: Package depends on another package being updated but in cannot be.
  • Pinned: A package (such as Conky 1.9 above) has been pinned to a specific version by user and can't be upgraded by Ubuntu.

You can see these messages when you use sudo apt upgrade from the terminal but OP did not see these messages through GUI.

  • There are indeed two packages that need updating on my system, 2 cuda drivers. But sudo apt upgrade/update both don't upgrade the two packages. How can it be that they get listed in apt list --upgradeable, but can not be upgradet? – Hakaishin Jan 9 '18 at 11:58
  • nvm, this answers it: askubuntu.com/questions/601/… – Hakaishin Jan 9 '18 at 11:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.