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On ubuntu netbook remixed the system keeps listing dozens of updates that can be installed.

  1. How do I disable updates for all the unknown programs?
  2. Is there a way to ignore most other than the really important ones?
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Ubuntu looks for updates for all the softwares that you have installed on your system so uninstalling ones that you don't need will reduce the number of updates that you see.
Also remove repositories other than the official Canonical repository , this will also reduce the no. of updates available

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sudo mv /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.bak ?
(You won't be able to install new software until you put this file back.)

Or you can remove the update notifier from the startup applications. (However, it'll try to update stuff when it comes to that.)

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