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I am attempting to list available updates for Linux Mint however am unable to do so. I have run the following command

sudo apt-get update - My understanding is that this simply updates the repository

For example I wish to update the version of Flash I have installed to the last version however the update manager does not display it. The only way I was able to figure out whether there was a newer version was to run the command

sudo apt-get -s install flashplugin-installer
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You might want to check out man apt-get.

As you said, apt-get update fetches the list of packages from the repository. To update your system, you would then normally follow it with apt-get upgrade.

In order to have apt-get only show you what it would otherwise do, you can add the -s switch. Thus, to show what updates are currently available, issue the following:

apt-get update
apt-get -s upgrade

Another possibility, according to the man page (It's been a few years since i ran anything Debianish), is apt-get --show-upgraded update (or possibly apt-get --show-upgraded upgrade) which apparently will

Show upgraded packages. Print out a list of all packages that are to be upgraded.

Haven't tried that (I think), but probably does what you want.

Rather than updating the entire system, I would like to get a list of updates and then select the updates I would like to install. I know that running the command apt-get -s upgrade does a dry run but what I would really like is to compare what I have installed and what I would like to update akin to Windows Update

It sounds like what you want is a package manager with an interactive interface. I once liked aptitude, it has a neat ncurses interface and lets you select the packages you want to update from a list of upgradable ones.

If you rally are into stuff modeled on Windows Update, I believe Synaptic (and all the other "different" package manager GUIs sprung out from Ubuntu) has "nice" checkboxes next to package names for things you want to upgrade.

Synaptic upgrade list

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Rather than updating the entire system, I would like to get a list of updates and then select the updates I would like to install. I know that running the command apt-get -s upgrade does a dry run but what I would really like is to compare what I have installed and what I would like to update akin to Windows Update –  PeanutsMonkey Mar 7 '12 at 8:39
    
Made an edit... –  Eroen Mar 7 '12 at 9:04
    
Thanks Eroen. Maybe I should have clarified. I know I have the option via Synaptic and aptitude however would prefer the command line. I should have also clarified what I meant by Windows Update. For example I have an older version of Flash installed. I would have liked to run say apt-get update or apt-get upgrade and it gives me a list of installed software on my device and tells me that there is an update available for all of them or a select group of them. I can then decide which ones I wish to install by running the command e.g. apt-get install flash mplayer,etc. Is that possible? –  PeanutsMonkey Mar 7 '12 at 9:24
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"apt version package" will tell you the current version.

so will "dpkg -l package"

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True, but neither will list all upgradable packages which is what the OP wants. –  terdon Jan 16 '13 at 18:27
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