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Ubuntu has updates every couple of days, while the GUI Update Manager is good at nagging my. I was wondering if there's a command line way to check for updates.

Answers for any recent Ubuntu releases would be great.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

This will tell you if there are updates available:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade

Before actually installing anything, consider carefully what you're being offered and how the upgrades may affect your system.

I use Debian rather than Ubuntu, but I would be surprised if Ubuntu really had security updates daily. That said, you never know which day they will be available, so it pays to check often.

See here for a tutorial on Ubuntu's command-line tools for installing software. (Based on other pages from her site, I take it that Ubuntu now recommends GUI methods rather than apt-get.) I know that you asked for command-line methods, but you can also use Synaptic manually. That is, instead of waiting for the automatic check, just fire up Synaptic, let it update your sources and see if it tells you that there are upgrades. If you're not used to the command-line, that will probably be easier.

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In one shot: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade – riza Nov 6 '09 at 23:13
Yes, the easiest way to check available upgrades is to just run the upgrade command, and if you don't want to install the upgrades, just say no. Also, recent ubuntu releases seem to put the count of available updates in the login greeting message, at least in ubuntu server – Ryan Thompson Nov 6 '09 at 23:51

I have apticron running, which sends me an email each day that there are outstanding updates.

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