Why do the Windows Updates sometimes require restarts in between installing updates? Couldn't Windows queue them all for install when your computer is restarting? What I'm saying is, why do we have to restart multiple times to install multiple updates?

In Ubuntu, we can install all the updates at once, and then just restart the computer. No need to install 5, restart, install another 2, restart, install 3, ..., etc.

  • 2
    Unless the update is the kernel itself, there's not a need to restart Linux. Other software such as X, etc. may need to be restarted. Sometimes it's just more convenient to reboot, but usually never strictly necessary.
    – LawrenceC
    Aug 23, 2012 at 15:13

2 Answers 2


Some packages need to restart the system in order to take effect. Other packages require higher versions of some of those packages, so in order for the updates that do not initially install, the prerequisites need to be installed first.

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    Neither of these claims seem specific to Windows. What technical limitations or features does Windows have that makes it impossible that don't exist on Linux and friends? Aug 23, 2012 at 15:08

I've wondered this too and I think it's to do with the fact that Linux allows you to effectively overwrite or delete a file while it's in use. Windows, on the other hand, requires you to reboot in many cases when replacing in-use files, especially system files.

I agree it's a bit frustrating. I installed Ubuntu 12.04 on a new laptop a few days ago and straight away let it run through all the updates, i.e now about 6 months worth of updates. It crunched through it in one go and needed one reboot, and that was for all the software on the system.

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