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We've got a customized distribution of Ubuntu, a repository with some custom packages and we run unattended-upgrades on a number of systems. What we want to be able to do is supply an update of one of our packages which might have a new dependency which is not yet installed.

I understand apt normally prevents that from happening automatically, and using dist-upgrade would permit it.

How can I get that behavior so our unattended upgrades work the same way?

Ideally we'd only want new packages installed if one of our packages causes it to be needed (either as a direct dependency or a child, etc.)

Should I be aware of any potential problems or increased risk of breakage. The systems are generally not easily accessed via the console so anything causing a problem requiring manual intervention would be very bad!

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1 Answer 1

Why not just set up a cron job that runs some variant of apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade? Perhaps you mean that you only want the dist-upgrade behavior for one of your packages, but I think it's not worthwhile to address that specially. In a stable release of Ubuntu, dist-upgrade should very rarely pull in new packages, and if it does, there is probably a very good reason for it, such as a security update.

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First off, unattended-upgrades is already driven by a cron job. See: /etc/cron.daily/apt. What I'd like to know is the proper (cleanest) way to change it's behavior. – Mark Renouf Feb 19 '10 at 22:25
It's not supported. You need to hack it or use something else. – Peter Eisentraut Mar 1 '10 at 0:50

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