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This question is similar to this one.

When installing package updates, it's easy to find out package dependencies with apt-cache depends, however, I don't know how to find out what services may be affected. This is a significant problem in some circumstances; answers in that other question suggest that service restarts only take a few seconds, but that's not always true, for example a big MySQL instance may take several hours to shut down! Say there's an update to php5-curl. This is dependent on libapache2-mod-php5, which in turn depends on apache2-mpm-prefork. That package has 'apache2' on its provides list in aptitude show, so that tells me it's related to that service, but not necessarily that it needs a restart. I suspect that package dependencies alone are not sufficient to resolve this - I can imagine similar dependency chains that do not require a service restart (for example if the service loads such externals dynamically).

When I do an aptitude full-upgrade, I get nice output in "The following packages will be upgraded...". What I'm after would be a section in that output saying "The following services will be restarted...". How can I get that?

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just use your knowledge. if you have such big and important services, you shouldn't ask for this feature. – jojoo Sep 8 '11 at 14:41
Sorry, but that's a cop-out. Apt clearly knows which services need restarting, so it should be able to tell me ahead of time. That I have to use my knowledge simply means that the package manager is not good enough. It's academic anyway since I can generally guess what's going to happen, but my point is that I shouldn't have to. – Synchro Sep 9 '11 at 7:02

a way to find out definitively is to read the (pre/post) install scripts that come with the packages. maybe a grep "restart" is enough.

another way is to have a identical test system, where you could run your commands and see what happens.

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That won't be enough because the services that need restarting may not be listed directly by the packages being upgraded - you'd need to crawl the entire dependency tree, not just those that are being changed. I guess the easiest thing would be to use the --simulate option in aptitude to dry-run the update. – Synchro Sep 9 '11 at 6:57

you will have to create a script which looks updates for your system and like jojo said search for string "restart"

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