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A lot of my server software is installed via apt-get and I was wondering if there is a small shell script I can get which will will update all of this software. Also do I need to restart my server afterwards or stop the scripts from running before I run this update?

Is it really as simple as:

apt-get update?
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You could run "apt-get -s upgrade" to simulate only, then grep this output for packages like "linux-image" or the like and then only reboot if such a kernel package is to be updated. –  weeheavy Feb 13 '13 at 10:39

2 Answers 2

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No, apt-get update downloads the package lists from the repositories and "updates" them to get information on the newest versions of packages. You then also need to execute apt-get upgrade to actually install updates.

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No, restarting the whole sytem would only be necessary if you had upgraded the kernel itself. This would require a reboot in most cases. Everything else, including the stopping and restarting of services, should be handled by the package system.

BTW: You should take a look at cron-apt - this tool downloads upgraded packages at night, which then can be installed manuall with apt-get update.

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