I have a local apt archive with a bunch of packages I built in it. The Packages and Release file are generated by apt-ftparchive. The Release file looks like

Date: Thu, 06 May 2010 23:04:33 UTC
Label: PPL
Origin: PPL
Suite: ppl
 ebec3527ebc8351468b2ef8796c19855            37325 Packages
 d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e                0 Release
 a0593b663d77fde88ee35b56ae1f3c17801cfe99            37325 Packages
 da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709                0 Release
 dd73a02846aee111cac58a869c6bf650886632ba82c2172ffddd81aa4429981c            37325 Packages
 e3b0c44298fc1c149afbf4c8996fb92427ae41e4649b934ca495991b7852b855                0 Release

I'm using unattended-upgrades to keep the machines in the lab up to date on security and bug fixes, but I'm finding that it doesn't pull from my local archive. The configuration file for it looks like

// Automaticall upgrade packages from these (origin, archive) pairs
Unattended-Upgrade::Allowed-Origins {
    "Ubuntu hardy-security";
    "Ubuntu hardy-updates";
    "PPL ppl";

// List of packages to not update
Unattended-Upgrade::Package-Blacklist {
//  "vim";
//  "libc6";
//  "libc6-dev";
//  "libc6-i686";

// Send email to this address for problems or packages upgrades
// If empty or unset then no email is sent, make sure that you
// have a working mail setup on your system. The package 'mailx'
// must be installed or anything that provides /usr/bin/mail.
//Unattended-Upgrade::Mail "root@localhost";

Yet, when I run sudo unattended-upgrade on one of these machines, newer package versions don't get installed. Can anyone point out what I'm getting wrong?


I'm chasing a similar problem. The issue I've found is that the unattended-upgrade script is looking for origin/archive pairs, but I'm using reprepro, which does not generate an Archive key/value pair in the Packages file.

I'm still looking for an answer. The term archive is all I have to go on, and it's much too widely used in technology for it to be useful in google searches. If I find the answer, I'll report back, just for posterity's sake.

Update: I located the source of my frustration. It boils down to a simple reality: there is no spoon. I mean archive. Leave that field empty. My Origin is actually two words, so I had to use colon separators. In your scenario, I think if you use either "PPL" or "PPL:" instead of "PPL ppl", it will work.


I suggest using the package puppetmaster and puppet it allows for a automatic update of puppet machines from one central host.

  • Thanks, I'm already using bcfg for these systems. I'm trying to use the standard package management tooling to accomplish package management. – Phil Miller May 6 '10 at 23:23

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