How do I know which updates to install?

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That Random Guy
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How do I know which updates to install?

Post by That Random Guy »

I'm currently running Linux Mint 17.3 as a guest on my Windows 10 Pro machine (using VB).

After having it for about 5-months, I've come to question whether or not I'm being wasteful.

Up to this point, I've been installing all the updates onto my machine thinking they were necessary. It wasn't until a month or two ago that I realized each update had a label for it's priority. Some were security updates, and others were optional.

What I'd like to know is: of those that are security-based, how will I know which I should update?

Ideally, I'd like to think that it makes more sense to install all security updates, but I don't use my Linux guest for much aside from the occasional get-away and or learning interest.

I'll play around with the apps and tools, but I'm not on there 24/7.

Even still, I feel like I should maintain a hardened host just in case something happens when I'm using HTTP or something.

What are your thoughts?

Are there specific programs I shouldn't worry about if I don't use (e.g. pidgin)?

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Re: How do I know which updates to install?

Post by Cosmo. »

The general rule for Mint is: Apply the updates for level 1 to 3.

In case of a VM you can consider to apply all levels. Out of 2 reasons:
1. The reason, why updates get set into level 4 or 5 are, that potential regressions are mostly hardware dependent. No developer can know or test any existing hardware or combination of it. But the virtual hardware of a VM is more or less identical for all, so the likelihood, that this has been tested, is comparably high (although no guarantee).
2. You can set a snaphot in VB and make a perfect undo of whatever happens in the VM. So in the case something bad should happen you can revert like with a time machine in between a few seconds. With a snapshot the risks drops to zero.

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Re: How do I know which updates to install?

Post by daveinuk »

Broadly speaking, the 'norm' on a fresh install now is that levels 1 to 3 are safe to install and basically won't break your system, 4 & 5 are optional, there is info all over the place about what levels do what, and what new features levels bring, look them up, on the forums and from within the update manager - open it up and go to help > contents, that gives you a breakdown.

As for worrying about programs I don't use . . . . . . life's too short, relax, this is not windows. :wink:

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