safety of sudo apt-get upgrade vs. update manager

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help
Post Reply
Pangolin
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:16 pm

safety of sudo apt-get upgrade vs. update manager

Post by Pangolin »

Hi.
If I run in terminal

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get upgrade
I get updates for every installed package on my system.
Could this operation potentially introduce errors a/o vulnerabilities in comparison to using the update manager, which I've set up to install only updates of level 1 - 3?
I'm here thanks to Windows 10

HRJ21
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:12 am

Re: safety of sudo apt-get upgrade vs. update manager

Post by HRJ21 »

Yes potentially. While it's nice to do things quickly from the command line, the purpose the update manager was created was to put emphasis on users only applying selected updates for their system that they trust and consent to. Blindly applying updates, even those categorised as level 1-3 isn't a great idea (unless, arguably, they are security updates). I would avoid apt-get upgrade and use the update manager, including reading the release notes for each package to decide what you should and shouldn't update.

User avatar
jimallyn
Level 18
Level 18
Posts: 8951
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:34 pm
Location: Wenatchee, WA USA

Re: safety of sudo apt-get upgrade vs. update manager

Post by jimallyn »

Pangolin wrote:Could this operation potentially introduce errors a/o vulnerabilities in comparison to using the update manager
Yes.
Image

“If the government were coming for your TVs and cars, then you'd be upset. But, as it is, they're only coming for your sons.” - Daniel Berrigan

User avatar
xenopeek
Level 24
Level 24
Posts: 24325
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:58 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: safety of sudo apt-get upgrade vs. update manager

Post by xenopeek »

It is recommend you install all security updates, also those of level 4-5. If you're using Linux Mint 18 or newer your Update Manager's default and recommended update policy is set so that by default all level 1-3 updates are marked for installation and all security updates of level 4-5 are shown but not automatically marked for installation. Updates of level 4-5 are closest to the hardware and are impossible to test with all hardware combinations. As such it is possible some serious new bug or regression slipped through and may give you trouble with your specific hardware. Hence you should be recommended to install level 4-5 updates at a time convenient to you — when you have time/patience to solve such an issue (with help from the forum if needed) should it occur. It's a small risk that something will not work right but the impact would be huge if you're say on a deadline for work or school assignment and can't do without a functioning computer today.

apt-get upgrade blindly upgrades all packages. You can also choose the update policy to update everything in Update Manager for the same result, though with the benefit of being able to quickly access changelogs, packages that should always be upgraded together being shown as one update instead of multiple as apt-get upgrade does (making the list of updates more comprehensible), and with Linux Mint 18.1 also showing you the origin repository of the update.
Image

Cosmo.
Level 23
Level 23
Posts: 17825
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:34 am

Re: safety of sudo apt-get upgrade vs. update manager

Post by Cosmo. »

Pangolin wrote:Could this operation potentially introduce errors a/o vulnerabilities in comparison to using the update manager, which I've set up to install only updates of level 1 - 3?
Vulnerabilities: no, rather the contrary.
Errors: possibly yes, inclusive the security updates.
Here is a comprehensive post about that problem, where Clem (Mint's main developer) explained, why there is no yes or no about applying updates blindly, especially those of level 4 & 5. The command line update is a bad idea in any case, as it will install even those updates, which are likely to give more trouble than advantage.

Post Reply

Return to “Newbie Questions”