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Recipe 3.8. Upgrading a Debian System

3.8.1 Problem

You want to upgrade all the packages on your system to the latest versions.

3.8.2 Solution

Make sure your /etc/apt/sources.list is pointing to your desired sources, then run apt-get upgrade.

Always update your package lists first:

# apt-get update

This command upgrades all installed packages, but does not remove any packages to resolve dependencies:

# apt-get -u upgrade

This upgrades all installed packages, and removes or installs packages as needed to satisfy all dependencies:

# apt-get -u dist-upgrade

The -u flag gives you a chance to review all changes first. The upgrade can take several hours, depending on the speed of your Internet connection, and how many packages need to be downloaded.

3.8.3 Discussion

To make -u the default action, edit (or create) /etc/apt/apt.conf:

// Always list packages to be upgraded

// and prompt user

APT::Get::Show-Upgraded "true";

Every time you want to run apt-get dist-upgrade, run apt-get upgrade first to reduce the chances of dist-upgrade encountering errors.

3.8.4 See Also

  • apt-get(8)

  • Local Documentation (/usr/share/doc/Debian/apt-howto)

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