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Thread: Ubuntu Updater: What Are All These Updates For? Which Ones Should I Install?

  1. #1
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    Question Ubuntu Updater: What Are All These Updates For? Which Ones Should I Install?

    After installing Ubuntu a couple of weeks ago, a window showing me about a dozen updates to Ubuntu has appeared on my computer, requesting me to authorize installation of them.


    What are these updates for?


    How do I know which ones I ought to allow to be installed?



    I don't see any explanation of what they are included with the notice. I don't recognize any of the updates from their titles.

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu Updater: What Are All These Updates For? Which Ones Should I Install?

    Security is probably the most essential reason to stay up to date, but there are many good reasons to keep updating: the latest software in the Software Center, optional access to bleeding edge programs and all of the latest features Ubuntu has to offer.
    Please see Automatic Updates.
    Please mark your thread as solved if you get a satisfactory response.

  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu Updater: What Are All These Updates For? Which Ones Should I Install?

    Bug fixes, security patches, changes in daylight saving time rules. Lots of things. Usually it's save to install them all. I always do. If you are on a slow, unreliable or expensive internet connection you may want to skip some of them, but still it's best to keep the computer more or less up to date. Don't wait with installing security updates for your frequently used programs.

    It rarely happens that an update breaks some part of your system.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu Updater: What Are All These Updates For? Which Ones Should I Install?

    Quote Originally Posted by TomBrooklyn View Post
    After installing Ubuntu a couple of weeks ago, a window showing me about a dozen updates to Ubuntu has appeared on my computer, requesting me to authorize installation of them.


    What are these updates for?
    Bug fixes and security patches, mostly. If you have any PPAs added to your system, you'll also get updates from them which may include new features. Also, on Ubuntu you typically get new versions of your web browser(s) too, which may also contain new features.


    How do I know which ones I ought to allow to be installed?
    That's simple. All of them! If they weren't applicable to you they wouldn't be offered.

    I don't see any explanation of what they are included with the notice. I don't recognize any of the updates from their titles.
    A program such as Firefox is not just one single self-contained entity. There are other support libraries, also packaged up, that constitute part of Firefox. They might not even have the word "firefox" in their name (for instance, "xulrunner" is a package associated with Firefox). Some will be obviously part of another program ("firefox-global-menu-support"). If you get a new version of Firefox, you also get new versions of the other packages automatically. Don't worry if you don't recognise the names, they are packages that are already installed and already serve a function on your system. The system is just offering to install the newer versions.
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu Updater: What Are All These Updates For? Which Ones Should I Install?

    I have no idea what version of Ubuntu you are using. And directions have changed a little since 12.04. But it is possible to set the frequency by which we are notified of an update and it is possible to set a distinction between security updates and other updates. For example, you could set security updates to be displayed immediately but other updates to be displayed weekly or every fortnight.

    You can do this in the Updates tab of Software Sources, also called Software & Updates. Those of us using 13.04 will get a more understandable description of the packages being updated if we maximize Update Manager. Updates are grouped into categories.

    Regards
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu Updater: What Are All These Updates For? Which Ones Should I Install?

    In my experience, the only updates that have given me any problems have been kernel updates (many times necessitated by security concerns) or video driver-type updates (xorg or proprietary video drivers). I use these as reminders to back up all of my data if I've been lazy lately before I perform the updates. Any data worth keeping is worth backing up to a different location (hard disk drive, flash drive, CD's/DVD's, cloud storage, etc.) Large external hdd's are $100 or less and take much of the trouble out of recovering from a problem that requires reinstalling your operating system. Just my opinion,YMMV.
    System76 Serval Pro 7: Ubuntu 14.04.1; Dell Latitude D800: Lubuntu 14.04.1

    Ubuntu problems? http://www.googlubuntu.com/

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