How do i update the droplet? Confused with what command to use seeing the answers.

March 12, 2016 765 views
DigitalOcean Linux Commands PostgreSQL Nginx Apache Java Ubuntu


I am using Ubuntu 14.04 x64. I have tomcat7, Java, nginx, postgres.
Every time i log into my droplet using terminal,i get this :
227 packages can be updated.
126 updates are security updates.

I searched for this question here and got a lot of answers, but i am confused with what command to proceed with. Listed all the questions pointing to the same and their answers :

  1. Link 1 gives this as an answer : There most likely will be a restart required for a few of them. Shutdown & snapshot then run this: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y upgrade && sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade && sudo reboot Note: That command will automatically say yes to all updates and will restart one it completes updates. If something breaks or you are having issues, restore back to the snapshot.*
  2. Link 2 says to use : The most basic way of applying updates would be to use apt-get from the CLI. apt-get update apt-get upgrade Before running apt-get upgrade I would recommend backing up core configuration files though, if you've made changes (i.e. nginx.conf, php5-fpm.conf, php.ini etc) as there is potential for them to be overwritten.
  3. Link 3 gives this as answer : Updating packages normally does not overwrite config files and even if it did, they are usually coded to update your config file with your settings. But it is a good idea to take a snapshot of your droplet before doing any updates. And to update, you can run the following commands, sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade This is my question only. Im sorry for writing again. Today i was about to do any update and saw a few more answers regarding it, so got confused.
  4. Link 4 gives this as a answer : You can try the following cli to keep your droplet up-to-date, clean and secure: apt-get update && aptitude dist-upgrade -y && apt-get autoremove -y.

My questions are:

  1. Are the security updates required command different than the package update required commands?
  2. Will the commands override any of the config files?
  3. What commands should i use to update both packages and security updates? Should i use :
    • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y upgrade && sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade && sudo reboot OR
    • apt-get update
      apt-get upgrade OR
    • apt-get update && aptitude dist-upgrade -y && apt-get autoremove -y.

I am sorry since i am a little nervous with this updates thing. But i know thats its important to have those updates.

Thanks in advance,

2 Answers
  1. No, they are just more important.
  2. Not unless you tell it to.
  3. You shouldn't be running commands you don't understand, run man apt-get to find out.

And you might be interested in https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AutomaticSecurityUpdates

I agree with Woet about not running commands you don't understand. Same goes with blindly copy/paste commands from the Internet.

With that said this will give what your are asking. Reading up about apt-get will hopefully help.

Update your apt cache

sudo apt-get update

I like use the "-s" (dash letter s; simulate) command switch see what will be installed, update and removed before applying the upgrade.

sudo apt-get -s upgrade

When ready to install the upgrades

sudo apt-get -y upgrade
  • I was a little nervous i think since i had to finish the task on saturday itself. But I paid heed to Woet's advice and read on it and finally executed the commands. Also i learnt how to take a snapshot. :)Thank you so much.

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