Ubuntu Updates

Installations set up or managed by %ISGINF% are configured for automatic updates at runtime and on reboot. The policy for update installation is the following:

On Boot Daily
Headless Security updates Security updates
Desktop All updates All updates

If a reboot is required all users that are logged in are notified.

Please reboot the computer on the next possible occasion when a reboot is required. Many updates only take effect after a reboot.


To view the current update policy for a system as well as packages on hold (see below) you can run the command update-status as root.

For example:

maximus[1]:~# update-status
This desktop workstation gets all updates installed automatically:
  - Every 1 day(s) while running, excluding packages on hold
  - On boot every 1 day(s), including packages on hold

Current status:
  - No packages are on hold.
  - All packages on this workstation are up to date.

Controlling Updates

In all command lines below we recommend to replace {reason} with the reason why this was done and on a multi-user system the user ho did it as well. This will help when deciding if updates can be re-enabled.

Disable Daily Updates during Runtime


echo "{reason}" | sudo tee /var/run/no-updates

to disable daily updates until the next reboot or until the file /var/run/no-updates gets removed.

On reboot packages are updated and updates enabled until you run the above command again.

Disable Specific Packages Updates

To prevent the update of a specific package at runtime set the dpkg package selection state to hold by running:

echo "{package-name} hold" | sudo dpkg --set-selections

To also prevent updating any package on hold at reboot run the following command:

echo "{reason}" | sudo tee /etc/apt/no-updates-for-hold

The changes by both commands are persistent across reboots.

Enable Updates Again

Remove the file /var/run/no-updates and /etc/apt/no-updates-for-hold by running

sudo rm /var/run/no-updates /etc/apt/no-updates-for-hold

to re-enable daily updates and update of packages on hold at reboot. To re-enable runtime updates for a particular package run

echo "{package-name} install" | sudo dpkg --set-selections

Page URL: https://www.isg.inf.ethz.ch/bin/view/Main/HelpDesktopsAndLaptopsLinuxUbuntuUpdates
© 2019 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich