I’ve been running Debian servers for a number of years now, and one thing that has always annoyed me is I never know when an update is required. I’ve always liked to keep my servers updated in-case of security patches and the like.

Originally I manually SSH’ed into my servers every couple of days and ran sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade, but it took some effort and quickly became very boring and neglected. I’ve tried a number of scripts for management (i.e. webmin) and monitoring (i.e. munin), but they didn’t really do what I wanted.

Then I found apticron – it checks for new APT updates every 24 hours and then sends a notification outlining the updates. I have configured all of mine to email me with any updates.

Installation on Debian or Ubuntu is simple:

sudo apt-get install apticron

Once installed, editing the configuration file is a piece of cake and very self-explanatory as to getting updates emailed:

sudo vim /etc/apticron/apticron.conf

There you go, you now have daily notification of pending APT updates 🙂