Debian / Ubuntu Linux: List All Packages Which Could be Updated and Applied to System

Q. How do I know what packages are available to be updated on my Debian / Ubuntu Linux system?

A. You can use standard command line utility called apt-get or GUI tool called Synaptic Update-Manager.

List all packages which could be updated

To list outdated package use apt-get command has following two options:
=> -u : Show upgraded packages; Print out a list of all packages that are to be upgraded.
=> upgrade : It is used to install the newest versions of all packages currently installed on the system

Type the following command at shell prompt:
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
$ sudo apt-get -i upgrade

Output:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
The following packages will be upgraded:
  debconf debconf-i18n e2fslibs e2fsprogs file findutils klibc-utils libblkid1 libc6 libc6-i686 libcomerr2 libklibc libkrb53 libmagic1
  libpam-modules libpam-runtime libpam0g libss2 libssl0.9.8 libuuid1 linux-image-2.6-686 linux-image-2.6.18-5-686 locales perl perl-base
  perl-modules tar tzdata
28 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 39.6MB of archives.
After unpacking 148kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? 

To updated just say yes to prompt – “Do you want to continue”. Alternatively, you can type the following command:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

Synaptic GUI Package Update Notifier

Synaptic works hand-in-hand with Update-Manager to inform you about updates to the software installed on your system. If software or security updates are available, Update-Manager will display a pop-up message and an icon in the notification area on your GNOME desktop. To update your system, click on the notification icon, enter your password and click OK.

(Fig. 01: Synaptic GUI Package Update Notifier [ Image credit Ubuntu Project] )


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🐧 4 comments so far... add one

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4 comments… add one
  • Sudo Jun 27, 2011 @ 16:38

    You have a typo. Should read:

    $ sudo apt-get upgrade
    $ sudo apt-get -u upgrade

  • risdiyanto Jan 16, 2012 @ 3:24

    how can i list avaliable and installed package on ubuntu?

  • hady Nov 29, 2013 @ 15:48

    hi!
    help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    morteza@ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get install libpcap-dev
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    The following extra packages will be installed:
    libpcap0.8-dev
    The following NEW packages will be installed:
    libpcap-dev libpcap0.8-dev
    0 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 0 to remove and 70 not upgraded.
    E: Could not get lock /var/cache/apt/archives/lock – open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)
    E: Unable to lock the download directory

  • DellDor Feb 10, 2014 @ 1:31

    There is a simple way to show a continuos list:

    sudo apt-get upgrade -s |grep "Inst"| awk ' { print $2 } '| tr '\n' ' '

    But check if in your Language commands before grep shows Inst or another word.

    Hady: you have another instance of apt-get or other packages manager open at same time: aptitude, synaptics, etc. If you’re sure all are close, you must remove the lock file.

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