Computing: Computer Administration

An overview of installing updates on given Linux operating systems.

This tutorial shows how you can proceed to update your Linux operating system. I say "can", because there are often several ways to do so. In fact, this tutorial is the description of what I did to install updates on my Linux virtual machines. Tutorial intended for Linux newbies...

Debian, Devuan and Ubuntu based systems.

Ubuntu.

Updating an Ubuntu workstation (in my case Ubuntu 20.04) is really easy: Just launch the graphical application Software Updater. The application searches if there are updates available, downloads and installs them. When finished, you will probably have to restart the computer.

Updating Ubuntu 20.04 using 'Software Updater'

On an Ubuntu server (in my case Ubuntu Server 20.04), you can use apt-get. Open a terminal and run the commands
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade
where the first command updates the package list, and the second one downloads and installs the updates.

Note: If you try to update older versions of Ubuntu, it may happen (perhaps, it's even probable) that the update fails (due to some missing dependencies or version conflicts). This is what happened, for example, to me on BioLinux (based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS).

Kubuntu.

I did the update of my Kubuntu 23.04 in a terminal using apt-get by running the commands
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Updating Kubuntu 23.04 in a terminal using apt-get

Linux Mint.

Linux Mint (in my case Linux Mint 20.3) includes a graphical update application called Update Manager. As a difference with Ubuntu, the application seems not to search automatically for updates at startup. Be sure to push the Refresh button to update the package list before you actually do the updates.

Updating Linux Mint 20.3 using 'Update Manager'

Debian.

I tried to install updates on my Debian 11.4, using apt-get with the following commands:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
however, no updates were made. Maybe that I miss something, maybe that the system was effectively up to date?

antiX.

I did the update of my antiX 22 in a terminal using apt by running the commands
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt dist-upgrade

If the GRUB package is updated, you'll be asked for the device where to install it (normally /dev/sda). You'll also be asked several times to decide between keeping a given configuration file or replacing it by the package maintainer's one. The default option is to keep the actual file. I did so for all of them (just hitting ENTER to accept the default).

BioLinux.

My BioLinux 8 is based on Ubuntu 14.04, i.e. a version released rather long ago. Updating such a system has all chances to fail. I tried to update using the graphical application Software Updater. Whereas, when starting up, this application normally tells you that there are updates available, I got the message that an upgrade to version 16.04 is available. I did not try to do the upgrade; with specialized distributions such a bioinformatical or educational workstation upgrading may mess up the whole installation. When I tried the update of version 14.04, I was first told that not all updates could be installed and I decided to try to do a partial update (screenshot on the left). But, the installation aborted with the message Error authenticating some packages (screenshot on the right).

Updating BioLinux 8: Trying to do a partial update
Updating BioLinux 8: Failure due to package authentication errors

Deepin.

Deepin Desktop (in my case Deepin Desktop 20.5) can be updated, using the Update item in System Settings. Push the Check for Updates button and if there are updates available, push Update all to download and install them.

Updating Deepin Desktop 20.5 using 'System Settings > Update'

elementary OS.

elementary OS (in my case elementary OS 6.1) includes a graphical application called Centre d'applications on the French language version of the operating system. On the home page, shown when the application starts up, click the Installées (English: "Installed") button to display the applications for which updates are available. Push Tout mettre à jour (English: "Update all") to download and install all available updates (or push the button at the right of the description of an application to only update this application).

Updating elementary OS 6.1 using 'Centre d'applications'

Kali Linux.

Trying to update my Kali Linux 2021 4a using apt-get (same commands as on Ubuntu), the update failed. Reason: As all my Linux operating systems my Kali Linux runs on a VMware virtual machine connected to the Internet via a VMware NAT adapter. This means that the downloads of the update are scanned by the antivirus software on the host. And my Avast Free Antivirus aborted the connection to kali.download, saying that it had detected the thread Python:Agent-BR [TrJ].

Linuxfx

When connecting to the Internet for the first time with my Linuxfx 11.1, several notifications popped up, concerning among others the invitation to upgrade to version 11.2 and the update of WxDesktop. I upgraded WxDesktop from version 11.4 to 13.1, what succeeded (but wasn't perhaps the best idea because WxDesktop 13.1 is actually a package of Linuxfx 11.2). Trying to upgrade the OS to version 11.2 failed with the message that I should first install all updates for the current release. Finally, I updated my Linuxfx 11.1 (without upgrading for the moment) in a terminal using the commands
    sudo apt update
    sudo pkcon update

Note: During the apt update command on Linuxfx 11.1, some signatures can't be verified. Not sure if continuing to install packages from such a repository (as I did) is what a confirmed Linux user would do. Concerning the download command, I first tried, using apt upgrade, but was told that on KDE neon, you should use pkcon update instead.

Linux Lite

Difficult to miss updating Linux Lite (in my case Linux Lite 6.0): The OS starts with the display of a Welcome window, that includes an Install Updates button. Just push it and your system update is done without any further intervention of your part!

Updating Linux Lite 6.0 using the update feature in the 'Welcome' window

MakuluLinux

When I tried to update my MakuluLinux LinDoz 2021, using apt-get with the same commands as described for Debian above, it failed. The installation of the updates ended with the message dpkg returned an error code (1), as shown on the screenshot below. Not enough with that: Rebooting the machine wasn't possible any more: kernel panic! The reason for the failed update might be that there isn't no longer any support for MakuluLinux LinDoz 2021?

Update failure of MakuluLinux LinDoz 2021

MX Linux.

I successfully updated my MX Linux 21.1 using apt. Open a terminal and run the command:
    sudo apt update -y && sudo apt upgrade -y

openKylin.

I updated my openKylin 1.0 using the Update feature in Settings. When I first launched the application, Update Manager was upgraded itself. After having restarted the panel, it indicated that there were updates available. You can use the UpdateAll button to start a full update. openKylin is special in several ways. One of them is the default partition layout that previews extra data and backup partitions, and when updating the system, you are asked if you want or not to backup your actual files (this is nice, but also may be an issue: if you work in a virtual machine environment and didn't preview this extra space when creating the virtual harddisk, you might easily run out of space!)

Updating openKylin 1.0 using the 'Update' feature in 'Settings'

Parrot OS Security.

Parrot OS includes a launcher called Check for updates in System settings. This doesn't however start a graphical application, but after confirmation, a terminal is opened and it's here that the update is done. On my Parrot OS Security 5.0.1, the update terminated with the error message dpkg returned an error code (1) as shown on the screenshot. I simply closed the terminal and rebooted. It seems that the update is partially done, as the system now started up with kernel 5.18 (kernel 5.16 before the update)...

dpkg error when updating Parrot OS Security 5.0.1

Peppermint OS.

I updated my Peppermint OS 11 (Devuan based 32bit distribution) using the Update Manager (that you find in General System Tools). The application has two separate update buttons: Use System Updates to update your Peppermint OS. During the installation of GRUB, you'll have to decide where to install the bootloader; normally this will be /dev/sda.

Updating Peppermint OS 11 using 'Update Manager'

Pop!_OS.

I updated my Pop!_OS 22.04 using apt-get, running the commands:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade
where the first command updates the package list, and the second one downloads and installs the updates.

SemiCode OS.

SemiCode OS (in my case SemiCode OS 1.0 32bit) includes a graphical application called Software Updater. When started, it checks for updates, and if there are any available offers to download and install them. Push the Install Now button to do so. Note, that during the installation of the updates, you may be asked if you want to replace your changes in /etc/issue with a later version of the configuration file; I answered Replace (?). The same question is asked for /etc/lsb-release; again, I answered Replace (?).

Updating SemiCode OS 1.9 using 'Software Updater'

Uruk GNU/Linux.

Updating Uruk 3.0 is easy: The Welcome window contains an item called Update system. This downloads the available updates and installs them (in a terminal).

Updating Uruk GNU/Linux 3.0 using 'Update system' feature

Zorin OS.

Updating Zorin OS (in my case Zorin OS 16.1) may be done using the application Software Updater (on my French language version, they call it "Gestionnaire de mises à jour"). The application searches if there are updates available, downloads and installs them. When finished, you will probably have to restart the computer.

Updating Zorin OS 16.1 using 'Software Updateer'

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