Can't do an update with sudo apt-get update & sudo apt-get upgrade, pasting output in this message

Tom H tomh0665 at
Sat Dec 15 09:45:21 UTC 2012

On Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 5:47 PM, William Scott Lockwood III
<vladinator at> wrote:
> On Dec 14, 2012 4:39 PM, "Tom H" <tomh0665 at> wrote:
>> On Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 4:37 PM, William Scott Lockwood III
>> <vladinator at> wrote:
>>> On Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 3:27 PM, Colin Law <clanlaw at>
>>> wrote:
>>>> On 13 December 2012 23:11, James R McKenzie <jimmckenzie at>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> For the record, no other update process was running.
>>>>> Jims64BitLinuxMint13LapTop ~ # sudo apt-get update & sudo apt-get
>>>>> upgrade
>>>> Just for the record, for keeping everything up to date you should use
>>>> sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
>>> While generally I agree with this advice, I wouldn't necessarily do that
>>> with servers. Some things that are held back (like new kernels) are held
>>> back for very good reasons. You should only use dist-upgrade if you're
>>> on a
>>> workstation that you don't care about potentially blowing up, or on
>>> machines
>>> you're testing/qa'ing on for eventual release to production.
>> Can you be sure that, if you use "upgrade" rather than "dist-upgrade",
>> all security updates are applied? (Question not criticism!)
> I doubt it. However, 'upgrade' will always tell you packages were held back,
> it doesn't silently ignore them. This gives you the chance to test them
> first, or to just apply them with 'dist-upgrade' if you're either
> unconcerned or brave.

So the answer is "no."

I'm not sure that many people want to look up whether the packages
held back by apt-get upgrade" are security updates. They prefer to use
"apt-get dist-upgrade". If that fails - and it shouldn't - it should
be caught on a dev box and reported as a bug.

There's no distinction between "upgrade" and "dist-upgrade" on
rpm-based distributions and that doesn't make rpm upgrades less
stable. You've hit a problem and feel that dist-upgrade isn't safe but
that doesn't mean that running "dist-upgrade" is inherently less
reliable, that it should be less reliable, or that it ought to be
recommended not to run "dist-upgrade" (on servers or desktops).

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