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Ubuntu: update packages [Guide]

Do you need to update your Ubuntu Linux PC packages but can’t figure out how to do it? If so, this guide is for you. Follow along with as we go over various ways you can update your packages on Ubuntu Linux!

Ubuntu update packages – Ubuntu update manager

The primary way to update packages on Ubuntu is with the Ubuntu update manager. It is a program that comes pre-installed on most Ubuntu flavors, and with it, the user can quickly install any pending software updates.

To use the Ubuntu update manager to update packages, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Press the Win key on the keyboard to open up the “Activities” area. Then, search for “Software Updater.” If you are not using the Gnome version of Ubuntu, search for “Software Updater” in the app menu.

Step 2: After launching Software Updater, it will display a loading screen. This loading screen says, “Checking for updates.” Allow the app to scan for possible package upgrades to your Ubuntu system. Keep in mind that this process could take a while if you have slow internet.

Step 3: Once the Ubuntu update manager has finished checking for package updates, a second screen will appear. This screen says, “Updated software is available for this computer. Do you want to install it now?” Find the “Install Now” button, and click on it with the mouse.

Step 4: When the “Install Now” button is selected, an “Authentication Required” window will appear. In the password box, write in your username’s password. Then, press the Enter key to confirm.

Step 5: Following entering your password, the Ubuntu update manager will update your packages. Once again, updating takes time, so be patient during this process. Do not power off your PC, or the updates could fail!

When the update is complete, you may see a message that says, “The computer needs to restart to finish installing updates.” Click on the “Restart Now” button to restart your computer. Or, if you want to restart it later, select the “Restart Later” button.

Ubuntu update packages – Synaptic Package Manager

Another way to update packages on Ubuntu is with the Synaptic Package Manager. To start updating, you will need to launch the Synaptic Package Manager app. To do that, search for “Synaptic Package Manager” in your app menu.

If you are using an Ubuntu distribution that does not come pre-installed with Synaptic, you will need to install it before using it to update your packages. If you’d like to install it, open up a terminal window and enter the command below.

sudo apt install synaptic -y

Once Synaptic Package Manager is open on the Ubuntu desktop, a password box will appear. Using the password box, type in your user account password. After that, follow along with the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to update Ubuntu packages using Synaptic Package Manager.

Step 1: Find the “Custom Filters” button in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen in Synaptic and click on it with the mouse. By selecting this button, you will reveal the custom filter options in Synaptic.

Step 2: Inside the “Custom Filters” area in Synaptic, there are several options to choose from. Look through the list for “Upgradable (upstream).” Selecting this filter will show you only package updates for your Ubuntu Linux PC.

Step 3: Find the “Mark All Upgrades” button in Synaptic Package Manager and select it with the mouse. By clicking this button, you will tell Synaptic to mark all package upgrades for installation.

Step 4: After clicking on the “Mark All Upgrades” button in Synaptic, a pop-up window will appear. In this window, you’ll see “Mark additional required changes?” Find the “Mark” button to tell Synaptic to proceed with applying the necessary changes to your Ubuntu system.

Step 5: Locate the “Apply” button at the top of Synaptic and click on it with the mouse. By selecting “Apply,” you will tell Synaptic to install all package updates on your Ubuntu Linux PC. 

Step 6: When you click the “Apply” button, a pop-up window will appear. In this pop-up window, you’ll see “Apply the following changes?” Select “Apply” once again to confirm you wish to install updates.

Sit back and allow Synaptic Package Manager to update your Ubuntu packages. When the update is complete, close Synaptic.

Ubuntu update packages – Apt

If you prefer the terminal, you can update Ubuntu packages with the Apt package manager. To start the package update process, launch a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or searching for “Terminal” in the app menu.

After launching a terminal window, execute the apt update command. This command will check for any package updates to your Ubuntu Linux PC. 

sudo apt update

Following checking for updates on your computer system, you will install the updates by using the apt upgrade command. 

sudo apt upgrade -y

Updating Ubuntu packages via the Apt package manager shouldn’t take long. Sit back and allow the packages to install. When it is complete, close the terminal.

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