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I have to admit, I really really hate apt-listchanges. If I'm going to do a huge dist-upgrade, I want to just leave the computer there for a few hours. The asker of this serverfault question had a similar goal in mind, bu after implementing all of the suggestions in that post, I was still hit by apt-listchanges.

Why is it so difficult to achieve non-interactivity with apt, an otherwise excellent program, given that the Unix philosophy aspires to it?

I am hoping the changes I made to /etc/apt/listchanges.conf will help, but I want suggestions as to how to reliably do upgrades without any interaction whatsoever.

[apt]
frontend=none
email_address=root
confirm=0
save_seen=/var/lib/apt/listchanges.db
which=news

This is the command I used was

DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive \
apt-get \
-o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confnew" \
--force-yes \
-fuy \
dist-upgrade

I also added the following lines to /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg

force-confold
force-confdef
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2  
If you don't like apt-listchanges, why do you install it? –  Gilles Sep 12 '12 at 23:28
1  
Aren't removing it with apt-get purge apt-listchanges helping you ? –  warl0ck Sep 12 '12 at 23:55
    
Warl0ck's right. Uninstall it. I use apt-get non-interacctively all the time. –  bahamat Sep 13 '12 at 0:15
    
it came pre-installed with my latest debian... d'oh! –  ixtmixilix Sep 13 '12 at 20:43

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

As you found and set in your config, apt-listchanges should not prompt if you set the frontend to none. You can also set the environment variable APT_LISTCHANGES_FRONTEND=none to achieve the same thing.

It sounds like what you really want to do is use the unattended-upgrades package. It handles everything for you: disabling apt-listchanges, setting the frontend to noninteractive, checking for and avoiding conffile prompts, etc. If nothing else, the contents of the Python script /usr/bin/unattended-upgrades should answer your questions about how it does its magic.

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