I've installed Jessie about 2 months ago (from a fresh download from Testing), and I never see package updates notifications. And I am never asked to download anything.

Is there something I have to activate before I see this?

  • You give very little information about what you have installed, e.g. what desktop etc. If you're installing a not-yet-released version it's expected you know what you're doing... With apt update; apt full-upgrade you can manually upgrade to the latest state.
    – wurtel
    Nov 25, 2014 at 8:33

2 Answers 2


I guess you want an automatic update notifier (not just apt-get). Try with the update-notifier package.

  • holy duckballs! I got interested in the update-notifier and wanted to install it. It would take 212MB of additional disk space on my Jessie with i3. Is there something similar - but a little less dependent on such a load of packages? Nov 25, 2014 at 9:41
  • 1
    I think the notifier is a package that some DE have developed for their users. update-notifier is the one for gnome, I've seen update-notifier-kde so I guess the notifier is DE dependant, but having your question here awoke my curiosity, and making a google search I found pontikis.net/blog/simple-steps-to-update-a-debian-server, there you can find apticron which is a simple script that will send an email when new updates are available.
    – YoMismo
    Nov 25, 2014 at 11:23

You can update the package list and print the available updates by executing

apt-get update
apt-get --just-print upgrade

You can update your system by executing the same command without --just-print:

apt-get upgrade

You'll need to be root or have sudo privileges to execute the above commands.

As for getting notifications, take a look at update-notifier. It's a GTK interface which supplies you with a notification icon for updates. (link to website)

  • 1
    You first need to do apt-get update to fetch the latest package lists.
    – wurtel
    Nov 25, 2014 at 8:34
  • You are right, I've included it in the answer. Nov 25, 2014 at 8:40

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