I enable the following line in the file /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades according to the standard Debian wiki


to get security updates automatically.

Now I noticed that the line


is enabled by default. What is this for? I'm worried because this comes right after the lines with "stable" code-name, which might get my Jessie to upgrade to Stretch in the background. So what does this line do?


That line enables unattended security updates for the currently installed release. As indicated in the comment at the start of the file,

// Within lines unattended-upgrades allows 2 macros whose values are
// derived from /etc/debian_version:
//   ${distro_id}            Installed origin.
//   ${distro_codename}      Installed codename (eg, "jessie")

So the line you added is redundant. The codename won't be interpreted as "stable", so you won't upgrade to Stretch automatically.

  • What's the difference between that and what I enabled manually? – The Quantum Physicist Feb 10 '17 at 19:54
  • Nothing now, but with the ${distro_codename} variant you won't need to change your configuration when you upgrade to another release. – Stephen Kitt Feb 10 '17 at 20:15
  • So it's a duplicate? If I don't enable that line I enabled, it'll still do security updates? – The Quantum Physicist Feb 10 '17 at 20:26
  • 1
    Yes, security updates are enabled by default. – Stephen Kitt Feb 10 '17 at 21:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.