8

I use Linux Mint 19.1 Cinnamon.

I found this question indirectly relevant:
How to disable `apt-daily.service` on Ubuntu cloud VM image?

My question is: Is it safe to disable apt-daily.service?

Supposing I do system updates with an update script of mine.


$ systemd-analyze blame

11.027s apt-daily.service
 2.675s esets.service
  979ms netfilter-persistent.service
  638ms systemd-resolved.service
  634ms systemd-timesyncd.service
  592ms apt-daily-upgrade.service
  423ms dev-nvme0n1p2.device
  411ms vboxdrv.service
...

Addressing some comments:

  • Safe in this context means something like: Would it abrupt some functions of my desktop system?

  • I am concerned about the boot time, yes. It is fast, just could it be faster maybe...

  • I use my own upgrade script since about 2 years ago, I am used to do the updates in CLI with that script by hand and I don't want any slow-downs due to apt.

11

apt-daily only does one thing by default: it downloads the list of installable/upgradable packages. If you turn it off, you'll need to run apt update (or equivalent) more frequently before upgrading or installing packages.

Nothing depends on apt-daily (you can check that systemctl list-dependencies --reverse apt-daily doesn't prevent anything else from starting), so it doesn't slow your boot process except by taking resources that other tasks may want. The only resource that apt-daily consumes is network bandwidth. This can take a while if there have been significant updates to the package list, but it's only a problem if your bandwidth is very limited and it's more important to have a lot of bandwidth available during the first few seconds after boot than at some other time.

systemd-analyze blame shows what takes a long time, but it doesn't show what the impact is. Since apt-daily doesn't block anything else, the fact that it takes a long time only has an impact on apt-daily itself, not on the rest of the functionality. systemd-analyze critical-chain is more useful if you're worried about boot time as in how long it takes for your computer to become useful.

So it's safe to turn off apt-daily, as long as you remember to run apt update before checking for upgrades, and you do this regularly without relying on any automatic notification that upgrades are available. But it isn't particularly useful.

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