Does Debian have some sort of automated package update process?

I'm using it on a set of fanless PCs and noted that one had become very slow recently. On inspection the network LED showed lots of activity. Eventually the system became non-responsive and required a cold start. After booting I looked in /var/log/syslog and found pages of entries like so:

Package: <some package name>
Auto-Installed: 1
Architecture: armel

It appears to be enumerating installed packages. More than anything I'm wondering if it's some automated process that I can disable.

  • Yes, but not enabled by default. There are multiple ways of doing it.
    – jordanm
    Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 20:12
  • I checked crontab and didn't see anything. What should / could I be looking for?
    – ethrbunny
    Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


Use Unattended-Upgrades Package

The following is excerpted from the Ubuntu documentation, but last time I checked the same thing worked with Debian.

  1. Install the package with sudo apt-get install unattended-upgrades.
  2. Edit /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades.
  3. Edit /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/10periodic.

There are a lot of options, but the steps above (and the documentation links) should definitely get you started.

Disabling Unattended Upgrades

If you're trying to disable (rather than enable) unattended upgrades, you'd probably want to remove the package and purge the listed files. Unless you have some custom process in place, that should do the trick.

  • which page and list?
    – GHOST
    Commented Apr 23, 2020 at 18:37
  • 1
    This answer isn't an answer at all. Do not explain, just send the OP to the documentation.
    – Lin
    Commented Dec 20, 2020 at 4:20

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