Apticron – Get Email alerts for pending package updates

As we all know, In Debian and Ubuntu desktop operating systems, Software updater tool will notify you whenever a new update is available. If a new update is available, a pop-up window will appear and display the latest available package updates. So, we don’t have put much effort to update our Ubuntu desktops. Just click the update button to install the pending package updates. But in Ubuntu Server, it’s different. There won’t be any pop-ups. The package updates will only be shown at the time of login. Take a look at the below screenshot.


As you in the above screenshot, there are no pending updates. If there is pending package and security updates, you will see a message something like below:

0 packages can be updated.
0 updates are security updates.

After you clear this screen, you can’t view the pending updates. What are you going to do? No worries! Here comes Apticron in help.

Apticron is a simple, yet useful script which sends daily emails about pending package updates such as security updates, properly handling packages on hold both by dselect and aptitude. In this handy tutorial, we are going to see how to get email notifications for pending package updates using Apticron in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS server.

Configure Apticron to get Email alerts for pending package updates

Apticron is available in the default repositories of Debian and Ubuntu based systems. To install it on any DEB based systems, just run:

sudo apt install apticron

Install Apticron

Once installed, Edit Apticron config file /etc/apticron/apticron.conf in any editor of your choice:

sudo nano /etc/apticron/apticron.conf

Find the following line and enter your valid email address:

# set EMAIL to a space separated list of addresses which will be notified of
# impending updates


You can specify multiple email addresses with space separated. After entering the Email ID, save and close the file.

That’s it. Aptcron will send you an email whenever a new update is available. Once the you get the email, SSH or log in to your Ubuntu server, and start installing the updates.

Refer the man pages for more details about Apticron

man apticron


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