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unattended-upgrade(8) System Manager's Manual unattended-upgrade(8)


unattended-upgrade - automatic installation of security (and other) upgrades


unattended-upgrade [options]


This program can download and install security upgrades automatically and unattended, taking care to only install packages from the configured APT source, and checking for dpkg prompts about configuration file changes. All operations are logged to /var/log/unattended-upgrades/unattended-upgrades.log and the package manager (dpkg) output is logged to /var/log/unattended-upgrades/unattended-upgrades-dpkg.log

This script is the backend for the APT::Periodic::Unattended-Upgrade option and designed to be run periodically by APT's systemd service (apt-daily-upgrade.service) or from cron (e.g. via /etc/cron.daily/apt).


unattended-upgrade accepts the following options:

help output
extra debug output into /var/log/unattended-upgrades/unattended-upgrades.log
detailed APT/LibAPT output for debugging
show verbose output
Just simulate installing updates, do not actually do it
perform upgrade in minimal steps (cancel with SIGINT). This is the default now.
do not perform upgrade in minimal steps


The configuration is done via the apt configuration mechanism. The default configuration file can be found at /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades


unattended-upgrade is written by Michael Vogt <>

This manual page was originally written by Michael Vogt <>


Copyright (C) 2005-2009 Canonical

There is NO warranty. You may redistribute this software under the terms of the GNU General Public License. For more information about these matters, see the files named COPYING.

March 1, 2019