Ubuntu Software Updater: How to Activate and Deactivate

The Ubuntu software updater is a tool that allows you to get the latest version of your Linux OS. It’s activated by default and ensures that you’re able to get the latest compatibility and security updates as soon as they are released.

Ubuntu Software Updater

However, there are times when this updater tool can be annoying, therefore, making you look for a way to deactivate or remove it from your operating system. We’ll be taking a look at how to use the Ubuntu software updater as well as how to deactivate it when you don’t want it on your PC.

How to Use the Ubuntu Software Updater to Update Your OS? Simplified

You can use the ubuntu software updater to update your OS by using the GUI. Besides using the software updater on the GUI, you can also use the terminal to update your OS and get different security patches, bug fixes, app updates, and compatibility patches. 

– Update Ubuntu Server via GUI

You can access the updater and update Ubuntu version by following the steps below:

  1. Launch your desktop menu and search for “Software Updater” on the apps list.
  2. Run the updater, and it’ll immediately start looking for updates.
  3. If it finds any update for your system, you’ll get a prompt asking whether or not you want to install the updates.
  4. Select “Install Now” from the options and enter your password if you get a prompt to do so.
  5. Once your password has been entered, the software updater will start installing all available updates.
  6. You’ll get a notification telling you that the updates have been installed once the installation process is complete.
  7. You may get a prompt asking you to restart your system now or later.
  8. Note that some updates will only work properly after a system restart.
  9. You can choose to restart later if you don’t need the updates immediately or if you’re in the middle of a task.
  10. Once you restart your PC, your software update will be completed, and you can use your apps and OS without issues.

– Updating via the Command Line

Another way to update your Ubuntu is by using the command line. This option is effective for when the software updater isn’t working, and you want to update your OS or apps. This method is also known as the Ubuntu update all method as it updates all the apps on your device.

Updating via the Command Line

You can use the Ubuntu software updates command line by following the steps below:

  1. Launch the terminal by searching for it in your desktop menu or pressing the Ctrl key, Alt key, and “T” key at the same time.
  2. If you’re already logged into an Ubuntu server, a terminal will be readily available for your use.
  3. Once you’re in the terminal window, enter the command: “sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y.”
  4. You’ll be prompted to enter your password.
  5. Enter your account’s password.
  6. Note that your password won’t be displayed as it’s being entered, so you may not see anything on your display.
  7. Continue typing your password and tap the enter key once you’re done.
  8. The terminal will start updating your Ubuntu packages.

Keep in mind that the command above is actually a combination of two different commands. Using the “&&” symbol allows you to run multiple commands in Linux instead of writing the command one after the other. Combining the commands as we’ve written above allows the execution to be faster as writing it separately as “sudo apt update” and “sudo apt upgrade” will take longer execution time as you’ll have to wait for each command to finish before entering the next one.

Another thing to note is that the “-y” in the command written above simply means “yes” as the “apt upgrade” command will ask for your confirmation on whether or not you want to perform an update. Once the update starts downloading, Ubuntu will download any available update for everything on your computer, including the applications in the software center if they were installed via apt packages or the apt command, Linux kernels, and the core operating system.

How to Disable the Ubuntu Software Updater

Disabling the software updater is something you may want to do if you’re getting update-related error messages. Note that once the updater is disabled, you’ll have to manually get updates by using the command line method mentioned above.

Disable the Ubuntu Software Updater

With that said, here’s how to disable your Ubuntu software updater.

– Disabling the Updater via GUI Desktop

You can disable the software updater from auto-updating your software and other components on your devices by following the steps below:

  1. Launch the activities menu and search for “Software.”
  2. Choose “Software & Updates” from the options.
  3. In the next window, navigate to the “Update” tab.
  4. Now, check the options under the tab and select “Automatically check for updates.”
  5. Choose the “Never” option, and the software updater will be disabled.
  6. Remember to manually check for updates every week to make sure your system has the latest updates and patches available.

– Disabling the Updater via the Command Line

Another way to disable the software updater is via the command line. You can do so by following the steps below:

  1. Launch a command line terminal and use a text editor to edit the following file: “etc/apt/apt.conf .d/20auto-upgrades.”
  2. For instance, if you’re using Nano as your text editor, you’ll enter the following command: $ sudo nano /etc/apt/apt.conf .d/20auto-upgrades
  3. Once that’s done, write or copy and paste the content below into the file, ensuring that you replace each tab with the right content.
  4. APT::Periodic::Update-Package-Lists “0”;
  5. APT::Periodic::Download-Upgradeable-Packages “0”;
  6. APT::Periodic::AutocleanInterval “0”;
  7. APT::Periodic::Unattended-Upgrade “1”;
  8. Once you’ve entered the whole content and double-checked that they’re all in the right spot, save your changes and exit.
  9. The updater will be automatically disabled.

How To Fix When Ubuntu Software Updater Is Not Working? 

To fix when the ubuntu software updater is not working by entering the following command “sudo apt update.” Scroll down the output and check the last few lines for the error code or message. After identifying the problem, apply a solution accordingly. 

There are many reasons why your software center or updater may not work, from internet connection issues to Ubuntu software updater missing, conflicted files, and more. If your software updater is providing you with an error, open your terminal and follow the process stated above.

How to Uninstall Software Updater

If disabling the software updater isn’t enough for you, you can uninstall it completely via the Terminal. Keep in mind that you’ll manually have to get updates through the terminal if the updater is uninstalled.

Uninstall Software Updater

With that said, here’s how to uninstall the updater:

  1. Open your Terminal by pressing the ctrl, alt, and T keys at the same time.
  2. Enter the command: sudo apt-get purge update-manager.
  3. You may get a prompt asking if you’re sure about the process.
  4. Enter -y to confirm your choice and your updater will be uninstalled immediately.

How to Perform Ubuntu Software Updater Install

You can install or reinstall the updater by using different commands. All you have to do is:

  1. Launch your terminal.
  2. Enter the following command: sudo apt-get install update-manager synaptic.
  3. You can also try the following command: “sudo apt-get install –reinstall update-manager synaptic” if the first command doesn’t work.
  4. The package manager will reinstall your updater and you’ll be good to go.


We believe that the guide above has the answers to any hot network questions you may have concerning the Ubuntu software update, including how to install it, use it, and disable it.

Below are major points to keep in mind when using the steps mentioned above:

  • Once you disable or uninstall your updater, it won’t reactivate itself and you won’t get new updates automatically.
  • You can manually update your packages and apps by using the “sudo apt update” and “sudo apt upgrade” commands.
  • Make sure to update your OS every week as failure to do so could pose a security risk.

The command line methods work just as effectively as the GUI methods. If you’re experiencing errors with the menu interface, you can simply opt to use the command line methods whether you’re looking to use the updater or disable the updater.



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