Ubuntu – How to see what packages are available for update


FreeBSD user joining your ranks. I've been asked to look after an Ubuntu Server running 10.04 LTS.

I see from /usr/lib/update-notifier/update-motd-updates-available that there are a number of updates on the server however I do not see a way to tell which will be updated.

Would anyone be able to point me in the right direction so as I can see which packages will get updated when I run apt-get upgrade?


Can't answer my own question at the moment so throwing this in here for the time being:

Along with the apt-get upgrade --dry-run suggested below,
/usr/lib/update-notifier/apt-check -p will list all packages that have updates available.

Best Answer

You could install aptitude if it isn't already installed. It's a great tool for managing packages in a headless setup.

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Otherwise if you just want to see what's going to happen when you run something, use the --dry-run argument and it won't actually do anything, it'll just tell you what it would do:

From the apt-get man page

-s, --simulate, --just-print, --dry-run, --recon, --no-act
          No action; perform a simulation of events that would occur but do
          not actually change the system. Configuration Item:

          Simulate prints out a series of lines each one representing a dpkg
          operation, Configure (Conf), Remove (Remv), Unpack (Inst). Square
          brackets indicate broken packages with and empty set of square
          brackets meaning breaks that are of no consequence (rare).

Add the option to the command this way

apt upgrade --dry-run