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Tags: apt   package-management   upgrade   updates   architecture  
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Title: Why does the separation of update and upgrade even exist?
ID: /2018/02/13/Why-does-the-separation-of-update-and-upgrade-even-exist_
Created: February 13, 2018    Edited:  June 12, 2020
Upload: November 24, 2022    Layout:  post
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They do separate things for many reasons.

One example is a question I posted and self-answered: How can PPAs be removed using GUI?. On this screen we want to remove PPAs not upgrade the software:

Remove PPA.png

After removing a PPA the GUI software automatically runs sudo apt update. If you were to remove a PPA from the command line you need to run sudo apt update after removing a PPA from sources list.

Without a separate apt update function there is no way to remove a PPA!.

Another example is you need to run sudo apt update from command line to refresh sources. Then you can find out what could be upgraded without actually upgrading:

$ apt list --upgradable
Listing... Done
conky-std/xenial 1.10.1-3 amd64 [upgradable from: 1.9.0-4]
google-chrome-stable/stable 65.0.3325.181-1 amd64 [upgradable from: 63.0.3239.132-1]
libxnvctrl0/xenial 390.48-0ubuntu0~gpu16.04.1 amd64 [upgradable from: 387.22-0ubuntu0~gpu16.04.1]
nvidia-settings/xenial 390.48-0ubuntu0~gpu16.04.1 amd64 [upgradable from: 387.22-0ubuntu0~gpu16.04.1]
peek/xenial 1.3.1-0~ppa23~ubuntu16.04.1 amd64 [upgradable from: 1.2.1-0~ppa20~ubuntu16.04.1]

Looking at the output you could decide to have a given package “pinned” or “held back” and not upgraded the next time `sudo apt upgrade” is run. If there were a single “update/upgrade” process you would loose these ability.

Without a separate apt update you can’t see what would be upgraded!

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