How to Update Ubuntu Linux

This post shows students and new users steps to update Ubuntu Linux so they can get the latest security and feature updates and keep their system running smoothly and securely. When you update Ubuntu, you’ll get the latest fixes and security improvements, helping your device run efficiently and stay protected.

There are two primary ways to update Ubuntu: using an app called Software Updater and the command line tool called APT. Software Updater is actually using the same command line APT tool in the backend, but easier for new users and students to use.

Ubuntu updates packages and software installed through Ubuntu repositories. If packages were installed through other means, they will not be updating using Ubuntu via Ubuntu standard update process. However, some third party apps will provides means of updating their software on Ubuntu.

Similarly to other operating system, only administrators and members of the sudoers file are allowed to update the system. If you’re not an administrator, you’ll need to request those rights to update Ubuntu.

To get started updating Ubuntu Linux, follow the steps below:

How to update Ubuntu from the desktop

Most students and new users might want to use the desktop version of Ubuntu. It’s easier to use and manage Ubuntu from there. Advanced users might instead use Ubuntu exclusively from the command line terminal.

To update Ubuntu from the desktop, click on click the “Show Applications” button from the bottom left or press the Super key (WIN) on your keyboard.

When the apps list show up, scroll until you find the Software Updater app.

Alternatively, you can use the search box and search for “Software Updater

When the Software Updater app opens, it will first search for available updates, then show you a list of them ready to be updated. Click on Details of updates to view the lists of apps that will be updated.

When you’re ready, click the Install Now button to begin updating the system.

You’ll be prompted for your password since authentication is required for this process. Type it in and press Enter.

Once authentication is accepted, Software Updater should begin installing the latest updates for your machine.

Depending on your machine, this can take up sometime to complete.

How to update Ubuntu from the command line terminal

For advanced users and those who want to use the command line to update Ubuntu Linux, the steps below should be helpful.

Ubuntu comes with a command line terminal. You can open by going to the “Show Applications” button as shown above. Then scroll and select Terminal.

Alternatively, you can use the search box and search for “Terminal”, then select to open.

Once open, run the commands below to check for updates. After APT checks all your repositories, it’ll tell you how many package upgrades are available.

sudo apt update

After checking for updates, you can begin updating packages and software by running the commands below:

sudo apt upgrade

You’ll get a list of all available packages that are ready to be updated followed by a prompt to confirm whether you want to continue apply the updates. Type and press Enter to confirm or use n to cancel.

After that, all available updates should be downloaded and installed.


This post showed you how to update Ubuntu Linux. If you find any error above, please use the comment form below to report.