Ubuntu – Enabling unattended-upgrades from a shell script


I have a shell script to automatically configure new Ubuntu virtual machines for my purposes. I would like this script to install and enable unattended-upgrades, but I cannot figure out how to do so without user interaction.

The usual way to enable upgrades is dpkg-reconfigure unattended-upgrades, but of course that is interactive. The noninteractive front end avoids asking any questions at all, and the text front end seems bound and determined to do its I/O with the tty and not with stdin/stdout.

Best Answer

  • Just make a copy of /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/20auto-upgrades after configuring it the way you like, and drop that into place on your target machine. You could embed it in your script, or you could rsync or wget it in from a server, or whatever.

    So basically your script might do something like this:

    apt-get install unattended-upgrades
    wget -O /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/20auto-upgrades http://myserver.mytld/confs/20auto-upgrades
    /etc/init.d/unattended-upgrades restart

    There's really no reason to monkey with the dpkg-reconfigure script at all.

    If you don't want to fetch the conf file from a remote server, it's VERY very short and simple - the default version, which fetches and installs security updates only, looks like this:

    APT::Periodic::Update-Package-Lists "1";
    APT::Periodic::Unattended-Upgrade "1";

    So you can just echo those lines into the config file directly with the following:

    echo -e "APT::Periodic::Update-Package-Lists \"1\";\nAPT::Periodic::Unattended-Upgrade \"1\";\n" > /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/20auto-upgrades