I'm working on some system admin automation using fabric and I'd like to be able to monitor the number of packages that need upgrading on a given machine. This is the same information that I can see when I first log in to a machine, i.e. this part:
35 packages can be updated. 22 updates are security updates.
Is there a command that I can run (preferably without
sudo) that gives just that information?
I've looked at the apt-python bindings, but they seem to have a high learning curve and they also appear to be changed around a lot — I'd like something that will work at least as far back as lucid without needing to do different things on different Ubuntu versions.