Disabling update-notifier in Ubuntu 12.04

My team manages a number of user workstations running Ubuntu 12.04 “Precise Pangolin”. We install a standard APT configuration which automatically upgrades these PCs as soon as packages are available, without prompting and without a GUI. Therefore we also need to disable the update-notifier so it doesn’t display these packages to the user.

This isn’t necessary if your user doesn’t have admin access (is a member of the sudo group). Update-notifier won’t run if you don’t have sudo.

Method 1: Prevent update-notifier from starting at login

As the user, open a terminal and run:

Find this line:

And replace it with:

Now log out and in again, or kill the running update-notifier:

Or just paste all this into the shell:

Method 2: Prevent update-notifier from starting at login for all users

The above method works only on the user that is currently logged in. This is useful if you have a one-user workstation. But if you want to make a system-wide change, run:

Method 3: Let update-notifier run, but disable notifications

This method allows update-notifier to run in the background, but tells it not to display notifications. As the first method, this only works on the current user.

  • Start dconf-editor from the Unity menu or run dialog.
  • Browse to “com.ubuntu.update-notifier”.
  • Set “no-show-notifications” to true.

Or just run this handy command:

Enabling automatic security updates without update-notifier

If you’ve done the above and still want security updates, do the following. First Create /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/20auto-upgrades containing:

Then edit /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades and uncomment or add:

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  1. Alan Phillips’s avatar

    You can also disable this through the GUI updater, can’t you? Under “Settings”?

    Reply

    1. Tyler Wagner’s avatar

      Yes, but that also disables GUI-less unattended-upgrades. The above method just disables the user GUI.

      My use case is corporate, not the more common “single user who is his own admin”.

      Reply

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