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HELP: MX Apt-notifier

MX-Updater (formerly called apt-notifier) checks the repos to look for package updates. A cronjob (a scheduled task using cron) does a check at a random time between 5 and 35 minutes after bootup if it’s been more than 24 hours since the last check. If the machine is then left running continuously, the cronjob runs again at 07:35 AM daily and rechecks (also at a random time between 5 and 35 minutes after the cronjob start).

In MX-15 and earlier, the applet is a yellow box that adds a green arrow when updates are available; in MX-16 the applet is a box in white outline that turns green instead. A third option was added for MX-17 called pulse, with green indicating no updates. When the green appears, there two ways to proceed. NOTE: We follow here the default setup when upgrades are available, but the actions triggered by left- or right-clicking the mouse can be reversed in Preferences.

MX Updater
  • Left click the MX-Updater icon. This is the faster method because there is no wait for software to load, run, etc. A terminal window appears with the packages to upgrade; examine them carefully, then click OK to complete the process.
  • Right click the icon and choose “Upgrade Using Synaptic”

Other Options via right-click:

  • Hide until updates available. To unhide, click Start menu > Accessories > MX Updater
  • Synaptic: use the full app instead of MX Updater
  • History – Get a history of all packages installed and/or upgraded since installation.
  • MX Updater Help (this document).
  • Synaptic Help. Opens Users Manual, Section 5.
  • Preferences

Options in Preference Dialog

  • Change upgrade behavior.
    • Basic Upgrade: analogous to “apt-get upgrade”
      • From the man file: upgrade is used to install the newest versions of all packages currently installed on the system from the sources enumerated in /etc/apt/sources.list. Packages currently installed with new versions available are retrieved and upgraded; under no circumstances are currently installed packages removed, or packages not already installed retrieved and installed. New versions of currently installed packages that cannot be upgraded without changing the install status of another package will be left at their current version. An update must be performed first so that apt-get knows that new versions of packages are available.
    • Full Upgrade: the default method of upgrading for MX. Analogous to “apt-get dist-upgrade”
    • From the man file: dist-upgrade in addition to performing the function of upgrade, also intelligently handles changing dependencies with new versions of packages; apt-get has a “smart” conflict resolution system, and it will attempt to upgrade the most important packages at the expense of less important ones if necessary. The dist-upgrade command may therefore remove some packages. The /etc/apt/sources.list file contains a list of locations from which to retrieve desired package files.
  • Change Left-Click behavior.
  • Answer “yes” to all questions, usually restricted to asking “Do you want to continue” after packages and space needs have been listed
  • Close terminal automatically when process is completed.

Tips and Tricks

  • To slow down the frequency of checking, change theAPT::Periodic::Update-Package-Lists setting in the /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/02periodic file from a “1” to a “7”, and keep the apt cron job in the cron.daily folder.
  • Hidden option. User can select whether to have the app search for packages no longer needed (“autoremove”). WARNING: be sure to check over what is proposed for removal, since sometimes unexpected dependencies may be involved.
    • Open ~/.config/apt-notifierrc, and look for the line:
    • CheckForAutoRemovables=false
    • Change “false” to “true” and save the file. 

Development history: kmathern, “cliuser” from github for the contribution to pyQt5.

License: here.

v. 20190615

8 thoughts on “HELP: MX Apt-notifier”

  1. re: “…setting in the /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/02periodic file from a ‘1’ to a ‘7’, and keep the apt cron job in the cron.daily folder.”

    here on a default MX-18.2 install in /etc/cron.daily are two related cronjobs: ‘2-apt-compat -> /usr/share/apt-notifier/2-apt-compat’
    and ‘apt-compat’ …

    please add more to Tips&Tricks section or in Comments. mx-viewer Help needs more help? there’s no clear info _here_ about disabling Updates checking, just slowing the checking or the daily cron job(s). panel app removal (obviously) doesn’t disable the Updates checking.

  2. Changing the APT::Periodic::Update-Package-Lists setting to a “0” in the /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/02periodic file, disables the cronjob from doing the equivalent of a `apt-get update’ daily (“1”) or every “n” days. And currently there’s no option for that in the MX Updater preferences.

    Btw with it set to “0”, the apt-notifier (MX Updater) will still display notifications if the repo lists are updated manually (i.e. by running an `apt-get update’ in terminal, or Reload in Synaptic) and upgrades are available.

  3. Mx Updater is no longer working. The icon is there, but I receive a pop-up announcing updates but nothing in the icon. I have to go to upgrade in the synaptic package manager.

  4. Cuando actualizo mi maquina ya no arranca y presenta problemas de group y tengo que reiniciarla. como puedo actualizar y no presente este problema


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