How To Apt-Get Update, Upgrade, Dist-Upgrade, Full-Upgrade and Their Similarities and Diffirencies

deb based distributions provides apt or apt-get to manage packages interactively and from network repositories. While updating packages update, upgrade or dist-upgrade can be used. But what is the difference between these two commands. In this tutorial we will look this issue.


updatecommand will simply get the packages information from repositories. These repositories are remote internet sites those provides packages and their metadata. We will get meta data or package information and then compare with locally installed or downloaded package information and metadata. This will not download any packages.

$ sudo apt update


The real update operation will be down with upgrade command. This command will download packages and upgrade accordingly. So upgrade command will be run after update command. We should have root privileges in order to complete update operation so we will use sudo before upgrade command.

$ sudo apt upgrade


dist-upgrade command is very similar to upgrade command. This command will upgrade too but during upgrade there will be some prompts related with package configuration. In dist-upgrade this questions will be answered automatically by apt which will make our upgrade operation more easy and intelligent.

$ sudo apt dist-upgrade


full-upgrade  is the same as dist-upgrade so we can use both command interchangeable.

LEARN MORE  Yum Repository Configuration For RedHat, CentOS and Fedora

4 thoughts on “How To Apt-Get Update, Upgrade, Dist-Upgrade, Full-Upgrade and Their Similarities and Diffirencies”

  1. `upgrade` will not upgrade all packages like the kernel and a few others flagged as a “distribution upgrade”. That is why you sometimes need to run `dist-upgrade`.

  2. upgrade will hold back upgrades that require other packages be removed due to dependency changes. It will only upgrade installed packages and install new packages.

    dist-upgrade/full-upgrade will remove packages that were automatically installed (installed as dependants of manually selected packages) as needed to satisfy package upgrade dependency conflicts.

    Neither upgrade nor dist-upgrade/full-upgrade will remove automatically installed packages (dependencies) that are no longer needed after the upgrade. autoremove will do just this.


Leave a Reply to Drakonstein Cancel reply