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How do I get apt-get email the root account of a server for security updates?

Asked by [ Editor ] , Edited by Fernando C. Estrada [ Admin ]

I used to be maintaining an Ubuntu server system, where I regularly logged into. This frequency has gone down significantly, and therefore, I no longer get messages about security updates anymore. I am personally moving back to Debian systems, and after my laptop will install Squeeze on other systems at home which I maintain. However, as I am not regularly logging in on those either, I was wondering if it is possible to have apt-get send the admin account an email when new security updates are available, much like it gives messages to the desktop and upon login with SSH?

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2 answers


zack [ Admin ]

Have a look at the cron-apt package, it can be configured to do various actions, including simple mailing, when new package updates become available.

Another related solution is unattended-upgrades , which I personally prefer in those cases where I do want automatic upgrades, whereas for mail only I prefer cron-apt. In the end, it’s a matter of personal preferences though.
NN comments

Cool! I’ll need to look into in how to get it to email only when there are security updates, but that might be as much as checking it’s output with a regular expression, and then conditionally email :) Thanx!

-bla-ics you don’t need any of that, both tools already support mailing only on action and not mailing when nothing happens

r murphy

I only use apticron, so I cannot answer the first question, but the second question can easily be solved by installing a simple “daemon” like ssmtp which can be configured to forward all mails to a single machine. Does this help?

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