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the ongoing struggle: man vs machine

Monthly Archives: November 2012

Update Alerts via Email in Debian Squeeze (apticron)


We all know life is busy for us system administrators. Keeping servers updated is generally a good security practice, but is often overlooked due to more pressing concerns. This can often be especially true for the trusty linux servers that sit in the corner and never cause a problem.

This short tutorial will guide you through setting up the apticron tool to alert you when updates are available for debian.

It relies on the server being able to send emails, so ensure that this is possible through exim, postfix or sendmail first.


1. Open terminal as root



2. run command apt-get install apticron


3. Edit the configuration file with nano.

nano /etc/apticron/apticron.conf




4. Change EMAIL=”root” to a valid email address. Note that quotes must remain around the email address.



5. Press CTRL-O to save, then CTRL-X to quit nano.


All done. You will now receive a daily email with the required updates.