1. Changes to the file
  2. My file contents

If you administer servers, you know the importance of keeping your packages up to date for security concerns.

In Ubuntu Server 18, this is carried out by editing the /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades file. Let’s edit it with the following command:

sudo vim /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades

Changes to the file

There are only a few lines that need to be uncommented:

"${distro_id}:${distro_codename}-updates"; // will enable automatic security updates
Unattended-Upgrade::Automatic-Reboot "true"; // will enable automatic reboot after updates are concluded
Unattended-Upgrade::Automatic-Reboot-Time "04:00"; // will set up 4AM as the reboot time
Unattended-Upgrade::Remove-Unused-Kernel-Packages "true"; // will prevent your boot partition from getting filled of junk, which will block any and all updates at a point

Special attention should be given to the last line, which will enable the update to automatically clean up old kernel packages. Without it, you can find yourself with a full boot partition, which has the nasty ability to halt any and all updates! I have faced this in the past and it can be a pain.

My file contents

If you just want to copy and paste, here is my file, with these changes made.

// Automatically upgrade packages from these (origin:archive) pairs
// Note that in Ubuntu security updates may pull in new dependencies
// from non-security sources (e.g. chromium). By allowing the release
// pocket these get automatically pulled in.
Unattended-Upgrade::Allowed-Origins {
	// Extended Security Maintenance; doesn't necessarily exist for
	// every release and this system may not have it installed, but if
	// available, the policy for updates is such that unattended-upgrades
	// should also install from here by default.
//	"${distro_id}:${distro_codename}-proposed";
//	"${distro_id}:${distro_codename}-backports";

// List of packages to not update (regexp are supported)
Unattended-Upgrade::Package-Blacklist {
//	"vim";
//	"libc6";
//	"libc6-dev";
//	"libc6-i686";

// This option will controls whether the development release of Ubuntu will be
// upgraded automatically.
Unattended-Upgrade::DevRelease "false";

// This option allows you to control if on a unclean dpkg exit
// unattended-upgrades will automatically run
//   dpkg --force-confold --configure -a
// The default is true, to ensure updates keep getting installed
//Unattended-Upgrade::AutoFixInterruptedDpkg "false";

// Split the upgrade into the smallest possible chunks so that
// they can be interrupted with SIGTERM. This makes the upgrade
// a bit slower but it has the benefit that shutdown while a upgrade
// is running is possible (with a small delay)
//Unattended-Upgrade::MinimalSteps "false";

// Install all unattended-upgrades when the machine is shutting down
// instead of doing it in the background while the machine is running
// This will (obviously) make shutdown slower
//Unattended-Upgrade::InstallOnShutdown "true";

// Send email to this address for problems or packages upgrades
// If empty or unset then no email is sent, make sure that you
// have a working mail setup on your system. A package that provides
// 'mailx' must be installed. E.g. "user@example.com"
//Unattended-Upgrade::Mail "root";

// Set this value to "true" to get emails only on errors. Default
// is to always send a mail if Unattended-Upgrade::Mail is set
//Unattended-Upgrade::MailOnlyOnError "true";

// Remove unused automatically installed kernel-related packages
// (kernel images, kernel headers and kernel version locked tools).
Unattended-Upgrade::Remove-Unused-Kernel-Packages "true";

// Do automatic removal of newly unused dependencies after the upgrade
Unattended-Upgrade::Remove-New-Unused-Dependencies "false";

// Do automatic removal of unused packages after the upgrade
// (equivalent to apt-get autoremove)
Unattended-Upgrade::Remove-Unused-Dependencies "true";

// Automatically reboot *WITHOUT CONFIRMATION*
//  if the file /var/run/reboot-required is found after the upgrade
Unattended-Upgrade::Automatic-Reboot "true";

// If automatic reboot is enabled and needed, reboot at the specific
// time instead of immediately
//  Default: "now"
Unattended-Upgrade::Automatic-Reboot-Time "04:00";

// Use apt bandwidth limit feature, this example limits the download
// speed to 70kb/sec
//Acquire::http::Dl-Limit "70";

// Enable logging to syslog. Default is False
// Unattended-Upgrade::SyslogEnable "false";

// Specify syslog facility. Default is daemon
// Unattended-Upgrade::SyslogFacility "daemon";

// Download and install upgrades only on AC power
// (i.e. skip or gracefully stop updates on battery)
// Unattended-Upgrade::OnlyOnACPower "true";

// Download and install upgrades only on non-metered connection
// (i.e. skip or gracefully stop updates on a metered connection)
// Unattended-Upgrade::Skip-Updates-On-Metered-Connections "true";