So, it’s been suggested to me that I start a “Linux basics” series, and I think it’s a wonderful suggestion! That said, to me the most logical starting point after an installation (which there will be more in-depth articles to come about!) would be learning how to update your system; as most distributions are not up-to-date when freshly installed.
Most distributions are relatively similar in their updating methods, consisting of either a GUI tool and or terminal commands. Typically, how the process works is two step:
Most distributions will have a “Software updater” or “Update Manager” in the program menus, which are fairly straightforward really, so I won’t touch base on them much in this. The graphical update manager displays available updates and while you can go through the list of available updates and make modifications to what you want installed, it is often as easy as clicking on a button to get the update process started. This way of updating may appeal to users switching from Windows even though the Update Manager's on Linux display more information than Windows Update.
Instead, I’d prefer to show you how to use the terminal for the task of updating, as I find it significantly faster for routine management.
For example, to update on any Debian based system such as Ubuntu / Linux Mint, the two commands, in order, are:
If there are any upgrades needed, simply typing “y” and then pressing enter, will update all needed packages. Very quick, very simple.
On OpenSUSE the process is fairly simple as well:
Fedora uses yet another different package manager, and so a different commands
Archlinux / Manjaro:
Gentoo is a little more hardcore, but that’s to be expected:
There are other commands many Gentoo users may choose to do a variation of afterwards, but I would call these three essential.
Learning to update your machine via CLI is very simple as you can see, and is an easy introduction to using the terminal, and help lower fear of it.
Now you: What’s your preferred updating method, on which distro?
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