Using apticron to send an email with pending updates available for your server

Let’s use apticron on our server to stay informed about pending upgrades.

Of course we could use auto-apt to automatically install updates. But I don’t want todo that. I want to keep control over package upgrades and service restarts.

apticron internally uses apt-listchanges which is worth a look to know how apticron really works and to get an idea of package management, deb, etc.

Install apticron strait from the repository:

sudo apt-get install apticron

Now lets define the email address we want apticron to send emails to:

sudo vim /etc/apticron/apticron.conf


OR edit /etc/postfix/virtual_aliases and define an alias for root.

apticron is now installed and is automatically executed via cron. see


Thats it. Once there are packages available in the repository that are upgradeable, apticron will send you an email:

6 Debian package update(s) for vhost335290

apticron report [Wed, 28 Jan 2015 10:42:06 +0100]

apticron has detected that some packages need upgrading on:


The following packages are currently pending an upgrade:

libc6 2.13-38+deb7u7
libc6-dev 2.13-38+deb7u7
libc-bin 2.13-38+deb7u7
libc-dev-bin 2.13-38+deb7u7
locales 2.13-38+deb7u7
multiarch-support 2.13-38+deb7u7


Package Details:



You can perform the upgrade by issuing the command:

apt-get dist-upgrade

as root on vhost335290


Oh great! There are my libc updates for debian wheezy! I almost forgot about those. Time to prevent GHOST attacks by upgrading libc, followed by a clean server restart ;)