Ubuntu apt update vs upgrade vs dist-upgrade vs do-release-upgrade

  • apt update – gets an up to date list of packages that can be installed or updated
  • apt upgrade – updates packages it can, but never removes packages
  • apt full-upgrade – updates packages more aggressively, removing packages that block other updates
  • apt-get dist-upgrade an old name for full-upgrade
  • do-release-upgrade upgrades to the latest operating system version

These are all confusingly named, and could have been called sync, safe-update, force-update, and upgrade-os.

See also: man apt

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